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Latitude: 22.65, Longitude: 88.45
A320 at the domestic terminal
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport ( Netaji Shubhashchôndro Boshu Antorjatik Bimanbôndor) is an airport located in Dum Dum, West Bengal, India, and serves the greater Kolkata metro area ...
To/from Bangladesh There are numerous bus options between Kolkata and Bangladesh. The most common way is the regular comfortable a/c buses from Dhaka to Kolkata via the Haridaspur / Benapole border post. Private bus companies Shohagh, Green Line,Shyamoli and others operate daily bus services on this route. Govt. buses run under the label of the state owned West Bengal Surface Transport Service Corporation (WBSTSC) and the Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC). WBSTSC and BRTC both operate buses from Kolkata every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 5:30AM and 8:30AM, and 12:30PM while from Dhaka they leave on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 7:00AM and 7:30AM. The normal journey time is around 12 hours with a one-way fare of Rs550 or BDT600-800, roughly $8-12. If you're only headed to Haridaspur the fare is Rs86 (2.5 hours). The Shyamoli Paribahan ticket office is at 6/1 Marquis St (parallel to and one block south of Sudder Street, and just west of Mirza Ghalib St, next door to DHL), 2252 0693. Beware that several travel agencies around this area also sell tickets for these buses, but at very inflated prices. At the border it's best to change money on the Indian side, but count it carefully and double-check the math on their calculator. On the Bangladesh side you can catch a flat-bed cycle-rickshaw for Tk5 for the 2km trip to the bus stand for onward travel - or you can walk, but expect the hopeful rickshaw-wallahs to follow you at least half way.
To/from Eastern India via Bangladesh Bus travel to some points in Eastern India are faster via Bangladesh (please note that visas may be required for entry into Bangladesh as well as for re-entry into India). If you're heading to points in Eastern India (Tripura for example) beyond Bangladesh -- then there is a regular bus service between Dhaka and Agartala, capital of India's Tripura state. Two BRTC buses leave daily from Dhaka and connect with the Tripura Road Transport Corporation vehicles, running six days a week with a roundtrip fare of BDT600 ($10). There is only one halt at Ashuganj in Bangladesh during the journey. Call +880 2 8360241 for schedule. Other entry points to North-Eastern India through Bangladesh are Hili, Chilahati / Haldibari and Banglaband border posts through Northern Bangladesh and Tamabil / Dawki border post for a route between Shillong (Meghalaya) and Sylhet in North-Eastern Bangladesh, and some others with lesser known routes from north-eastern Indian regions. Although scheduled bus-services to Shillong/Meghalaya from Kolkata through Dhaka may not be offered at present -- it is still possible to get to those points via land routes going through Sylhet and then on to Tamabil/Dawki border outposts. Enquire at the Bus Service Counters for details.
Kolkata's "Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport" connects the city with the rest of the world as well as other Indian cities.
Because the airport is about 20km outside the city centre you should take a prepaid taxi. Expect to pay about Rs. 150-250 depending on your destination. There is also a new rail link connecting the airport to the Circular Rail station in Dum Dum, however very few trains actually operate on the line at present.
Apart from the Taxis (prepaid or waved down) you can now avail of the new Volvo Bus service by Royal Cruiser (www.royalcruiser.com) (Rs 20 (50 US cents), 40 (1 USD), 60 (1.5USD)) to the city centre. The bus plies on 5 different routes, so in case you are not sure, please ask the driver about the route and ask for his suggestion if the destination does not match the route. These air-conditioned buses are a wonderful way to escape the Kolkata heat and humidity. Cheaper, and hassle free, and since you can hail a taxi anywhere in the city centre to take you to your final destination, you do not need to worry. However, in case you are arriving at the wee hours, it is better to opt for a prepaid service, which takes you directly to your destination.
The buses are parked right outside the arrival gate at the DOMESTIC terminal- international travellers would have to walk down from their terminal for a distance of 800metres only. As you come out of the international terminal, turn left and keep walking towards the domestic terminal. Do not be dissuaded by the taxi touts, who would try and make you believe that the buses do not run anymore!
