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West Bengal Tourism

 
 

 

West Bengal
 
Calcutta, three hundred years old, traces its history to the landing of Robert Clive on the banks of the Hooghly beside three villages. It was from here the monumental British Raj was launched in India. The capital of West Bengal, Calcutta is the major entry point. Poets, thinkers and film directors of international renown hail from this city. Some of the best known monuments of the British Raj were built here. Sightseeing in this fascinating city includes Raj Bhawan, the residence of the Governor of Bengal, Victoria Memorial, the city’s landmark, Botanical Gardens, which are notable for the oldest banyan tree, and orchid house, Armenian Church, Marble Palace, one family’s collection of memorabilia and the Birla Planetarium. Darjeeling, the state’s most popular hill resort, is a slice of England 2,134 meters above sea level. Surrounded by tea gardens growing the prized leaf known as Darjeeling, the little town faces some of the Himalaya’s highest peaks. Darjeeling is
an abrupt variation from the lowlands of West Bengal. Buddhism, being a major faith here, Darjeeling and the nearby town of Kalimpong have, between them, several Buddhist monasteries, chiefly of the Yellow Hat sect.
 
   
   
Calcutta

Grown from mangrove swamps, Calcutta is the largest metropolis in India. Calcutta's role in the national economy is of crucial importance as the Gateway to Eastern India. Ships were the beginning of Calcutta's history & the river Hoogly was the key to the city's fortunes. Vishnupur is famous for the exquisite 17th & 18th century terracotta temples, Seat of classical music. The Stylized, "Bankura horse" symbolic of excellence in rural handicrafts is native to this district. Belur Math is a modern temple within the grounds of the Ramakrishna Mission. Dakshineshwar Temple, dedicated to Kali is built in the architectural style of Bengal.


Area: 187 sq. kms. Altitude: 5.8 meters. Climate (deg c): Summer- Max. 41.7, Min. 38.1. Winter- Max. 29.3, Min. 9.6. Rainfall: 158 cms June to Mid September. Clothing: Tropical. Languages Spoken: Bengali, English, Hindi. Season: Throughout the year.

Places Of Interest:
Belur Math, Botanical Garden, Dakshineshwar Temple, Howarh Bridge, Jain Temple, Kali Temple, Marble Palace, Nakhoda Mosque, National Library, Rabindra Sarobar, Raj Bhavan, Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Sahid Minar (Ochterlony Monument), St.Paul's Cathedral, Victoria Memorial, Zoological Gardens.

Museums an Art Galleries:
Academy of Fine Arts, Birla Academy of Art & Culture, Birla Industrial & Technological Museum, Birla Planetarium, Gurusaday Museum, Nehru Children's Museum, Rabindra Bharati Museum, State Archaeological Gallery, Victoria Memorial Hall Museum. 

Excursions:
Digha Beach- 185 kms, Santiniketan- 213 kms, Bakkhali Beach- 132 kms, Chandannagar- 39 kms, Diamond Harbour- 51 kms, Sundarban- 131 kms, Tribani- 48 kms, Gangasagar- 140 kms, Malda- 340 kms, Kalna- 82 kms, Navadweep- 110 kms, Mayapur- 134 kms, Murshidabad- 221 kms, Vishnupur- 152 kms, Belur Math- 16 kms, Dakshineshwar Temple- 20 kms, Botanical Gardens- 8 kms, Murshidabad- 221 kms, Shantiniketan- 167 kms. 

Reach -
By Air: Well Connected with the major cities.
By Rail: Howrah and Sealdah are the main railway stations in Calcutta. Calcutta is well Connected with the major cities.
By Road: Well Connected with the major cities.
 
   
   
Sunderbans


The biggest colony of the `Royal Bengal Tigers' - the Sundarbans. These evergreen mangrove forests pulsate with a myriad forms of life. Above the Kingfisher and White-bellied Sea eagle add a brilliant burst of colour. The sea creeps in at high tide. The ebbing waters reveal nature so alive on the glistening mud flats. The land is split by numerous rivers and water channels all emptying into the Bay of Bengal. It is believed that Bonbibi, the goddess of the forest, protects the wood-cutters, honey-collectors and fishermen on their hazardous missions. For, as the saying
goes, `Here the Tiger is always watching you'. Some people, believe that they could," however, have got their name from the profusion of Sundari trees. Some wild creatures are spotted deer, boar, monkey, crocodile, python, Salvatore lizards, and a wide range of water birds.

