Alipore is located in the south 24 Parganas District of West Bengal and is a very important locality, situated very close to Kolkata City. Alipore is as old as Kolkata and has many historical places for the tourists. In particular, the place is famous for its gardens and big mansions.
On the historical front, Alipore came to the notice of the British when they started exploring the city beyond places of settlements in Dalhousie Square and Fort William during the 18th century. The oldest settlement of Alipore is the Belvedere Estate. It was built by the Governor General of British India, Warren Hastings who made it the residence of the Governor till the Government House was built.
It is believed that, with the building of the Belvedere Estate, many British settlers started to build their bungalows and mansions in Alipore. William Carey built the Agri Horticultural Gardens in 1820, at the back of the Belvedere Estate. The Alipore Zoological Gardens was opened to the public in 1875.
Alipore had witnessed some severe situations in the past, particularly during India’s freedom struggle. There was the Alipore bomb case and the imprisonment of Indian revolutionary, Aurobindo Ghosh in Alipore Jail.
In independent India, Alipore became a very popular place for the elite class like the Goenkas, the Pauls, the Dalmiyas and the Birlas. The Imperial Library which is at present known as the National Library, shifted to its present address on Belvedere Road in 1952. The Alipore Mint was also opened in 1952 and towards the last phase of the eighties, Alipore along with places like Ballygunge became the most privileged places of Kolkata.
Tourists visiting Alipore have many places to visit, the most important being the Alipore Zoological Gardens housing a wide number of animals like Bengal tigers, elephants, giraffes, zebras, hippos and jaguars. The zoo is also the home to a good collection of bird species. There is also the Alipore market which offers an insight to the original age old charm of the place. The Agri Horticultural Garden and the Parasnath Temple, apart from the National Library are some other places to visit.
Alipore is very popular for special Bengali handicrafts that are locally made. Tourists can buy these local handicrafts as souvenirs.