Bakkhali

Bakkhali, South Bengal – A popular tourist destination lying adjacent to Bay of Bengal dotted with casurina forests

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Bakkhali is a seaside resort in South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal. It is located on one of the many deltaic islands spread across southern part of Bengal. Most of the islands are part of the Sunderbans, except a few at the fringes. Some of these are joined together with bridges over narrow creeks. This small island juts out into the vast expanse of the Bay of Bengal. The place remains as a popular tourist destination for quite a long time. The development of the barge over the Hatania-Doania River, has made Bakkhali more and more accessible for the people. With the passage of time Bakkhali has changed a lot. The development of transport and communication system truly makes Bakkhali an ideal getaway for weekends.

Places to see at Bakkhali: There are quite a lot of attractions in Bakkhali like the windmills of Frasergunj as well as the crocodile propagation centre at the place. The narrow path that enters into the casuarinas forest lying adjacent the beach will lead you to the temple of Banabibi, a local deity.

Nearby attractions from Bakkhali: Bakkhali offers so many places of attractions that are located nearby like the Henry’s Island which was created by the State Fisheries Department. Frasergunj, the twin town of Bakkhali can be visited on a day trip.

Things to do at Bakkhali: Sightseeing is the best thing that you can do in Bakkhali. Take a walk over the beach from Bakkhali to Frasergunj and enjoy solitude. Plus, you can also take a look at the daily life on the villages and experience the different rhythm of life these villages live in.

Best time to visit Bakkhali: You can visit Bakkhali throughout the year.

How to go ?

You can board a bus from Kolkata (Esplanade) till Namkhana and then a ferry ride across the Hatania-Doania River. Then you have to board another bus to reach Bakkhali. However, you can also board direct buses to Bakkhali from Kolkata. You can also reach Namkhana by train from the Sealdah station. By road, you have to travel through Diamond Harbour and Kakdwip to reach Namkhana.

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Where to stay ?

You can stay at the West Bengal Government Tourist Lodge. For booking details please contact:

Address: 3/2, B.B.D. Bag (East), Kolkata – 700 001
Phone : +91-
033-2243 6440, 2248 8271 Website: www.wbtourism.gov.in

Ben Fish also has a tourist lodge in Bakkhali. For booking details you may contact:
Address: P161/1, (4 th Floor) V.I.P Road, Ultadanga, Kolkata – 700 054.
Phone: +91-033 2355-4931 Website: www.benfish.info

There are also few private hotels at Bakkhali.

Hotel Amarabati: +91-09732619340, 9647367780
Hotel Deepak: +91-033 2464 0081

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Ramdhura

Ramdhura, North Bengal – Covered by pine forests adored by clouds, Ramdhura offering magnificent views of Mt. Kanchenjungha and the River Teesta

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Ramdhura is just seven kilometers from Delo, offering magnificent views of Mt. Kanchenjungha and the River Teesta. Ramdhura is a new found gem of North Bengal. Covered by pine forests adored by clouds and the view of gleaming lights of Kalimpong in the night, make Ramdhura a perfect destination to spend a quiet weekend in the Himalayas. Near to it are the tourist spots like Delo

RamdhuraPedong, Algarah, Icchey Gaon, Sillery Gaon, Kalimpong, Rellikhola, Lava and Loleygaon. At Ramdhura there are two homestays with rooms facing Mt. Kanchenjungha and with facilities like attached western bathrooms, electricity and nice home cooked food.

Places to see at Ramdhura: The rooms of the homestay offer spectacular views of Mt. Kanchenjungha and Kalimpong hills as well as a bird’s eye view of the meandering Teesta River valley below. A pine forest surrounds Ramdhura, where you can take local short treks. You can also visit the beautiful British-built Jalsa Bungalow of 1930. A trek along the Cinchona plantation and a visit to the Cinchona Godown can be on your cards too. There is a beautifully located Mahadev Dham temple and Hanuman Tok (viewpoint) nearby from where you can catch panoramic views of the mountains and valleys.

Nearby attractions of Ramdhura: While staying at Ramdhura, you can make day trips to the Delo National Park, Algarah Bazar, Rikissum, Icchey Gaon, Sillery Gaon, Pedong, Lava, Loleygaon, Rishyap and Kalimpong. A sightseeing trip to Sillery and Icchey Gaon and its surroundings like Ramitey Dara (which has the longest view of River Teesta), Damsang Fort, Valley of Silence, Tinchuley view point would be very rewarding to the guests. Guests can also take a whole day trip of Kalimpong and its surroundings like Durpin Dara Monastery, Rellikhola and the various nurseries of Kalimpong.

Things to do at Ramdhura: You can take a village walk from Ramdhura and watch the everyday activities of the villagers. You can also take a two-hour jungle trek from Ramdhura to Icchey Gaon and finally to Sillery Gaon. This trek through dense forests and Cinchona plantation is one of the most favourite treks of birdwatchers. The homestays at Ramdhura also arranges paragliding from Delo and rafting at River Teesta. Guests can also take part in activities like rock-climbing and riverbed hiking in Relli.

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Best time to visit Ramdhura: You can visit Ramdhura anytime of the year. The sparkling weather during winters is the best time for witnessing a spectacular sunrise over Mt. Kanchenjungha. In summers, if you want to beat the heat of the plains, then you can visit Ramdhura for its pleasant cool weather. The monsoons are best for watching the clouds float across your room.

How to go ?

You can take any bus or hire a car from NJP, Bagdogra or Siliguri to Kalimpong and from Kalimpong you have to take the pick-up service of Ramdhura homestay. Ramdhura is around 15 kms from Kalimpong. Ramdhura homestay also arranges pick-up services from NJP, Bagdogra, Siliguri and Rangpo.

Where to stay ?

The homestays are located on the edge of the mountains overlooking Mt. Kanchenjungha and River Teesta. The homestays in Ramdhura are well equipped with electricity, comfy beds, hot water and attached western bathrooms. The breakfast table in the open-air terrace overlooking Mt. Kanchenjungha and River Teesta is a great place to spend your early morning. The home stays arrange trek guides for the guests and cars for sightseeing trips too. There are also car parking facilities here. The food is essentially Indian and home cooked and the ingredients are mostly locally sourced and fresh.

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Deul Park

Deul Park, South Bengal – An extremely scenic landscape that makes its ambiance ideal for enjoying a weekend tour

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Situated beside the river Ajoy, the Deul Park is an esteemed getaway location of the famous Gopraj Ishwar Ghosh, locally called Ichai Ghosh. The site possesses extremely scenic landscape that makes its ambiance ideal for enjoying a weekend tour beside Ajoy River.

Deul Park Deul ParkPlaces to see near Deul Park: The thick Garh forest in Durgapur presents a perfect backdrop for the winding Ajoy River, offering a visual splendour to the tourists. The area is also frequented by herds of elephants from Birbhum located nearby. The site of Kenduli Mela where hundreds of Bauls visit during the fair is situated on the opposite side of the river. Kenduli is the birthplace of the famous poet Jaidev and home to a number of age-old terracotta temples of Radha Madhav. You can also explore the Garh jungle and the historical site, where Icchai Ghosh was defeated in a war by Lausen. A visit to a huge tower made from bricks and a dilapidated temple will add a hint of adventure to your trip.

