West Bengal Tourism - Welcoming Vacationers Far and Wide
How much can a state along the mighty Ganges offer a travel-hungry soul? Where all the guesses fall short but the variety of land doesn’t, we call it West Bengal. The West Bengal tourism offers ranges of the mountains to waves of the seas and makes sure to feed every wanderlust with a full three-course meal of adventure and desserts of fun.
Located between the mountains of the humongous Himalayas and the seas of Bay of Bengal and intertwined with the Ganges, West Bengal is abundant with various cultures, religions, architectures, ethnicities, landscapes, and lastly history and heritage. West Bengal tourism attracts a vast number of tourists every year with its extensive palette of colors and irresistible quench for more throughout the year.
In the tropical- humid subtropical climatic conditions that prevail in the state, the best time to visit West Bengal is from October to March. During this period, the weather remains pleasant and cold, marking the winter season and is favorable for both the hill stations and the sea-beaches.
West Bengal restaurants usually offer diverse cuisines, which are not just regional foods but also dishes from all over the country and the world. Though fish remains a specialty of the region, Bengal is also famous for its variant of Biriyani, Chinese foods, and several North Indian adaptations. In a place where streets are known for foods, one needs to explore the diversities to get the best in their plates. One must-have item for the non-vegetarians out there is the Golbari Mutton, which originated in Golbari, Shyambazar, Kolkata.
West Bengal tourism offers a variety of landscapes. While the most popular places to visit in West Bengal remain its capital, Kolkata; hill stations like Darjeeling; sea beaches like Digha, Tajpur; West Bengal; also offer the land of red soils, Birbhum, and several other mystical and offbeat places that can take our breaths away. Here is a small West Bengal Tourism guide for the ones looking for it -
1. Murshidabad - Another vital area that covers the West Bengal Tourism is Murshidabad. Famous for the Nawabs and British, this place is filled with Imambaras, Mosques, Palaces, and Jheels. Located in the eastern banks of the Hooghly River, the district is perfect for photographers and people who have a keen interest in history.
How to reach - Several trains from Kolkata and Sealdah depart almost every day to Murshidabad and usually takes 5-6 hours to reach. It is also accessible via National Highway 12.
Things to do here: built on a massive 41 acres of land, on the banks of river Bhagirathi, Hazarduari Palace or the Palace with 1000 doors is a magnificent creation that attracts tourists. This gives a view of grandeur in Nawabi style. Built on the northern side of this palace, lies the huge Nizmat Imambara and the biggest mosque in Bengal after the famous Siraj-Ud-Daula. Located on the east side of the palace lies the Footi Mosque. Some other significant places are Moti Jheel, Wasif Manzil, and many more, which reflect the mixtures of Indian, Nawabi, and British lifestyles.
2. Dooars - As the name suggests, ‘doors’ in the Bengali language, the place acts as a gateway to Bhutan. Connected all over through Bengal and Assam, this land is a pot of gold for wildlife lovers and the ones searching for tranquility. This home of tribals gives visitors a chance to look into the cultures and rich diversities that West Bengal tourism offers.
How to reach: though there are very few trains that make Dooars directly linked to Kolkata (Sealdah Station), one can make amends by using a connective journey of roads and railways. The nearest station is New Mal Junction, the other being the New Jalpaiguri Junction.
Things to do here: One can visit the Gorumara National Park for jungle safari and spot the wild rhinos as they proceed. A paradise for the bird watchers, Chukchuki Bird-Watching Point, serves the interests of all. The adventure seekers can find their soul in the Rocky Islands, which offers trekking, rock climbing, rappelling, and what not! On the way to the picturesque villages of Bindu across the Indo-Bhutan border, one can find several tea estates, forests, and rivers as they move forward the soothing roads.
3. Sundarbans - The mangrove tree area famous for its boat trips and views of the ghostly Royal Bengal Tigers is not just a weekend getaway for the locals but also attracts tourists worldwide. Surrounded by rivers, this place is the hub for all wildlife enthusiasts and photographers and offers a peaceful vacation amidst waterways and forests. Also granted a World Heritage by UNESCO, the Sundarbans are a part of the largest delta in the world.
How to reach: The nearest railway station being Canning, one can take suburban trains from Kolkata to Canning and then use the road services to reach Namkhana, Sonadighi, etc. where the ferry services are available to port through the Sundarbans.
Things to do here: Apart from spotting the Royal Bengal Tigers from boats and watchtowers, one can also enjoy the surreal sights or the river dolphins that swim across the rivers in daylight along with the scary crocodiles which are often found sleeping on the banks. Hub for the wildlife enthusiasts, the Sundarbans also offers a chance for bird watching in the Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary. One can take a tour of the culturally diverse local villages and plan Night Safari to witness the famous and mystical and rare Phytoplanktons.
4. Digha - Located on the shores of Bay of Bengal, Digha acts as a weekend getaway for the locals and tourists nation-wide. The low budget escape offers tourists peaceful, relaxing, and fun vacations with a vast number of deluxe resorts, spas, and decent hotels. From museums to magnetic sea beaches, temples, restaurants, exotic sea-food cuisines, Digha offers travelers the magic experience of traveling. One can visit with friends, family, couples, or even alone.
How to reach: Just the 4 hours distance from Kolkata to Digha makes the place a hot-spot for the locals. It is accessible via roads and railways, for instance, Duronto Express that leaves from Howrah Station (Kolkata) almost every day reaches Digha in just 2 hours and 30mins.
Things to do here: One can walk around and enjoy the various sea beaches like Shankarpur Beach, New Digha Beach, Mandarmani, Talasari Beach, Tajpur beach, and several others, all giving a whole new experience of the beach life. Udaipur beach, nearly 4kms away from Digha, offers the most untouched and scenic beauty of the place. The Digha Science center, which offers the Jurassic Age Park is a major attraction for people of all age groups.
