West Bengal
History & Heritage

Enter your dates to find available activities

Our most recommended West Bengal History & Heritage

Kolkata: Full-Day City Tour with Lunch

1. Kolkata: Full-Day City Tour with Lunch

Begin your full-day tour of Kolkata at the Mausoleum of Job Charnock, the founder of modern Kolkata in 1690. Visit St John’s Church which was built in 1787 by architect James Agg. This majestic stone and brick structure became the principal Cathedral of Calcutta in 1815. A highlight of the Church is the “Last Supper” painting on its walls. The next destination is the iconic Writers Building. Built in 1777, it was meant for the lower bureaucracy of East India Company. Today this Greco-Roman masterpiece is the seat of the West Bengal state government. Your guide will shed light on the landmark events which took place in India’s freedom struggle with the Writers Building as the backdrop. Since this is a working office, you will see it from outside. Proceed then to the Governor’s House, a remarkable building which was built for Marquess of Wellesley in 1803 by the famous English architect Charles Wyatt. The Governor’s House follows a Neoclassical style with distinct Baroque overtones. Continue with a visit to India’s largest and oldest museum; the Indian Museum was built by the Asiatic Society of Bengal in 1814 with Nathaniel Wallich, a Danish botanist as the founder curator. It has a magnificent collection of relics, ornaments, fossils, skeletons, antiques, armors, and paintings from different eras. After lunch, visit the legendary Victoria Memorial built by George Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston, and Viceroy of India. Dedicated to Queen Victoria, this architectural gem built in marble is a great place to experience the essence of the Victorian Era, set in the middle of the hustle and bustle of modern Kolkata. On the last leg of the tour, take a cruise over the holy River Ganges and explore the City of Joy from its waters. Pass by numerous ghats and under the iconic Howrah Bridge before this magnificent experience comes to an end.

...
Kolkata: Full-Day Private City Tour with a Local

2. Kolkata: Full-Day Private City Tour with a Local

Discover the highlights of Kolkata on this private sightseeing tour with a local English-speaking guide. Travel comfortably in an air-conditioned sedan or SUV (allotted depending on the number of passengers) and explore famous landmarks such as the Victoria Memorial, St. Paul's Cathedral, and the Kalighat. Get a complete insight into locals' lives by also visiting lesser-known areas, such as the flower market and Belur Math. Start at a time convenient for you with pickup from your hotel. Setting out early is recommended to avoid rush-hour traffic. First, make your way to the Mullick Ghat Flower Market and watch a mass of people at Asia's largest flower market. Then, admire the Victoria Memorial's galleries, statues, and gardens. Continue to St. Paul’s Cathedral, the first Anglican Church in the eastern world, whose unusual “Indo-Gothic” design has survived a series of massive earthquakes. Next, head to Princep Ghat to marvel at the views of the Vidyasagar Setu Bridge. From there, visit the fascinating Dakshineshwar Kali Temple on the banks of the River Hooghly, and learn about the significance of this deity to the Bengalis. After exploring the temple, board a ferry to Belur Math, the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Mission, which preaches the unity of all religions. Pay homage to Mother Teresa at the Missionaries of Charity's Mother House, where she lived for over two decades. Finally, capture images of the famous Howrah Bridge as a wonderful memory of your day in Kolkata. At the end of the tour, you will be dropped back to your hotel.

