Kolkata, still commonly referred to as Calcutta, is the capital of India's eastern state of West Bengal. It's now known for its gentle pace of life, but back in the 18th century, the city was British India's most important trading post and the showpiece of colonial power.
In addition to its history, the gateway to eastern India is famous for its food. Bengali cuisine has evolved over time, but Kolkata still remains an ideal place to experience the cuisine characterized in part by mustard oil and fish.
There are many very good restaurants in the city, but if you want home cooked Bengali food, then that's possible, too. Iti Misra is one of a number of home chefs that host lunches for visitors to the city: Cooking from her kitchen, Iti dishes out authentic Bengali cuisine and gives her guests a glimpse into local life.
Home to prominent intellectuals, Kolkata is regarded as an artistic and cultural capital of India. In northern Kolkata, the oldest part of the city, you'll find the stately mansions of famous Kolkatans such as Nobel Prize-winning poet Rabindranath Tagore.
That area of the city is also home to the busy Kumartuli clay making quarter. There, potters mold lifelike religious idols for the city's many festivals.