Vedaaranya Heritage Arts and Healing Festival 2016

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About Kolkata


Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal and one of the largest metropolitan cities of India is rightly referred to as ‘City of Joy'. Formerly known as Calcutta, it was both the political and commercial hub of British colonialism. Its vibrantly colorful history dates back to more than three centuries. The elegant architecture of its buildings earned the city the prestigious title of ‘City of Palaces'.

Kolkata has a rich social, political, cultural and intellectual heritage. It has contributed significantly in the development of the country in almost every field irrespective of the diversity of the fields.
It holds the unique distinction of being home to Nobel laureates like Sir Ronald Ross, Rabindranath Tagore, Sir C.V. Raman, Mother Teresa and Amartya Sen.
The city can boast of innumerable other legendary characters like Raja Rammohan Roy, Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar, Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Swami Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo, Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Satyajit Ray - just to name a few.
As in other fields, the city has contributed significantly to the development of medicines and public health.
The first Medical College in Asia was established in Kolkata in 1835 (Medical College, Bengal) to teach modern western medicine to the Indians. Kolkata also has Asia’s oldest school of public health, the All India Institute of Hygiene & Public Health established in 1932 and the Calcutta School of Tropical Medicine, a heritage research and care centre dedicated to the prevention & cure of tropical diseases founded way back in 1921.
It  is the city where one can visit the laboratories where Sir Ronald Ross conducted his pioneering work on Malaria, Robert Koch conducted his path breaking  research on Cholera, Sir U N Brahmachari, synthesized Urea Stibamine (carbostibamide) for the treatment of Kala-azar (Visceral leishmaniasis) and many other such pilgrimages of public health.
During those days Murshidabad, located some 160 miles north of Kolkata - was the capital of Bengal. The then nawab of Bengal attacked Kolkata in 1756 and captured the fort. The city was however recaptured by the British in 1757 after defeating Siraj-Ud-Daulah. Later, following their victory in the battle of Plassey in 1757, the East India Company established its base here and the city of Calcutta became the capital of British Empire in India. The important offices were moved from Murshidabad to Kolkata. From then until 1911 the city was the capital of India after which it shifted to Delhi.

General Information

Kolkata is located in the gangetic delta, on the left (eastern) bank of the river Hoogli, about 138 km north of the Bay of Bengal.

It is a huge city with a metropolitan district area of 1380 sq km and a city area of 187.3sq km. One of the most populated cities of India it houses a cosmopolitan population of approximately 13.5 million The following facts elucidate vital information about the city:

» Connectivity

Kolkata is well connected with the rest of the country by convenient rail, air and sea routes. The neighboring states are well connected by network of national and state highways.

» Principal Languages

Though Bengali is the principal language, most people understand and speak Hindi and English as well.

» Climate

The city has a subtropical climate with summer monsoons. The maximum temperature in summer reaches 41°C and in winter drops to 9°C. The monsoons prevail during the months of June to September. The city receives abundant rainfall during this period. The most pleasant time to visit the city is during the months of October to March. Cotton is the preferred fabric for the summer whereas light woolens are ideal for the winter months.
If you want a breath of fresh air, the green belt of Kolkata comprising of the Maidan, Eden Gardens and the Ganges riverfront will definitely soothe your nerves.
If you are in the mood for some enjoyment with your near and dear ones, The Victoria Memorial, The National Museum, Nehru Children's Museum, Science City, Nicco Park, Aquatica, Swabhumi, Zoological, Botanical and Agri-Horticultural Gardens and the Metro rail would be the ideal choice for you.
If shopping is either your passion or your compulsion then you would be spoilt for choice at the innumerable shopping complexes and malls which are widespread across the city.


Kolkata boasts of some of the best eateries and restaurants in the country, and they serve an excellent range of Bengali, North Indian, South Indian, Continental and Chinese dishes to suit every palate and pocket. A visit to Kolkata would be incomplete without your share of Rosogollas, Nalen Gurer Sandesh and of course Misti Doi.