...
15 Day Cross Countries Tour of Bhutan, Sikkim & Dharjeeling

3. 15 Day Cross Countries Tour of Bhutan, Sikkim & Dharjeeling

Day 01: Arrival at Paro by Druk and Sightseeing In clear weather, Druk Air's flight to Bhutan provides a wonderful view of Himalayan scenery. Flying along the Himalayan range, it is a breathtaking journey, culminating in an exciting descent past forested hills into the kingdom. - Arrival at Paro International Airport ; receiving by our representative and transfer to the hotel & check-in at hotel & rest. - Drive to visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the holiest and oldest monasteries in Bhutan built in 659 A.D by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gyampo. Later, visit a traditional Bhutanese Farm House. Evening at leisure in Paro town. -Dinner & overnight Tiger’s Nest Resort or similar Day 02: Paro sightseeing, including Hike to Tiger's nest - Following early breakfast, drive to the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong, 16 km up the valley built in 1647 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, father and unifier of medieval Bhutan. The Dzong was destroyed by accidental fire and left in ruins as an evocative reminder of the great victories it was built to commemorate. Explore the ramparts and on a clear day experience an unforgettable view of Mt. Jhomolhari (7,314 Mtrs.). - Drive back for excursion to view & visit the spectacular Takshang Monastery; “Takshang” literally means Tiger’s Nest. The Monastery is believed to have been built in 1684 on the spot where Guru Rimpoche (founder of Buddhism in Bhutan) flew on the back of a Tigress and meditated to subdue the demons in Paro valley. The trail to the Monastery climbs through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. This incredible Monastery clings vertically to the edge of a granite rock cliff that plunges 900 meters above the valley floor. Lunch at Takshang Cafeteria - Later visit Taa Dzong, formerly a watch tower but now houses the National Museum. Taa Dzong holds unique and varied collections, ranging from ancient armor to textiles, Thangkha paintings, stamps, coins and natural history. - Walk down the hillside terrain to visit Rimpong Dzong, built in 1646 during the time of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. It now houses Paro’s monk body and offices of the civil administration. Rimpong Dzong is the venue for the famous Paro Tsechu festival, held annually in the spring. Continue to walk down-hill and through the traditional cantilever wooden bridge to Paro town. Dinner & overnight Tiger’s Nest Resort or similar Day 03: Drive to Trongsa - Following early breakfast, drive to Trongsa across the Dochula Pass (Alt.3050 Mtrs.). If the weather is clear, you will have spectacular view of the snowcapped Himalayan mountain peaks from the pass. The colourful 108 Chortens on top of the pass is spectacular to look at. Continue drive to Trongsa; Enroute visit Wangduephodrang; View of Chendbji & Rukubji villages. A short stroll in Trongsa town before you check-in at hotel; Dinner & overnight Phuenzhi Guest House or similar Day 04: Drive to Bumthang - Following early breakfast, visit Trongsa Dzong, which is the biggest Dzong in Bhutan and is the ancestral home of the ruling dynasty. It now houses the district administration office; built in split-levels, the Dzong fits narrowly on a spur that sticks out into the gorge of River Mangdechu and overlooks the routes south and west. Taa Dzong, the watch tower of Trongsa Dzong in the ancient times is converted to a museum in the present day, which displays many interesting amours used by Bhutanese soldiers during those days. Visit the newly consecrated “The Museum of Monarchy” located at Taa Dzong; this gives a glimpse of Bhutan in the last 100 years with two galleries showcasing the history of monarchy in Bhutan with many royal possessions. The museum also has a collection of ancient warfare artifacts & weapons. Later transfer to Bumthang; Check-in at Hotel & lunch Afternoon visit the Jakar Dzong & the rest of the day at leisure on foot. Dinner & overnight Yu-Garling Resort or similar Day 05: Bumthang Sightseeing - Early breakfast, and sightseeing – visit Kurjee Lhakhang, Jambay Lhakhang a 7th century monastery which is similar to Kyichu Lhakhang of Paro, Thamsing Monastery, Kenchosum temple and Karchu Dratshang - Lunch at a local restaurant; Bumthang is famous for its brightly colored and distinctively woven woolen garments called ‘Yatha’; visit its weaving centre. Dinner & overnight Yu-Garling Resort or similar Day 06: Drive to Punakha - Following breakfast, transfer to Punakha; Enroute visit Gangtey/Phobjikha valley, which is the winter home of the rare and endangered species bird “Black Necked Crane” that starts to arrive by mid November and returns to Tibetan plateau by February. Lunch stop on the way; Evening, visit Khuru town. Dinner & overnight Hotel Damchen or similar Day 07: Drive to Thimphu - Following breakfast, visit the local weekend market that mostly sells vegetable and local products. - Later short climb up-hill after breakfast to visit the Khamsum Yulley Monastery; it is a gentle climb up hill for appx. 45 minutes and the view of the valley is spectacular from the top of this monastery. Continue sightseeing visiting Punakha Dzong, a historic Dzong that looks like a ship between two rivers Pho Chu and Mo Chu. - Transfer to Thimphu; Enroute stop at Missina to visit ‘Chimmi Lhakhang’, a temple of fertility that is regarded as a pilgrimage site for barren couple. Lunch stop at Dochula Cafeteria and continue drive to Thimphu. Afternoon visit the Handicrafts, Sunday market handicrafts, and at leisure in time shopping. Dinner & overnight Hotel Jumolhari or similar Day 08: Thimpu Sightseeing - Visit the National Memorial Chorten, a huge Stupa built in memory of the third king of Bhutan HM Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, who reigned the Kingdom from 1952-1972; the building of this landmark was envisaged by him as a monument to world peace and prosperity. Visit National Library, which holds an extensive collection of Buddhist texts and manuscripts, some dating back several hundred years, as well as modern academic books, mainly of Himalayan culture visit the Folk Heritage Museum, followed by the Nunnery & Dupthop Lhakhang. - Lunch at Bhutan Kitchen; continue sightseeing with a visit to the Bhutanese Hand Made Paper factory, Changangkha Monastery, Post & Telegraph Office for view of Bhutanese stamps, Takkin (national animal) Preservation Center & Buddha Point for view of Thimphu valley. Later visit Tashichhodzong, the central Secretariat building that also houses the office and throne room of the King; followed by a shopping time in town. Dinner & overnight at Hotel Jumolhari or similar Day 09: Drive to Phuentsholing - Early breakfast and transfer to Phuentsholing; Enroute visit Kharbandi Lhakhang - Lunch stop at a local restaurant; Evening sightseeing with a visit local town and Zangtopelri Monastery - Dinner & overnight Hotel Orchid or similar Day 10: Drive to Kalimpong - Following early breakfast, transfer to India after completing check-out formalities at Bhutan Immigration. Bid farewell to Bhutanese guide and driver. Note: Our guide and driver from Darjeeling will report to the clients one day earlier (on day 09 evening) at their hotel in Phuentsholing – the border town of Bhutan, so that he can brief the clients about the next day’s program. After completion of immigration formalities at the Indian Checkpost, Jaigoan, transfer to Kalimpong (180 kms, 6 hrs drive). Today you will be driving through the sub-himalayan parts in the Eastern India, which presents a large range of foothill forests, famous tea gardens, transparent rivers interspersed with quiet villages and small townships of vibrant culture before arriving Kalimpong. Once a gateway to the old Tibet trade route, Kalimpong still offers the charm of old British Raj. The sightseeing tour of Kalimpong includes visiting Zangdok Palri Phobrang Monastery, View point and later explore the inner town especially the Haat Bazar (local market). On the market days one can see traditionally dressed Lepcha and Gorkha rural folks selling their wares. Dinner & overnight at Hotel Kalimpong Park or similar Day 11: Drive to Gangtok (76 kms, 4 hrs drive) via Rumtek Monastery, the seat of HH Kamapa of Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Kalimpong (76 kms, 4 hrs drive). To-day one will immensely enjoy the driving alongside the Teesta River with its blue green water rushing over boulders which is another image not to be forgotten. Dinner & overnight at Hotel Sonam Delek or similar. Day 12: Sightseeing Tour AM: The sightseeing tour of Gangtok includes - Namgyel Institute of Tibetology, Directorate of Handicrafts, Enchey Monastery, Du Drul Chorten, View points (which offers magnificent views of the Himalayas on a clear day) and the Flower Show. Dinner & overnight at Hotel Sonam Delek or similar. Day 13: Drive to Darjeeling After breakfast transfer to Darjeeling (110 kms, 5 hrs ) through the rich farm land of Sikkim and tea gardens of Darjeeling. Evening at leisure. Dinner & overnight at The Viceroy hotel or similar. Day 14: Sightseeing Tour Early morning excursion to Tiger Hill (11 km) to view the sunrise over Mt.Kunchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world. En route visit Yigacholing Ghoom Monastery. Later sightseeing tour of Darjeeling includes, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Zoological Park, Tibetan Refugee Self Help Center and the nearest tea garden to witness the orthodox manufacturing process of Darjeeling tea. Toy train ride from Darjeeling-Ghoom-Darjeeling (optional and on extra payment - USD 10 per person approx.). Dinner & overnight at The Viceroy hotel or similar. Day 15: Drive to Bagdogra Airport to connect your onward flight back home.

