KOLKATA (CALCUTTA) SIGHTSEEING
Sprawling over several acres of land on the western banks of the river Hooghly (Ganga), it is a place of pilgrimage for people from all over the world, professing different religious faiths. Even people not interested in religion come here for the peace it exudes. Sanctified by Swami Vivekananda, and several other illumined monks, the Belur Math premises include the main monastery, several temples and the Headquarters of the twin organizations of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission.
KALI TEMPLE OF DAKSHINESHWAR
In the year 1847, the wealthy widow Rani Rasmani prepared to go upon a long pilgrimage to the sacred city of Banaras to express her devotions to the Divine Mother. In those days there was no railway line between Kolkata and Banaras and it was more comfortable for rich persons to make the journey by boat rather than by road. We are told that the convoy of Rani Rasmani consisted of twenty four boats carrying relatives, servants, and supplies.
Kaali is regarded as one of the principal deities of Bengal. There are other temples to Kaali - Sahasrabhuja Kaali, Sarvamangala, Tarasundari and Simhavaahini. Kaali is regarded as the destroyer or liberator and is depicted in a fearful form. Despite the terrifying form, she is considered to deliver bliss to worshippers. The Kalighat temple attracts numerous devotees throughout the year.Kalighat is regarded as one of the 52 Shakti Peethams of India, where the various parts of Sati's body are said to have fallen, in the course of Shiva's Rudra Tandava.
One of the most remarkable places to visit in Kolkata is the Nakhoda Masjid. This mosque had been built in imitation of the mausoleum of Mughal Emperor Akbar at Secundra by Kuchhi Memon Jamat – a member of a particular sect of the Muslim community in Kolkata. A second school of opinion suggests that Abdur Rahim Osman, a Kachha resident, was the founder of the mosque.
ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL CHURCH
This Catholic Church is situated on the south east of Maidan beside Rabindra Sadan. This was the first 'Episcopal Cathedral Church' in an oriental country.Bishop Wilson patronized the construction of this church which was designed after Indo-Gothic pattern at a cost of Rs. 5 lakhs. The foundation stone was laid in 1839. Major Forbes of the Bengal Engineers' Association made the blueprint. It was completed in 1847.
The Zoroastrian, or Parsi, community is the smallest major religious group in India. They number about 100,000, and are concentrated overwhelmingly in Mumbai city and in the state of Gujarat.That is one reason why Parsi festivals are not highly visible. Another, and equally important, reason is that Parsi festivals are not accompanied by public ceremonies and attendant features like music and celebrations.