Nearby attractions of Deul Park: From Deul Park, you can visit the nearby DVC Barrage at Durgapur or take a tour in Bardhaman. You can also reach Shantiniketan, Bhalki Machan, Bolpur within a couple of hours from Deul Park by car.

Deul ParkThings to do at Deul Park: You can spot out clusters of folk singers along the river bank of Ajoy where you can spend some of your leisure time savouring their soulful songs. Enjoy a unique experience walking along the Garh Forest and discovering the ruins of age old temples. Your kids can enjoy a few rides within the resorts laws and fun parks. You van laze in the resort’s lawns, enjoy angling and spend some leisure time along the river.

Best time to visit DeulPark: Deul Park is suitable to visit all the year round, though it is better to avoid the monsoon.

How to go ?

The journey to Deul Park is not at all difficult. Take any Express bus from Kolkata heading to Durgapur following the Expressway and drop down at the Darjeeling stop located in Panagarh. From there, by travelling any bus going to Shiuri, reach a place called Choddo Mile, which is located at a distance of 9 km from Deul Park. You can easily cover this distance by a van or a rickshaw. You can also avail a direct bus from Kolkata to Shiuri. You can also make a prior arrangement with the resort for a car, which will pick you from Durgapur or Darjeeling more to Deul Park.

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Where to stay ?

A tourist resort offers decent accommodation here. For booking details you may contact:
Deul Park Eco Resort: +91-09331313336, 033 – 32993336  

Dining: Nice meals are available in the guest house.

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Garshalboni

Garshalboni, South Bengal – A historical farmhouse in the midst of a jungle

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A historical farmhouse in the midst of a jungle, and the melodious chirps of the unknown birds acting as the wake up call, is it not excite you? If it really does then make a trip to Garhshalboni, this weekend which is just 170 km from Kolkata by road. Once ruled by the Malla Kings, this farmhouse was their jungle retreat. The farmhouse covers an area of around 40 acres. It was also occupied by the British. The vast jungle, ancient temples, meandering rivers, migratory birds and untouched nature will really refresh your Garshalbonibody and soul and make your weekend trip memorable.

The Garshalboni farmhouse is really a sort of paradise for the nature lovers. If you are one of those who would like to spend your weekend lazing in the forests and enjoying nature’s lush green beauty, then Garhsalboni is perfect spot for you.

Places to see at Garshalboni: You will surely take sometime to explore the farmhouse’s natural surroundings and the extensive jungle all around. The forest with its variety of existing saal, teak, mahua, cashew trees and mango trees will surely interest you. There is plenty to see around Garh Salboni like the textile printing works of Printex, a small zoo, the government Ayurvedic medicinal plant garden and a spring well nearby. However, Garh Salboni is the perfect destination to relax within pristine nature in a farmhouse filled with history.

Nearby attractions at Garshalboni: Kendua village – few kilometers from the farmhouse is home to numerous migratory birds. The Dulung River flows through another beautiful spot nearby called Chilkigar, which houses an ancient Kanakdurga temple just 22 kms away and a ShivaTemple. You can also visit Jhargram Raajbaari (King’s residence) located nearby.  Another major attraction is the garden of Medicinal plants located nearby. You would find numerous temple and palace ruins all across the place.

GarshalboniThings to do at Garshalboni: You can relax in the serene and peaceful environment of Garhsalboni. You can visit the nearby places of attraction, especially the ancient temple of Goddess Kanak Durga and discover more about the history of the place. Birdwatching at Chilkigarh and idling beside the Dulung River are few other things you can do here apart from watching a tribal dance during the evenings.

Best time to visit Garshalboni: You can visit Garhshalboni throughout the year. The winters are excellent for the migratory birds and the rainy season is favorable for the greenery all around.

How to go ?

You can avail the Ispat Express from Howrah Station. After crossing Kharagpur, you need to get off at Jhargram Station. From there, you can take an bus to reach Garshalboni forest (10 km away). Alternatively, you can travel by car from Kolkata. The distance is around 170 km and it takes about three hours. After crossing Kharagpur, you have to drive for another 35 km on Bombay Road to reach Lodhashuli Crossing, from where you have to drive for another 5 km to reach Garshalboni Forest.

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Where to stay ?

The farmhouse at Garhshalboni covers an area of around 70 acres. All types of trees like teak, mango, saal and hundreds of different types of medicinal plants grow in the premises of the farmhouse. The present farmhouse was the erstwhile forest retreat of the Malla kings and later taken over by the British. It presently accommodates tourists in its twelve rooms and an extensive dining area. The rooms are Double Bedded without AC facilities and have attached Western Toilets. Food is served for the guests in the Dining hall and the cuisine is essentially Bengali. You can savour fish, chicken and a whole lot of lip-smacking delicacies here. You may also stay at:

Kaushalya Heritage: +91-3221-262353, 9932867447

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Maithan

Maithan, South Bengal – A marvellous tourist spot located at the intersection of river Damodar and Barakor

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Maithan is a marvellous tourist spot located at the intersection of river Damodar and Barakor, and in the border of the two states of West Bengal and Jharkhand. The small hills and patches of jungle, and the immense water body of 66 sq km adorns Maithan. The area is naturally decorated with a number of small islands decorate the place. Nature with its utmost generosity has furnished the place to its fullest.

MaithanPlaces to see at Maithan: This colossal water body belonging to the Damodar Valley Corporation offers a huge array of places of attraction. However, prior permission is required to visit the Hydel Power Project. You can also visit the deer park and bird sanctuary, the two most notable sightseeing locations beside Hydel Power Plant. The temple of Kalyanashwari is also a must see.

Nearby attractions from Maithan: Those who want to explore further afield can visit the nearby small clusters of villages and Panchet Dam and Reservoir.

Things to do at Maithan: Boating on the lake water of Maithan while savouring the wonderful sight of migratory birds is truly an unforgettable experience. Picnics are also organized by many tourist groups in the small islands. You can also try your hand in angling in the lake water. If you intend to pass some quality leisure time with your friends or families, then seat beneath the trees and enjoy a nice tea break. Do not miss the majestic sight of Maithan in a moonlit night.

Best time to visit Maithan: Maithan is an ideal destination to enjoy your weekend holiday during the monsoon or in the winter.

How to go ?

The distance between Kolkata and Maithan is 226 km. So the best way of reaching the destination is by driving along the Durgapur Express way. You can also avail the train to Barakor and then cover the rest 8 km to Maithan by auto.

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Where to stay ?

There is a WBTDC tourist lodge at Maithon. For booking details you may contact:

MaithanWest Bengal Tourism Development Corporation Ltd.
3/2, B.B.D. Bag (East), Kolkata – 700 001
Phone : +91-(033)22436440, 22488271
Website: www.wbtourism.gov.in

There are also some private hotels at Maithon.  One option is:
Hotel Barsha: +01-033-2520036, 2520033, 9333234886, 9832130409
Website: www.hotelbarsha.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

 

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Ballavpur

Ballavpur, South Bengal – Lies on the border of the Bolpur covering an area of 200 hectres is just the perfect getaway for your next weekend

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Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary lies on the border of the University town of Bolpur covering an area of 200 hectres is just the perfect getaway for your next weekend. The Viswa Bharati University area, is just a km from here. The Wildlife Sanctuary includes three large water bodies (Jheel) hosting a migratory as well as resident birds in plenty. This sanctuary came into existence on BallavpurSeptember 1967. The place records the most successful deer conservation in the state. It provides shelter to numerous Cheethals (Spotted Deer), Blackbucks and other resident animals like jackals and foxes. The whole sanctuary is covered with watch towers and jungle paths for tourists to walk around and catch glimpses of deer and other wildlife. A nice and cozy private hotel just 5 minutes walk from the sanctuary is ideal for nightstay of the tourists. The sightseeing attractions of Bolpur can be visited in day trips staying at Ballavpur.

