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The capital of West Bengal in India, Calcutta (Kolkata since 2001) has undergone a dramatic transformation in the last decade to become the cultural and intellectual capital of the nation. The city is famed for its feast of dramatic colonial architecture, which was built in a frenzied spate of construction when Calcutta was the capital of British India. Today the numerous palatial mansions across the city are in various stages of photogenic decay, but provide tourists with striking contrast to the modern bustling city. Although parts of the city are still underdeveloped, Calcutta has moved on from poverty of the past and has developed a reputation as the friendliest mega-city in world. The Mother House, which was once the home of Mother Teresa is a stark reminder of city's history. The building contains an emotional and respectful museum dedicated to the legacy of one city's most famous former residents. The enormous city of 14 million is a chaotic mix of teeming streets and open markets, where you can sample the mild and fruity tang of Bengali cuisine. If the clamour and the chaos of the city centre are getting too much, tourists can escape to the Chowringhee Road where they can explore the open parkland around Fort William, which was site of the former British citadel.

When to fly to Calcutta

Calcutta has a tropical climate that can be extremely hot and humid during the summer months, but cool and dry during the winter season. The peak season for tourists visiting the city is following the monsoon from November to February. During this period the weather is at its coolest and humidity is low but the cost of local accommodation may be slightly higher. The weather in April and May can be completely unbearable and is best avoided, temperatures frequently exceed 40 degrees C during the day time. If you're searching for a slightly off-peak alternative, the beginning of October is a perfect time to see the city in full flow. At this time the locals celebrate Durga Puja, a massive six-day festival that honours the goddess Durga by crafting statutes from the mud of the river Hooghly.

Getting around Calcutta

Once you enter the city itself the Calcutta Metro Railway is the cleanest, most reliable and least crowded form of public transport that the city has to offer.

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Interesting information about Calcutta

Calcutta   Calcutta
Temp on Avg for this month inCalcutta26.7 °CSource: World Weather Online
Avg rainfall for this month inCalcutta5.7 mmSource: World Weather Online
Average flying time toCalcutta11 hrs 5 mins
Foreign-exchange rate inCalcutta1.00 INR = £0.01Source: Open Exchange Rates
Airlines flying toCalcuttaAir France, Jet Airways and Aer Lingus
Available deals toCalcutta257
Partners with offers toCalcuttaWorldwide Flights, Air Travel Experts and Airline
Advertisers with deals toCalcutta23
Lowest flight deal toCalcutta£493
Avg flight deal toCalcutta£535

 How much do things cost in Calcutta?

  • Pair of Nike trainers: £28.29
  • Loaf of white bread: £0.19
  • Pack of Marlboro cigarettes: £1.41
  • Small bottle of water (0.33 litre): £0.12
  • Petrol (1 litre): £0.76
  • Imported beer (0.33 litre): £1.21
  • One-way ticket (local transport): £0.10
  • 3 course meal for 2: £5.31
  • Local draught beer (0.5 litre): £0.81
  • Bottle of local beer (0.5 litre): £0.79