Kolkata/Darjeeling in December?

#1 Dec 5th, 2010, 03:01
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  • DanTravels is offline
#1
Hello! I am new to this forum and will be visiting India for the first time. Originally I was going to begin in Delhi because i have a friend there, then visit Kolkata in late December or early Janaury, then double back and visit Jaipur, Agra and the Thar Desert in January (kite festival!) and, finally work my way down to Mumabi/Pune/Goa/Pondy in February/March.

Now I am rethinking. I have 3 months, Dec 15-March 15. Maybe I should start in Kolkata and work my way north/west and then south? I must end in Mumbai, and I prefer to be in Jaipur in mid-Janaury... I think!

So one question is, how is Kolkata in December? Also, any suggestions on other places to visit around that area? I was thinking Darjeeling but not sure if it will be too cold?

Any advice is most welcome. Thank you!

Dan
#2 Dec 5th, 2010, 04:35
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#2
Another option is to do Delhi first, then Jaipur, Mumbai, Goa... and come back to Kolkata last? Maybe in March Darjeeling will be much nicer weather?

So...

Dec - Delhi
Dec/Jan - train to Rajasthan (Jaipur, Thar Desert, etc)
Late Jan/Feb - train to Mumbai, Goa, Pondicherry
March - fly to Kolkata/Darjeeling/Siliguri

Or...

Dec - Kolkata/Darjeeling/Siliguri
Dec/Jan/Feb - Delhi/Rajasthan
Feb/Mar - Mumbai/Pune/Goa/Pondicherry

Or

Dec - Delhi
Dec - Fly to Kolkata and return
Jan - train to Rajasthan
Feb/Mar - train to Mumbai/Pune/Goa/Pondicherry

?
#3 Dec 5th, 2010, 13:45
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  • suricate is offline
#3
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTravels View Post So one question is, how is Kolkata in December? .... I was thinking Darjeeling but not sure if it will be too cold?
Be aware that Kolkata air will be at its most polluted in winter months (Dec - Jan). That is not to say it won't be as bad or worse in some other North Indian cities too.

Darjeeling will be cold. Only you can decide what is too cold for you. Be also aware that local political turmoil in Darjeeling can upset your travel plans. Sikkim would be a better bet in this respect, but it will be cold too. On the positive side, these are off-season months. So it will be less crowded, and availability and rates for accomodation would be better.
#4 Dec 6th, 2010, 00:39
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#4
Thank you suricate! I think I will try Kolkata and Darjeeling (or Sikkim) in late Feb or early March. Makes more sense. Then I can just travel India counter-clockwise, avoid backtracking, and hit places when the weather is better. Except for Delhi... but not much choice there.

Didn't realize about the turmoil. I was looking forward to the Toy Train, all 7 hours of it....

What about Jaldapara? Will Darjeeling's problems affect travel there?
#5 Dec 6th, 2010, 01:02
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#5
Kolkata temperature will be quite hot in March.
Jaldapara will be no problem. If there is problem in Darjeeling then sikkim will be also affected because the roads to sikkim goes via darjeeling.
#6 Dec 6th, 2010, 01:08
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#6
About the climate in Kolkata: I have visited once in February, twice at Holi time in the spring (March) and once in October at Durga Puja time. This year the spring was unbearably hot. It was forty degrees celsius in the first week of April. Between the pollution of the winter and the sultry temperatures of March, I would, however, choose the heat of March. Actually, just now in October visit, it was still in the thirty something degrees celsius.

It doesn't matter! Go to Kolkata and enjoy it. As for Darjeeling, the bandhs are boring, but if you keep a close eye on the local press (internet) then you can avoid them or even if you get caught in one it is not the end of the world. Tourists are not in any kind of danger. By the way, the roads to Sikkim are not usually affected even when the road to Darjeeling is blocked. I may very well be contradicting myself here (I may have said the opposite in previous posts on IndiaMike). I think there has been a big effort in West Bengal to ensure that the connecting roads to Sikkim stay open.
#7 Dec 6th, 2010, 17:05
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  • DanTravels is offline
#7
Thank you for the advice. I am looking forward to it. Hopefully a week in Calcutta is enough, and another week up in the mountains.

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