Places to see at Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary: The main attractions of this sanctuary are the blackbuck deer and spotted deer. There is also a huge tract of wetland created by the three water bodies (Jheel) which hosts thousands of migratory birds in winter like Lesser Whistlings, Pintails, Teals etc. The sanctuary is also home to a healthy population of resident birds like Black Hooded Orioles, White Bellied Treepies, Commorants, Hoppoes, Egrets and others.

The Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary may lack in size but it is very impressive for its remarkable dense local vegetation comprising Sal, Akashmoni, Sisoo, Cashewnut, Amlaki, Bahera, Haritaki and other trees. The whole sanctuary can be covered by foot and tourists can catch glimpses of wildlife from the watchtowers located at strategic sites.

Nearby attractions of Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary: The most significant sightseeing options near Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary is the Viswa Bharati University and its different departments, the most notable being the Kala Bhavan. You can spot some frescoes and sculptures of Nandalal Bose, Ramkinkar Baij around Kala Bhavan. Tagore’s Ashram features a number of buildings namely the Santiniketan building, Dehali, Nutan bari, Kaalo Bari and others. School classes and some major activities are held in the Amro Kunja (Mango Grove). You can also spot a hillock featuring an age-old banyan tree on the eastern side of the ashram. The Uttarayan complex has several buildings like Konark, Udayan, Shyamali, Chatimtala and others. The Rabindra Bhaban Museum popularly called Bichitra houses letters, manuscripts, medals, documents, paintings and certificates associated with Tagore.

The Khowai region and Kopai River (Rabindranath’s Amader Choto Nadi) are other destinations where you can spend some time. Apart from this, you can also visit Hindi Bhavan, Cheena Bhavan, Nipon Bhavan, Sangeet Bhavan, Patha Bhavan, Vinaya Bhavan, Sihsha Bhavan, Kaalo Bari etc. Kankalitala, just 9 km from Santiniketan is a temple popular as a Satipeeth. Surul, located near Sriniketan, features temples decorated with terracotta carvings. You can also visit another Satipeeth at Labhpur-Fullara, just 30 kms. from Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary. Another nice nearby destination is the Tilpara Barrage over River Mayurakshi (around 30 kms away). Sunset from the barrage over River Mayurakshi is an enchanting experience that you will cherish for long. Tourists also visit Nanoor, famous as the birthplace of the Sanskrit poet of the 14th century – Chandidas. Kendubillo is another destination, popular as the hometown of another renowned Sanskrit poet, Jaidev. You can also make trip to Bakreshwar, the famous Satipitha, housing the Bakranath temple and hot springs. Tarapith, the famous Saktipeetha, is also visited from Santiniketan.

Things to do at Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary: Birdwatching and wildlife watching is the major activity at Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary. You can take long walks in the well laid out jungle paths and watch the blackbucks and spotted deer in their natural habitat. You can spend some time in the early hours of the day in the watch towers near the tanks (Jheels) and enjoy birdwatching. The Sanctuary is a great place to take a nature walk. There are few tribal villages in the eastern fringes of the sanctuary where you can explore village life. Sightseeing in other popular destinations around Bolpur like Shantiniketan, Kopai, Khowai, Sonajhuri and Kankalitala can also be enjoyed.

Best time to visit Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary: The whole sanctuary is drenched in greenery during the rainy season when the new leaves come out from every branch. The deer seem to enjoy the rains most and spend their days soaking. The winter sees thousands of migratory birds nesting in the water bodies and marshlands of the Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary.

How to go ?

The main town adjacent to Ballavpur WLS is Bolpur, which is accessible by a number of conveyances including trains, bus and cars. The nearest railway station is Bolpur and Prantik, which can be reached from Kolkata in two to three hours. You can avail the trains like Shantiniketan Express and Viswa Bharati Fast Passenger. If you prefer the bus route, then you need to avail the Kolkata-Asansol bus or Kolkata- Durgapur bus, which will take you to Panagarh respectively. From these respective stops, you need to catch another bus to Bolpur. Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary is located 212 kms (via Panagarh and Darjeeling More) and 169 kms (via Guskara) from Kolkata by roadway, which takes around 3-4 hours to reach. So, you can also drive along the Durgapur Expressway heading towards Bolpur by crossing Bardhaman, Panagarh and the Ajay River crossing. After reaching Bolpur, take the road towards the Vishwa Bharati University Campus then cross the campus and take the road which turns left to Lalbandh area to reach Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary.

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Where to stay ?

A luxurious cozy private resort is located just 5 minutes away from the entry gate of Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary. A nice Ballavpurlandscaped garden with gazebos, a multi-cuisine garden restaurant, 24 hrs electricity, Western bathrooms, car parking facilities and all Air Conditioned rooms make this resort perfect for a comfortable stay close to nature and far from the crowded lanes and localities of Santiniketan. The rooms are decked in ethnic furniture, Televisions, hot water geysers and Intercom facilities. The resort also arranges cars for sightseeing. You would find Double Bed Deluxe rooms, Dormitories, Family rooms, Honeymoon Duplex suites and Standard suites in this resort. Food is served in the Indoor Dining Hall as well as the Garden restaurant. You can choose from a range of Indian, Chinese and Continental dishes. For booking details you may contact:

Park Guest House: +91-09434012420 Website: www.parkguesthouse.in

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Bakreshwar

Bakreshwar, South Bengal – Renowned for hot spring its a place with its exotic natural beauty & an ideal spot for weekend getaway

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Renowned for hot spring Bakreshwar is a place with its exotic natural beauty and is an ideal spot for weekend getaway. It is situated in the Suri Sub-division and is 18 km from South West of Suri the district headquarters of Birbhum. The serene beauty of the place really appeals the tourists so much that they make a plan to come back again and again to this eco-friendly place.

BakreshwarPlaces to see at Bakreswar: With utter serenity filled in the atmosphere, the main attraction of this place is the famous hot spring, which is a must visit for all. You can find a number of hot springs in the region, the temperature of which varies from 42 degree to 65 degree. Each hot spring is bestowed with individual names. You will also find a temple of Lord Shiva, located just beside the hot spring. You can locate some other temples as well in the area.

Nearby attractions from Bakreswar: Off late, many tourist groups are organizing a combined trip covering both Bakreswar and Shantiniketan, as Bakreswar is not too far from Shantiniketan. You can also visit Massanjore if you can afford some extra time, as the distance between Shiuri and Massanjore is 40 km. Bus services and rented cars are also available to facilitate the tourist in reaching Massanjore.

Things to do at Bakreswar: Take a bath in the mineral enriched water of the hot springs in Bakreswar, which is said to have several therapeutic effects. Nice arrangements of bathing have been made in the region.

Best time to visit Bakreswar: Though Bakreswar invites tourists all through the year, but the ideal seasons for visiting the place are monsoon, winter and spring.

How to go ?       

