Kolkata is perfectly placed on the Gangetic delta along the eastern bank of River Hoogly. It is the capital of West Bengal and boasts a number of fun cultural festivals throughout the year. It is obvious that main cities like Kolkata get extremely hot and humid in the summer but the winter months are astonishingly pleasant. The best time to visit Kolkata would be from October to February.
This list focuses on Kolkata in the winter months and what you can expect from it. The beauty of Kolkata can only be appreciated when the weather and festivities elegantly complement each other. We guarantee that once you’re done reading, you’ll be rushing to book last minute flight tickets to Kolkata.
Kolkata in The Winter is a Silver Lining
Kolkata is fondly called the City of Joy and this is especially true in the winters when the weather cools down and so do the people. The cold here is much more bearable than that of Delhi making it an ideal time for a vacation. You can see the people gleaming with excitement as the winter season draws near.The cold makes the street food in Kolkata comforting and warm making winter an absolute delight in this city.
The festivities change according to the weather and the winter gives way for a number of fun outdoor activities from music to film festivals. This Kolkata travel guide lists all the things not just tourists but also Calcuttans love to do during the winter.
Also Read: Get Educated at the Indian Museum in Kolkata
Dover Lane Music Festival: A Celebration of Melody
The Dover Lane Music Festival began in 1952 with a small group of locals who held a three-day fiesta filled with music, dance and theatre. This is what laid the foundation for the music festival that runs till date. The celebration of melody is held for four days in the last week of January. In 2020, the festival paid tribute to Late Ravi Shankar along with performances from Vishwamohan Bhatt, Ustad Rashid Khan and many others.
This festival has hosted legendary musicians from all over the world for the last 68 years. The best way to describe this concert is as a ‘gathering of classical music connoisseurs coming together to showcase what they do best’. The tickets go on sale on the Dover Lane website by the first week of January. This music festival makes winter without a doubt the best time to visit Kolkata.
Itihaas Utsav: A Cultural and Educational Affair
Also known as the International History and Heritage Exhibition, Itihaas Utsav is hosted by the Sabarna Sangrahashala Museum for the past 15 years. This is a unique family museum in Barisha that reflects the past of the Bengali Society. Every year the museum picks a neighboring country and conducts seminars and cultural events around it.
The museum is run by the descendants of the Sabarna Roy Choudhury family. The 35th descendant of this family Devarshi Roy explained the aim of this exhibition. He said, “There are so many families like us in India with invaluable historical backgrounds. We encourage them to come up with initiatives to preserve the untold history. We have been trying to evoke passion about the past among today’s generation ever since the museum was established. A lot more remains to be done.”
The event is held in the first week of February for a period of four days and everyone is welcome to be part of this historic affair. The 2020 topic was France and the exhibition witnessed scores of people who participated in learning more about this European country. If you have some spare time, the Indian Museum Kolkata is a few kms away from the Sabarna Museum. It is the oldest museum in India holding relics from prehistoric times
Kolkata International Film Festival:
This film festival began in 1995 drawing its inspiration from legendary filmmakers like Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen. It is held in November every year and features hundreds of films. The 2019 festival saw 213 feature films and 152 documentaries from 76 countries. The 365 films were screened at 17 different venues over eight days.
Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan inaugurated this event at the Netaji Indoor Stadium. The Golden Royal Bengal Tiger Award for best film was awarded to ‘The Weeping Woman’ a Guatemalan drama film directed by Jayro Bustamante. This festival is conducted with great pomp and show by the Kolkata Chalachitra Utsav Society with financial aid from the West Bengal Government.
These amazingly innovative events held in Kolkata during the winter makes the city ever so appealing. Although, the best time to visit Kolkata is restricted to just five months; the experience is totally worth it. They say a picture paints a thousand words but an experience ingrains it into memory for life. Try out Indian Eagle it has the best travel deals for last minute flights to India.