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Collect moments not things - WEST BENGAL



WEST BENGAL is a state in eastern India, between the Himalayas and the Bay of Bengal. Kolkata, the capital city of West Bengal, is a cultural potpourri, dotted with museums, art galleries, temples and colonial era buildings. One of the most famous of the latter is the Victoria Memorial. People from different sections of the world come to West Bengal for holy pilgrimages as Kolkata is one of the four adi Shaktipeethas. Among the other 52 shaktipeethas, some are located in West Bengal.

In the northern part of the state, Duars with its tea gardens and wide open plains, appears like a well written poetry by nature. In Darjeeling, you find out the reasons behind its being called the “queen of the hills”, and as you go further up, a world symbolizing purity opens itself before your eyes.

Arts and crafts, dance, music and theatre are pursed with a passion, as you find out after staying a while here.


HOW TO REACH

BY AIR

There are two airports in West Bengal- Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, located in Kolkata and Bagdogra airport is a domestic airport located in Bagdogra city. Regular flights operate from major cities of the country and the world. From the airport, tourists can take trains, taxis or buses to reach their destination.

BY RAIL

The state is well-known for its good rail connectivity with different parts of the country. Main railheads are Howrah railway station and Sealdah railway station. Both the rail junctions are located in the capital city Kolkata. Then, there is New Jalpaiguri railway station, located near to Siliguri. Trains connect almost nook and corner of the state.

Even, the Darjeeling Toy Train, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is a scenic rail journey taking to the hill station Darjeeling.

BY ROAD

There is an extensive road network covering the state. The state is connected to different parts of the country via National and state highways. West Bengal is easily accessible via neighboring states like Orissa, Bihar and Jharkhand.


TOURIST ATTRACTIONS IN WEST BENGAL

You can visit the colonial era monuments in Kolkata, or enjoy a day of fun at Nicco Park and Science City. In close proximity to it are cities which are dotted with religious and cultural structures, each of which reflect their glorious past. There are many wildlife sanctuaries in the state where you can enjoy a jungle safari. A cultural tour to the state lets you visit the various pilgrimage destinations. You can visit the colonial era structures, go trekking and enjoy the panoramic views in its gorgeous hill stations.


BEST TIME TO VISIT WEST BENGAL

The best time to visit West Bengal is from the months of October to March. February, March and November particularly lovely in Darjeeling. Remember that the temperature differences between coastal Kolkata and the Himalayas can be huge.


GUIDELINES FOR TOURISTS FOR VISITING WEST BENGAL

· Thermal screening shall be done for all passengers

· It is mandatory for passengers arriving in the state of West Bengal from other states/UT to carry a negative RT-PCR report not earlier than 72 hours from an ICMR approved laboratory. RT-PCR timeline starts from the swab collection time.

· Children below 2 years are exempted from RT-PCR test

· Transit passengers are exempted from RT-PCR test provided they do not exit the airport premises


COVID-19 alert: Travel requirements are changing rapidly, including need for pre-travel COVID-19 testing and quarantine on arrival.


PLACES TO VISIT IN WEST BENGAL

West Bengal is as much a historical destination as a cultural one, and there are several cities where you can observe its fascinating past. The various structures dotting these towns and cities trace their origins to the medieval and colonial era.

KOLKATA: CITY OF JOY


Kolkata is India’s second-largest city and the face of West Bengal. This dynamic 350-year-old city situated on India’s Eastern Coast is the capital of West Bengal. Also known as the ‘City of Joy’, Kolkata is overflowing with liveliness. One can expect to be charmed by the cheap cost of things, the hand-pulled-rickshaws, wandering avenues, and a countless assortment of desserts. Kolkata, the capital city of West Bengal, is a cultural potpourri, dotted with museums, art galleries, temples and colonial era buildings. One of the most famous of the latter is the Victoria Memorial. Recognisable from a distance by its Angel of Victory which sits atop the structure and blows with the wind, it consists of 25 galleries housing a remarkable collection of paintings, artefacts, textiles, coins and possessions belonging to the Queen.

BEST TIME TO VISIT : During Durga Puja / Christmas (October-December)

FAMOUS FOR culture history festival


HOW TO REACH

BY AIR: Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport (7 km from the main city) is easily accessible from all the major cities.

BY TRAIN: One can travel by train till the Howrah Junction, and take a cab to the booked place of stay.

BY ROAD: Kolkata is well-connected by road from all the major cities of India.