Avail the Hool express from Howrah at 6.40 am, which reaches Shiuri at 11.40 am. Mayurakshi Express also runs from Howrah to Shiuri. Buses are also available from Dharamtala till Bakreswar. You can also drive to Shiuri from Kolkata. Bakreswar is located quite close to Shiuri.

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Where to stay ?

Decent accommodation facilities are offered along with dining facilities by the hotels located in Bakreswar. One option is Bakreshwar Inn: (+91) 3462 274593, 09434147107.
Youth Hostel (Gov. of West Bengal):
Address:
Directorate of Youth Services,
32/1, B.B.D. Bag (South), Standard Building,
2nd floor, Kolkata- 700001.
Ph no.: – 91 – 33 – 2248 – 0626, 2210 – 9206, 2210 – 6767
Website: www.wbyouthservices.in

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.
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Diamond Harbour

Diamond Harbour, South Bengal – Try for an exciting day out or a weekend tour

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Resting in the Southern suburbs of Kolkata Diamond Harbour is an exciting day out or a weekend tour. This picturesque destination is located within a short reach from Kolkata (50 km), and is absolutely perfect for a leisure trip. The site is close to the deltaic region of the city. Diamond Harbour was known as Hajipur in the past and is actually located at a point where River Ganges turns southward to conflux with the sea. The industrial town of Haldia is located on the other side and the road skirting its way keeping the mighty Ganges on its side is just awesome.

Diamond HarbourPlaces to see at Diamond Harbour: Diamond Harbour was the nucleus of the Portuguese pirates in the past. Thus, the site features some ruins associated with the pirates, the most notable being the remnants of the Chingrikhali Fort, built in the 16th century. According to the locals, the fort was inhabited by the Portuguese pirates. Tourists also visit the Sarisha Ramkrishna Mission Ashram, another prominent highlight of the site. Diamond Harbour also houses an age-old lighthouse, which is also a major tourist attraction. However, the best thing to do in Diamond Harbour is to sit beside the river and watch the passing boats.

Things to do at DiamondHarbour: Diamond Harbour being a serene riverside spot is ideal for picnic. Shrouded with tranquility the place is also ideal for rejuvenation, away from the hustle and bustle of the city life. You can enjoy a leisure walk along the riverside, savouring the panoramic view offered by the small boats and large vessels passing by. The unpolluted pleasant breeze will enchant your mind and soul. However, the best activity offered by Diamond Harbour is the exquisite boat tours by locals, which are truly memorable. You can also take a ferry ride to Haldia.

Best time to visit DiamondHarbour: Diamond Harbour attracts most of the tourists all round the year, to savour the scenic beauty of the destination.

How to go ?

It hardly takes two hours to reach Diamond Harbour from Kolkata by car or bus. You can also board train, running to Diamond Harbour from Sealdah Railway Station.

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Where to stay ?

There are many accommodation facilities at Diamond Harbour. Some options are:

Punyalakshmi Hotel: 9231663678. Website: www.hotelpunyalakshmi.com

WBTDC owned Hotel Sagarika is another option:
For booking and reservation you may contact:
Tourism Centre (Kolkata)
3/2, B.B.D. Bag (East), Kolkata – 700 001
Phone : 033-2243 6440/ 2248 8271
Website: www.wbtourism.gov.in

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Sitong

Sitong, North Bengal – A quaint destination which lies in the Darjeeling Himalayan foothills is still an unexplored treasure trove

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Sitong, a quaint destination which lies in the Darjeeling Himalayan foothills is still an unexplored treasure trove. This small scenic Lepcha village lies in a valley intersected by a rivulet (Khola) and emboldened by the lush green hills. There is a garden with orange trees in every house of Sitong. The whole village turns orange during the winter. The main attractions of Sitong are a bamboo bridge, a church, some winding village paths skirting through orange orchards and few streams and a rivulet, which the inhabitants lovingly call Riyang River.

SitongPlaces to see at Sitong: You can visit the local church. Previously, there used to be a 100-year old Bamboo church here but now a new building has come up. There is a Bamboo Bridge, which you would love to see jiggles when someone crosses. When you are in Sitong, there is one thing you cannot miss doing – “Enjoying Oranges.” When the oranges bloom, the whole village is covered in a hue of orange. You can also spend time walking all around the village along the farms or sit idle on the banks of Riyang river and watch the Lepcha kids returning home. In Sitong, you would love doing “nothing.”

Nearby attractions of Sitong: The house of Rabindranath Tagore at Mongpo is just 20 kms away and Latpanchar – the highest point in Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary is 13 kms from Sitong. Latpanchar is also known for being the home to the Himalayan Salamander and numerous species of birds and butterflies. Other tourist destinations like Kurseong, Dilaram, Bagora are all within 20 kms of Sitong.  Chatakpur, the picture-perfect village within the Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary is also within 30 kms of Sitong.

Things to do at Sitong: Enjoy long nature walks along the villages and peep into the traditional lifestyle of the Lepchas, eat as many oranges as possible and visit the church to find some solace. You can enjoy a dip in the Riyang River and do some bird watching and butterfly watching too. You can also avail some light treks to the nearby Labda village and few nearby spots with a local guide.

Best time to visit Sitong: November, December and January is the best time to see oranges is Sitong. The orange harvest takes place during late December and early January. As Sitong is located around 4000 feet above sea level so it is also a nice place to beat the heat during the according summers. The rivers and streams get filled after the rains and the lush greenery is something not to be missed during the monsoons in Sitong.

How to go ?

There are three routes to reach Sitong. The shortest route (55 kms) is through Siliguri – Sevoke – Kalijhora and Latpanchar. The second route (78 kms) passes through Siliguri – Rambhi and Mongpoo. The third route (75 kms) is through Kurseong – Dilaram – Bagora and Ghareytar. The last leg of the journey to Sitong (last 15 kms) is quite steep.

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Where to stay ?

The newly built three-storey guesthouse of Sitong church located on a hilltop has been modified with all modern facilities for the guests. There are nine double bedded rooms with attached western bathrooms, solar power and 24 hrs warm water. The lobby has a fireplace where you can get along with your family enjoying a cozy evening. Organic vegetarian and non-vegetarian food is served in the Guest house’s Dining hall.

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Sonajhuri

Sonajhuri, South Bengal – The place of winding village roads, untouched forests, adivasi villages, the Kopai River & the Khoai region

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Sonajhuri is the place where the lost charm of Shantiniketan is still prevailing with the winding village roads, untouched forests, Adivasi Villages, the Kopai River and the Khoai region. Situated close to the northern side of Visva Bharati, Sonajhuri is far from the crowd of the Visva Bharati where you can take the charm of the peaceful Shantiniketan. It lies between the Shyambati Canal and Sonajhurithe Sonajhuri jungle. The lush greenery along with Santhali settlements, and the famous Khoai region (canyon created by water and wind erosion) here you will enjoy an idle time in a peaceful environment that is almost rare in the busy city life. Sonajhuri is a heritage destination imbibed completely in the Santhali art and culture. The famous Shonajhuri Haat (weekly market) where the local crafts along with the traditional delicacies are being sold sits every Saturday. The famous Baul singers of Shantiniketan also perform in this Haat.