Area: 2608 sq. kms. Altitude: Sea Level. Temperature (deg C): Summer- Max. 42, Min. 37. Winter- Max. 29, Min. 9.2. Clothing: Summer- Tropical/Cotton, Winter- Woolens. Languages spoken: Bengali, Hindi, English. Best season: September to March. July to September for Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary.

Reach -
By Air: Nearest airport is Calcutta- 131 kms which is connected with all major cities in India.
By Rail: From Calcutta there are suburban train to Canning and buses to Namkhana, Raidighi, Sonakhali and Najat from where Motor launch services are available for Sundarbans.
By Road: Namkhana- 105 kms, Sonakhali- 100 kms, Raidighi- 76 kms, Canning- 64 kms, Najat- 92 kms.
 
   
   
Jaldapara Sanctuary

Jaldapara Wild Life Sanctuary situated in Alipurduar Sub-Division of Jalpaiguri district in West Bengal was constituted in the year of 1941 for the protection of wild life, particularly single horned Rhinos. River Torsha runs through this river rain forest sanctuary which is mostly covered with tall grasses. The wild life, in addition to the famous single horned rhinos, consists of Royal Bengal Tigers, wild elephants, deers, swamp deers, hog deers, wild pigs, bisons and a number of birds, pea-fowl etc.

Area: 100 sq. kms. Altitude: 61 meters. Best season: October to May. (Particularly March & April, when new grass is growing). Clothing: Summer- Cottons, Winter- Woolens. Languages spoken: Bengali, Hindi, Nepali, English.

Excursions:
Nearby Tea Gardens and- Tribal Village, TOTOPARA.

Reach -
By Air: Bagdogra is the nearest airport-Shiliguri to Bagdogra - 13 kms.
By Rail: All the mail & express trains stop at Birpara/Hasimara railway stations both are 20 kms away from the sanctuary.
By Road: Jaldapara is connected with Darjeeling and Shiliguri. By Road: Darjeeling-Shiliguri-Jalpaiguri- ( via New Teesta Bridge)- Mainaguri- Dhupguri- Gairkata- Birpara- Madarihat- 224 kms.
 
   
   
Bakkhali

The second popular sea resort of West Bengal is Bakkhali , situated only 132 kms away from Calcutta , It is quiet and charming.

Reach -
By Rail: There is also a train service from Sealdah station upto Diamond Harbour. Namkhana is 58 km from diamond harbour. Kumardhubi- 10kms and Barakar- 12kms are the nearest railway stations. Asansol Junction is about 35 kms from here.
By Road: Dhanbad- 50 kms.
 
   
   
Shantiniketan

Shantiniketan is an International University founded by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore where the cultures of the East & the West could meet and mingle. Named Vishva-Bharati, the University represents Indian traditions while incorporating the best of other cultures. Shantiniketan, the abode of peace, was initially an Ashram or hermitage founded in 1863 by Maharishi Devendranath Tagore. In 1901 his son, Rabindranath converted it into an experimental open-air school with just five students. He widened the scope of studies which gradually formed
the nucleus of a University. Another interesting feature about Santiniketan is that splendid sculptures, frescoes, murals and paintings of Rabindranath, Nandlal Bose, Ramkinkar, Bindobehari Mukhopadhyaya and others adorn the campus.

Temperature (deg C): Summer- Max.39.4, Min.34.3. Winter- Max.15.7, Min.12.1. Rainfall: 125 cms ( June to September ). Heavy in July\August. Season: Throughout the year.

