City : 102 sq. kms
Metropolitan Area : 1380 sq. km.
City : 4.4 million ( 1991)
Metropolitan Area : 12 million (1991)
Population Density 33000 / sq. km. (1991)
20 feet above sea level
Built on flat sedimentary marshy land, Kolkata is dotted with moist deciduous groves and tropical wetlands, most of which has been converted for fish farming use.
Latitude: 220 82' North
Longitude: 880 20' East
Kolkata is close to Tropic of Cancer and is on the banks of the Hugli river, a branch of the great river Ganges. The Bay of Bengal and the Sunderbans is about 80 -100 kms. from the city.
The city enjoys fairly stable, warm and humid climate throughout the year.
Summer ( April - July ) 24-38 0C
Winter ( Nov - Feb ) 12-27 0C
160 cm/year ( June - Sept)
How to reach
Kolkata has an international airport and is well connected with India and rest of the world by air. Howrah Station serves as the railhead and is connected to the rest of the country.
Where to stay
Kolkata has numerous hotels to suit all budgets including top-end star hotels like Taj Bengal and The Oberoi Grand.
Birding around Kolkata
Sunderbans National Park is only a 100 kms ( 3 hrs driving) from Kolkata. The Sunderbans,
an UNESCO World Heritage Site is the world’s largest estuarine delta covered
by mangrove forests and vast saline mud flats. The Sunderbans plays host to 229 bird species.
Santragachi Jheel (or waterbody). Just 20 minutes from central Kolkata, this waterbody on the Kona Expressway plays host to thousands of
migratory winter birds from September to March. Protected by local citizens the birds are remarkably tame and allow close approach. While Lesser Whistling Ducks are the most abundant, Pintail, Gadwall, Shoveler,
Garganey, Comb Duck, Common Moorhen and Cotton Pygmy Goose are easily spotted.
Narendrapur and surrounds. Half hour from South Kolkata, the orchards are a great place to see some exotics.
The Sanctuary holds Common
Iora, Bronzed Drongo, Asian Paradise Flycatcher,
Orange-headed Thrush, Tickell's Thrush, Forest Wagtail,
White-throated Fantail, Black-naped Monarch, Long-tailed Nightjar, Oriental White-eye,
Pale-billed Flowerpecker, Baya Weaver, Lineated Barbet and other common garden birds.
There are also records of
Greater Racket-Tailed Drongo,
Eurasian Woodcock, Grey-backed Shrike, Eyebrowed Thrush, Little Spiderhunter
and other exotics. The enigmatic Large-billed Reed
Warbler was found here in 2007.
Kolkata Links :
CalcuttaWeb ~ A Complete Guide to Calcutta, Bengal and Bengali