Places to see at Sonajhuri: The main attraction here is the Sonajhuri jungle that offering a calm and quiet atmosphere and is the perfect place to take a leisure walk. This is probably the cleanest forest area on earth. You can even let your kids stroll around safely. The Khowai region – canyons created by wind and water is worth experiencing here. The hanging trees and the view of the roots at the edges of these rifts within the forest area will make you fall in love with the region.

The slow flowing Kopai River (Rabindranath Tagore’s Amader Choto Nadi) and the Baul singers along the banks are special attractions. The Banerpukur tribal village inside the forest area shouldn’t be missed as it gives a chance of close encounter with the local tribes living there.

Nearby attractions of Sonajhuri: Shantiniketan – Rabindranath Tagore’s “Abode of Peace” is just a km from here where you can indulge in a whole lot of sightseeing options. Some of the places you shouldn’t miss out during your trip are the University campus of Vishwa Bharati, Kala Bhawan, Uttarayan, Geetanjali Theatre, Chatimtala, Shantiniketan House, Bichitra Bhawan or SonajhuriRabindra Museum and others. There is also the Ballavpur Abhayaranya or the Deer Park set on a total area of 700 acres with a variety of trees, animals and birds. You will also find a watch tower here to view the surrounding landscape from top of it. Located some 3 km from Shantiniketan is the Vishwa Bharti’s Rural Art Centre, which is a great place to collect some local artifacts. You can also visit Sriniketan if you want to buy handicrafts. There is also a brick kiln of 7 lakh bricks nearby.

The 14th century Surtheshwar Temple is only 8 km from here on the way to Illambazar whereas Nannoor – the birthplace of the famous poet Chandidas is just 23 km away. You can also visit Dangali Kali Temple nearby. Another popular destination – Kankalitala Temple, which is one of the 51 Shakti Peeths of Sati is around 9 km from Sonajhuri. You can also visit the famous Gar Jungle from here located 30 km via Illambazar. Other popular nearby destinations include Kenduli, Bakreshwar, Maithon, Tarapith and Durgapur Barrage.

Things to do at Sonajhuri: Take a leisure morning stroll through the Sonajhuri jungle to enjoy the beauty of the surrounding. The jungle is clear and devoid of wild animals so you can also take your kids with you. A trip to Sonajhuri Haat that takes place on every Saturday can help you grab some great deals on local art and craft. Plus, a chance to indulge in some local delicacies can definitely make your day. A nature walk along the banks of River Kopai and the Kowai region is something you need to do for shrugging off your stress. However, the best stress buster could be the Baul singers, who often sing to the tune of nature along the banks of River Kopai. A village walk around the Banerpukur Adivasi Gram inside the Sonajhuri Forest is something you would cherish.

Best time to visit Sonajhuri: You can visit Sonajhuri during any time of the year. But if you want to attend the Basanta Utsav and Poush Mela at Shantineketan, then you must visit Sonajhuri during the months of March and December respectively. Poush Mela is from 7th Poush to 10th Poush (according to Bengali Calendar) and Basanta Utsav is held on the day of Holi. However, please remember that the Sonajhuri Haat is open only on Saturdays from 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm. Also, take note that Vishwa Bharati stays half-closed on Tuesdays and full closed on Wednesdays.

How to go ?

Sonajhuri is very well connected by road and is some 165 km from Kolkata and 40 km from Siuri in Birbhum. You can easily hire a private car or avail buses that ply on this route. You can also reach Sonajhuri via train services. The nearest railway stations from this village are Bolpur and Prantik. You can take Auto Rickshaws as well as manual rickshaws to reach Sonajhuri from the station. If you are travelling by car from Kolkata, the best way to reach Sonajhuri is to take the Durgapur Expressway and reach Nawabhaat, just after crossing the Bardhaman Bypass. Take the road towards Ghuskara keeping the 108 Shiv Mandir to your right to reach Sonajhuri via Bolpur Railway Station.

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Where to stay ?

You can stay at Sonajhuri Resort which is owned by WBFDC.
For booking details you may contact:
West BengalForest Development Corporation Limited
6A, Raja Subodh Mullick Square, 7th – Floor, Kolkata-700013
Ph No. : 033-2237-0060/ 2237-0061/ 2225-8549
Website: www.wbfdc.com
Resort Helpline no.: +91-03242 253356

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Sajnekhali

Sajnekhali, South Bengal – The Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary nestled amidst lush Sunderban Forests

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Do you have the lust to enjoy greenery and adventure, then a stay at the Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary nestled amidst lush Sunderban Forests will really be an experience that you will cherish for lifetime. It lies at the confluence of River Matla and Gumdi. Sajnekhali is renowned for being a home to the Royal Bengal Tiger and is also a heaven for varied species of birds. The Sajnekhali watch tower gives you a wonderful view of Sunderbans and from where you can catch the glimpse of deer, tiger and other animals. A SajnekhaliNature Interpretation Centre has been built at Sajnekhali, protected by wired fence. A crocodile farm, a turtle farm and a pond inhabited by sharks lies adjoining this centre. Sajnekhali has a number of watchtowers for wildlife viewing. Besides the tigers, the forest is also a haven for animals like Fishing Cats, Wild Boar, Macaques, Flying Fox, Chital, Pangolin and others.

Places to see at Sajnekhali: Watching the daily life of the wild animals from Sajnekhali Watch Tower is quite interesting. You can also visit the Nature Interpretation Centre to discover more information about Sunderbans and its inhabitants. There is a crocodile pond where you can watch the feeding frenzy of crocodiles. A smaller turtle farm and a pond inhabited by sharks can also be found here. You can also spend sometime at the Sajnekhali jetty watching over the mighty Matla River and the passing boats.

At Shajnekhali, savour the splendid sight of some exotic birds like Spotted Billed Pelican, Caspian Tern, Fish Eagle, Osprey Herring Gull, Green Backed Heron, Purple Heron, Open Billed Stork, Night Heron, White Bellied Sea Eagle, White Ibis, Grey Heron, Common Kingfisher, Egret and Paradise Flycatcher. This sanctuary is also visited by the rare winter migrants like Asian Dowitchers.

SajnekhaliNearby attractions of Sajnekhali: From Sajnekhali jetty, the ferries will take you to Bhagabatpur Crocodile breeding farm, Halliday Island (famous for Barking Deer) and other parts of Sunderbans.  You can also enjoy a ferry ride to the small village settlement of Gosaba, located in the Canning subdivision. You can also visit Netidhopani, which has the remnants of a mysterious 400-year-old temple. A trip to Kanak is also quite rewarding for travellers, which is the nesting ground of Olive Ridley Turtles.

Things to do at Sajnekhali: Apart from touring the sightseeing destinations at Sajnekhali, take out some time to visit the nearby villages. You can interact with the local people of the place and watch their life style to have an insight into their lives.

Best time to visit Sajnekhali: You can visit Sajnekhali throughout the year but the best time to visit Sajnekhali is from September to March. Many tourists also fall under the spell of the magical charm of monsoon in Sunderban.

How to go ?

Caning is the gateway of Sajnekhali, where motorboats are available departing for the destination. Canning is well accessible by bus and train services from Kolkata. To reach Sajnekhali, you can also hire boats from Basanti, Gosaba, Namkhana and Najatare, which are well connected by roadway from Kolkata. You can drive straight to Sonakhali and take a 3 hour ferry ride to Sajnekhali Tourist Lodge.  Sonakhali is about 90 kms from Kolkata and takes 2.5 hrs by bus from Esplanade. The route is via EM Bypass — Bantala — Ghatak Pukur — Sarberia.  Alternatively, you can also reach Sajnekhali through Basanti (90 kms from Kolkata) and take an auto rickshaw to Gadkhali (another 11 kms away) to arrive at Gosaba. From Gosaba you can catch another ferry (about 20 mins) to reach Sajnekhali.

