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Howrah Bridge is one of four bridges on the Hooghly River in the city of Kolkata in West Bengal, India. It is the busiest cantilever bridge in the world. It was the third-longest cantilever bridge at the time of its construction and is currently the sixth-longest bridge of its type in the world. Howrah Bridge was commissioned as a replacement of a pontoon bridge in 1943 and was then named the ‘New Howrah Bridge’ because it stood between the two cities of Howrah and Kolkata. It was renamed to Rabindra Setu in the honor of the first Indian (and Asian) Nobel laureate and eminent Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore. However, the bridge is still popular as the Howrah Bridge.
Sundarban National Park
For the travelers wishing to take a day trip from Kolkata, a visit to Sundarban National Park is most recommended. It is a famous tiger reserve and a biosphere reserve located about 60 miles away from the city in West Bengal. The park is a part of the famous UNESCO World Heritage Site called Sundarbans (meaning beautiful forest in Bengali language) on the Ganges Delta. This delta is densely covered by a forest of Sundari (a variety of mangrove) trees and is home to one of the largest reserves for the Bengal tigers in India. Sunderban National Park is also home to a number of bird, reptile and invertebrate species.
Dakshineswar Kali Temple
Located about 7.5 miles away from Kolkata, the Dakshineswar Kali Temple in Dakshineswar is a Hindu temple situated on the banks of the Hooghly River. It is devoted to Bhavatarini (an incarnation of Goddess Kali) who is fabled to liberate Her devotees from the ocean of existence. Dakshineswar Kali Temple was built in traditional Bengali Navaratna style of architecture and stands as a remarkable sum of a 46-feet high and nine-spired main worshipping complex, 12 riverside shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva and a temple to Radha-Krishna, all flanked by a bathing ghat on the river. Of special interest in the temple is an idol of goddess Kali standing on the chest of a Lord Shiva that is placed on a thousand -petaled lotus made of silver.
The Victoria Memorial is a riverside museum, made predominantly of white marble in Kolkata. The memorial was built over a period of 15 years from 1906 and 1921 in the memory of Queen Victoria who died in 1901. This iconic superstructure is built in the Indo-Saracenic Revivalist architectural style and assumes subtle inputs from British, Mughal, Venetian, Egyptian and Islamic architectural influences. The Victoria Memorial consists of 25 galleries including the Royal Gallery, the National Leaders Gallery, the Portrait Gallery, the Sculpture Gallery and the Calcutta gallery. A walk inside the Royal Gallery is an absolute treat for its stunning collection of portraits and paintings illustrating the lives of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.