The Victoria Memorial, built between 1906 and 1921, in the memory of Queen Victoria, now a museum, is a majestic marble monument with a beautiful garden.Enjoy a ride on a horse carriage from the Victoria Memorial, around the green Maidanand the beautiful red road with horses grazing in the Race Course beside. St. Paul’s Cathedral (1847), the seat of the Diocese of Calcutta, has an august Indo-gothic architecture. The huge trees around the area make the place magical. Fort William (1696),now being used as the Eastern command headquarters for the Indian Army has its genesis in the British Raj. The Shaheed Minaar (1824), a 50m tall and slender tower, standing on the green Brigade Ground, offers a bird’s eye view of the city. This monument is beautifully illuminated in the evening. PrincepGhat (1841), built in memory of the English Scholar and antiquary, James Princep, has Greek and Gothic architecture with panoramic view of River Hooghly on one side and the modern VidyasagarSethuon the other. Boating, taking a stroll by the river and munching street side delicacies feel splendid. Eden Gardens (1864), the oldest cricket stadium in India, is definitely a Cricket lover’s favourite spot. For the film and art lovers,Nandan, the Film and Cultural Centre and Academy of Fine Arts, the first Fine Art Society in India are important. MohorKunjo or Citizen’s Park, famous for the musical fountain, is just opposite to the Academy. A drive/walk around the Dalhousie Square is a must for history buffs. The stoned pavements and the colonial buildings with Laal Dighi at the centre, are similar to those of London’s Trafalgar Square. St. John’s Church (1787), Kolkata’s first Parish Church, faces the Dalhousie square. It was modelled after London’s Gibb’s St.Martin’s, with a Neo Classical Structure, with a 174ft tall stone spire with a giant clock. It’s compound being an age old cemetery, houses tombs and memorials of some eminent historic figures. The Calcutta Black Hole Monument, Lady Canning’s Memorial and the Mausoleum of JobCharnock, the founder of Calcutta, lie here. In this area you can see theGPO, Writers’ Building, Raj Bhavan, Metcalfe Hall and other imperial buildings standing tall. MullikGhatFlowerMarket, near the southeast end of Howrah Bridge is Asia’s largest flower market and is fascinatingly colourful. An early morning stroll around the place with sip of a hot smacking chai, watching the local wrestlers’ practise their art, has a different essence.Ferry ride across the river in the evening, sighting the majestically lit Howrah Bridge, the historic cantilever bridge, is eventful indeed. Rabindranath Tagore, India’s first Nobel Laureate was born atJorasanko Thakur Bari, to the eminent Thakur/Tagore family whose contribution to Indian Renaissance is remarkable. This house is now a heritage museum and gallery, objects and pictures, literary work and paintings by Rabindranath Tagore his family. A 10minutes’ walk will take you to the Marble Palace, a palatial marble building of the monarchs of the Imperial Era. Nakhoda Masjid, on Zakariya Street, Chitpur, is Kolkata’s principle mosque with majestic red lime stone structure. Zakariya Street comes alive with gastronomic adventures for Iftari during Ramadan. If you are a photography buff, do visit the Kumartuli (especially pre Durga Puja) to see how the idols are being built and feel the romanticism. Book lovers must visit Asia’s largest book market and the World’s 2nd largest market for 2nd hand books, the College Street, the mile long avenue dotted with book stores on both sides. The College Square houses the University of Calcutta, Asia’s oldest University, the Medical College and the Mahabodhi Society. Nature lovers will definitely enjoy RabindraSarovar, a beautiful artificial lake spread across 192 acresamids the posh urban south and Howrah’sBotanical Garden withtheGiant BanyanTree as the starattaction. Another place to visit is the Zoological Garden of Kolkata, Alipore, spread over 45 acres, is the oldest in the country and houses around 1250 animals and is home to numerous migratory birds in the winter. For shopping Dakshinapan and Gariahatshould not be missed. The Hogg market and the Newmarket in Esplanade area with Park Street being just beside, is the heart of Kolkata. It is not only a shopper’s paradise but also a food lover’s. There are numerous restaurants all along the street. Park Street’s illumination with lights, laughter and food is worth a visit during Christmas. Another unique spot is the South Park StreetCemetery with 1600 Indo-Gothic tombs. The Indian Museum, India’s oldest and the largestmuseum, is not only a must visit for its plethora of collectibles of Buddhist and Mughal exhibits, mummies and other Egyptian exhibits, fossils, skeletons and more but also for its massive architecture. The Nicco Park,Wet-o-World, Aquatica, Newtown’s Eco Park and Biswa Bangla, Science City, Birla Planetarium, Birla Technical Museum, are all places for amusement and science enthusiasts. The Birla Temple, the Kalighat temple, One of the 52 Shatipeeths, the Dakshineswar Temple where Shri Ramakrishna Paramhansa lived most of his days, Belur Math, the headquarters of Ramakrishna Math and Mission, founded by Swami Vivekananda, Ramakrishna’s chief disciple and Swamiji’s house, now turned into a museum, are significant sites.