Places Of Interest:
The places of interest are mainly on the campus and have a distinctive feature of some of the best in Indian art and culture. China Bhavan, Chhatimtala, Kala Bhavan, Patha Bhavan, Prayer Hall, Bichitra, Sangeet Bhavan, Uttarayan Complex, Udayana, Konarka, Shyamali, Punascha and Udichi, The Bichitra ( or, Rabindra Bhavan ), Kala Bhavan, Bichitra (Rabindra Bhavan), Deer Park, Uttarayan Gardens.

Excursions:
Fullora- 40 kms, Nalhati- 104 kms, Kankalitala- 7 kms, Massanjore- 78 kms, Kendubilwa- 42 kms, Nanoor- 23 kms, Tarapith- 80 kms.

Entertainment:
Festivals accompanied by songs, dance and dramas are held here throughout the year.

Shopping:
Grameen (Bolpur), Sarvodaya Ashram (Bolpur), (Handicrafts & handlooms) Vishwa Bharati Shilpa Sadan (Shantiniketan), Shantiniketan Co-operative Stores (Shantiniketan).

Reach -
By Air: The nearest airport is Calcutta- 213 kms.
By Rail: The nearest railhead is Bolpur- 2 kms.
By Road: Calcutta- 213 kms, Durgapur- 56 kms, Sarnath- 197 kms.
 
   
   
Vishnupur

Terracotta, metal ware & temples characterise Vishnupur. The temples are built mostly of brick & at times, of laterite. Clay & laterite are the only building materials available here besides wood and bamboo. The architecture is modeled on the pattern of Bengali huts built of bamboo & mud and roofed with thatch. Vishnupur will remain ever famous for its distinct style of music, i.e. the Vishnupur Gharana, if not anything else. The name of Jadu Bhatt, the music teacher to Rabindranath Tagore, is remembered with respect to this day. A discerning visitor may find traces of the past splendour and glory that was Vishnupur in its superb temples and unique handicrafts.

Area: 20.6 sq. kms. Altitude: 70 meters. Temperature (deg C): Summer- Max.44, Min.28. Winter- Max.29, Min.21. Rainfall: 14.3 cms (July-August). Clothing: Summer- Tropical, Winter- Light woolens. Languages spoken: Bengali, English. Best Season: September to March.

Places Of Interest:
Ras Mancha, Dalmadal Cannon, Jor Bangla Temple, Madan Mohan Temple, Malleswar Temple, Lalji Temple, Mrinmoyee Mandir, Shyam Rai Temple, Malla King's Fort, Jogesh Chandra Pura Kirti Bhavan Museum.

Excursions:
Jairambati- 43 kms, Kamarpukur- 48 kms, Mukutmanipur: 82 kms, Bahulara- 25 kms, Panchmura- 21 kms, Susunia Hills- 50 kms. 

Reach -
By Air: Nearest airport Calcutta is 201 kms away from Vishnupur.
By Rail: Vishnupur, the railway station is connected with Calcutta (Howrah).
By Road: Calcutta- 151 kms, Durgapur- 81 kms, Purulia- 145 kms, Bankura- 34 kms, Mukutmanipur.
 
   
   
Darjeeling

Darjeeling is nested in a setting of Kanchenjunga and Mount Everest, Tibetan Monasteries, Himalayan Tribal Life, Pine Trees etc. Which make her qualify as the queen of the hill stations.

Altitude: 2134 meters. Climate (deg C): Summer- Max. 14.9, Min. 8.6. Winter- Max. 6.11, Min. 1.50. Best Season: April to middle June and September to November. Clothing: Summer- Light Woolens & Tropical. Winter- Heavy Woolens.


Places Of Interest:
Tiger Hill- 11 kms, Ghoom Monastery- 8 kms; Batasia Loop- 5 kms, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute- 2 kms, Himalayan Zoological Park, Darjeeling Rangeet Valley Passenger Ropeway- 8 kms, Tibetan Refugees Center, Lebong Race Course, Natural History Museum, Happy Valley Tea Estate, Lloyds Botanical Garden, Observatory Hill, Dhirdham Temple, Senchal Lake.

Excursions:
Sandakphu- 58 kms, Tonglu, Phalut. 