PLACES TO VISIT IN KOLKATA

· Howrah Bridge

· Jorasanko Thakurbari

· Park Street

· Indian Museum

· Victoria Memorial

· Dakshineswar Kali Temple

· St. Paul’s Cathedral, Kolkata

· Kalighat Kali Temple

· Science City Kolkata

· Mother House



DARJEELING: QUEEN OF THE HILL


I'd always prefer Darjeeling tea

over a cup of coffee



Most famous for its lush tea gardens, Darjeeling is one of India's top 10 hill stations. Most of the top things to do in Darjeeling center around tea. However, the town is blessed with a stunning view of Mount Kanchenjunga (the world's third highest peak) and has some interesting monasteries, local markets, handicrafts, and Tibetan and Nepalese food. Before being developed by the British in the mid-19th century, Darjeeling was part of the kingdom of Sikkim and was also temporarily ruled by invading Gorkhas from Nepal. This gives the town a distinctly different culture to other tourist places in the state. To get there, travel on the historic Darjeeling mountain railway toy train. Don't visit during the monsoon season though -- the region is one of the wettest places in India.


BEST TIME TO VISIT Winter Season (October – December)

FAMOUS FOR tea, nature, landscape


HOW TO REACH

BY AIR: One can take a flight to Bagdogra, and book a taxi to Darjeeling (67.4 km).

BY TRAIN: Darjeeling’s nearest train station is Jalpaiguri (71.3 km).

BY ROAD: Darjeeling takes an approximate travel time of fourteen hours (614 km) from Kolkata

LOCATION: About 600 km, north of Kolkata, at the base of the Eastern Himalayas.


PLACES TO VISIT IN DARJEELING

· Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

· Singalila National Park

· Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park

· Tiger Hill

· Observatory Hill

· Happy Valley Tea Estate

· Japanese Peace Pagoda

· Neora Valley National Park

· Mirik

· Rock Garden

· Kurseong – Land Of White Orchids

· Bagdogra

· Kanchenjunga

· Sandakphu

· Batasia Loop

· Lava

· Everest Museum

· Barbotey Rock Garden

· Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary

Trekking, river rafting, and bird watching are some of the activities that you can indulge in Darjeeling apart from enjoying sightseeing and the Toy-Train ride.


THE SUNDARBANS: LAND OF MANGROVES



Sundarbans is a mangrove area in the delta formed by the confluence of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna Rivers in the Bay of Bengal. It spans from the Hooghly River in India's state of West Bengal to the Baleswar River in Bangladesh's division of Khulna. Four protected areas in the Sundarbans are enlisted as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, viz. Sundarbans National Park, Sundarbans West, Sundarbans South and Sundarbans East Wildlife Sanctuaries. Sundarban National Park, forming the core area of Sundarban Tiger Reserve has also received recognition as World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987. It is to be noted that Sundarban Tiger Reserve has the highest tiger population in the world.


BEST TIME TO VISIT : October-Number

FAMOUS FOR world heritage site


HOW TO REACH

BY AIR: Kolkata is the nearest airport (101 km) to Sundarbans.

BY TRAIN: One can take either take a train from Canning, located 48 km away from the forest.

BY ROAD: A lot of buses ply from Kolkata (101 km) on a daily basis.

Location: 100 Km, southeast of Kolkata.


PLACES TO VISIT IN SUNDARBANS

· Sudhanyakhali Watch Tower

· Sajnekhali Watch Tower

· Netidhopani

· Sunderbans National Park

· Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary



BANKURA



Bankura is on the west of the state of West Bengal. Bankura district is also famous for Mukutmonipur, which is situated on the confluence of Rivers Kansabati and Kumari. There is a lake in Mukutmonipur that offers a stunning reflection of the azure sky above making it a delightful site to see.

Apart from the historic side, Bankura has an artistic face too. It has tourist attractions that boast of its historical importance and destinations that challenge you to trek and hike. Here are some leading destinations in Bankura.


BEST TIME TO VISIT : October-March

FAMOUS FOR history art and culture


HOW TO REACH

AIR: Netaji Subhas Chandra Airport is the nearest airport with the best international and domestic connectivity. A road journey from here to Bankura will take about 4 h 24 min (221 km).

RAIL: Bankura has a good connectivity to the rest of Indian states through a stopover at Howrah Junction railway station (HWH) and Sealdah railway station (SDAH) in Kolkata.

ROAD: The many private run and several state run buses by many government agencies which connect Bankura to other parts of West Bengal and even to neighbouring states like Jharkhand.


