Best Tourist Places to visit in West Bengal Theindiabizz
West Bengal is India’s sweetest state. The air of Bengal breathes of hospitality and welcome to every guest who sets foot upon its soil. Colonized by every foreign power of Europe, the state has a mesh of culture. It also has not let go of the times when it was ruled by the Nawabs. From hills to forest, West Bengal has it all. It has festivals throughout the year. The state is known for grandeur. It leaves the travelers hungry for more. West Bengal has an endless count of offbeat destinations where you may find peace and solitude. It pays homage to spirituality. The weather gets hot during the summer, but otherwise, you can relax and enjoy Bengal’s beauty in every season. So, if you are tourist, here are the places you must include in your bucket list while visiting West Bengal:
# The City of Joy : Kolkata
Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta, tops the list of the tourist places to visit in West Bengal. It is the city of joy and the cultural capital of India. Once, it was the crown jewel of the British. The city boasts of colonialism, aristocracy, and modernism in culture and architecture. The north Calcutta is the embodiment of the colonial and zamindari houses and offices, while South has sky rises. The city has so much to offer to any traveler. Visit the dining district, aka, Park Street for Chelo Kebabs at Peter Cat, for discussions on politics and films, head to the famous Indian Coffee house and sit with tea and fish cutlet. Take a morning walk at Victoria memorial, spend your afternoons shopping at New Market, and head for a boat ride at Princep Ghat and enjoy the skyline across the Hooghly. The city has a Chinatown and you can enjoy authentic Chinese breakfast. Do not forget tea and cakes at Flury’s. The best time to visit this city during Durga Puja and Christmas. The festivity warms the heart and the spirit.
# The queen of hills: Darjeeling
Nobody stays in the city during the summer. Everyone in West Bengal heads to the queen of hill station, Darjeeling. People come here to unwind and enjoy nature. Darjeeling is known for its serene beauty. The tea estates are worth visiting and you can sip samples of Darjeeling tea. Amidst white magnolias and the magnificent view from Tiger Hill, do not forget to roam in the street of Darjeeling to marvel the colonial churches and savour street shopping at mall road. If you are a foodie, Darjeeling’s Keventer has the best pancakes and bacon. The streets are filled with momo and Chinese stalls. The Toy Train ride is the must thing to do when you visit Darjeeling. It is a destination for hiking, river rafting =, and bird watching.
# The French town of Chandernagore
Once upon a time in history, West Bengal was ruled by the French. Chandernagore became a French district in West Bengal. Chandernagore has a quaint air of southern France. Small lanes with yellow houses. Enjoy the Bengali sweets with a taste of French twist. Enjoy the beautiful sunset at Chandernagore strand road. The best time to see this French town in all its glory is during Jagdhatri Puja.
This small town in Bolpur at Birbhum district became the school of knowledge established by Rabindranath Tagore. Tagore founded Vishwa Bharati University. Shantiniketan breathes peace and solitude. The boat ride along with the Baul folk music is soothing to the soul. You might even see Santhal traditions. The Poush Mela in winter is a festive occasion of music and culture, but the town becomes jovial with colors during Boshonto Utsav, ie, Holi.
If you love beaches, head to Mandarmani. Considered to be India’s longest drivable beach, Mandarmani is a tourist hub and a weekend gateway spot in West Bengal.It is a tranquil spot where you chill and be lethargic. You can stay at private resorts or hotels near the beach. If you love adventure, Mandarmani has beach surfing, jet ski, bungee trampoline, banana boat rides and other adventure water sports at the beach.
Bishnupur is a paradise for history lovers. It is known for ancient terracotta temples which date back to the 15th century. stop and marvel at the incredible architecture of these temples. Bishnupur houses the industry for Baluchari sarees. Historians consider Bishnupur to be the Malla rulers’ patronization for art and music which led to the flourishing of culture and performing arts.
# # Digha
Digha is a beautiful seaside hamlet in West Bengal. It is a popular weekend getaway and hence, advance bookings must be done. Take a sunbath on the pristine beaches and savour some amazing fish at the local shacks or collect sea shells. It is a place to relax and be lazy for the weekend.
Another district of West Bengal famous for ancient terracotta temples and beautiful green forests. Nature and history blends here. It is a place one should visit during autumn to see the scenic beauty of the Kash flower fields and the Chau dance. Amidst the hills, visit the scenic spot of Mukutmanipur which has beautiful lakes and deer parks.
Formerly known as Mednipore, the town is situated on the banks of Kangshabati River. Midnapore is a pilgrim site for travellers. It houses both mosques and temples. Midnapore is a memorial site for freedom fighters. The main reason for tourists to visit Midnapore is for the Bengali sweet shops that sell the delicious and famous “Khirer Goja”.
A panoramic hamlet situated on the banks of Mahananda river gives the tourists the most scenic view of the Himalayas. The Gorumara forest is ideal for elephant rides. The tea estates are also a must stop destination. If you want imported Chinese items, head to the Hong Kong Market in the heart of the town. The last stop in this hamlet should be the visit to the colorful Salagura Gompa.
Situated on the banks of Bhagirathi river, the city was covered by the British before Kolkata became India’s capital. It bears the era of Nawabi rulers in the glorious historical monuments. The Nawabs patronised the building of gardens, mosques, and museums. They also made Murshidabad a commercial hub by setting up ivory, gold, weaving industries. Today, tourists’ flock into Murshidabad to see the terracotta mosques and the Hazar Duari Palace.
The Hooghly district boasts of being ruled by Portuguese and the Dutch. It also embodies the Nawab’s influence in the architecture. The imambara must be the first place you should head to while visiting Hooghly. For those into Gothic architecture, the Dutch cemetery is the next stop. Hooghly ‘s headquarters also bears the black lady’s tomb at the Grand Trunk Road. Hooghly pays homage to Sri Ramkrishna and Sarada Devi who stayed here for a brief period. Hooghly marvels the glorious historical past.
If you feel Darjeeling is too crowded and you need solitude, head to Kurseong. It is an offbeat and a hidden treasure in West Bengal. Throughout the year, the hill station has a pleasant climate throughout the year. The hamlet is quaint and tranquil. The magic of Kurseong inspired Tagore to write many of his poems during his stay. The charm of Kurseong is extended by the British cottages and tea estates.
Another hill station worth mentioning is Kalimpong. Situated in the lower foots of the Himalayas. The Tista River and the bountiful of nature’s serenity is paradise for nature lovers. During your stay enjoy the panoramic views of the Himalayas. If you love collecting souvenirs, Kalimpong is the ideal place to buy handicraft goods. Visit the flower markets to purchase the wild orchids. Kalimpong is a place for Buddhist spirituality. The monasteries bear the scriptures dedicated to Tibetan Buddhism.
The most awaiting destination on the bucket list is Sunderbans. It is the world’s largest delta and mangrove forest. UNESCO recognizes it as a protected biosphere. The River Matla separates the Sunderban Delta from the Sunderban Forest Reserves. The Forest Reserve also gained recognition from the UNESCO in 1987. The Sunderban national park has the largest number of Royal Bengal Tigers
Known as the “Nest in the Hills of West Bengal”, Mirik is a hill station located on the outskirts of Darjeeling. Mirik has a beautiful long lake which gets water from the perennial streams. The floating fountain on the lake is the one of its highlights. The hill station is ideal for trekking and solo trips.
West Bengal is a tourist’s paradise. It is suitable for history lovers, nature lovers and adrenaline junkies. Your camera may run out of reel to capture the whole of Bengal. It is also budget friendly for travellers. Keep your backpacks ready and head to the sweetest state in India and discover its cultural wonders.