The state of West Bengal continues to fascinate people from all over India. It is one of those unique places that has the blend of culture, arts, picturesque beauty of mountains and beaches, a wide diversity of foods, a fervor for celebrating festivals and a quiet charm that is rare to be found in major states these days. If you want to experience the magic of this captivating state, there are numerous places to visit in West Bengal. Here is a list of some of the best ones worth exploring.
Of course, this name has to be on the top of the list. Kolkata is the capital of West Bengal, after all. Kolkata is the cultural hub of India and is a city that is still almost stranded in time. With streets and buildings reminiscent of the British era, Kolkata has immense nostalgic value. The variety of food, the colourful sweets, the trams, and the rickHere’s A Look At The Best Places To Visit In West BengalHere’s A Look At The Best Places To Visit In West Bengalshaws are some of the highlights of the city. Another feature of Kolkata is its easy going pace – life is not in a hurry here, unlike other metros and you can leisurely spend quality time in any street or on the banks of the Gnaga ghaat. The best time to visit Kolkata is in the month of October where you will get to witness the magnificence of the Durga Puja festival. Not for nothing is Kolkata nicknamed ‘The City of Joy’.
2. Sundarbans National Park:
A visual delight for wildlife enthusiasts, the Sundarbans National Park is widely regarded as one of the most fascinating and alluring wildlife reserves in the world. Home to the Bengal tiger, this mangrove jungle is accessible only by boat and has a mysterious aura around it. Spread over 102 islands, the Sundarbans is known primarily for the Bengal tiger. However, the tiger is extremely elusive in the Sundarbans and one would be lucky to get a sight of it in the wild. You can also get to witness a horde of other animals in these dense forests like the Estuarine Crocodile ( Crocodilus porosus ), the Fishing Cat ( Felis viverrina ), the Common otter ( Lutra lutra ), the Water Monitor lizard ( Varanus salvator ), and Gangetic Dolphin ( Platinista gangetica), among several others.
One of the most popular hill stations in India, Darjeeling is one of the biggest attractions of West Bengal. Set at 6,700 ft, the little town is the perfect weekend getaway because of its ever pleasant weather and gorgeous locations. Darjeeling has a quaint charm about it and has plenty of beautiful places to explore. The Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, Tiger Hill, the Japanese Peace Pagoda, the botanical gardens, Batashiya Loop and Rock Garden Park are some of the places you can visit while in Darjeeling. A round trip of the famous and charming little Toy Train is also a must when you are here. Darjeeling, of course, is most famous for its tea and the tea gardens here are a sight to behold. Spending time in any of the famous and exquisite tea gardens in Darjeeling will be an experience of a lifetime.
A quiet and serene town, Shantiniketan is located near Bolpur in the Birbhum district of West Bengal; about 212 kms. from Kolkata. It is one of the most unique places to visit in West Bengal. The place is famous because of the renowned noble laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore who used to live here. The word Shantiniketan means the abode of peace and this town literally exudes tranquility and quietness. One of the biggest draws of this town is the Uttarayan complex where Tagore lived. The best time to visit Shantinekatan is late December when you can experience the Poush Mela and the brilliant Bengali folk music played there or during the festival of Holi in March which is celebrated with great pomp here. One can also go shopping for traditional Bengali items in the village market.
5. Mandarmani Beach:
While Digha is most prominent beach in Bengal, it is always overcrowded with people. To experience the same beauty of the sandy beach with lesser crowds, one should visit Mandarmani, which is about three hours from Kolkata. In recent times, the Mandarmani beach has established itself as a solid tourist spot. This fishing village has a super long stretch of a beach that is pretty clean and, most importantly, quiet. One can spend a relaxing evening along the shores and take in the sights with a loved one at the Mandarmani beach. There are plenty of nominal and decent resorts and hotels near the beach that should make your stay in Mandarmani a memorable one.
So this was our list for the best places to visit in West Bengal. What are the places you would like to add to this list?