North Kolkata is the oldest area of Kolkata, a fascinating district dominated by narrow little lanes and hundreds of century-old buildings. It includes Barabazar, Chitpur Road, Posta, Jorasanko, Nimtala, Ahiritola, Bagbazar, Cossipore, Sinthee, Saatpukur, Paikpara, Belgachhia, Tala, Shyambazar, Shobhabazar, Hatibagan, Ultadanga, Kankurgachi, Maniktala, Phoolbagan, Rajabazar, Beleghata, College Street and Hedua. Also found here are the Sealdah Station, one of the largest train hubs in India and the Kolkata Station, which opened in 2006.
The longer roads in Kolkata have a north-south alignment and there is plenty of road transport available from North Kolkata to other parts of Kolkata. However, road transport slows down during office hour rush.
Metro railway is the fastest and the most convenient way to reach North Kolkata. However, there is only one route which runs along the city from north to south. This means one may have to change to other modes of transport to reach one's destination. Trains run every 10-15 minutes and at ₹5-₹15. It runs from 7:02AM to 9:49PM from Monday to Saturday and 10:02AM to 9:49PM on Sunday.
The metro runs from Noapara in the northern fringes to Kavi Subhash (New Garia) in the south-east. The metro route within North Kolkata is underground up to Belgachia and metro runs above ground from Dumdum. The metro stations in North Kolkata are:
- 1 Dum Dum metro station (Change over to overground sub-urban railway at Dum Dum railway station).
- 2 Belgachia metro station.
- 3 Shyambazar metro station.
- 4 Shovabazar Sutanuti metro station.
- 5 Girish Park metro station.
- 6 Mahatma Gandhi Road metro station.
The suburban overground railway tracks pass through the eastern edge of North Kolkata. The circular railway system covers the western and northern edges of North Kolkata. The stations in North Kolkata are:
- 7 Dum Dum railway station (Change for Dum Dum Metro).
- 8 Kolkata railway station (Chitpore).
- 9 Tala railway station (Circular railway only).
- 10 Bagbazar railway station (Circular railway only).
- 11 Sovabazar Ahiritola railway station (Circular railway only).
- 12 Barabazar railway station (Circular railway only).
- 13 Patipukur railway station.
- 14 Bidhannagar Road railway station (Ultadanga).
- 15 Sir Gurudas Banerjee Halt railway station (Narkeldanga) (Circular railway only).
- 16 Sealdah railway station. Sealdah railway station came up with the laying of the main line of the Eastern Bengal Railway in 1862. It is amongst the busiest railway stations in the country with a huge number of people commuting to the city for work.
- 17 Bose Institute, 93/1 Acharya Prafulla Chandra Rd (Located next to Rajabazar Science College), ☏ . A scientific research institute founded by Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose in 1917 in what was his residence. It is now the main campus with branches.
- 18 Medical College, Kolkata. Established in 1835, it was the first medical college in Asia.
- 19 Presidency University. Established as Hindu College in 1817, renamed Presidency College in 1855, and upgraded to a university in 2010.
- 20 Shovabazar Rajbari, 33 & 36 Raja Nabakrishna Deb St. The Rajbari, now partly in shambles, was probably built around or before 1757. The Durga Puja was started in 1757, after the British victory in the Battle of Plassey.
- 21 Star Theater (near Hatibagan crossing).
- 22 University of Calcutta. India's first western-style university established on 24th January 1857.
The northern part of Kolkata houses the old buildings belonging to the Zamindars (Landlords), other rich Bengalis who used to trade with the British. It preserves the cultural heritage of Kolkata. The building structures give an impression of the royal folk who occupied them. The area is generally crowded and has some interesting markets including the famous Posta, Burrabazar whole sale markets, College Street book market where one can trace many out of print books with a little patience. While in College Street a visit to the College St Coffee House is a must. Also around the area are the Calcutta Medical College, the Presidency College and Calcutta University, all pioneers in their field in the country.
- 1 Bauddha Dharmankur Sabha, 1 Buddhist Temple St (near the Indian Airlines head office), ☏ . A Buddhist monastery established in 1892 and run by the Bengal Buddhist Association. The distinct red building mostly consists of a school and a guest house. There is a very small Buddhist shrine tucked away on the 1st floor.
- 2 Datta Ancestral Home - Birthplace of Vivekananda, 3 Gour Mohan Mukherjee St. The 18th-century building was in a dilapidated condition, worsening day by day. The Ramkrishna Mission acquired it, along with an adjacent plot, in May 1999. Ramakrishna Mission restored Swamiji's ancestral house without changing any of its original architectural features. It houses Swamiji's birthplace, meditation hall (first floor) and museum, where some of the articles used by Swamiji, his father, mother and brothers are preserved.
