South of the bustling city centre of Kolkata, the Maidan (Bengali: ময়দান Maẏdān) is a 400-hectare park that stretches from the Hooghly River in the west to Chowringhee and Park Street in the east, and from the Victoria Memorial in the south to Raj Bhavan and Eden Gardens in the north.
The tiger-haunted jungle which cut off the village of Chowringhee from the river was cleared and gave way to the wide grassy stretch of the Maidan of which the city is so proud. The Maidan was developed as a 5-km2 parade ground for the British forces and even today is army property. It is a vast stretch of field and home to numerous playgrounds, including the famous cricketing venue Eden Gardens, several football grounds, and the Kolkata Race Course. The Maidan sports several statues. The roads on the Maidan are dotted with tiny greenish bungalow tents (clubhouses) belonging to various sports clubs. There are numerous patches for playing. Some of the larger clubs occupy the fields with wooden galleries.
The big three of Kolkata football, Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Mohammedan have a noticeable presence but there also are names with faded glory such as Rangers. Somewhere in between fit-in organisations such as Kennel Club and Press Club. There also are lower-order clubs, who do not have much of a following but have a noticeable contribution and sometimes spring a surprise – Wari, Aryans, Rajasthan and so on – and a host of office clubs. Once in a while, the Brigade Parade Ground has political rallies with crowds numbering one hundred thousand plus.
- 1 Babughat Bus Terminus, ~8 Strand Rd. One of the main bus termini in Kolkata alongside Esplanade. One can find interstate buses going into Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and other cities of West Bengal.
The North–South Metroruns over Chowringhee Road, with stops at Esplanade, Park Street, Maidan and Rabindra Sadan.
- 4 Babu Ghat, ~8, Strand Rd. One of the busiest ferry ghats in Kolkata. Established by Rani Rashmoni in 1830, the ghat also has a tall colonial structure, which is the landing berth of the ghat. Ferry services are available from Babughat to Howrah, Chandpal Ghat, Telkal Ghat and Bally. Free.
- 5 Bidhan Ghat, Strand Rd, Hastings (near Adi Ganga).
- 6 Outram Ghat, Kolkata Riverfront, Strand Rd. One of Kolkata's premier riverside entertainment spots. The place is a long stretch with a grand view of the river and Vidyasagar Setu nearby. There are numerous eateries. One can also have a ride in a country boat. The ghat (steps leading to the river) is used for bathing and religious ceremonies. there are other ghats alongside. Beware of trains moving along the circular rail track.Or enjoy a cruise on the river in a panshi.
- 1 Academy of Fine Arts, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 2 Fort William (ফোর্ট উইলিয়াম Phōrṭ Uiliẏām). In the early 18th century, a dense jungle was cut down to build the fort and develop the Maidan, after the earlier mud defence was destroyed in 1756. The present fort, an irregular squat octagon was completed in 1733. It stands where Gobindapur village once stood. Today, it is the headquarters of the Indian Army's Eastern Command and is not open to the public.
- 3 Glorious Dead Memorial. Open all day. A memorial dedicated to the fallen soldiers of World War I. Free.
- 4 Lascar War Memorial, Hastings. A memorial dedicated to the memory of the 896 Indian sailors (lascars) who died serving on ships of the Royal Navy and British Merchant Service during World War I.
- 5 Birla Planetarium (বিড়লা তারামণ্ডল Biṛlā Tārāmaṇḍal), 96, Chowringhee Rd, (N of St. Paul's Cathedral). One of the oldest planetaria in India. The only planetarium in the country whose dome houses a collection of projectors and optical equipment expensively imported from the erstwhile East Germany. It is the largest planetarium in South Asia and the second largest in the world. Daily shows in English, Hindi and Bengali. The central dome measures 25 m (82 ft) in diameter.
- 6 Nehru Children's Museum, 94/1, Chowringhee Rd (metro: ), ☏ , email@example.com. W-Su 11AM-7PM.
- 7 Prinsep Ghat (প্রিন্সেপ ঘাট Prinsēp Ghāṭ) (local: ). Gives an excellent view of the Hooghly River and Vidyasagar Setu.
- 8 St. Paul's Cathedral (সেন্ট পলস ক্যাথিড্রাল Senṭ Pals Kyāthiḍrāl), 1A, Cathedral Rd. The largest Anglican church in Kolkata. It was constructed in 1847 and serves as a cathedral church of Church of North India (CNI). This Gothic-styled cathedral was designed by William Nairn Forbes.
- 9 Shaheed Minar (শহীদ মিনার Śahīd Minār, former name: Ochterlony Monument). Locally known as simply "Monument", the British colonial monument is 48 meters high. It is rededicated to the Indian freedom activists in 1969 and the monument was renamed Shaheed Minar.
- 10 The 42 (দ্য ফোরটি-টু Dya Phōrṭi-Ṭu), 42B, Chowringhee Rd. At 260 m (850 ft), The 42 is the tallest building in Kolkata.
