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How To Travel From Dhaka To Kolkata By Train


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Emelia Kurtz



Traveling from Dhaka to Kolkata by train is not only a convenient option but also offers a unique experience. This train route connects the bustling capital city of Bangladesh, Dhaka, with the vibrant cultural hub of India, Kolkata. It allows travelers to explore the diverse landscapes and immerse themselves in the rich cultural heritage of both countries.


Whether you are a leisure traveler looking to explore new destinations or a business traveler seeking to establish connections, the Dhaka to Kolkata train route presents an exciting journey filled with scenic views and cultural encounters.


As you embark on this cross-border train adventure, you will witness the gradual transition from the vibrant chaos of Dhaka to the charming elegance of Kolkata. The train journey serves as a bridge that connects two nations, allowing you to experience the similarities and differences between Bangladesh and India firsthand.


Not only is traveling by train a convenient mode of transportation, but it also offers a more immersive experience compared to other means of travel. Along the journey, you will have the opportunity to interact with fellow passengers, sample local delicacies at different stations, and witness the ever-changing landscapes from the comfort of your seat.


This article will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to travel from Dhaka to Kolkata by train, including information about the train options, ticket booking procedures, immigration and customs considerations, and tips for a comfortable journey. Additionally, we will also highlight the popular attractions and must-visit places in Kolkata, ensuring that you make the most of your time in this vibrant city.


So, if you’re ready to embark on an exciting train journey from Dhaka to Kolkata, let’s delve into the details and explore the possibilities awaiting you.


Overview of Dhaka to Kolkata Train Route

The train route from Dhaka to Kolkata spans over a distance of approximately 375 kilometers, taking travelers through picturesque landscapes and bustling towns. This cross-border train journey offers a unique opportunity to witness the cultural fusion and historical significance of the region.


The journey typically begins at the Kamalapur Railway Station in Dhaka, the primary railway station in Bangladesh’s capital city. From there, the train heads towards the border town of Benapole, where the immigration and customs procedures take place. After completing the necessary formalities, the train then continues its journey towards Kolkata, with its final stop at Kolkata’s bustling Howrah Railway Station.


The train route passes through scenic rural areas, with lush green fields and charming villages dotting the landscape. As you travel closer to the border, you will notice the cultural influence of both Bangladesh and India, reflected in the architecture, cuisine, and attire of the people.


One of the highlights of this train route is the Maitree Express, a dedicated train service that operates between Dhaka and Kolkata. It is the most popular option for travelers embarking on this route. The Maitree Express offers a comfortable and reliable journey, with well-equipped coaches and efficient services.


Throughout the journey, you will have the opportunity to witness the daily lives of the people living along the train route. You might catch glimpses of farmers tending to their fields, children playing by the tracks, and vibrant marketplaces bustling with activity.


The train journey from Dhaka to Kolkata typically takes around 10-12 hours, depending on the train and its schedule. The duration may vary based on factors such as the train’s speed, stoppages, and any unforeseen delays.


Overall, the Dhaka to Kolkata train route offers a captivating and enchanting experience, allowing travelers to soak in the beauty of the landscapes while immersing themselves in the rich culture and history of the region.


Train Options from Dhaka to Kolkata

When it comes to train travel from Dhaka to Kolkata, there are several options available to suit different preferences and budgets. Let’s take a closer look at some of the train services operating on this route:

  1. Maitree Express: The Maitree Express is a dedicated train service that connects Dhaka and Kolkata. It is jointly operated by the Bangladesh Railway and the Indian Railways, emphasizing the strong ties between the two nations. The train offers comfortable seating, air-conditioned coaches, and onboard catering services. The Maitree Express departs from Dhaka’s Kamalapur Railway Station and arrives at Kolkata’s Howrah Railway Station. It is a popular choice among travelers due to its reliability and convenience.
  2. Bandhan Express: The Bandhan Express is another train service that operates between Dhaka and Kolkata. It is a bi-weekly train service that provides an additional option for travelers. The Bandhan Express departs from Kolkata’s Khulna Railway Station and arrives at Dhaka’s Kamalapur Railway Station. It offers comfortable seating, air-conditioned coaches, and onboard catering facilities. The train journey on the Bandhan Express is known for its scenic views and smooth travel experience.
  3. Other Connecting Trains: Apart from the dedicated train services mentioned above, there are also connecting train options available for travelers from Dhaka to Kolkata. These trains may require changing trains at certain junctions along the way. While these trains may have different names and routes, they still provide a convenient means of travel between the two cities. It is essential to check the schedules and timings of these connecting trains to plan your journey accordingly.