- 3 Kolkata Police Museum, 113 Acharya Prafulla Chandra Rd, ☏ (Director). Tu-Su 10AM to 5PM. The museum collects, preserves and interprets objects related to the history of Kolkata Police. Exhibits includes various items seized during the freedom struggle of the country.
- 4 Mahabodhi Society of India, 4A Bankim Chatterjee St (near College St), ☏ . A small, but interesting Theravedan Buddhist temple located in an historic building. There is a library and shrine room on the second floor. Meditation classes are held every 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month.
- 5 Mahajati Sadan, 166 Chittaranjan Ave. Auditorium and cultural centre planned as part of the independence movement by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The foundation stone was laid in 1939 by Rabindranath Tagore, who named it Mahajati Sadan (House of the Nation). It was completed by Dr. B.C. Roy in the early 1950s.
- 6 Marble Palace, Chorbagan, 46, Muktaram Babu Street, Jorasanko (near Tagore House - Mahatma Gandhi Road Metro Station). 10AM-4PM. At Chorbagan is the Marble Palace, built in 1840 by Raja Rajendra Mullick, now a museum. Spend your afternoon among precious objects d’art including works of Rubens and Sir Joshua Reynolds.When tired, take a tram ride along Red Road with the green expanse of the Maidan around you. The perfect antidote. - The marble palace was the private mansion of Zamindar (Land owner) Raja Rajendro Mullick, who had built this palace in 1835. It is situated on the Muktaram Babu Street in a congested part of the city. A real garden, of may be an acre with a Palladian Mansion set square in the centre. Today this place has an incongruous collection of statues and paintings. There is also a private zoo housing a collection of birds from different corners of the world.
- 7 Parashnath Jain Temple (near the Belgachia metro station). Entry has been restricted to Jains since 2012 by order of management.
- 8 Parashnath Jain Temple (at Gouribari). less visited than the Belgachia one
- 9 Rabindra Bharati Museum (Jorasanko Thakur Bari / The House of the Tagores), 6/4 Dwarakanath Tagore Lane, Jorasanko, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 10:30AM - 5PM, Monday closed. The Jorasanko Thakur Bari is the ancestral home of the Tagore family. Rabindra Bharati University was established here in 1962. ₹50; students ₹25.
- 10 Raja Rammohan Roy Memorial Museum, 85A, Raja Rammohan Roy Sarani, ☏ . The memorablia in the museum consists of photographs, sketches, paintings and excerpts from the writings of Rammohun and others reproduced, wherever possible, in facsimile. Also period furnitures and diorama representaions designed to recreate the times. Together they not only give us the glimpses of the various facets of one of the greatest personalities of the modern age, but at the same time take us back into a period in history when India was at crossroads, and Rammohun heralded the coming of the modern age.
- 11 Vidyasagar Smriti Mandir, 36 & 36/1 Vidyasagar St (Can approach from Acharya Prafulla Chandra Road or from Raja Rammohan Roy Sarani), ☏ . The erstwhile residential house of Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, social reformer, language pioneer and a key figure in bringing about the renaissance in Bengal, currtly has been converted into a women's college which runs various professional and language courses. The heritage building was renamed 'Vidyasagar Smriti Mandir'. A part of the building has been converted into a museum.
- Burrabazar. Kolkata's wholesale market is spread across Burrabazar and Posta. The place was the old Sutanuti Hat before the British came. With the influx of the Marwaris (a trading class) during British rule from North India, it was transformed in to Burrabazar (big market). The saying goes that if one is willing to pay the price, eveything is available in Burrabazar. The market thrives on selling larger quantities at cheaper prices.
- Hatibagan-Shaymbazar market, Spread along Bidhan Sarani.
- 1 Manicktala market. A big market for varieties of fish.
- Mullick Ghat (Wholesale flower market). At the base of the Howrah bridge, on the Kolkata side, is the city’s bustling wholesale flower market. Flowers are an essential part of life in the city, they are bought not just for temple prayers but also for wedding decorations, events and festivals.
- Orchid Point, 3/1A Upendra Chandra Banerjee Road,Kankurgachhi. It houses most major brands.
- 2 Sealdah Market, Spread all over Sealdah. One of largest markets in Kolkata
Shyambazar and Shobabazar
- 1 Bhojohari Manna, Star Theatre, 79/3/4 Bidhan Sarani, ☏ . It serves a wide variety of home cooked Bengali cuisine.
- 2 Allen Kitchen (Near Sovabazar Sutanuti Metro Station (40/1, Jatindra Mohan Avenue)). 4PM - 9PM. Famous for its Prawn Cutlet. One of the oldest restaurants of Calcutta, founded in the late 19th century.