- 11 Victoria Memorial (ভিক্টোরিয়া মেমোরিয়াল Bhikṭoriẏa Memoriẏal), Queen's Way (metro: , ), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-Su 5:30 AM-6:45 PM, Son et Lumière (English) 7:15 PM Oct-Feb and 7:45 PM Mar-Jun. For garden; ₹4 for Indian; for museum ₹10 for Indian and ₹150 for foreigner. Camera free. Fee for light and sound shows are ₹10 and ₹20.
Kolkata's most celebrated landmark, this monument was built with imperial self-confidence and was the brainchild of Lord Curzon, one of India's most flamboyant Viceroys. The domed structure was completed in 1921 with marble used from Makrana. Now a museum, the Victoria Memorial's 25 galleries are spread over 2 floors. The collection covers a fascinating selection of Raj memorabilia and includes the Calcutta Gallery with oil paintings and watercolours of the city's history. Do not miss the grand Durbar Hall, inside which lies a statue of Lord Cornwallis.
The museum is set in extensive and beautiful lawns, and is lit up at night. A laser audio-visual show is held on the lawns every evening. "Nike", the Greek Goddess of victory, on the top of the museum is said to be haunted, and has been prominently featured in many Kolkata stories and novels.
- 12 Vidyasagar Setu (বিদ্যাসাগর সেতু Bidyasagôr Setu, Second Hooghly Bridge). Open 24 hours.
With a total length of 823 m (2,700 ft), Vidyasagar Setu is the longest cable-stayed bridge in India and one of the longest in Asia. It was built 3.7 km (2.3 mi) south/downstream of Howrah Bridge. The bridge was commissioned in 1992 by the Hooghly River Bridge Commission (HRBC).
- Take a stroll down memory lane at Prinsep Ghat.
- Take a boat cruise in small boats under the starlit sky at Outram Ghat.
- 1 Eden Gardens (local: ). One of the most famous cricket stadiums in the world. Named after Lord Auckland’s sister, the area also has a picturesque garden with a tiny Burmese pagoda set in a small lake.
- 2 Kolkata Race Course, Hastings. Built in 1819, it is one of the best in the east and is the scene of much gaiety, especially during the winter season.
- 3 Kolkata Riverfront. A promenade with scenic views of the Hooghly River and the skyline of Howrah. A 2 km (1.2 mi) stretch of the riverfront from Prinsep Ghat to Babughat was inaugurated on 24 May 2012 by Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA).
- 4 Nandan, 1/1, AJC Bose Rd (metro: ). The symbol of art and culture in the city. Major festivals are held here, including Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF).
- 5 Netaji Indoor Stadium (local: ). Inaugurated in 1975, it can accommodate 12,000 people. The Netaji Indoor Stadium hosts a wide range of activities, from sporting events to cultural programmes. It is a venue for both national and international trade fairs.
- 6 Rabindra Sadan (রবীন্দ্র সদন Rôbīndrô Sôdôn) (metro: ), ☏ . Theatre and cultural centre built 1961-67.
- 7 Royal Calcutta Turf Club. Founded in 1847, it is the oldest turf club in India and one of the most beautiful and largest in the world.
- 1 Dr B. C. Roy Market (Maidan Market, Bidhan Market), Dufferin Rd (metro: ). It has garments, sports goods and other shops.
- 2 Emami Shoppers' City, 3 Lord Sinha Rd, ☏ . Coffee shops, bookshop, designer wear, toy shops, boutiques, footwear stores, electronic stores, discotheque, beauty salons, gift shops, game parlours, multiplex
- 3 Metro Plaza, 1, Ho Chi Minh Sarani (beside Tata Centre, near to Maidan metro station), ☏ , , . Locally manufactured readymade clothes. Many shops deal only in imported garments, mostly from Bangkok. The latest footwear and lingerie. Good parking facility.
Eat and drink
- 1 Flury's, 18 Park St (metro: ), ☏ . Tu-Su 7AM-8PM, M 10AM-6PM. A popular and stylish cafe serving a good variety of baked goods and various coffees, sandwiches and entrees. A great place for breakfast or lunch. Baked goods ₹80-₹100, drinks ₹80, meals ₹600-₹1000.
- 2 Peter Cat, 18, Park St (metro: ), ☏ . Very popular for its chello kababs. However, their service has not received the best reviews. Serves Indian, tandoori and Continental fare.
- 3 Scoop, 71 Strand Rd, ☏ . noon to 10PM. Fast food outlet. It has an exclusive view of the river from the first floor of the restaurant. Sitting in the restaurant one can watch boats moving in the river and cars moving across Vidyasagar Setu.
- 4 Sip & Sandwich, 1 Shakespeare Sarani, Theatre Road AC Market, Elgin (Chowringhee Rd corner), ☏ . Vegetarian fast food
There are a lot of hotels at the opposite side of Chowringhee Road and most of these are covered in the Chowringhee-Park Street district.
- 1 The Golden Parkk, 13 Ho Chi Minh Sarani (near Maidan metro station), ☏ , fax: , email@example.com. From ₹8,000.
- Maidan, ☏ (4551), .