Kolkata is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal situated on the east bank of river Hooghly. The urban agglomeration of Kolkata is India's second largest with a population of more than 13 million.It was the capital of British India until 1911 when the capital was shifted to the New Delhi. Today, it is a vibrant city with its own distinct social and political culture. Kolkata is noted for its revolutionary history, from the pre-independence era to the Naxalite movements. Home of luminaries like Rabindranath Tagore, Amartya Sen, Mother Teresa, and Satyajit Ray, the city is often referred to as the "cultural capital of India" as well as "the city of processions" and "the city of joy".

The name Kolkata appears to have been derived from Kalikata, one of the three villages in the area before the arrival of the British. It seems likely that both Calcutta and Kolkata were derived from "Kalikata" with the former being an anglicised version. Pursuant to a decision taken by the the state government to change Calcutta to Kolkata, the law was passed legalising the name on July 30, 2001. The weather is very pleasant during January, with daytime temperatures hovering in the teens (degrees Celsius) and a light jacket may be needed at nights.