PLACES TO VISIT IN BANKURA

· Biharinath Hill

· Susunia Hills

· Mukutmonipur Dam

· Rasmancha

· Garh Darwaja

· Krishna-Balaram Temple

· Ganesh and Nandi Statue



KALIMPONG: BEAUTIFUL HIL TOWN



Kalimpong is a sleepy little hamlet in the northern region of Darjeeling.It is popular for its panoramic valley views, Buddhists monasteries, churches and Tibetan handicrafts. As per the Lepchas, Kalimpong means 'ridge where we play'. It is said that these local tribesmen used to organise field sports when they weren't engaged in agricultural pursuit hence it is the named so.


BEST TIME TO VISIT September to December

FAMOUS FOR sightseeing, Buddhists monasteries

HOW TO REACH

BY AIR: Bagdogra is the nearest airport (76 km) to Kalimpong.

BY TRAIN: One can either take a train till Siliguri (67.3 km) or New Jalpaiguri (72.2 km), and commence the rest of the journey by road.

BY ROAD: One can take a private bus to Kalimpong from Bagdogra (79 km) or Siliguri (70 km).


Places to Visit in Kalimpong

· Deolo Hill

· Dr. Graham’s Home

· Kalimpong Cactus Nursery

· Pine View Nursery

· Jaldhaka River Valley

· Tharpa Choeling Gompa

· Zong Dog Palri Fo-Brang Gompa

· Tongsa Gompa

· Lolegaon – Untapped Beauty


SILIGURI: GATEWAY TO NORTH EAST



One of the most beautiful tourist places in West Bengal, Siliguri is home to an international airport and usually acts as a stop before tourists go and explore the other cities. Known as ‘Gateway to North East India’, Siliguri is blessed with a strategic location. This serene city is famous for tea, timber, music scene, wildlife and a monastery (Salugara).


BEST TIME TO VISIT January-February

FAMOUS FOR history and culture


HOW TO REACH

BY AIR: Take a flight to Bagdogra Airport. Alternatively, one can fly to Kolkata Airport (574 km) and take a bus or train from there.

BY TRAIN: Siliguri has train connectivity from all major railway stations. It has a good connectivity to the rest of Indian states as many expressway trains have a stoppage here.

BY ROAD: One can also avail bus service to Siliguri from Kolkata (558 km).


PLACES TO VISIT IN SILIGURI

· Kali Mandir

· Chilapata Forests

· Salugara Monastery

· Coronation Bridge

· Mahananda Weir Wildlife Sanctuary


BISHNUPUR



Bishnupur, the temple town in the Bankura district of West Bengal is welcoming you with its lavish heritage, proud culture, brilliant architecture and tales of terracotta. It’s known for its Hindu temples made from local terracotta,such as the pyramid-shaped Rasmancha, established around 1600. Ornate carvings adorn the walls of Jor Bangla Temple. North, Madan Mohan Temple is decorated with scenes from Hindu legends, including the "Mahabharata.


BEST TIME TO VISIT winter: October to march

FAMOUS FOR Land of Terracotta Temples


HOW TO REACH

BY AIR: Imphal airport is the nearest airport from Bishnupur and is located at a distance of 23 kms from Bishnupur. Kolkata is the nearest airport (139.4 km) to Bishnupur.

BY TRAIN: Bankura railway station is the closest (6 km) to Bishnupur.

BY ROAD: Bishnupur is 150 km away from Kolkata by road.

LOCATION: About 140 km northwest of Kolkata.


PLACES TO VISIT

· Jorebangla Temple

· Rasmancha

· Pancha Ratna Temple

· Radha Govinda Temple

· Gate of Old Fort

· Keibul Lamjao National Park

· Loukoipat Ecological Park

· Sarbamangala Temple



DIGHA



Situated on the shores of Bay of Bengal, Digha is a popular tourist destination known for its untouched beaches, scenic views, religious temples, and museums. Originally known as Beerkul, the town of Digha was discovered in the late 18th century by the British.

Being a seaside resort town, Digha naturally boasts of a number of stunning beaches such as New Digha Beach, Udaipur Beach, Talseri Beach, Chandpur Beach, and Shankarpur Beach. Surrounded by Casuarinas trees, chilling at these beaches, swimming in the clear waters, or simply lying down admiring the view is a blissful experience.


BEST TIME TO VISIT DIGHA: October to February

FAMOUS FOR unspoiled beach


PEAK SEASON: November to January


HOW TO REACH

BY AIR: Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata is the nearest airport which is about 177 km from Digha.

BY TRAIN: Nearest Train Station is Digha Railway Station (0 Kms). One can take either board on a train from Howrah Station (179.6 km) to reach this beautiful place.

BY ROADS: Nearest bus Station is Digha bus station (0.5 Kms). One can also hop into a bus from Kolkata (179.6 km) to reach here.