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Where to stay ?

The WBTDC Tourist Complex at Sajnekhali is the most popular and well-equipped accommodation in Sajnekhali. The complex has a number of watch towers overlooking the Sunderbans, a crocodile pond and a Nature Interpretation centre. We arrange booking for WBTDC Tourist Complex at Sajnekhali directly from Kolkata. Dining facilities are excellent here, which mainly comprises ethnic Bengali cuisine. However, Western styled food is also offered here. For booking details you may contact:

WBTDC
3/2, B.B.D. Bag (East), Kolkata – 700 001
Phone : (033)22436440/22488271
Website: www.wbtourism.gov.in

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Mukutmanipur

Mukutmanipur, South Bengal – A huge water body surrounded by hills and forests that changes its colour in different seasons

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Mukutmanipur is an ideal retreat of escaping to the ultimate serenity perfectly. To spend a weekend in this beautiful place for complete relaxation of souls is worth. A huge water body surrounded by hills and forests that changes its colour in different seasons is the main attraction of the place. Mukutmanipur is the right place for those people who want a combination of some Mukutmanipuradventure along with relaxation. It rests at the confluence of two beautiful rivers, Kumari and Kangsabati, in the Bankura district of the state of West Bengal. This beautiful destination is also an ideal picnic spot that attracts hoards of picnic crowds. This serene place is also renowned for housing the second largest water barrage across India that canalizes Kumari and Kangsabati Rivers into the 3 districts of West Bengal – Medinipur, Purulia and Bankura facilitating irrigation during the summer time.

A boat ride in this huge water body almost gives you the feeling of being in the middle of ocean.  Enjoy the exquisite beauty of nature along with different species of seasonal birds in the Bonpukuria Deer Park. Mukutmanipur is also equipped with proper lodging facility that makes it a perfect tourist hub.

Places to see at Mukutmanipur: Boarding on a small boat, to enjoy the serene ocean-like beauty in the middle of the water body formed by the union of Kangsabati and Kumari River is really charming. There are some tiny rocky islands in the water which gets submerged in the rainy seasons. You can hire a motor boat and a van rickshaw to visit the Bonpukuria Deer Park nearby which Mukutmanipuris often flanked by varieties of seasonal birds. The entire length of the dam is 11 km. A trekker or auto rickshaw can be hired to travel over the dam top road for 6 km to visit the confluence of River Kumari and Kansabati. This earthen dam was built with the sole purpose of providing irrigation facilities to agricultural land. The dam measures 38 meters in height with a lake spanning 86 Sq km. Thick virgin forest and verdant hillocks flanking the azure lake create a breathtaking view at the site. Owing to its splendid spectacle, the area has developed into an attractive weekend spot. This colossal dam nestles 2 km away from the Bangopalpur Reserve Forest.

The famous Bangopalpur Reserve Forest is the home of different species of flora and fauna and is worth exploring. You will find the ancient town of Ambikanagar, around 4km away from the dam. In ancient time, this town was the pilgrimage centre of the Jains. Remnants are still found at the site. The place also houses the Ambika Devi Temple, where shondha-arati(evening-worship) begins at 7 p.m. Set out early, so that you can also visit the Rajbari(king’s Palace) of Ambikanagar. Ambikanagar is also famous for its exotic tribal handicraft. Local tribes make wonderful handicrafts using bamboo sticks and grass, which you can buy as gift or souvenirs.

MukutmanipurA visit to the Bonpukuria Deer Park will allow you to watch some of the rare seasonal bird species. Among the places of interest in the town, the Palace of King Raicharan is also mention worthy.

Nearby attractions from Mukutmanipur: Among some nearby places of attraction are the palace of King Raicharan, Parshwanath Tila and the Statue of Pareshnath. Pareshnath Hills have quite a number of stone statues on top of it. Another very important landmark near Mukutmanipur is Ambikanagar which is a very old centre of Jain culture. You can make a trip to Jhilimili from Mukutmanipur, another attractive tourist spot. Covered by the nature the beauty of Jhilimili offers feast for the eyes. The place attracts plenty of tourists every year.

Things to do at Mukutmanipur: The town of Mukutmanipur is like a perfect scenery providing rest to the eyes of the urbanites. A small boat ride in the river is an excellent idea to enjoy the spectacular beauty of the surrounding. Moreover, a visit to the Bonpukuria Deer Park can help you see some rarest of seasonal bird species. Savour the local Bengali cuisines served at many eateries of the place. Enjoy drinking the authentic date juice, if you are visiting Mukutmanipur in winter. The exquisite Dokra and earthen work of the place is very famous and you can always buy them at pocket-friendly price.

Best time to visit Mukutmanipur: You can visit Mukutmanipur any-time of a year. During the monsoon (July and August) the lock gates of the dam generally remain open.

How to go ?

The closest railway station of this destination is Bankura. You can board the Rupashi Bangla Express from Howrah to reach Bankura from where you can either take a bus or hire a car to reach Mukutmanipur which is only 45 km away. By car, you can take left from Durgapur to reach Beliator which is 26 km away, from where you should take the Bankura Bypass to reach Mukutmanipur via Khatra crossing. You can also take a direct bus to your destination leaving at 9 in the morning or 9 p.m from Dharamtalla in Kolkata. It takes around 7 hours from Kolkata to reach Mukutmanipur by bus.

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Where to stay ?

WBTDC runs three lodges in Mukutmanipur namely Pancha Pally Tourist Complex, Sonajhuri Prakriti Bhraman KendraThe West Bengal Forest Development Corporation Resort. For booking details you may contact:

Tourism Centre (Kolkata)
3/2, B.B.D. Bag (East), Kolkata – 700 001
Phone : +91-(033)22436440/22488271
Website: wbtourism.gov.in

There are also some private hotels and resorts available for tourists. These places of stay also offer decent dining facilities. The accommodation at Mukutmanipur is equipped with facilities like bar, dining hall, lawn, gardens, 24 hour power supply, car parking and other standard facilities. The spacious and airy rooms are facilitated with attached western bathrooms, hot water geysers, wardrobes, TV, AC. There are double bed and triple bed rooms available at Mukutmanipur hotel. Few options are:

Peerless Resort: +91 099 32 292869  ( www.peerlesshotels.com )
Hotel Aparajita:(+91)-3243-253355, +91-9434224674

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Jambu Dwip

Jambu Dwip, South Bengal – This small island is a refuge to great range of bird species, reptiles and fish life

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Jambu Dwip is located at the sea-mouth of Ganga in South 24 Parganas. This small island is a refuge to great range of bird species, reptiles and fish life. It also houses a huge casuarina grove.

Places to see at Jambu Dwip: The island itself is the main attraction which is the home for a wide range of species of bird and reptile. A great range of marine life consisting of mainly the fishes is really charming.

Jambu DwipNearby attractions from Jambu Dwip: You can take a trip to witness the beach life of Bakkhali or visit Frasergunj which is often considered to be the twin town of Bakkhali. You may also find the Lothian Island located nearby.

