A city of 4.5 million, Calcutta ("Kolkata" in Bengali) is the largest city and most important trade centre in eastern India. The current capital of the state of West Bengal was established as a British trading post in the 17th century and within a short time it had developed into a significant large city. Until 1911, Calcutta was even the capital of British-ruled India. The buildings in Chowringhee and Clive streets (known today as Jawaharlal Nehru Road and Netaji Subhash Road) retain this colonial heritage. Just as before, Calcutta continues to attract intellectuals and artists from all over India. The Indian Museum is among the best museums in Asia. Other attractions include the Victoria Memorial made of white marble, the Botanical Garden and the Kali Temple. Calcutta is also an important Hindu pilgrimage site. One of the most important temples for those who worship the goddess Kali, the Kalighat Temple can be found in the Kalighat quarter.
Those who simply wish to relax for a few days will find inexpensive hotels and holiday houses in the beach resort of Digha on the Bay of Bengal. You can reach the eastern Himalayan Mountains from Kalimpong or Mirik in the Darjeeling district (600 kilometres north of Calcutta)