Reach -
By Air: Bagdogra Airport- 96 kms is directly connected to Calcutta, Delhi, Patna, Guwahati and other places of North-East India.
By Rail: Directly connected to Calcutta, Delhi, Guwahati, Madras, Bombay, Bangalore, Bhubaneshwar, Tirupati, Trivandrum, Cochin.
By Road: Calcutta- 651 kms, Gangtok- 100 kms, Kalimpong- 51 kms.
 
   
   
Sagardwip (Sagar Island)

Gangasagar Mela, the largest fair in west Bengal held near the confluence of the Ganga and the Bay of Bengal, draws millions of pilgrims from all over India. They come for a holy dip on Makar Sankranti (last day of the Bengali Month) and after their obligations at the Kapilmuni Temple nearby.

Reach:
Namkhana- 105 kms.Namkhana to Chemaguri by launch across the river
Muriganga from Chamaguri to Gangasagar by road- 10kms. One may cross the Muriganga from Herwood Point near Kakdip to Kaachubrie also. Kakdwip is 85 kms. from lot No. ',to Kachuberia and bus service from Kechuberia to Gangasagar-30 kms.
 
   
   
Raijang Bird Sanctuary

Altitude: 30 meters above sea level. Temperature (deg C): Summer- Max. 25, Min. 21. Winter- Max. 23, Min. 09. Rainfall: 155 cms (July to September). Clothing: Summer- Cottons, Tropical. Winter- Woolens. Languages spoken: Bengali, Hindi, English. Best season: Throughout the year but preferably October to March.

Reach -
By Air: Nearest airport Calcutta- 425 kms and Malda- 76 kms.
By Rail: Malda Town- 76 kms is the nearest convenient railhead connected with the major cities.
By Road: Calcutta- 425 kms, Malda- 76 kms, Shiliguri- 181 kms.
 
   
   
Plassey

A place of great historical importance. Here in the year 1757 a battle was fought between the British and the last Nawab of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. Clive the British Chief defeated Nawab - Siraj-ud-daula by unfair means. Siraj-ud-dula was killed and Mirzaffar became the Nawab. The historic battle field is till preserved. A memorial was erected by Lord Curzon at the mango groves where the actual battle took place.
Reach: Calcutta- 172 kms, Calcutta, Bahrampore- 43 kms.
By Road: Calcutta, Bahrampore.
 
   
   
Kurseeong

The word Kurseong means the place of White Orchid. Because of its lower elevation, Kurseong enjoys a milder and very healthy climate throughout the year. Kurseong means the places of White Orchid. Because of its lower elevation, Kurseong enjoys a milder and very healthy climate throughout the year.

Altitude: 4860 feet (2458 meters). Temperature (deg C): Summer- Max 32, Min 19. Winter- Max 15, Min 6. Rainfall: 160 inches annually
(mid June to August). Best season: March to mid June & September to mid December.

Places Of Interest:
Eagle's Crag, Deer Park, Forest Museum, Giddhapahar Mandir, Ambotika Shiv Mandir, Makaibari Tea Estate, St.Mary's Hill, Dowhill, Baggaura, Chimney, Kettle Valley Picnic Spot, Namsu, Netaji Kothi.

Reach -
By Air: Nearest airport Bagdogra- 60 kms, is connected to Calcutta, Delhi, Guwahati & other places of north-eastern India.
By Rail: Kurseong itself is a railway station. New Jalpaiguri- 57 kms from Kurseong, is directly connected to the major places.
By Road: Shiliguri- 51 kms, Guwahati- 560 kms, Calcutta- 636 kms, Delhi- 1359 kms, Kathmandu- 621 kms.
 
   
   
Kalimpong

Just 51 kms east of Darjeeling is situated the picturesque town of Kalimpong, the former headquarters of the Bhutanese Governor. Situated at an altitude of 1250 meters between the Deolo and Durbindra Hills, Kalimpong is an ideal place for a quiet holiday amidst gently rolling hills and deep valleys at the foot of the mighty Himalayas.

Altitude: 1250 meters. Languages spoken: Gorkha, Nepali, Bengali, Hindi, English.

