Kolkata - an Enigma


Howrah is Kolkata’s twin city. It is situated on the right bank of Hooghly. It is the second largest city of West Bengal and functions as the headquarters of the Howrah district. Although Howrah is technically a separate town, it forms an integral part of Kolkata as the home of much of the city’s industry. Once known as the Sheffield of the Orient, Howrah is famous for its thousands of small units manufacturing industrial products.

Howrah Station from the river

Howrah Station from Hooghly river


The Howrah municipality was constituted in 1862. Like Kolkata (Calcutta), Howrah has developed in a north south direction. The city has grown along the G T Road and the Andul Road. Howrah serves as a major transportation hub for the Kolkata (Calcutta) metropolitan region. Howrah is an important industrial area and also serves as the railroad terminus of Kolkata.

Two important National Highways - NH-2 and NH-6 link Howrah to the rest of the country. The famous Howrah Bridge also known as the Rabindra Setu, this cantilever bridge is an engineering marvel. It was built in 1943 and is 97 metres (295 ft) high and 705 meters (2,150 ft) long. It connects the city of Howrah to Kolkata’s Burrabazar. From dawn to dusk the Howrah bridge hums with activity which makes it the world’s busiest bridge. A second bridge - the Vidyasagar Setu connects south Howrah to the Kolkata Maidan.


Rabindra Setu

Howrah Bridge (Rabindra Setu)

Howrah Station

Howrah Station

The Howrah Railway station is one of the largest in the world with rail connections to all major Indian cities and towns. Howrah is an important terminus for the suburban railway services of the Eastern and the South Eastern Railway. The massive and extremely busy Howrah Station is of course one of the main landmarks. In 1854, the inaugural train in Eastern India ran from Howrah to Pandua in Hooghly. A major bus terminus is located adjacent to the railway station. A ferry station right in front of the station is a convenient point for taking the launch to various Kolkata ferry ghats.

Compiled by Kaushik Chatterjee, Asst. Director Planning, KoPTPT