- 3 Golbari (New Punjabi Hotel), 211, Acharya Prafulla Chandra Road (Shyambazar 5 point crossing), ☏ . 12:30PM-11PM. Famous for Kosha Mangsho (spicy goat meat).
- 4 Niranjan Agar (Beside the North Western exit of Girish Park Metro Station). 4PM-9PM. Famous fry shop. Try their deviled duck eggs, mutton koftas and special fish fry.
- 5 Mitra Cafe, 47, Jatindra Mohan Avenue, ☏ , . 5-10PM. North Indian fast food outlet famous for its brain chop. Also go for the various chops, cutlets or Afgani.
- 6 Mitra Cafe, 3A, Bhupen Bose Avenue, ☏ . 4:30-10PM. North Indian fast food outlet: Fish Kaviraji, brain chop, Chicken Kaviraji, Mutton Kaviraji, mutton cutlets, fries, Prawn Kabiraji
- 7 New Madras Tiffin, 138, Bidhan Sarani, Hatibagan, ☏ . 10AM-10PM. Good vegetarian South Indian joint. Must-try items are Mysore plain dosa, Dahi vada and Kulfi.
- 8 Only 4 Chinese Gazab (Gazab), 34C, Shyampukur Street, Hatibagan, ☏ . Noon-10:30PM. Quality Indian Chinese and great pork items. Also try their Darsaan with vanilla ice-cream.
- 9 Rupa, 222A, Acharya Prafulla Chandra Rd (Shyambazar 5 point crossing). Quality Bengali lunch. Famous for Shukto - Bhaat (Bengali bitter gourd dish and rice) and Kosha Mangsho (spicy goat meat).
- 10 Chittaranjan Mistanna Bhandar, 73, Shyampukur Street, Shyambazar (near Shyambazar A V School). A century-old sweet shop famous for Bengali sweets like Rosogolla, Rajbhog, Chomchom etc. Must-try items are Rosogolla and Modhuporko.
- 11 Girish Chandra Dey and Nukur Chandra Nandy, 56, Ramdulal Sarkar Street, ☏ . Established in 1844. Famous for Sandesh and traditional sweets
- 12 Bhim Chandra Nag, 5, Nirmal Chandra Street, ☏ , . Famous for sandesh. Also makes a variety of sweets.
- 13 Chinese Breakfast, Sun Yat Sen Street behind Poddar Court. Early before 8:30AM when things start wrapping up. A delicious Kolkata experience, where Chinese fish dumping come steamed, fried or in soup. all snacks under ₹30.
- 1 Indian Coffee House, 1F, 15 Bankim Chatterjee St (just off College St), ☏ . A venerable old establishment run by the Indian Coffee Workers Co-op Society. The high ceilings, peeling paintwork, skylights and workers in traditional uniform create an image straight out of a 20 or 30s movie. In addition, the coffee (and the food) is good and cheap.
- 2 Paramount Juices & Shakes, 1D, Bankim Chatterjee Street, College Square, ☏ .
- 1 Ashoka Hotel, 133, Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Rd (opposite Sealdah Court, across the fly-over), ☏ .
- 2 Raja Guest House Pvt. Ltd., 8/2 Bhawani Dutta Ln (near Presidency College), ☏ .
- 3 Anand Bhavan, 95 Chittaranjan Ave (Opposite Calcutta Medical College), ☏ .
- 4 AV Hotels Pvt Ltd, 1 Shambhu Mullick Lane, Burrabazar, ☏ , , , . North Indian vegetarian cuisine.
- 5 Hotel Avenue Club, 95A Chittaranjan Ave (Opposite Calcutta Medical College), ☏ , .
- 6 Hotel De Bengal, 17 Mahatma Gandhi Rd, ☏ .
- 7 Lovely Guest House, 17 Manindra Mitra St (Opposite Surendranath College, just off Mahatma Gandhi Road).
- 8 Mahabodhi Society of India, 4A Bankim Chatterjee Rd (near College St), ☏ . The guesthouse is part of Buddhist Monastery, and although simple has a lot of character. ₹250 room with private bathroom, ₹150 for room with communal bathroom; ₹60 dormitory.
- 9 Padma Hotel, 131 Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Rd (Near Sealdah fly-over), ☏ .
- 10 Palace Hotel, 31/2 Mahatma Gandhi Rd, ☏ .
- 11 Santiniketan Hotel, 16B, Mahatma Gandhi Rd, ☏ .
- 12 Hotel Cozy, 19, Mahatma Gandhi Road, ☏ .
- 13 Imperial Lodge, 28, Mahatma Gandhi Road, ☏ .