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Best time to visit Kolkata

MAR- JUN 38oC
JUL- SEP 25oC
NOV- FEB 14oC

Best Time to Visit Kolkata

Kolkata is one of the more renowned cities of the eastern part of India. Also called the cultural capital of the country, it offers visitors myriad experiences within its vast area. Like most parts of India, Kolkata too has three seasons – warm summers, a moist monsoon and pleasant winters. Being a coastal city though, with a typical tropical climate, winter is the best time to visit Kolkata.

 

If you’re planning a trip to Kolkata, choose the winter months between October and February for your vacation. Of course, the weather is perfect for visiting, but it is also when the city comes alive, with festivals and celebrations dotting every street corner. The temperature is pleasant, the markets are filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, and Kolkata throws open its doors to welcome visitors. You can also make short trips from Kolkata to nearby places just before winter hits the region.

 

Avoid summers as the weather is hot and humid, and the monsoon, even though a lovely spell by itself, is not the best season to visit Kolkata.

 

Plan for a winter holiday in Kolkata this year and get ready for a fabulous time in a city that is rich with tradition and ancient heritage. The city’s quaint charm will make sure that you have one of the best holidays ever.

 

Summer Season (April-May)

Kolkata is a tropical city, and its summers are hot and humid. Evenings could get slightly cooler with the sea breeze, but it doesn’t do much to take away the humidity. When the day temperature hovers between 30° C and 40° C, you will find it quite uncomfortable to head out and explore the city. This sweaty time continues until May when the city gets a few thundershowers. It’s best to avoid the city between April and May.

 

Monsoon Season (June-September)

Kolkata awaits the arrival of the monsoon eagerly. The hot and humid season is now over and the city turns into a beautiful, languid place to enjoy at one’s leisure. The monsoon hits the city properly by end-June or early July, and that is when the city receives the maximum rainfall. Days and night are cooler now, but the torrential rain can severely hamper your sightseeing plans. You should visit Kolkata in the rains only if you enjoy the season.

 

Winter Season (October-March)

Kolkata is beautiful from autumn to winter when the weather turns pleasant and the city invites visitors into its warm embrace. This is also when the city explodes in various festivals, chief among them the popular Durga Puja, Laxmi Puja and Kali Puja. The city looks beautiful and foodies will rejoice at the seemingly unending opportunity to relish the taste of Bengal.

 

Travel Seasons

Min/Max Temperature

Season

April to May

30-40 degrees

Summer - Hot and humid

June to September

20-28 degrees

Monsoon - Heavy rains

October to March

9-11 degrees

Winter - Cool and comfortable

 

 

Kolkata in Summer (April to May)

Temperature: Avg. of 40 degrees high to 30 degrees low

Weather: A typical tropical climate means Kolkata during summer is hot and humid. Daytime temperature has been known to touch 45°C, making it scorching hot to step outside. Nights are no better – even though the temperature drops a bit, it never goes below 30°C and it gets very humid. Additionally, Kolkata is a crowded city and traveling in the heat with people pressing in from all sides makes it a rather uncomfortable and unpleasant experience.

Significant events: If you are in Kolkata round about mid-April you will get to participate in the Bengali New Year – Poila Boishakh. It marks the first day of the Bengali calendar and is a time for much celebration. People are decked up in their finery, shops are buzzing with customers and there is a delicious aroma of Bengali dishes in the air. The gods and goddesses of Kolkata are thanked for the success of the previous year and the people pray to them for a good year to come.

Why you should visit now: Summer is off-season in Kolkata, which means low prices all around. If you are traveling on a tight budget, a summer holiday to Kolkata might appeal to you.

Know before you visit: Pack light cotton clothes, linens and other breathable fabrics to make traveling in the heat slightly bearable.

Tips: Plan your sightseeing in the early morning or evening and preferably stay indoors in the hot afternoons. Always keep a bottle of water and an umbrella with you.

