The mega-city of Calcutta (Kolkata in the local language) was named after Kali, the Hindu goddess of creation and destruction. That the city was named after change is not at all surprising. A visit to Kolkata is a visceral experience in constant movement. With one of the largest urban populations of anywhere in the world, prepare to have your senses overwhelmed on every level. Sure, there's pollution, traffic congestion and indefatigable poverty. But there is also an intellectual, artistic and political history second to none in India. Visit attractions dating from the British Raj (the British East India Company arrived here in 1690) , see the Kalighat temple dedicated to Kali or volunteer for Mother Theresa's Mission. Try the famed Bengali sweets at local restaurants , or dine on street food. Try a historic palace hotel in the Esplanade section of the city center , or choose from any number of budget lodging around Sudder Street.