...
Full-Day Tour of Kolkata

4. Full-Day Tour of Kolkata

Take a trip to one of India’s four major metropolises with this full-day sightseeing tour of Kolkata. Experience this vibrantly cultural city, with its mix of British and Indian architecture, as you are led through its streets by a professional English-speaking tour guide. On your tour, you will see historic, modern, European, and Asian sights, all together in one city. Visit the beautiful Victoria Memorial, a building dedicated to Victoria, the former Queen of the United Kingdom and Empress of India. Inside is a museum documenting the history of the city. You can also stare in wonder at the stars in Birla Planetarium, where stepping inside is like stepping outside on a clear, bright night. The old British Fort William is an imposing sight to behold, while the Mother Teresa Ashram will remind you of the hardships many people face, and stir you on to follow in her loving footsteps. For a look at modern Kolkata, you will visit the giant cricket stadium Eden Gardens, one of only two 100,000-seat cricket stadiums in the world. The awesome Howrah Bridge, which connects Kolkata with its sister city, Howrah, is also a modern marvel to see. The mix of new and old, European and Asian, will keep you constantly engaged in this fascinating city. Formerly known as Calcutta, Kolkata is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. It is a large, bustling city, holding the title of India’s third-largest metropolitan area with a population of 15.7 million when its suburbs are included. It sits in eastern India on the east bank of the River Hooghly, across from its sister city, Howrah. Join us for an exciting day in this exciting city!

