During the summer months, in particular April to mid-June, the weather can be completely unbearable and booking flights to Calcutta during this extreme heat is best avoided. Temperatures are in the 30s and frequently exceed 40 degrees during the day time. The heat continues through late June to September, although temperatures stay just under 40 degrees for the most part. These months make up the summer monsoon season, which are characterised by heavy rains, with the most rain usually falling in July. This is not a popular tourist period as many visitors find the weather uncomfortable.
The peak time in terms tourists visiting the city is following on the monsoon period, from November to February. This is the winter season, which is when the weather is at its coolest, usually in the teens or 20s and humidity is low. As this is the most popular time to visit Calcutta the cost of flights and accommodation may be slightly higher. If you do decide to book your flight to Calcutta during this popular time, then how about spending New Year’s Eve on a different continent. This has become a major event with various festivities taking place. The main parades and celebrations are staged on Park Street.
If you’re searching for an off-peak cheap flight to Calcutta as an alternative, the beginning of October is a perfect time to see the city in full flow. At this time the locals celebrate the annual Hindu Durga Puja, a massive six-day festival that honours the goddess Durga. People from all over the country come to visit the city during this time, when it is brightly decorated with lights and filled with a carnival atmosphere. The streets can become packed as people leave their cars to carry on the festivities on foot.
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.
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.
Flights to Calcutta are served by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport (previously known as Dum Dum Airport) is located just 11 miles from the heart of the city. As with the vast majority of journeys around Calcutta, taxis are the best option for efficient and cost effective travel to the city centre. There are a large number of taxis situated outside the terminal building, you should expect to pay twice the meter reading plus a few rupees depending on your destination. There is a rail link which runs to the nearby Dum Dum station but service can be intermittent. The air-conditioned airport bus service on the other hand operates on a strict schedule and costs less than the local taxi services.