5. Bolpur - Located in the district of Birbhum, the land of red soils, Bolpur is the city of music, literature, art. What used to be a small village previously, with the influences of Maharshi Debendranath Tagore and Rabindranath Tagore, who built the famous Shantiniketan and Visva Bharati University, Bolpur got extended and got in the form of which it is today. The home of thousands of folklores, folk music, and artists who represent the Bengal cultures is connected to Bangladesh in surreal ways. One can find the right Bengali aesthetics and spirits in these areas. Bengal is famous for art and crafts, and one of its specialties is the usage of Terracotta in pottery. The finest of them can be found in the whole district of Birbhum and some other places. Overall this place attracts national and international tourists throughout the year for educational or entertainment purposes, but summers are to be excluded.
How to reach - With numerous trains from Howrah and Sealdah departing every day, it’s just a maximum of 3 hours distance from Kolkata to Bolpur, Shantiniketan. It is also accessible via roads and takes almost the same time.
Things to do here: Bolpur offers the traditional side of Bengal, and one such example of it is Khoai Mela, which is held every Saturday and is the place where local handmade artifacts can be found at cheap rates. For the spiritual souls, The Kankalitala Temple is a special attraction that is considered to be of immense powers. One can spend the afternoons and evenings in the Shayor Bithi Park, which consists of lakes, playgrounds for kids, and a calm and quiet environment. It is also famous for the Basanta Utsav that takes place every year during the time of Holi and gets massively overcrowded.
6. Kolkata - Formerly known as Calcutta, the heart and pride of the state was once the capital of the country during the British Raaj. Thus, the remains of the lineage can be found in almost every big building of central Calcutta. The Tram service in Kolkata, operating since 1902, is the oldest in Asia, and the only one is remaining in India. Also, being the hometown of numerous intellects like Rabindranath Tagore, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, and fearless revolutionaries like Subhas Chandra Bose, Aurobindo Ghosh, and many others, Bengal is rich with literature and several forms of art.
Things to do here: The film festivals and several other art festivals curated and celebrated in the state attract a vast number of audiences worldwide. Famous for street foods and the winding roads with colorful old buildings, the best way to explore north Kolkata is by hand-pulled rickshaws; tram service for the central part which is also the shopping hub where every real thing can be found from cheap products to extremely pricey antiques; and lastly the metro service for the southern part which is also the first in the country.
7. Darjeeling - Also referred to as the Queen of Hills, Darjeeling is filled with scenic landscapes and Tibetan influences. Touching the Shivalik range of the Himalayas, Darjeeling offers a great view of the Kanchenjunga and rivers like Teesta, Torsha, and many others as they flow alongside the curvy black roads.
How to reach: With the Baghdogra airport and overnight trains from Kolkata (Sealdah Station) to New Jalpaiguri station, Darjeeling has been made not just easily commutable from Kolkata but from all over the country.
Things to do here: Tiger hill, the highest peak in Darjeeling, offers a spectacular view of the sunrise added with some other viewpoints like Batasia Loop, which gives the full look of the town. Several adventure sports are available like river rafting in the Teesta River, small treks to Sandakphu, and it also offers a chance to explore the wildlife in Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park. Famous for the tea estates, Darjeeling is filled with cafes and restaurants, providing all kinds of exotic cuisines and savories for the food lovers out there. Lastly, one must not forget to hop on the Toy Train that runs on the narrow gauge amidst the scenic beauty that has been granted heritage status by UNESCO.
When visiting a place, the fundamental things that need to be considered after selecting the spots are hotels and resorts. With time and evolution, even the most offbeat areas with very low tourism activities also now have the facilities of a safe, comfortable, and luxurious stay, according to one's requirements.
Club Mahindra with its Mount Milestone Hotel and Banquet offers a comfortable and luxurious stay in Siliguri for everyone with every needed facility like Wi-Fi connection, parking, multi-cuisine restaurants, laundry service, parking and also, therapy room. Summit Hermon Resort and Spa, offers the best experience of traveling and relaxation all together in the heart of Darjeeling with its luxurious and comfy rooms, spas and restaurant.
These hotels not only enhance the joy of traveling but also indulge in giving a glimpse of the local life, and the cultures of that place. With the celebration of various local festivals and various local foods and dishes these hotels let the fellow travelers get an enriched idea of the culture of that landscape.
West Bengal being a diverse state which holds numerous cultures, religions, landscapes, offers tourists a different travel experience. When it comes to traveling, the motives behind them get fair importance. Some travel to find an escape from the regularities of life, some travel to explore and gather knowledge, some travel to serve their inner peace and spiritual need, some travel for adventure with a 'carpe diem' perspective, some travel for work or educational purposes and some travel purposelessly and let the place surprise them with its beauty. Though everyone has different needs and purposes, West Bengal tourism serves everyone in their different ways. This celebration of difference can be seen in the landscapes itself.
Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Limited (MHRIL), India’s leading player in the leisure hospitality industry, offers quality family holidays as also stated by Club Mahindra Resort Reviews, primarily through vacation ownership memberships. While Club Mahindra Membership Fees gives you opportunity to explore your holidays across world, the other brands offered by the company are – Club Mahindra Resorts Fundays and Svaastha Spa. As on Mar 31, 2019, MHRIL has 61+ resorts across India and abroad and its subsidiary, Holiday Club Resorts Oy, Finland, a leading vacation ownership company in Europe has 33 resorts across Finland, Sweden and Spain. Visit us at www.clubmahindra.com