Kolkata and Varanasi during monsoon

#1 Jul 8th, 2004, 02:54
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  • suzanne is offline
#1
Hi everybody/anybody! We are heading to India at the beginning of August for about 6 weeks and amongst other things we are considering visiting Kolkata. Are we completely mad to go during the monsoon? If anyone has experienced Kolkata in the monsoon we would really appreciate hearing about it and if you have any survival tips! How easy difficult is it to get around? Are there any extra health things we should know? How much time would you suggest? We are also planning to go to Varanasi around the same time. Any helpful hints and suggestions are welcome. Thanks, suzanne
#2 Jul 8th, 2004, 11:50
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  • ddutta is offline
#2
Hi suzanne

You are most welcome to Kolkata, though I must admit that you have chosen the worst time to visit this city. The city has the reputation of being flooded even after 30 minutes downpour. It is very common to us to find that the streets are waterlogged and tranport system is fully out of gear after a downpour. So be prepared for that and please no leather shoes go for rubber/plastic one.Beside this the city is cool no need to take special/extra caution.Its a happy going like city with lots of people all over. If you can feel the nerve of the city you will love to spend quite a days here otherwise within an hour of landing you will be try your best to go out of the city.(specially if you are the first timer to India).Anyways ,if you (by chance) stay here for few days and are a food lover then this is the place. Taste the famous "rasgolla" ,"misti doi"(sweets) and ofcourse the "HILSA FISH" (boneless one) . This is the right time to have this fish .(available mainly in monsoon only). We call it the king of all fish.
"If you smile at me I will understand, because that is something everyone everywhere does in the same language"
#3 Jul 8th, 2004, 13:05
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  • edwardseco is offline
#3
Watch out for where they pull up the sewer manhole covers to help the drainage!!
#4 Jul 14th, 2004, 23:51
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  • suzanne is offline
#4
Thanks for your replies - the main reason we are coming to Kolkata at this time is because we are a little fascinated with the monsoon and wanted to experience it ourselves - from what I have read about Kolkata it sounds full-on anyway, we are interested to see how people manage at this time of year. I don't thin we will stay very long - maybe 3 days as we only have a limited time in India - any suggestions for things to do and see would be great too. Thanks again.
#5 Jul 15th, 2004, 00:05
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  • volga_volga is offline
#5
just saw this wonderful picture:
Kolkata in monsoon
#6 Jul 15th, 2004, 00:20
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#6
Thanks for the pic - its a great one just had a browse through the rest of them too - I can't wait to get back to India - I think we definitely have to go to Kolkata in the monsoon!
#7 Jul 15th, 2004, 12:07
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#7
Hi

Here are some pics. of the typical flooded streets
Attached Images
flood.jpg 
#8 Jul 15th, 2004, 12:09
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  • ddutta is offline
#8
monsoon in India
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flood1.jpg 
#9 Jul 15th, 2004, 12:11
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#9
Another snap
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flood2.jpg 
#10 Jul 17th, 2004, 18:00
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  • uncle.joe is offline
#10
hi,
nothing like a rain walk or to be more precise - to get drenched and chilled to the bone in the monsoons.
once you done that, you will never stop.

hAVE fUN!!
#11 Apr 15th, 2009, 14:24
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  • inkognito is offline
#11
hi ya all,

maybe someone know the weather conditions from the 1st of september... will the monsoon already be over or ist there much of rain waiting for me? how is the huminity at this time?
#12 Apr 15th, 2009, 14:40
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  • atala is offline
#12
Kolkata: Not much rain, but very humid, overcast. drückende Hitze.
#13 Apr 18th, 2009, 20:10
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#13
I have been here for two monsoons (2007,2008) so far. And both years, the worst flooding was in Sept and Oct.
#14 Apr 24th, 2009, 02:38
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  • namaste_cat is offline
#14
Quote:
Originally Posted by suzanne View Post Are we completely mad to go during the monsoon? If anyone has experienced Kolkata in the monsoon we would really appreciate hearing about it and if you have any survival tips!
Depends. Do you like the rain? If you are a person who dislikes rain, then lots of it is definitely the worst time to go. But if you're like me, and love the rain, then what's a whole lot more?

I know this is going to sound crazy, maybe because it is but I love Kolkata (Mumbai too) during monsoon season. I have really severe asthma, so monsoon is the only time of the year that I can actually breathe there. Also it's not as hot. Plenty humid though, no escaping that in Kolkata but as long as it's not hot and air quality is better, I'll take it.

The biggest issue is street flooding and there's often no warning. One should just expect it can happen, that's just the way it goes. In the U.S. in many places I've lived a lot less rain can cause the streets to flood, so no surprise this also happens in Kolkata where the water can literally be at waist-height in a matter of 2 hrs or even less. Take disinfectant wipes with you, and the water-resistant footwear. Also, be prepared to pay through the nose to make your way around should flooding occur. If you'll be walking, that isn't an issue of course.

Main thing I'd say is if you are a laid-back person who doesn't have to hit certain tourist spots at certain times or else, you will be fine. If not, monsoon can really put a damper on things, pun intended! ddutta's photos are a good illustration of Kolkata during monsoons.

For tourists that have some flexibility in their schedule and love rain, I don't see why one shouldn't experience monsoon in Kolkata if it fits within the rest of the India schedule.
#15 Apr 24th, 2009, 03:05
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  • rajiveanand is offline
#15
Calcutta is a great city. I was there in July '06 and July '07. I stayed in the Fairlawn Hotel on Sudder St. - it's a bit of a taste of the faded glory of the Raj. The ppl are nice and the old lady who runs it is a real character. One of those years there was major flooding about a week before I arrived, but lucky for me by the time I got there it had pretty much dried up. Roll of the dice, man.

Here are a couple of music videos I made about Cal, Darjeeling and the monsoon.

http://rajiveanand.com/calcuttaweb.html

http://rajiveanand.com/mistymountainsweb.html

R.

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