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North East India , Calcutta (Kolkota)


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Calcutta (Kolkata)
Calcutta was the home of the British Raj and the capital city of India until 1911. As a legacy of this, numerous magnificient buildings exist side by side with some of the worst slums. With a population in excess of 13 million, this is now Indias' third largest urban area, and the fourth largest city. The journey from the cities airport (Dum Dum) to the city centre will unnerve many first time visitors, with taxis, rickshaws and lorries competing for every inch of road space - and none of them willing to give in.

We flew into Calcutta from London with a view to visit the city and as a base to visit the Tiger reserve of Sunderbans and the nearby "temple" state of Orissa. We probably should have spent more time here, but perhaps another time? Other places (relatively) nearby include Darjeeling, Assam and Bangladesh. Kathmandu in Nepal is also only a short flight away

In 2001 the city was officially renamed to Kolkata and is the capital city of West Bengal state. West Bengal is the most densely populated states of India with a population of over 80 million ranking it ahead of most countries (let alone states) in the world