...
Kolkata: Private Full-Day Spirituality & Temples Tour

5. Kolkata: Private Full-Day Spirituality & Temples Tour

Your tour will begin with a visit to the 200 year old temple Kali, before changing our course to head onward to St John’s Church. This church was one of the first cathedral churches built by the British in Kolkata, and it's neoclassical architecture holds the grave of Job Charnock. You will then encounter the Magen David Synagogue, with interior walls containing memorial plaques dedicated to the well-known Jews of Calcutta. From here you will visit Nakhoda Masjid, the principal mosque of Kolkata. You will then view the Pareshnath Temple, complete with architectural brilliance and stained glass all over, before enjoying lunch. Following lunch, you will head for the Dakhineshwar temple and the Belur Math. These two temples are separated by the river Ganga and you will enjoy a great experience on the cool and calm ride over the Ganges. End your day with a refreshing Kolkata Masala Chai before being dropped off at your hotel.

...
Kolkata: 3-Hour British Heritage Walking Tour

6. Kolkata: 3-Hour British Heritage Walking Tour

Embark on a journey to capture the essence of Kolkata as you explore on foot some of the most iconic and prominent landmarks of the city’s Colonial heritage. Choose from flexible options of a private tour, exclusive to your booking, or a join-in tour, where you can meet other travelers. You can also request a hotel pickup and drop-off for added convenience. The tour's first stop is the Writer's building, built in 1777. Once used for the lower bureaucracy of the East India Company, today this stunning Greco-Roman masterpiece is the seat of the West Bengal state government. Next, walk to the Mausoleum of Job Charnock, who in 1690 bought the villages of Sutanuti, Gobindapur and Kalikata and over time transformed the region into the capital of East India Company. At the site, learn about how in recent times, a High Court ruling has discredited him as the founder of the city. Continue the tour onto St John’s Church, a majestic stone building built in 1787, which became the principal cathedral of the region in 1815. One of the church’s highlights includes a painting of the Last Supper on its walls. Follow your guide to the Governor’s House next, a remarkable building built for the Marquess of Wellesley who came to Kolkata as the Governor General of East India Company in 1798. Built in 1803 by the famous English architect Charles Wyatt, the Governor’s House follows a Neoclassical style with distinct Baroque overtones. As you admire the fine architecture of the building, learn about how the Crown gained rule over India during the Colonial era. Take a stroll around The Indian Museum next, and marvel at the magnificent collection of relics, ornaments, fossils, skeletons, antiques, armors, paintings and more. Finally, visit the legendary Victoria Memorial, an architectural gem built from marble. Here you can really experience the essence of the Victoria-era, set in the middle of the hustle and bustle of modern Kolkata.

...
Kolkata: Custom Private Full Day Tour

7. Kolkata: Custom Private Full Day Tour

Your custom tour of Kolkata begins at a suitable time for you where your English-speaking guide will pick you up from your hotel. Enjoy exploring Kolkata in the comfort of a private air conditioned private vehicle while your local guide gives you recommendations of sites to visit throughout the day. You can visit the famous Victoria Memorial, Flower Market, St. Paul Cathedral church, Dakshineshwar temple & more interesting places. Take a tour of the Prinsep Ghat to enjoy a delicious Indian cuisine. You also have the option to visit famous temples in Kolkata like the Kali Temple, Dakshineshwar temple & more. Peek into the life of great Indian Poet Rabindranath Tagore. The tour lasts for 8 hours. Please note that monument fees and any food purchased during the tour are not included in the tour price.

