Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta (and before that, the City of Palaces, which is cooler in our opinion), is the capital and largest city of West Bengal. Located on the east bank of the Hooghly River about 100 miles (160 km) north-east of Chennai (Madras), it’s a major cultural centre and business hub.
Kolkata has been home to some pretty important people, too. (Rabindranath Tagore, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Mother Teresa, to name a few). And the city has played an important role in Indian industries like textiles, coal mining and heavy engineering. This has earned it the title “the Manchester of India,” but we think that doesn’t do credit to the unique culture and heritage that makes this one of the best places to visit in India. Kolkata has heaps of tourist attractions including museums and art galleries, as well as a tantalising cuisine that includes influences from the Muslim communities who ruled here for 200 years.