Things to do at Jambu Dwip: Take a stroll around this small island and enjoy the exquisite beauty of nature and wildlife, particularly birds and plant life.

Best time to visit at Jambu Dwip: You can visit Jambu Dwip throughout the year.

How to go ?

You first have to reach Frazergunj from where you can take a motor boat for Jambu Dwip.

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Where to stay ?

Jambudwip has not much accommodation facility. You can stay at Bakkhali or Frazerganj which is not much far from the place. Bakhali Tourist Lodge is an option. For booking details you may contact:

WBTDC
3/2, B.B.D. Bag (East), Kolkata – 700 001
Phone : (033)22436440 /22488271 Website: wbtourism.gov.in

Some private hotels in Bakkhali are:

Hotel Deepak: (+91) 03210 225277/ (+91) 97326 04833
Hotel Amarabati: (+91) 09732619340 / 9647367780

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Joypur Forest

Joypur Forest, South Bengal – A dense jungle of Sal and Teak

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A dense jungle of Sal and Teak inhabited by spotted deer herds, found crossing the lush green forest-path that’s Joypur Forest. Bishnupur, the historical town with its 17th Century terracotta temples, the Kansabati Dam and lake at Mukutmanipur are Joypur Forestits nearby attractions. It is an ideal weekend spot for those wanting to enjoy the peace and serenity.  Adjacent to the Joypur Forest, is a resort where you can stay. The resort has its own farm, vegetable garden, a huge lake (Jheel) and equipped with all modern facilities. The dense forest surrounds the resort area. This is a place where you can spend your time idly and enjoy some peace that you otherwise miss in the busy city life. Planning to visit Bishnupur recently and avoid the cacaphony of the streets, then you can stay at Joypur. From Joypur, Bishnupur is just 14km.

Places to see at JoypurForest: The dense forest extends over an area of 120 sq.km with a watch tower to catch a glimpse of the greenery and the spotted deer – Cheethals. You would also find a good population of birds here – especially parrots. The forest vegetation mainly comprises Sal and Teak with few other trees like Amla and Bahera. Occasionally, during winters, you would also find wild elephants crossing the forest area. There is a forest watch tower within 10 mins walk from the resort. You can have a panoramic view of the forest from this watch tower. There is also an abandoned airstrip of British era within the forest, which you can visit. But, remember to return from the forest within 4 pm.

Joypur-ForestNearby attractions of JoypurForest: The prime attraction near Joypur Forest is the temple town of Bishnupur in Bankura District. It is located just 14 kms ahead of Joypur Forest. This 17th century town of Bishnupur is dotted with terracotta temples and historical buildings all around. Some of the famous temples of Bishnupur are the Rasmancha, which is the oldest brick temple built by the legendary king Beer Humbeer in 1600 AD, the Pancha Ratna Temple built in 1643 AD built by King Raghunath Singha, the Jor Bangla temple built in 1655 AD by King Raghunath Singha Dev II, the Madanmohan Temple built in 1694 AD, the Lalji Temple built in 1658 AD and Nandalal Temple built in 17th century.

All these temples built by Malla Kings were dedicated to Lord Krishna. However, the show stealer is the famous 3.8 meter long Dalmadal Cannon with a muzzle diameter of nearly 30 cms, which is said to have been used by the Malla Kings against the Marathas. You can also visit some of the temple ruins located around Bishnupur like the infamous Gumghar (torture chamber) of Malla Kings, the Lal Bandh lake, the Pathar Darwaja (main gateway of the town) and the Nutan Mahal.

Other than Bishnupur, tourists can also visit Jairambati and Kamarpukur, birthplaces of Saradamayi Maa and Sri Ramakrishna Pramahamsa just 53 kms from Joypur, the Mukutmanipur Dam on River Kansabati around 80 kms away and the Panchmura village just 31 kms from Joypur Forest famous for terracotta horses. Nearly all households of Panchmura make terracotta horses and various terracotta items like jewellery and show-pieces. Jhilimili and Susunia Hills are few other attractions which you can cover in day trips. Another interesting destination located within 60 kms is the Temple of Kapistha, which is a 17th century temple of Durga atop a hill. Just remember not to carry onion or garlic during your visit to Kapistha. The Gandua Dam on Durgapur – Mejia Road and Piyardoba Forest are also located nearby.

Things to do at JoypurForest: You can take a stroll along the buffer zone of the forest or visit the nearby watch tower to catch a glimpse of the frolicking Cheethals (spotted deer) and occasional elephant herds crossing the forest. An idle morning can be spent watching birds and an idle evening watching the sun go down over the forest’s horizon. You can take a local sightseeing trip to Bishnupur, Jairambati, Kamarpukur or Panchmura and return by the evening to your resort in Joypur Forest. Another favourite activity of tourists visiting Joypur would be a shopping trip to Bishnupur. The famous Baluchari Saree, Bishnupur Silk, terracotta handicrafts and Dokra are some of the things you can try here.

Best time to visit JoypurForest: You can visit Joypur Forest throughout the year. Here, winters are best for birdwatching and the rainy season covers the entire jungle in a lush greenery. If you are fond of local culture and art, then you can also plan your trip between 23rd December and 27th December every year when the Bishnupur Mela is held.

How to go ?

From Esplanade (Kolkata) you can catch any bus towards Bishnupur via Arambagh and get down at Joypur Forest. It is around 140 kms and takes almost 4.5 hours. If you want to avail train, there are numerous options from Howrah. You can even take any local train to Tarakeshwar from Howrah and catch a bus from Tarakeshwar to Joypur. Another option could be boarding direct express trains like Rupashi Bangla or Aranyak and getting down at Bishnupur. From Bishnupur station, you would get trekkers to JoypurForest.

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Where to stay ?

The private resort in Joypur is located adjacent to the Joypur Forest. The resort has its own vegetable garden, a Jheel (huge pond), Joypur-Foresta very nice restaurant and its own farm with cows, swans, ducks and even Emus. Most of its food is taken from its own farm and cooked fresh every day. There are Double Bed Cottages and Four bedded family rooms with attached Western Bathrooms and all
modern facilities like Air Conditioners, hot water geysers, Televisions and Showers. The resort has private parking and gazebos are located all around its pond for the guests to spend some idle hours in the evening. The resort’s multi-cuisine restaurant is quite famous among the food lovers of Bishnupur and its menu can be compared to any restaurant in Kolkata.

Hotel Banalata : +9103244-249-234/ +91-9732111706 /+91-9732111707 /+91-9732111705  Website: www.hotelbanalata.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Garpanchakat

Garpanchakat, South Bengal – A nature’s wonderland that rests amidst the splendid woodland and hills

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Garpanchakat or Garpanchakot is a nature’s wonderland and an ideal tourist spot to enjoy a perfect weekend holiday that rests amidst the splendid woodland and hills. The location of the place is its main attraction that is easily accessible by car and rail. It also facilitates all modern requirements.

GarpanchakatPlaces to see at Garpanchakot: This place features a number of sites with historical values that are worth visiting. You can visit the remains of ancient palaces of kings, who used to rule the region. The site also houses the Temple of Pancharatna, the very name from which the name of the place has been derived. Lake of Murarodi also offers some spectacular views of the surrounding.

Nearby attractions from Garpanchakat: The Panchet Dam which is some 5 kms from the place is the biggest nearby attractions. Panchet Dam offers great opportunities for bird watching.

