The Government of India Tourist Office located at 4 Shakespeare Sarani (Mon–Fri 9am–6pm, Sat 9am–1pm; phone: +91-33-2282 5813 or 2282 1457, firstname.lastname@example.org) is regarded as friendly and efficient by most travelers and has good information on Calcutta, West Bengal and the rest of India, and provide assistance in setting up itineraries and booking tours.
The Government of West Bengal Tourism Bureau located at 3/2 Dalhousie Square East (BBD Bagh East) (phone: +91-33-2248 8271) runs Calcutta tours and package tours throughout West Bengal. They also issue permits and book accommodations for the Sundarban and Jaldapara wildlife parks.
The people of Calcutta are known throughout India for their insatiable wanderlust, which has resulted in many state tourism departments maintaining elaborate offices in Calcutta. This makes it very easy for visitors to plan trips to other parts of India from Calcutta itself, especially India’s beautiful and largely pristine northeast. Here is a list of state tourism offices in Calcutta:
Calcutta is home to the National Library located at Belvedere, Calcutta 700027 (Phone: +91-33-2479 1381), which is one of the largest public libraries in the world. Besides, Calcutta’s leading educational institutions each have very extensive libraries, most notably Calcutta University and Jadavpur University. All the aforementioned libraries are linked by the Calcutta Library Network (CALIBNET) and are searchable online. Also, the Jesuit-run St. Xavier’s College, one of Calcutta’s most prestigious higher education institution is home to the Goethals Indian Library and Research Society located at St. Xavier’s College, 30 Park Street, Calcutta 700016 (Phone: +91-33-2280 1919)
Calcutta’s bibliophilia has also been responsible in getting several foreign nations to invest heavily in libraries as part of their respective information services. These include the American Information Resource Center Library located at 38A Chowringhee Road, Calcutta 700071 (Phone: +91-33-2288 1200, email@example.com, Mon-Fri 10 am – 6pm), British Council Library located at L&T Chambers, 16 Camac Street, Calcutta 700017 (Phone: +91-33-2282 5370, firstname.lastname@example.org, Mon-Sat 11am – 7pm), Alliance Française de Calcutta’s library located at Bimal Villa, 3 West Range, Calcutta 700017 (Phone: +91-33-2281 5538, email@example.com) and the German information center at Max Muller Bhawan located at 8 Ballygunge Circular Road, Calcutta 700019 (Phone: +91-33-2475 9602 or 2475 9424) to name a few popular ones.
Calcutta’s leading English newspapers are The Statesman (a classical institution, in print in its current avatar since 1875 but dates back to two newspapers, The Friend of India which was started in 1818 and The Englishman which was started in 1821, making it the oldest newspaper still in publication in India) and The Telegraph, which started only in the 1980s to replace The Hindustan Standard, but has become the leading English daily in Calcutta. Calcutta was for long known as the bastion of local papers, snubbing its nose against the national dailies, but lately some of them have made inroads into Calcutta. Both The Times of India (a national newspaper that had its beginnings in Bombay in 1837 and is now the most published, though not circulated, newspaper in India) and The Hindustan Times have Calcutta editions now. The leading English business newspapers are The Economic Times, The Business Standard and The Financial Express. Having said this, the larger bookstores usually carry not-so-old copies of leading international newspapers like The New York Times, The Times (London) and the International Herald Tribune.
Calcutta has a large number of Bengali newspapers, notably Anandabazar Patrika, Bartaman, Aajkaal, Sambad Pratidin and Ganashakti (internet version in English). There are also several Internet-only newspapers – Dainik Suprovat and Parabaas, to name a few. Calcutta’s leading Hindi newspapers are Dainik Vishwamitra (the oldest Hindi newspaper in the world), Janpath Samachar and Sanmarg. Calcutta is also unique in India that it has a Cantonese newspaper called The Chinese Journal of India. All of the above newspapers are available with most newspaper vendors in and around the city.
Calcutta has a fairly strong Internet presence due to a large number of websites, professional and amateur, official and unofficial, commercial and non-profit in nature. The list keeps growing. Here is a list of common and popular websites, although this is by no means complete.
© Focus Calcutta Initiative, Inc. Contents may be used for non-commercial purposes without malicious intent. Last modified December 10, 2003