PLACES TO VISIT IN DIGHA

· Talsari Beach

· Shankarpur Beach

· Amarabati Park

· Marine Aquarium & Regional Centre

· Chandaneswar Temple

· Udaipur Sea Beach

· Chandpur Beach

· Mandarmani

· Tajpur Beach

· New digha


JALPAIGURI



This town with a unique name is a haven for nature aficionados and is counted among West Bengal’s famous places. Jalpaiguri enjoys excellent topographical advantage that it receives many tourists who are passionate about enjoying the bliss of nature. Since it is easy to access Darjeeling and Sikkim Himalayas from here.Jalpaiguri has impressive wildlife comprising otters, one-horned rhinoceros, barking dears, leopards and more, thanks to its favourable climatic conditions. Jalpaiguri is also recognised for its exquisite wooden and jute handicrafts.


BEST TIME TO VISIT : October – March


HOW TO REACH

BY AIR: Bagdogra is the nearest airport to Jalpaiguri (51 km).

BY TRAIN: One can take a train till Siliguri, and commence the later part of the journey by road (51 km).

BY ROAD: Siliguri Rd connects Jalpaiguri to NH27.


PLACES TO VISIT

· Gorumara National Park

· Buxa Tiger Reserve

· Mendabari Fort

· The Baptist Church

· Panjhora River

· Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary

· Lataguri – Into The Nature



MIDNAPORE



The town Midnapore, also called as Medinipur, is situated in the west of Medinipur District. It is a famous pilgrim centers as it is home to some ancient temples and mosques. Having contributed many freedom fighters for independence, the land has monuments built in memory of the war heroes. Here are some attractions in Midnapore. A quaint little city in West Bengal, Midnapore reflects the true culture of West Bengal.


HOW TO REACH

AIR: Netaji Subhas Chandra Airport is the nearest airport with the best international and domestic connectivity. A road journey from here to Midnapore will take about 2 hrs 48 min (129 km).

RAIL: Midnapore Railway Station (MDN) in the city is connected to cities in West Bengal.

ROAD: The many private run and several state run buses by many government agencies which connect Midnapore to other parts of West Bengal and even to neighbouring states like Jharkhand.

Interconnectivity Take a bus from Kolkata.

FAMOUS FOR history, temple, culture


PLACES TO VISIT IN MIDNAPORE

· Jora Masjid

· John’s Church

· Kali Temple

· Chandrakona

· Tamluk

· Dantan

· Jhargram

· Umapati shiv mandir

· Malancha

· Kurumbera fort

· Bahiri

· Garbeta

· Bargabheema Temple

· Keshiari


HOOGHLY



Probably one of the most famous places in West Bengal, Hooghly is reckoned to be the place, where Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Sarada Devi stayed for several years. It also has historical significance as it was colonized by Portuguese, French and the Dutch and one can still see the influence of the colonization in the architecture here. So, this moderately bustling destination is for those who enjoy spending time exploring the stories of glorious past.

FAMOUS FOR History and Legacy


HOW TO REACH: Take a bus from Kolkata. It is located 47 km away from Kolkata.


PLACES TO VISIT

· Kamarpukur – A Serene Abode

· Chandannagar Museum

· Serampore

· Bhadreswar

· Tarakeshwar Temple

· Hooghly Imambara

· Hangseshwari Temple

· Deer Park

· Sri Ramakrishna Math

· Garh Mandaran



SHANTINIKETAN



A small town near Bolpur in the Birbhum district, Shantiniketan is known better as the Treasure Trove of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore. This small town is situated about 212 kms and home to a university town, Visva-Bharati. Tagore founded an Ashram here in 1863 and became the initiator of the Brahmo Samaj. The Shantiniketan campus is adorned with splendid sculptures, frescoes, murals, and paintings of Rabindranath, Nandalal Bose, Ramkinkar, Binodbehari Mukhopadhyay.


BEST TIME TO VISIT festivals like Poush Mela (December), Joydev Mela (January), Basanta Utsav (Holi)( in March ).


HOW TO REACH

The best and easiest way to reach Shantiniketan is by train. The Bolpur railway station is located a mere 2-3km from Shantiniketan and is very well connected with Howrah and Sealdah stations in Kolkata. There are a large number of trains that have regular train services between Howrah, Sealdah and Bolpur.


