Things to do in Kolkata (Calcutta)

Improve your knowledge at Science City

Science City (tel: +91 33 2285 4343; is a sprawling church of all things physics, biology and chemistry. Since opening in 1997 it has had over 24 million visitors, beckoned in by attractions like the Earth Exploration Hall, the Space Theatre and the thousand-strong fish Aquarium. Happy learning.

Go searching for tigers in the Sundarbans

There are approximately 400 Bengal tigers in Sundarbans National Park, 127km (79 miles) from Kolkata. It is also the largest mangrove belt in the world, so saltwater crocodiles stalk its waters. Tour Sundarbans (tel: +91 98 3617 7140; offer one or two day excursions.

Find yourself some secondhand holiday reading

Whether you’re a John Grisham fiend or early edition collector you’ll find a book on College Street, nicknamed locally as Boi Para (Book Town). It is said to be the biggest secondhand book market in the world and it’s a treasure trove for those who love digging through the dusties to in pursuit of a rarity. Don’t be afraid to haggle your way to a good price.

Catch the madness of a Kolkata cricket game

Cricket is a religion in India and there’s no better place to worship than Eden Gardens, India’s biggest stadium at 90,000 people capacity and the second largest in the world after Melbourne Cricket Ground. As well as international matches and World Cup finals, it is home to the Indian Premier League’s Kolkata Knight Riders (, whose performances on the pitch have yet to live up to the expectations of owner/Bollywood supersuper Shah Rukh Khan.

Visit Mother Teresa’s house

It probably shouldn’t come as a surprise, but Mother Teresa’s unassuming home (tel: +91 33 2249 7115; from 1953 to 1997 is situated on a small back alley quite off the beaten track. The house itself is a site of pilgrimage for believers and atheists alike - her body still rests in a tomb around which Holy Mass is held every Friday at 1630.

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