Cities to Visit in West Bengal
Route Map

Getting Around in West Bengal


Buses are nearly an inevitable mode of transport for most people in West Bengal. This form of transport is not limited by rail or tracks and can access even the remote parts of the state. Buses ply both in cities and villages. In fact some remote villages of West Bengal are served by a single bus only throughout the day. Both state - run buses and private buses serve million of commuters' everyday.

State corporations, like the Calcutta State Transport Corporation, West Bengal Surface Transport Corporation, South Bengal State Transport Corporation and North Bengal State Transport Corporation operate bus services. However, most of the buses are privately owned. The public buses are more comfortable with wider spaces but are less frequent than private buses. They are classified as Limited Stop buses, Morning to Sundown Buses, Specials, Express Services and the like. The privately run buses include different types of buses like the minibus and may include chartered buses and small buses.

The total length of railway in the state is around 4481 km. Kolkata, the state capital, is the headquarters of the two divisions of the Indian Railways. The two divisions are Eastern Railway and South Eastern Railway. The Northeast Frontier Railway provides transportation in the northern parts of the state and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is a part of the NFR and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The state of West Bengal has two commercial airports. The first one is the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata and the second one is the Bagdogra Airport in Siliguri. The Bagdogra airport initially served domestic services, but recently they have started international services to Paro, Bhutan and Bangkok, Thailand. The state also has two major docks; they are Kolkata docks and Haldia docks.

Tram in Kolkata is perfectly termed as 'Kolkata's very own Heritage'. Winding in its characteristic slow pace through the bustling city of Kolkata it provides non-polluting, eco-friendly but inexpensive mode of mechanical transport for getting around in Kolkata. Kolkata happens to be the only city in India and among the very few in the world that still possesses Tram. The Kolkata trams are operating from 1873 and the city continues to bask in its old world charm with the trams. The city certainly looks more romantic when viewed from the window of a leisurely moving tram.

West Bengal Metro Rail is the underground rail network and is the most convenient way to get around in the busy city of Kolkata. Kolkata Metro Rail has been in operation since 1984 and is the first underground Metro Rail in the whole of India. It is held in high esteem throughout the world for its efficient functioning, cleanliness, comfort and time - saving quality.

Rickshaw is a mode of transport, which in West Bengal is available almost always as human - powered. The word Rickshaw derives from jinrikisha, which literally means human-powered vehicle in Japanese. They were introduced in Kolkata in the year 1900 by the Chinese immigrants but stayed back as a popular mode of transportation. For those residing outside west Bengal, Rickshaw has been immortalized by Dominique Lapierre's City of Joy. Several streets in West Bengal have been closed for heavy vehicles for safety and rickshaws are the only option in such streets. They are perfect for short distance traveling and are preferred by many when one wants to reach exactly near his destination over a short distance. Rickshaws can easily glide through narrow lanes and streets and so are always in demand.

Circular Rail is one of the convenient ways of getting around in Kolkata, the capital city of West Bengal. Previously, the central part of Kolkata was not served by any rail network unlike other big cities. With the increasing population the demand for a rail network within the city was high. Circular Rail running through the banks of Hoogly River in Kolkata provided the necessary solution. Maintained by the Eastern Railways it is now providing excellent connectivity throughout the city.

Tram

Tram in Kolkata is perfectly termed as 'Kolkata's very own Heritage'. Winding in its characteristic slow pace through the bustling city of Kolkata it provides non-polluting, eco-friendly but inexpensive mode of mechanical transport for getting around in Kolkata. Kolkata happens to be the only city in India and among the very few in the world that still possesses Tram. The Kolkata trams are operating from 1873 and the city continues to bask in its old world charm with the trams. The city certainly looks more romantic when viewed from the window of a leisurely moving tram.