It is advisable to book your train tickets in advance, especially during peak travel seasons or festivals, to ensure availability. Ticket bookings can be made through the official websites of the Bangladesh Railway and the Indian Railways, as well as through authorized travel agents.


Each train option offers its own unique features and advantages, allowing travelers to choose the one that best suits their needs. Whichever train service you choose, you can expect a comfortable and memorable journey as you travel from Dhaka to Kolkata.


Ticket Booking and Availability

Booking your train tickets from Dhaka to Kolkata is a fairly straightforward process. Here’s what you need to know about ticket booking and availability:


1. Online Booking: The most convenient way to book your train tickets is through the official websites of the Bangladesh Railway and the Indian Railways. These websites provide user-friendly interfaces that allow you to search for trains, check seat availability, and make bookings online. Simply enter your travel details, select the desired train, and proceed with the payment to confirm your booking. It is advisable to book your tickets in advance, especially during peak travel seasons or festivals, as availability may be limited.


2. Authorized Travel Agents: If you prefer to book your tickets through a travel agent, there are several authorized agents available both online and offline. These agents can assist you in finding the best deals, checking seat availability, and completing the booking process on your behalf. Make sure to choose a reputable travel agent to avoid any fraudulent practices.


3. Ticket Availability: Train ticket availability can vary depending on factors such as the time of travel, train popularity, and advance booking. It is recommended to check the availability well in advance to secure your preferred travel dates and class of travel. Prime travel seasons, weekends, and holidays tend to have higher demand, so it is advisable to book early to avoid disappointment. In case your preferred train is sold out, you can consider alternative train services or check for possible cancellations and last-minute availability.


4. Class of Travel: Train tickets from Dhaka to Kolkata are available in different classes, catering to various budgets and comfort levels. The classes typically include AC First Class, AC Chair Car, and Sleeper Class. The AC classes offer air-conditioned coaches with comfortable seating arrangements, while the Sleeper Class provides berths for overnight journeys. The availability of specific classes may vary depending on the train service you choose, so it is important to check the class availability before booking.


5. Ticket Cancellation and Refunds: If your travel plans change, and you need to cancel or reschedule your train tickets, it is important to be aware of the cancellation and refund policies. Each train service has its own rules and regulations regarding ticket cancellations and refunds. It is advisable to review the terms and conditions at the time of booking to understand the cancellation charges and the process for claiming refunds, if applicable.


By keeping the above information in mind and planning ahead, you can easily book your train tickets from Dhaka to Kolkata, ensuring a hassle-free and enjoyable journey.


Immigration and Customs Procedures

When traveling from Dhaka to Kolkata by train, it is important to be aware of the immigration and customs procedures to ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey. Here’s what you need to know:


1. Immigration: As you approach the border town of Benapole, the train will make a stop for immigration procedures. Passengers are required to disembark from the train and proceed to the immigration counters with their valid travel documents, including passports and visas. The immigration process usually involves passport verification, visa checks, and stamping of exit/entry seals. It is important to have all the necessary documents in order and follow the instructions given by the immigration officials.


2. Customs: After completing the immigration procedures, passengers will proceed to the customs clearance area. Here, you will need to declare any items that require customs inspection, such as valuable goods, electronics, or excessive amounts of currency. It is advisable to familiarize yourself with the customs regulations of both Bangladesh and India to ensure compliance and to avoid any issues with restricted or prohibited items. It is also essential to keep all relevant purchase receipts and invoices for any items you may have purchased during your trip.


3. Luggage Check: During the customs clearance process, your luggage may be subject to random checks or x-ray scans. It is important to cooperate with the customs officials and follow their instructions. Make sure you have packed your belongings securely and have easy access to any items that may require inspection.


4. Restricted and Prohibited Items: To avoid any complications, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with the list of restricted and prohibited items for both Bangladesh and India. Certain items, such as firearms, drugs, and certain food items, are strictly prohibited and can lead to legal consequences if found in your possession. It is recommended to check the official customs websites of both countries or consult with the relevant authorities for the updated list of restricted items.


