Car Hire from Kolkata Airport
Kolkata Airport is located in West Bengal, not far from the Indian border with Bangladesh. It’s a huge region, home to beautiful scenery, a long stretch of the River Ganges and a selection of vibrant cities. Hiring a car from Kolkata Airport allows you to explore at your own pace and discover some lesser known of India’s highlights.
Where to hire a car at Kolkata Airport
Car hire services are available from both the International Terminal and the Domestic Terminal at Kolkata Airport. Savaari, Kolkata Car Rentals and Avis all provide hire cars from the airport, with other companies offering a meet and greet service, picking passengers up from the airport and transferring them to their nearest car rental company office.
Petrol Stations near Kolkata Airport
There are two petrol stations close to Kolkata Airport. Both are Indian Oil garages located around 10 minutes’ drive from the airport terminal. Drivers will find one service station on route 1 on the way to Kaikhali and another on route 34 on the way to Michael Nagar.
Driving around Kolkata Airport
Kolkata Airport sits northeast of Kolkata city centre. It offers easy access to route 1 which travels south towards the city and northwest towards Barrackpore. Route 1 also offers connections to route 3 which travels east towards Haroa and Bhangar. Route 34 is another major route close to the airport. This route travels north to Ranaghat and Baidyapur.
You need an International Driving Permit to drive in India. This is different from your standard international driving license and you’ll need to apply for a permit in advance of your trip. Permits cost around £5.00 and can be obtained from the RAC, the AA or a large post office.
Although cars drive on the left in India, as they do in the UK, the experience of driving in India is very different. Roads and driving standards vary in quality and you can expect badly maintained highways and chaotic driving from other road users. It’s wise to drive defensively and try to make your presence known through the use of your horn.
Getting to your destination
When you hire a car from Kolkata Airport, you’re within easy reach of some great destinations. Here are a few of them:
Kolkata is the second largest city in India, with a long history of rich culture. Visitors can explore colonial architecture, lush green parkland, beautiful temples and the bustling Big Bazar. There’s some incredible food and wonderful city walks along the river and through Princep ghat.
It takes around 30 minutes to drive from Kolkata Airport to Kolkata city centre, taking route 1 south. It’s wise to leave plenty of time for your journey as traffic around the city is often congested. Parking along the road is discouraged. Instead there are pay and park facilities around the city.
Raichak is a small town famous for its Anglo-Indian fort and its position on the River Ganges. The town offers beautiful views of the river and a range of water based activities including water skiing. There are also boat rides available from the small jetty.
Raichak is just under two hours’ drive from Kolkata Airport, taking route 1 into Kolkata and then picking up route 117. Raichak is a quiet, peaceful place, easy to navigate and with plenty of parking spaces.
Howrah is seen as Kolkata’s twin city. It sits on the opposite bank of the river and offers a range of attractions. Visitors can head to the Great Indian Banyan Tree at the Indian Botanical Gardens, the Madangopaliju Bagnan temple which has a display of terracotta art and the lighthouse at Gadiara.
It takes around 40 minutes to travel from Kolkata Airport to Howrah, taking route 34 west and then route 6 southwest. Traffic can be congested so leave plenty of time for your journey.