 

Kolkata in Monsoon (June to September)

Temperature: Avg. of 28 degrees high to 20 degrees low

Weather: The much-awaited shower does bring a slight respite to the overbearing heat of Kolkata, but it doesn’t really help much with your sightseeing plans. Yes, you can visit if you are on a tight budget, but the heavy downpour and waterlogging makes moving around the city quite difficult. Interestingly, it rains more during the morning and afternoon. Evenings and nights are pleasant and cool, allowing you to step out and walk about enjoying the freshly-cleansed city in all its beauty. Weather in monsoon of Kolkata is still quite humid, mind you. If you have to travel in the monsoon, avoid July and August as those are the wettest months. The rain peters down by September and you will be blessed with intermittent dry days that will be good for travel.

Significant events: The most-awaited festival of all, Durga Puja, is celebrated in Kolkata around September or October. The 10-day festival signifies the victory of Good over Evil and sees wholehearted participation from every inhabitant of Kolkata. The city is decorated with pandals (large tents) housing beautiful idols of Goddess Durga. People are busy shopping, merry making and flocking on the streets to see the attractive pandals that have been known to attract tourists from all over the world. If you thought Kolkata is crowded, you should see the crowds during this 10-day celebration.

Perhaps Bengalis are the only people who mark the special but underrated bond between a mother-in-law and a son-in-law. Jamai Shoshti is a day that is celebrated sometime in June to enjoy the warmth that these two people share. Of course, it is also another reason to just celebrate life.  Bengalis are big on food and this day is no different. A lavish party is thrown for the son-in-law where he receives gifts and blessings for a long and prosperous life.

Why you should visit now: Kolkata is a beautiful city during the monsoon season, but it doesn’t have many takers. If you are on a tight budget, this is a good time to get some great deals on hotels.

Know before you visit: You will be unable to visit several places in Kolkata because of the incessant rain. Be ready to change plans at a moment’s notice.

Tips: Carry your umbrella and other raingear at all times when you visit Kolkata in the rains.

 

Kolkata in Winter (October to March) 

Temperature: Avg. of 11 degrees high to 9 degrees low

Weather: Kolkata is best visited in winter when the climate is ideal for sightseeing. The weather of Kolkata in winter is pleasant with temperature staying around 11-15°C and that is what makes this otherwise hot and humid city so welcoming. Nights can get cold, so do carry a thin shawl or jacket with you when you step out at night. If it’s a relaxed holiday that you want, then winter might disappoint you as the city is crowded more than usual in this season. Of course, there are several homestays and resorts on the outskirts of the city that you can book yourself in for an idyllic vacation. 

Significant events: Winter is festival season in Kolkata and if you happen to be visiting, you will see a series of celebrations that keep the city buzzing with revelries.

 

About twenty days after Durga Puja comes the magnificent Kali Puja, a festival of great magnitude, second only to Durga Puja. Goddess Kali is adorned with flowers and offerings of sweets, rice and lentils are made to appease her. The festival is marked by the chanting of mantras (religious hymns) that go on all night, right up to dawn. Kali Puja coincides when the rest of the nation is celebrating Diwali- the festival of lights. This does not mean that Kolkata does not celebrate Diwali. The festivities are marked by a stunning firework show organised at night and the Howrah Bridge is lit up beautifully.

 

Kolkata is a city of intellectuals and it pays homage to Goddess Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of learning, through the Saraswati Puja. The streets have richly decorated pandals dedicated to the goddess. The day is considered to be auspicious to begin any study related activity. Children are often encouraged to begin writing on this day.

Talking of learning and wisdom, it is no coincidence that Kolkata is the venue for an annual international book fair. If you are a book lover, then you must try and plan your vacation around this grand event. Besides the book fair, the city of art and heritage also hosts a number of literature festivals and art exhibitions during these few months.

Why you should visit now: While the city itself is gorgeous in winter, it is also the time when it reveals its soul to its guests.

Know before you visit: Many tourists visit Kolkata during winter. Book your tickets in advance to avoid any last minute disappointments.

Tips: It doesn’t get very cold in winter, but carry a thin jacket handy if you’re heading out at night.

If this has kindled your desire to visit Kolkata, then do browse through out special Kolkata Tour Packages. Besides helping you plan your vacation, at Thomas Cook, we can also help with your tickets and hotel accommodation. Allow us to assist you.

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