Starting from its humble origins as a village on the banks of the mighty Hooghly (as the Ganges is called here), to its rise as one of the most important cities in the world, Kolkata (or Calcutta, as it is still referred to by many), was the capital of the British East India Company. The British legacy is evident in the grand Victorian Gothic buildings, impressive churches and wide boulevards. Kolkata is also the centre of the awesome Bengali art and culture.
Day 1 - Kolkata
Arrive in Kolkata, where you are met and transferred to your hotel. Kolkata was just a tiny insignificant village some 300 years ago. After the East India Company made it their first base in India, Calcutta then became the seat of the British power in India and developed into an economic, industrial and political centre. Right at its chaotic heart is the Maidan, a huge green expanse with gardens, monuments and sporting facilities. At one end stands the Victoria Memorial, a white marble building which provides one of the best insights into British rule in India.
Day 2 - Kolkata
Kolkata has fascinating street life and interesting colonial architecture. Today, after breakfast, you will meet your guide who will take you for a drive via the historic St John's Church to the famous Dalhousie Square, the commercial centre of the city, now renamed BBD Bagh. From here you continue to the bank of the river Hoogly, where you see the famous Howrah Bridge, which more than 5 million people cross every day. You also visit the colourful flower market. Next is the Karmatuly area, where they make the huge effigies used in Kolkata's most famous festival, Durga Puja. To the North of the centre you visit the exquisite, richly decorated, Jain Temple, before continuing to the College Street book market, with its many hundreds of bookstalls, and finally enjoy a coffee at the famous Indian Coffee House - still a gathering place for the city's intellectuals.
Day 3 - Kolkata
Today your tour ends after breakfast. From Kolkata you could, for instance, travel north to Kurseong & Darjeeling or south to Orissa. Finally, if you would like to spend time on The Emerald Isles, then you should take a flight from Kolkata to Port Blair, the entry point for a stay on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Virtually unexplored and unknown to the outside world, this idyllic tropical paradise has recently opened up to foreign visitors, offering a most exotic and relaxing holiday on its beautiful palm fringed beaches and turquoise blue waters.