5. Duty-Free Allowances: Both Bangladesh and India have specific duty-free allowances for certain items, such as alcohol, tobacco, and personal goods. It is important to be aware of these allowances to avoid exceeding the permissible limits and potentially attracting additional duties or penalties. Check the customs regulations of both countries to understand the current duty-free allowances for your travel.


By being aware of the immigration and customs procedures, following the rules and regulations, and having all the necessary documents in order, you can ensure a hassle-free and seamless transit from Dhaka to Kolkata by train.


Facilities and Amenities on the Train

When traveling from Dhaka to Kolkata by train, you can expect a comfortable journey with various facilities and amenities to enhance your travel experience. Here are some of the facilities you can avail on the train:


Seating: The trains operating on the Dhaka to Kolkata route offer comfortable seating options for passengers. The Maitree Express, in particular, provides reclining seats with ample legroom in air-conditioned coaches, ensuring a pleasant and relaxed journey.


Catering Services: Most trains on this route have onboard catering services that offer a selection of meals and snacks. You can enjoy delicious and freshly prepared food during your journey. It is advisable to check whether complimentary meals are included or if you need to purchase meals separately. Dietary preferences and special requests can also be accommodated to a certain extent.


Sanitary Facilities: Train coaches are equipped with clean and functional restroom facilities, including toilets and washrooms. It is advisable to carry personal hygiene products such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and wet wipes for your convenience.


Power Outlets: Many trains provide power outlets near the seats, allowing passengers to charge their electronic devices such as mobile phones, laptops, and cameras during the journey. This ensures that you can stay connected and entertained throughout the trip.


Entertainment: Some trains offer entertainment options such as a television or audio system in the coaches. You can enjoy movies, music, or other forms of entertainment onboard. However, it is advisable to carry your own headphones to enjoy your preferred entertainment without disturbing fellow passengers.


Luggage Storage: The train coaches are equipped with luggage racks or overhead compartments where you can safely store your bags and belongings during the journey. It is recommended to keep your valuable items with you in your personal bag or carry-on for added security.


Security: Trains on the Dhaka to Kolkata route have security measures in place to ensure the safety of passengers and their belongings. However, it is always advisable to keep a close eye on your belongings and avoid leaving them unattended.


Accessibility: Trains are generally designed to be accessible to passengers with physical disabilities or mobility constraints. Special assistance can be requested at the time of booking to ensure a smooth and comfortable journey for everyone.


It is worth noting that the availability and quality of facilities may vary depending on the train service and the class of travel. It is advisable to check the specific amenities provided by your chosen train service at the time of booking.


With these facilities and amenities, your train journey from Dhaka to Kolkata will be comfortable and enjoyable, allowing you to sit back, relax, and make the most of your travel experience.


Tips for a Comfortable Journey

Traveling from Dhaka to Kolkata by train can be an exciting adventure. To ensure a comfortable and enjoyable journey, here are some helpful tips:

  1. Book in Advance: It is advisable to book your train tickets in advance to secure your preferred travel dates and class of travel. This will also allow you to choose the most convenient train service that suits your schedule.
  2. Arrive Early: Reach the station well in advance to avoid any last-minute rush or confusion. It will provide ample time for baggage check-in, completing immigration procedures, and finding your seat on the train.
  3. Pack Light: Avoid carrying excess luggage to make your journey more comfortable. Pack only the essentials and keep in mind the luggage restrictions and storage options available on the train.
  4. Dress Comfortably: Opt for comfortable clothing and footwear that allows ease of movement during the journey. Layering your clothing is a good idea as it allows you to adjust to temperature variations inside the train.
  5. Carry Snacks and Water: While onboard catering services are available, it is a good idea to carry some snacks and a water bottle to keep yourself refreshed during the journey.
  6. Entertainment and Essentials: Carry items such as books, magazines, music, or any other form of entertainment to keep yourself engaged during the journey. Don’t forget to pack essentials like chargers, headphones, and a travel adapter if needed.
  7. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water during the journey to stay hydrated. It is essential to maintain good hydration levels, especially during long train journeys.
  8. Stretch and Move: Take short walks within the train or perform simple stretches to prevent stiffness and fatigue during the journey.
  9. Respect Fellow Passengers: Be mindful of other passengers’ comfort and maintain a reasonable noise level. Avoid loud conversations, especially during nighttime, to ensure a peaceful environment for everyone.
  10. Relax and Enjoy the Journey: Take the opportunity to relax, soak in the views, and enjoy the unique experience of train travel. Use this time to unwind, reflect, or connect with your fellow travelers.

