As the capital of the British Raj, the city of Kolkata (Calcutta) was once the largest colonial trading post in Asia, and today it retains elements of its dual Indian and British heritage.
Begin your Bengali explorations at Kolkata’s most famous landmark and symbol of the Raj: the Victoria Memorial. Even if the galleries full of stuffy Victorian portraits and Raj artifacts aren’t your thing, the monument’s exterior is impressive in its own right, and lazing on the manicured lawns makes for prime people watching.
Start your morning with a stroll through the sombre South Park Street Cemetery and its moss-covered tombs and monuments. Spend the remainder of the morning at the city’s largest green area, the Maidan, where you can stop in for a cricket match at the Eden Gardens stadium. From there, head to the Indian Botanical Gardens to sit beneath what may be the largest banyan tree on earth.