Kolkata is the capital and most exciting city of West Bengal, India. Formerly and still widely known as Calcutta, Kolkata is the largest city in Bengal, which is an area that includes both West Bengal and Bangladesh. Where is Kolkata? With coordinates 22°32’N latitude and 88°21’E longitude, Kolkata is easy to reach since it is one of the most visited cities in India. International tourists are getting to Calcutta by the millions every year.
Calcutta’s Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport is one of the busiest in the country. Operating here are about ten international carriers, which include Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways, United Airways, China Easter Airlines, Thai Airways, and AirAsia. Getting to Kolkata by air through the city’s domestic airport, DumDum Airport, is also very busy as it connects to all major cities in India and the capital of Bangladesh.
Getting to Kolkata by land, on the other hand, makes use of India’s busy railway system or the local bus. There are two railway junctions, Howrah Station and the Sealdah Station, that connect the city to the rest of the country and Bangladesh. Local bus lines also connect the city to the capital of Bangladesh. Travelers enjoy a comfortable ride on air-conditioned buses operated by the Shohagh, Green Line or Shyamoli bus company, as well as the government-owned bus companies, West Bengal Surface Transport Corporation Limited and Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation.
Meanwhile, buses from West Bengal to Eastern India also pass by Bangladesh for a faster ride. For foreign tourists, it is important to know that a visa is needed to enter or pass through Bangladesh and then re-enter India at the other side of the country.
From either the bus or train stations, travelers may take different modes of transport going to the center of the city. There are regular metered taxis, pre-paid taxis, local buses, and human rickshaws to choose from. Kolkata traffic can get so jammed that sometimes taking a rickshaw into the city makes more sense.
When getting to Calcutta by land on a private or rented car, the most popular route to take is the Grand Trunk Road or GT road, which connects the city to India’s northern states such as Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Punjab, among others. There are other routes, of course, that lead to other states in the country.
To avoid Kolkata’s woeful traffic condition, travelers may consider taking the boat. Boat services connect Kolkata Port Trust to Port Blair in India and other places on the other side of the Ganges River.
There are many reasons to visit this amazing city in India. If there’s only one destination to see while in this country, it has to be Calcutta, one of the largest and most mystical Indian cities. Many consider it as India’s cultural capital since it is home to a number of interesting sites such as the Chowringhee Road, Maidan Park, the British Citadel Fort William, Town Hall (built in 1813), Race Course (built in 1819), Indian Museum (built in 1877), and Victoria Memorial, which was the British attempt to build their own Taj Mahal, among other attractions.
These amazing attractions are just a plane, train or bus ride away. Getting to Calcutta truly has its rewards, not to mention the chance of meeting friendly locals and tasting aromatic Indian delicacies. There are many ways to reach West Bengal but getting to Calcutta by air is still the best way to do it.