Kolkata is well connected by rail to almost all the big stations in India and also serves as the gateway to North-Eastern India. The cities two major railway stations are Howrah (not in Kolkata actually, it's in the adjoining city Howrah) and Sealdah.A new terminus station called 'Kolkata' has also started functioning since 2005, but presently it accommodates very few trains.
Directly facing Howrah are ferries (Rs. 4) that can get you to the other side of the river to either Babu Ghat or Fairlie Place from where you can arrange onward transportation with anything from taxis to public buses to human rickshaws. With Kolkata's traffic situation this might actually save you time as well as money.If you are coming to Kolkata by trains using Sealdah station, you may prefer taking a pre-paid taxi to enter the city. The pre-paid taxi stand is just outside the station's main entrance. The counter is under a tin shade.
Shared auto-rickshaws are available from different points. They travel in fixed routes and the fare is fixed(although you might find the driver charging a little more as the darkness sets in). They are supposed to take four persons, three in the back seat and one sharing the driver's seat!
The city has an extensive bus network (possibly the most exhaustive in the whole of India) and this is the cheapest, though not always the most comfortable means of transport. The routes are written all over the colourful buses in Bengali and also in English. The conductors call out their destinations to everyone he's passing and all you have to do is wave at the bus anywhere and it will stop, often causing a small traffic jam in the course. Just jump in.
Among the buses that ply the city streets, the deluxe buses run by CSTC (Calcutta State Transport Corporation), CTC (Calcutta Tramways Company) and WBSTC (West Bengal Surface Transport Corporation) are probably the better option. A/C buses are also available to select destinations from near the airport.
The river offers a less crowded but slow traffic medium. There are several points (popularly called Ghats and jetties) on the bank of the river from where you can board several regular routes of ferry services. Ferries can be fairly large launches to small improvised motorized boats. Even if you don't get any exotic manual boat like you get in Varanasi, the river transport of the city lets you go to several old spots near the bank in a hassle-free manner with an additional dash of the view of decadent river front of the city.
Kolkata's "Metro Railway" was the first underground rail in India, yet it still has only a single route connecting the North and South of the city, from Dumdum to Garia Bazar. It is the cleanest, most reliable, least but still rather crowded and most efficient of all the transportation Kolkata has to offer. Trains run every 10-15 minutes and at Rs 4-12. It runs from 8 a.m. to 9.45 p.m. from Monday to Saturday and 2 p.m to 9.45 p.m. on Sunday. Work is underway to connect districts further South. There is also an East-West line in the works on full swing, which will connect Salt Lake to Howrah stn.
Long the world's only major metropolis where human-pulled rickshaws were still a major form of transport, a complete ban was supposed to be imposed in November 2006 - but with 35,000 union members who are unlikely to disappear overnight it was not implemented.
Kolkata just wouldn't look the same without the plethora of yellow ambassador taxis that ply on its roads. They're easily available and relatively cheap, and will usually use their meters.
The fare is 2 times plus Rs 2 the reading of the meter. The Meter starts from Rs. 10, which means Rs. 22 actually. There is a "green taxi" which is red coloured (!) and charges the same. In case you are confused always ask to see the chart that the driver is supposed to carry with him. Expect to pay a bit more if you are going to the outskirts of the city or travelling at night - it will depend on your bargaining skills but should not be more than Rs. 20 on top of the taxi meter. Unlike other metro cities in India, there is no 50%-100% surcharge for late night hires.
You can find 'Orix' or 'Megacabs' air-conditioned taxis on call. Their fare is about Rs15-20/km. The telephone numbers to call for these taxis are Orix - (033)44222222 and Megacabs - (033)41414141.
The electrified suburban rail network of the SER and the ER is extensive and includes the Circular Rail.
"Calcutta Tramways" is the only tram service in all of India, and the oldest surviving electric tram network of Asia. Though decommissioned in some part of the city, electric trams are still one of the means of travelling between a few places within the city. They move slow on the laid tracks in traffic jammed streets, but they are environment friendly (no emissions on the street, only at the source of energy generation).
Privately owned rental car places are available throughout the city. Rates depend on the make, model, size and comfort level of the car. Agreements are flexible, for example, cars can be rented even for couple of hours at an hourly rate. Most rental cars are accompanied with a driver from the rental agency.