...
Kolkata Church Walk: Convergence of Different Faiths

8. Kolkata Church Walk: Convergence of Different Faiths

Explore the confluence of different faiths from around the world in Kolkata, the City of Joy. Take a guided 3-hour walking tour in a group of no more than 12 people, and find out about centuries of the city's rich history, culture, and architecture as you visit various places of worship. Begin your tour at St. John's Church at 8 AM and then walk to the breathtakingly beautiful Magen David and Neveh Shalome Synagogues, the biggest and first synagogues in Kolkata respectively. Trace the history of Baghdadi Jews in India at Neveh Shalome, swoon at the buildings' interiors, and interact with the local informative keepers, who all happen to be of the Islamic faith. Once you're done, follow your guide to the Armenian Church of Holy Nazareth, the center of the Armenian community in India. Explore the beautiful architecture of a church that is believed to be the oldest in India, find out more about the Armenian community, and discover the oldest known grave in the graveyard. Next up is the Holy Rosary Cathedral, also known as the Portuguese Church. Founded in 1690 with the influx of the Portuguese community in the city, this church bears testament to the Portuguese and their history in Kolkata. Listen to your guide's informative commentary, full of interesting facts and details about the church. After the Portuguese Church, pay a visit to the Beth El Synagogue, the third Jewish synagogue in the city. Although this synagogue no longer runs services, you'll be mesmerized by the exceptionally well-maintained interiors of this place. Get lost in the surroundings with your guide as you learn further about the architecture and history of the synagogue. Finally, head toward your last stop, St. Andrews Church. Explore the only Scottish church in Kolkata, one of the heritage sites of the city, before bidding goodbye to your guide. The tour concludes here at St. Andrews Church.

...
Kolkata Full-Day Street Photography Tour

9. Kolkata Full-Day Street Photography Tour

Start your journey at 8:00 with hotel pickup in a private AC cab and drive to different streets of Kolkata. First visit the flower market, one of the largest in India. The market over here provides a paradise for street photographers with all the action and scenery of this market. We stay here for one hour. Your next stop, known as Sudder Street, is famous for tourist and backpackers due to its abundance of cheap hotels and eateries. From food carts, pulled rickshaws, ambassador taxis, street vendors, cows, goats, smells, colors, and people everywhere you look. It’s never boring around Sudder Street. Next, drive to the College Street, home of the largest second hand book market in the world. Small colorful book stalls line the streets for just under a mile. You'll stay here for forty-five minutes. Later as you head for your lunch, click the streets sitting in the car on the way to the restaurant. After lunch, you'll move to the Park Street, Lined with cafes, restaurants, bars and shops, it’s more upscale here than the rest of Kolkata. While it’s lost a little of its luster with more commercialization than the rest of Kolkata, it still retains some of its old world charm. The duration of your stay over here is around 40 minutes. Next you'll drive to your last destination for the day, known as Queens Way/Victoria Memorial. The Victoria Memorial is a large marble building on Queens Way that was built over a century ago in dedication to the memory of Queen Victoria. Now it’s also a museum, but the reason you should come here for Street Photography isn’t for the building, but for the 64 acres of grounds and gardens surrounding it. At the end of the tour, get dropped back to the hotel.

...
Private Kolkata Tour with Victoria Memorial & Tonga Ride

10. Private Kolkata Tour with Victoria Memorial & Tonga Ride

At 9:00 AM your guide and driver will pick you up from your hotel lobby to start an enchanting tour exploring the wonders of the famous City of Joy – Kolkata. The first stop is the monumental symbol of Kolkatam, the Victoria Memorial. Designed by Sir William Emerson, the Victoria Memorial is a fine example of Indo-Saracenic style. The architecture of Victoria also has elements from the Mughals that adds to the elegance of the structure. The garden especially was designed by Lord Redesdale and Sir David Prain. This special memorial was established to honor Queen Victoria. Now it's time for a fun tonga ride, which is often referred to as the heritage ride along the VIP circle area. The exclusive city tour continues with a drive around St. John’s Church. St. John’s is one of the first architectural wonders created by the British during their stay in Kolkata.  The spiritual journey continues with the visit to St. Paul’s Cathedral. It was established in the year 1839. In the year 1874, St. Paul’s was consecrated. Now it's time to got to a local restaurant where you can enjoy lunch. After lunch, the next stop for the day is Howrah Bridge. The bridge connects two major cities of West Bengal, namely Howrah and Kolkata. The area around Howrah Bridge is the house of two major places – Mullik Ghat and the colorful flower market. Finally, the last stop of the day is the famous South Park Street Cemetery. In the 19th century, it was marked as one of the largest Christian cemetery outside America and Europe. 

...

Other Sightseeing Options in West Bengal

Want to discover all there is to do in West Bengal? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about West Bengal

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 9 reviews

The tour was well thought out and was tailored very individually to our wishes. With a very personable guide who was competent and smart and spoke very good English. He was able to answer our questions competently and has actually brought us a great deal closer to the spiritual world of Calcutta. A little tip: bring or get your mountain pines, because you often have to put on and take off your shoes.

This tour is complete and gives an overview of Kolkata buildings, different places and people. Finally, the lunch is spent in a discreet restaurant and without great luxury but with excellent food and with great friendliness of the staff.

The guide Abhishek, was polite, courteous and shared information, though at times not necessarily accurate. Overall, would strongly recommend the service to visitors to Calcutta.

great day. excellent attitude, punctual and personal service. would recommend

Competent and experienced. He also responded to our requests.