PLACES TO VISIT IN SHANTINIKETAN

· Tagore’s ashrarm

· Prayer hall- upsana ghar

· Kala bhawan

· Deer park shantiniketan

· Poush mela

· Amar kutir

· Rabindra bhaban museum

· Chattimtala

· Khoai mela

DOOARS



The Dooars or Duars is the gateway to the neighbouring nation of Bhutan. Divided by the Sankosh River into two areas namely Eastern and Western Dooars, the region is lavish with countless rivers such as Torsa, Raidak, Kaljani and Dyna. it is ideal for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. the region is konown for wildlife sanctuaries. The region is also famed for cultivating high-grade betel nuts. Dooars stunning surrounding makes it perfect destination.


BEST TIME TO VISIT: July-August

FAMOUS FOR tea garden, forest, Teesta river.


HOW TO REACH

BY AIR: One can take a flight till Bagdogra (83 km) and cover the rest of the journey by train or road.

BY TRAIN: Madarihaat is the nearest station (17 km) to Dooars.

BY ROAD: One can hop into a bus from Kolkata (625 km) and reach here.


PLACES TO VISIT

· Gorumura national park

· Buxa tiger reserve

· Alipurduar

· Chapramari wildlife park

· Suntalekhola

· Neora valley

· Samsing

· Phuntsholing

· Lava- loaygoan

· Jaldapara wildlife sanctuary

What’s special: Captivating mountainscapes.


GANGA SAGAR: AN ISLAND ADVENTURE



Situated 100 km away from Kolkata, Ganga Sagar is a prominent island in West Bengal. The island lies on the Continental Shelf of the Bay of Bengal and is offers a paradisiacal escape to tourists. With a world-renowned annual fair that attracts even international pilgrims, the island boasts a prominent ashram – Kapil Muni Ashram. Featuring the astonishing ocean – the Bay of Bengal, this island is certainly a major tourist spot in West Bengal.


BEST TIME TO VISIT October to december


HOW TO REACH:

AIR: The nearest airport to Gangasagar is the Kolkata International Airport which is situated at a distance of around 129 km.

RAIL: Kirnahar is the nearest railhead to Gangasagar which is located at a distance of 6.4 km. Other railheads such as the Salar Railway Station, Chowhatta Narogage Railway Station, Katwa Railway station and Ahmad Pur Railway Station are situated at a distance of 16.7 km, 19.3 km, 25.1 km and 25.4 km, respectively. There are various other railheads too from where one can reach the holy place of Gangasagar.

BUS: Board a Kakdwip-bound bus from Esplanade (90 km) to Harwood Point and it takes around three hours to travel. After crossing the river Muriganga by boat, you can reach Kachuberia. From Kachuberia, a bus service is there that takes you to Gangasagar (30km) within an hour.


PLACES TO VISIT IN GANGASAGAR

· The Gangasagar Beach

· Gangasagar Mela

· Kamil Muni Mandir

· The Sagar Lighthouse

· Bharat Sewa Ashram


BARRACKPORE



Barrackpore is headquarters of the highly urbanised Barrackpore subivision in North 24 Parganas district, in Southeast Bengal. It is part of the Northern fringes of Kolkata.Relics Of British RajBarrackpore, the land rich in natural beauty, is of high historical importance too. It was here where the famous Sepoy Mutiny originated. History buffs should also head to Barrackpore, where the British set up their first military barrack or cantonment in India in 1772, to explore some relics of the Raj era. After the British gained control of India, the area was transformed into a retreat for the Kolkata-based governors-general and viceroys. Barrackpore started losing its sheen after the British capital was shifted to Delhi. However, the heritage buildings and park were recently restored, and a museum constructed. Notably, the city was home to some important members of the Indian independence movement. In fact, Barrackpore was the scene of an incident widely credited with starting the Indian Rebellion of 1857.


HOW TO REACH

TRAIN: From Sealdah station (Eastern Railways), Main Section, almost all trains stop at Barrackpore. The trip takes around 35 mins. Other routes connect to it through the Sealdah north section.

ROAD : You can reach Barrackpore from Kolkata through B.T. (Barrackpore Trunk ) Road. Kalyani Expressway (From Kalyani to Birati) bypasses the Barrackpore outskirts. Nearest point of Belgharia Expressway, which becomes National Highway 6 (NH6) is just 10 kilometer away from Barrackpore.

FERRY: Ferry Services connect it to Srirampore (Dhobie Ghat), Sheoraphuli (2 paisa Ghat) and Baidyabati (Badamtala Ghat).


PLACES TO VISIT IN BARRACKPORE

· Tarakeswar Temple

· Mangal Pandey Park

· Gandhi Museum

· Jawahar Kunj Garden

· Gandhi Ghat

· Bartholomew Cathedral

· Indira Gandhi Water Treatment










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