By following these tips, you can make your journey from Dhaka to Kolkata by train a comfortable and memorable experience.


Sightseeing and Popular Attractions in Kolkata

Kolkata, the vibrant cultural hub of India, is a city brimming with history, art, architecture, and culinary delights. When you arrive in Kolkata after your train journey from Dhaka, here are some must-visit attractions and places to explore:

  1. Victoria Memorial: This magnificent white marble structure is an iconic landmark in Kolkata. Built in memory of Queen Victoria, it houses a museum showcasing a vast collection of historical artifacts and artworks.
  2. Howrah Bridge: One of the most recognized symbols of Kolkata, the Howrah Bridge is a cantilever bridge that spans the Hooghly River. Take a walk across the bridge or enjoy a boat ride beneath it to admire its grandeur.
  3. Indian Museum: Established in 1814, the Indian Museum is the oldest and largest museum in India. It features a vast collection of exhibits, including archaeological artifacts, art, fossils, and more.
  4. Dakshineswar Kali Temple: Located on the bank of the Hooghly River, this popular Hindu temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali. It is known for its stunning architecture, intricate artwork, and its association with Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.
  5. Marble Palace: A marvelous mansion turned museum, Marble Palace is renowned for its exquisite marble architecture, beautiful lawns, and a remarkable collection of paintings, sculptures, and antique artifacts.
  6. Science City: A must-visit for science enthusiasts, Science City is a science museum and educational complex that offers interactive exhibits, a planetarium, and a range of other scientific attractions.
  7. Indian Botanic Garden: Also known as the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden, it is one of the oldest and largest botanical gardens in South Asia. Explore its vast collection of flora, including the iconic Great Banyan Tree.
  8. Belur Math: Located on the outskirts of Kolkata, Belur Math is a serene and spiritual place associated with Swami Vivekananda. The tranquil ambiance, magnificent architecture, and the Ramakrishna Mission make it a significant pilgrimage site.
  9. College Street Book Market: Known as the “Boi Para” (Book Lane), College Street boasts an impressive collection of bookstores, second-hand bookshops, and street vendors selling a wide range of books. It is a paradise for book lovers.
  10. Kumartuli: Explore the traditional potters’ quarter of Kumartuli, where talented artisans create beautiful clay idols for Hindu festivals. Witness the craftsmanship firsthand as you walk through the narrow lanes.

These are just a few of the many attractions that Kolkata has to offer. The city is also famous for its street food, cultural festivals, art galleries, theaters, and bustling markets. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor the flavors of Kolkata’s delicious sweets and local delicacies like puchka (pani puri), kathi rolls, and mishti doi (sweet yogurt).


Kolkata’s warmth, charm, and cultural diversity make it a destination worth exploring. So, after your train journey, immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the city and discover the rich heritage and cultural treasures it has to offer.



Traveling from Dhaka to Kolkata by train is an exciting and convenient option that allows you to experience the cultural richness of both Bangladesh and India. Throughout the journey, you’ll witness the beautiful landscapes, immerse yourself in the vibrant cultures, and create memorable experiences.


With train options like the Maitree Express and Bandhan Express, you can enjoy a comfortable journey with amenities such as comfortable seating, onboard catering, and entertainment. It is important to book your tickets in advance and familiarize yourself with the immigration and customs procedures to ensure a smooth transit.


Upon reaching Kolkata, you’ll be greeted by a city that boasts historical landmarks, cultural attractions, and a diverse culinary scene. From the iconic Victoria Memorial and Howrah Bridge to the tranquil Belur Math and bustling College Street Book Market, Kolkata offers something for every traveler.


Remember to pack light, dress comfortably, and be mindful of fellow passengers to ensure a pleasant journey. It is advisable to carry snacks, water, and entertainment options for a more enjoyable experience. Take the time to relax, appreciate the scenic views, and connect with fellow travelers along the way.


Whether you’re embarking on this journey for business or leisure, from the chaos of Dhaka to the charm of Kolkata, the train journey offers a unique perspective into the shared heritage and cultural fusion between the two countries.


So, get ready to embark on a cross-border train adventure from Dhaka to Kolkata and create lifelong memories as you explore the cultural riches of these remarkable destinations.