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Calcutta Holidays Overview
Kolkata which was formerly known as Calcutta is widely regarded to be India’s cultural capital as it has down the ages always been home to a large contingent of artists, writers and publishers. This city which is located in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal is India’s third largest city which is today home to over 14 million people.
Kolkata has a rich and diverse history and the city served as the capital of the British India from the 1772 to 1912. The evidence of the period can be witnessed in the form of the various colonial buildings that dot Kolkata’s
After India gained her independence from the British in 1947, the city somewhat declined in importance and its economy stagnated.
In the 1980’s the city came under the administration India's first democratically elected Marxist government though the city continued to grapple with the ills of urbanization like pollution, poverty and traffic congestion. However since the year 2000, the city’s growth has been spurred by rapid economic rejuvenation which is being encouraged by the state’s communist government.
The city of Kolkata is also associated with two Nobel laureates, Mother Theresa who was a champion of Kolkata’s poor and disadvantaged and the noted writer and poet, Rabindranath Tagore who was the author of India’s national anthem.
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holidays - Top Events
Durga Pooja which is celebrated every September/ October with much pomp and ceremony is Calcutta’s major event. During this 10 day festival small kiosks called ‘pandals’ are erected all over the city. These elaborately decorated and designed ‘pandals’ house idols of Goddess Kali. These idols are them worshipped for all days of the pooja festival which features religious ceremonies, music, singing and dancing. As with all major Indian festivals this festival also features the buying of new clothes and the consumption of sweets. At the end of the festival, these idols of Kali are cast into the Hooghly River amidst music and celebrations.
The Kolkata Book Fair
This Book Fair which has been held for over 33 years is considered to be biggest book fair in Asia. This book is held in January- February every year and attracts publishers, writers, buyers and authors from India and the rest of the world. The fair chooses a country of focus every year and it accordingly invites authors from the featured country to read excerpts from their books at the events of the fair. The fair also features lectures, seminars and various exhibitions.
The Kolkata Film Festival
The Kolkata Film Festival is usually held in November each year. This event features short films, feature films, documentaries and animations which are submitted by local and international film makers. Like the book festival, the film festival also focuses on a particular country or region or even a theme every year.
holidays - How to Get There
Airlines like Thai, Qantas, British Airways, Malaysian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Emirates provide air links between various Australian cities like Sydney, Melbourne and Perth and Kolkata. The average flight time of these journeys depends on the route that you choose to take and the various stops that you are compelled to make. Generally these journeys extend over 20 hours.
Australia doesn’t have a consulate or mission in Kolkata and the closest Australian mission is the Australian High Commission in New Delhi