Trams in Kolkata plies between various points of the city and practically covers all corners of Kolkata:

  • Route Number: 1 Belgachia-Esplanade

  • Route Number: 2 Belgachia-B.B.D. Bag
    • Route Number: 3 Belgachia-Esplanade

    • Route Number: 4 Belgachia-B.B.D. Bag

    • Route Number: 5 Shyambazar-Esplanade

    • Route Number: 6 Shyambazar-B.B.D. Bag

    • Route Number: 7 Baghbazar-Esplanade

    • Route Number: 8 Baghbazar-B.B.D. Bag

    • Route Number: 9 Shyambazar-Esplanade

    • Route Number: 10 Shyambazar-B.B.D. Bag

    • Route Number: 11 Belgachia-Howrah Station

    • Route Number: 12 Galiff St.-Howrah Station

    • Route Number: 13 Galiff St.-Howrah Station

    • Route Number: 14 Rajabazar-B.B.D. Bag

    • Route Number: 15 High Court-Esplanade

    • Route Number: 15/12 Rajabazar-Howrah Station

    • Route Number: 16 Bidhannagar-B.B.D. Bag

    • Route Number: 17 Bidhannagar-Esplanade

    • Route Number: 18 Park Circus-Howrah Station

    • Route Number: 20 Park Circus-Howrah Station

    • Route Number: 22 Park Circus-B.B.D. Bag

    • Route Number: 24 Ballygunge Station-B.B.D. Bag

    • Route Number: 24/29 Balyygunge - Tollygunge

    • Route Number: 25 Ballygunge Station-B.B.D. Bag

    • Route Number: 26 Ballygunge Station-Howrah Station

    • Route Number: 27 Ballygunge Station-Behala

    • Route Number: 28 Tollygunge-Esplanade

    • Route Number: 29 Tollygunge-Esplanade

    • Route Number: 30 Kalighat-Howrah Station

    • Route Number: 31 Kalighat-Esplanade

    • Route Number: 32 Tollygunge-Howrah Station

    • Route Number: 35 Behala-Esplanade

    • Route Number: 36 Khidderpore-Esplanade

    • Route Number: 35/36 Behala - Khidderpore

    • Route Number: 37 Joka-B.B.D. Bag
    Buses

    Buses are nearly an inevitable mode of transport for most people in West Bengal. This form of transport is not limited by rail or tracks and can access even the remote parts of the state. Buses ply both in cities and villages. In fact some remote villages of West Bengal are served by a single bus only throughout the day. Both state - run buses and private buses serve million of commuters' everyday. However, most of the buses are privately owned. The public buses are more comfortable with wider spaces but are less frequent than private buses. They are classified as Limited Stop buses, Morning to Sundown Buses, Specials, Express Services and the like. The privately run buses include different types of buses like the minibus and may include chartered buses and small buses.

    Buses in West Bengal charges an affordable fare and is a convenient way to travel with numerous tops in between. Almost all buses in West Bengal have some seats reserved for the disabled, ladies and the elderly people. The tickets in local buses are available from the conductor of the respective buses on boarding. Long distance bus tickets are available from major bus stands and sometimes also on board. Long distance buses with entertainment and luxury arrangements including air - conditioning are also available.

    West Bengal is very well - connected by extensive road network. National highways, inter - state roads and intra - state roads serve the state of West Bengal. From Kolkata there are regular long distance bus services to Rampurhat, Digha, Berhampore, Siliguri, Naamkhana, Diamond Harbour and in jmany other routes. Buses for the neighbouring states of Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa are available. West Bengal Buses also ply internationally. Regular buses to the neighbouring countries of Bangladesh and Bhutan are also available from the capital city of Kolkata.

    Metro Rail

    West Bengal Metro Rail is the underground rail network and is the most convenient way to get around in the busy city of Kolkata.Kolkata Metro Rail has been in operation since 1984 and is the first underground Metro Rail in the whole of India. It is held in high esteem throughout the world for its efficient functioning, cleanliness, comfort and time - saving quality.

    The Metro Rail in Kolkata at present extends from Dum-Dum to Tollygunje over a total length of 16.45 kms. En route it covers 17 stations that include Belgachia, Shyambazar, Sovabazar, Girish Park, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Central, Chandni Chawk, Esplanade, Park Street, Maidan, Rabindra Sadan, Bhowanipore, Jatin Das Park, Kalighat and Rabindra Sarobar.