Places Of Interest:
Durpin Dara, Shri Ganeshmoni Pradhan Nursery, Standari Nursery, Shri L.B.Pradhan Nursery, Gouripur House, Swiss Welfare Dairy, Tibetan Monastery.

Reach -
By Air: Nearest airport Bagdogra- 80 kms is connected to Calcutta, Delhi, Guwahati & other places of north-east.
By Rail: Two nearest railway stations are New Jalpaiguri (NJP) and Shiliguri where NJP is directly connected by rail with the important places.
By Road: Calcutta- 651 kms, Guwahati- 513 kms, Delhi- 1312 kms and other major cities.
 
   
   
Durgapur

Durgapur projects an image of an industrialized India. It is the third integrated steel plant of Hindustan Steel Limited and occupies an area of 6.47 sq. kms. Founded under the Colombo Plan Mission which visited India in April, 1955, the plant has been instrumental in changing the rural face of Durgapur into a vast industrial complex comprising public and private sectors.

Area: 41 sq. kms. Altitude: 68.9 meters. Temperature (deg C):
Summer- Max.46.1, Min. 37.8. Winter- Max. 32.2, Min. 29.4. Rainfall: (150 cms June to September). Clothing: Summer- Tropical, Winter- Light woolens. Languages spoken: Bengali, English. Best Season: Throughout the year.

Places Of Interest:
Alloy Steel Project- 10 kms, Mining and Allied Machinery Corporation- 6 kms, Durgapur Coke Ovens Project Limited- 6 kms, A.V.B.- 6 kms, Durgapur Barrage- 3 kms, Durgapur Steel Plant- 10 kms, Philips Carbon Black & Sankey Wheels.

Excursions:
Asansol- 42 kms, Chittranjan- 77 kms, Jaidev- 22 kms, Shantiniketan- 61 kms, Vishnupur- 72 kms. 

Reach -
By Air: Nearest national and international airport is Calcutta- 176 kms.
By Rail: Durgapur itself has a railway station.
By Road: Calcutta- 176 kms, Patna- 414 kms, Asansol- 50 kms, Shantiniketan- 62 kms, Vishnupur- 72 kms.
 
   
   
Digha

Beach-on-the-bay of West Bengal, Digha, has the whispery, languid, soft-focus, charm which is so graciously bengali : sighing casuarinas, ponies nodding on the beach, prolonged meals in the flavorsome sweet-&-salt idiom of the state and timeless days and nights of nothing to do but unwind and find yourself.

Reach -
By Air: Calcutta is the nearest airport- 210 kms.
By Rail: Contai Road- 37 kms is the nearest railway station.
By Road: Calcutta-Howrah-Mechheda-Norghat-Contai-Ramnagar-Digha- 185 kms, Calcutta-Deulti-Kolaghat-Kharagpur-Digha- 243 kms, Tarakeswar- 355 kms.
 
   
   
Buxa Tiger Reserve

Buxa Tiger Reserve was set up in the year of 1982-83 at the north eastern corner. This picturesque reserve with its proigous Terai, Bhabar as well as Hilly landscape, is dissected by numerous rivulets. The varitable flora and fauna of these wet forests attracts tourists and nature lovers every year. This part of the country is characterized by its high degree of plant & animal bio-diversity where 60% species are endemic to the area. The Generic diversity of mammals is second highest among all the tiger reserves of India. Astonishing bio-diversity of animals comprise of a reach avifauna of more than 230 identified species, 67 mammals (out of which 21 are endangered), 36 species of reptiles (10 numbers are endangered). Apart from Bengal Tiger there are plenty of Leopard, Fishing Cat, Leopard Cat, Jungle Cat, Indian Civet, Palm Civet etc. The Hornbills including greater Pied Hornbill abound the area. One of the rarest bird of India the Black-necked Crane has been sighted in the Reserve during the early winter. The migratory beautiful Black Stork is a visitor of the area. The monsoon ends and beautiful Minivets, Sultan tits arrive, during summer rare Ashyminivet is also sighted.

How to plan your tours:
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