Getting there

Calcutta is served by British Airways (0844 493 0787; www.ba.com) and Air India (020-8560 9996; www.airindia.com) from Heathrow; and by Emirates (0870 243 2222; www.emirates.com) from UK airports via Dubai.

To reduce the impact on the environment, you can buy an "offset" through Abta's Reduce My Footprint initiative (020-7637 2444; www.reducemyfootprint.travel).

The writer travelled with Indus Tours (020-8901 7320; www.industours.co.uk), which offers a one-week tour of Calcutta from £850 per person, including return BA flights from Heathrow, transfers, accommodation in city and heritage hotels, some meals and sightseeing.

Getting around

Bespoke sightseeing tours are available with Anup Saha. For details and prices, email to: anupsaha_jr@yahoo.com

Eating & drinking there

Gazab, 34 Shyampukur Street, Calcutta (00 91 33 2555 5708).

Red tape & more details

British passport-holders require a visa to visit India, available from the High Commission of India in London (020-7836 8484; www.hcilondon.net); or the Consulate General of India in Birmingham (0121-212 2782) or Edinburgh (0131-229 2144). A short-term tourist visa costs £30. You are advised to apply well in advance in case of delays.

The Indian Ministry of Tourism: 020-7437 3677; www.incredibleindia.org






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