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Weather

Calcutta is situated at an elevation of 6 meters (21 feet) from the sea level, separated by about 100 kilometers (65 miles) of rainforest from the sea, and too far from the Himalayas to receive its cooling effects. This gives Calcutta a remarkably temperate climate all year round. The “Season” starts around mid-October and continues through mid-March. Autumn (October-November) in Calcutta is marked by the presence of light clouds, unexpected and very light rain and rainbows, together with very pleasant temperatures. Winter (November-January) is mild, with temperatures rarely going below 15 °C (59 °F) and extremely pleasant, the ideal time for picnics and excursions in and around the city. Spring (January-March) is mild but temperatures rapidly rise in preparation for the torrid summer. The months of April and May are hot and sultry with temperatures around 30°C (86 °F) and humidity usually above 90%. The monsoons come as welcome relief in early June, reducing the humidity and the temperature, but also cause widespread flooding and associated disruptions. If you plan to make only a short once-in-a-lifetime trip to Calcutta, the monsoon is best avoided.

 

Weather information may be obtained from the website of the Regional Meteorological Center of the Indian Meteorological Department located in Calcutta. This site lists temperatures, cyclone warnings, weather maps and weather charts. Additionally, CNN, Weather Channel and Weather Underground also provide detailed weather information.

Travel Documents

Calcutta has the same entry requirements as the rest of India. It is perhaps best to contact your nearest Indian diplomatic mission to find out the exact requirements. The Ministry of External Affairs website lists the location of diplomatic missions and visa information.

 

As a general rule, citizens of all countries except Bhutan and Nepal require valid passports and visas to enter India. The following categories of visas are available: business, tourist, student, transit, missionary, journalist, conference and employment. Besides, you could have single entry or multiple entry visas. In general, most visitors are initially admitted into India for a period of 6 months (except holders of transit visas, who get 15 days). An extension may be obtained from the Foreigners’ Registration Office located at 13 Lord Sinha Road (Phone: +91-33-22470549). Visitors who stay beyond 6 months are required to register at the above office (or a local police station, if outside the city) and need an Income Tax clearance at the time of departure, which may be obtained from P7, Chowringhee Square, Calcutta-69.

 

If you are originating or transiting through Africa or South America, you should be in possession of a Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate conforming to International Health Regulations.

Immunizations

Calcutta, like the rest of India is located in the tropics and not immune to health issues that plague tropical areas around the world from Australia through Africa to South America. The Indian Ministry of External Affairs recommends vaccination against cholera, hepatitis, malaria and typhoid. The World Health Organization recommends malaria prophylaxis as the only health risk for India. The National Center for Infectious Diseases, a US government agency has a detailed list of vaccinations and other health advice for travelers to the Indian. Please note that this information is not specific to Calcutta but applies to the entire region, including very remote rural areas.

© Focus Calcutta Initiative, Inc. Contents may be used for non-commercial purposes without malicious intent. Last modified December 10, 2003