    Extension of the route of Kolkata Metro Rail from Tollygunje to the extreme of Garia is in progress and includes stations like Kudghat, New Garia, Garia Bazaar, Bansdroni, Pranabnagar and Naktala. This would be highly beneficial as it would cover almost all the majorly populated areas of Kolkata. It takes just a smooth ride of 33 minutes to cover this busy area which during peak hours could take around 90 minutes by other modes of communication.

    Each metro rail carries approximately 2558 passengers and services are available every 5 - 15 minutes depending on the time of the day.Kolkata Metro Rail is equipped with advanced technology and safety of he passengers is of prime concern. The environment within the metro stations and trains is controlled and washed and cooled air is forced inside for proper ventilation. Daily Tickets and Multi - Ride Tickets are available from each of the Metro stations. Some stations are also equipped with escalators.

    Rickshaw

    Rickshaw is a mode of transport, which in West Bengal is available almost always as human - powered. The word Rickshaw derives from jinrikisha, which literally means human-powered vehicle in Japanese. They were introduced in Kolkata in the year 1900 by the Chinese immigrants but stayed back as a popular mode of transportation. For those residing outside west Bengal, Rickshaw has been immortalized by Dominique Lapierre's City of Joy. Several streets in West Bengal have been closed for heavy vehicles for safety and rickshaws are the only option in such streets. They are perfect for short distance traveling and are preferred by many when one wants to reach exactly near his destination over a short distance. Rickshaws can easily glide through narrow lanes and streets and so are always in demand.

    In West Bengal rickshaws is a non polluting form of transport and at the same time affordable though charging more than buses and trains. A runner draws a two-wheeled cart in a rickshaw. In West Bengal one has the option of choosing from Bicycle Pedaled Rickshaw, Manual Pull Rickshaw and Cycle Van Rickshaw. The Bicycle Pedaled Rickshaw and the Manual Pull Rickshaw seats two people in each of them but kids are allowed with extra fare. Cycle Van Rickshaw is used for carrying goods as well. These rickshaws operate in the whole of West Bengal but in select parts of Kolkata because of security reasons. They were introduced in Kolkata in the year 1900 by the Chinese immigrants but stayed back as a popular mode of transportation.

    For some, rickshaws plying in West Bengal are an essential mode of transport. Some others have raised the issue of violating human rights as this is a highly labor intensive job for the rickshaw puller.

    Circular Rail

    Circular Rail is one of the convenient ways of getting around in Kolkata, the capital city of West Bengal. Previously, the central part of Kolkata was not served by any rail network unlike other big cities. With the increasing population the demand for a rail network within the city was high. Circular Rail running through the banks of Hoogly River in Kolkata provided the necessary solution. Maintained by the Eastern Railways it is now providing excellent connectivity throughout the city. No other place in West Bengal, however, is served by the Circular Rail.

    The Circular Rail has its stations in Dum Dum, Patipukur, Belgachia, Tala, Ultadanga Road, Bagbazar, Shovabazar, Chitpur, Burrabazar, B.B.D. Bagh, Prinsep Ghat, Hastings, Kidderpore, Remount Road, mMajherhat, New Alipore, Tollygunge, Lake Gardens, Ballygunge, Sir Gurudas Banerjee Halt, Bidhannagar Road and back again to Dum Dum.

    The Kolkata Circular Rail is in the process of extension by 3.8 kms from Dum Dum Cantonment to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport through Jessop, Jessore Road, VIP Road, and the Kolkata airport domestic terminal road. Another extension in progress is of the 5.8 kms stretch from Majherhat to Prinsep Ghat covering the entire periphery of Kolkata and would be very beneficial for the people of Behala and Budge Budge zone. Surveys are on to stretch the Circular Rail further, covering routes from Ultadanga to Rajarhat and from Barrackpore to Sonarpur via Rajarhat New Town. These, together with the existing Circular Rail network, would practically cover the whole of the city as also the greater Kolkata.

    Last updated on May 20, 2013