Things to do at Garpanchakat: If you are not much of an outdoor person, spend your day just sitting in the forest bungalows, enjoying the scenic natural beauty of the surrounding. You can also go for bird-watching at the Panchet Dam.

Best time to visit Garpanchakat: You can visit the place any time of the year. However, rainy season makes is lush green.

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How to go ?

GarpanchakatIf you are travelling by train, get down at the stations of Barakor or Asansol and take a trekker to cover an hour long path to reach Garpanchakat. You can also take the car route by driving along the National Highway 2. After crossing Asansol, turn left and take the road leading to Raghunathpur. After reaching the Satbari stop, your destination is few kilometers away by the village path.

Where to stay ?

Garpanchakat has accommodation developed by West Bengal Tourism. For booking details you may contact:
West Bengal Forest Development Corporation Limited
Address: 6A, Raja Subodh Mullick Square, 7th – Floor, Kolkata-700013
Ph No. : +91-033-2237-0060/ 2237-0061/ 2225-8549
Website: www.wbfdc.com

There is also a private accommodation.
Palash Bithi Lodge: +91-8001702087, 9932610350

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Chechuria

Chechuria, South Bengal – A man made eco sanctuary located nearby Bishnupur

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Chechuria Eco Park is a man made eco sanctuary located nearby Bishnupur. This beautiful sanctuary is a forest department creation and is a perfect getaway of the tired souls. The profuse greenery and the birds’ chirps will greet you there giving a completely different feel. The bracing air filled with chlorophyll, is a sort of treat for the city lungs. Relax for some days away from the city pollution. The forest bungalow is ideal for the night stay there. Enjoy some local delicacies at eateries by the natives.

Places to see at Chechuria: The eco-sanctuary itself is a great place to see so many natural aspects.

Nearby attractions of Chenchuria: You can also make a trip to the town of Bishnupur and enjoy some great attractions there.

Things to do at Chechuria: The eco sanctuary is ideal as the picnic spot. You also have the option for boating in the huge water body or take a stroll inside the sanctuary and enjoy the unspoiled beauty of nature as well as fresh, pollution-free air.

Best time to visit Chechuria: The place can be visited throughout the year.

How to go ?

From Bishnupur, Chechuria eco sanctuary is only 19 kilometers. If you don’t have a car with you, you can avail a trekker or an auto or hire a car from Bishnupur.

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Where to stay ?

You can put up at the forest bungalow. Stay here and enjoy some delicacies at eateries arranged by local people. For booking details you may contact:

West Bengal Forest Development Corporation Limited
6A, Raja Subodh Mullick Square, 7th – Floor, Kolkata-700013
Ph No. : +91-033-2237-0060/ 2237-0061/ 2225-8549.
Website: www.wbfdc.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Duarsini

Duarsini, South Bengal – Pack your bags this weekend if you want to mingle completely with nature

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Want to mingle completely with nature then pack your bags to visit Duarsini in the next weekend. The variety of trees like Shal, Teak, Mahua, Pial, Kusum, and Bahera stand in a row here. The mountain river Satgudum leading to the tribal villages will mesmerise you by its serpentine moves. The adventures in the forest will make your trip to Duarsini a full package of excitement.

DuarsiniThe sudden descend of darkness in these jungle areas is very interesting to see. The silvery night lighted by soothing moon, the rhythmic beats of drums coming from the tribes amidst the jungle can be quite a thrilling experience for the tourists.

Places to see at Duarsini: The villages of the tribes like Santhal, Munda, Shabaradh, and Kheriya are the main attraction of the place. The jungle is another interesting place to visit, where you see wild animals like bears, wild pig, and herds of elephants, hyena, and wolf, along with some known and unknown birds that can be seen here.

Nearby attractions from Duarsini:  From Durasini you can visit the place like, Galudi and from there you can further travel to its nearby destinations. Another place is the Bhalo Hills, located some 3 km away from Duarsini. The remnants of the culture of some past civilization are found here.

Things to do at Duarsini: In Duarsini, you can travel to the various tribal houses in their villages, of course guided by some local. In the jungle you can even spot some wild animals. Sitting by the river Satgudum is also an option. In the evening you can also sit in your bungalow and enjoy the sound of drums coming from the tribal villages.

DuarsiniBest time to visit Duarsini: The jungles are safe throughout the year except the rainy season.

How to go ?

The easiest way to reach Duarsini is by travelling 12 km from Galudi and crossing the border of West Bengal and entering Purulia district. Duarsini can be arrived at both from Purulia as well as Bandowan.

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Where to stay ?

The best arrangement for lodging is the cottages maintained by WBFDC. Dining comes as a part of staying in these cottages. For booking details you may contact:

DuarsiniWest Bengal Forest Development Corporation Limited
6A, Raja Subodh Mullick Square, 7th – Floor, Kolkata-700013
Ph No. : 033-2237-0060/ 2237-0061/ 2225-8549.
Website: www.wbfdc.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Biharinath

Biharinath, South Bengal – The highest hill in the Bankura District

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Biharinath is the highest hill in the Bankura District located near the famous Joychandi Hills. It is covered by Purulia on the one side and River Damodar on the other side. The hill is of 451 meters altitude. It is recognized as a popular tourist destination in the recent years. The place is shrouded in thick forests, and is rioted with colours with the blooming of Kash Phool, Shimul and Palash during the seasons. The villagers decorate their mud homes with Alpona here. It is not quite difficult to catch the glimpse of the wild boar, hare, fox and some unknown colourful birds when they cross your path. It is quite surprising that Biharinath Hill is the highest hill in the sub-Himalayan terrain in West Bengal (1480 feet).

BiharinathPlaces to see at Biharinath: The primary attraction of Biharinath is the lush nature all around and Biharinath Hill. The unforgettable experience of watching the rising and setting sun over Ledhi and Sharpahari Hills and the winding village paths would compel you to extend your stay. Another popular attraction here is temple dedicated to Shiva, popularly known as the Biharinath dham and a small tank located at the foothill.

Nearby attractions at Biharinath: Visit the Ureshwari Temple, which is just a walk away and located to the West of the Biharinath Hill. The Binodpur Dam and Joychandi Hill (where Satyajit Ray’s Hirak Rajar Deshey was shot) is also nearby.  Boranti Lake is located just 15 kms from Biharinath. Other attractions that can be covered within a couple of hour’s journey are Maithon, Panchet, Shaltora and Sushunia.  Biharinath is just 66 kms from Durgapur.  Boranti is also nearby, just 15 kms.

Things to do at Biharinath: The adventure lovers will have a great time in Biharinath. Biharinath hill is ideal for trekking and you can scale the hilltop in just one and half to two hours. You can also explore the region, which boasts of an exotic range of flora and fauna. You can also enjoy boating at the lake located nearby the Biharinath temple. Enjoy a nature walk along the scenic natural landscape of Biharinath. Biharinath also hosts a whole range of religious fairs and festivals throughout the year. Huge fairs are organized during Shivrati and Saraswati Puja.

Best time to visit Biharinath: The place attracts tourists throughout the year. However, if you are looking for a peaceful weekend gate away then try to avoid the seasons when fairs and festivals (especially Shivratri) are held. If you love palash flower then February/March should be the ideal season.

How to go ?

There are a number of options to reach Biharinath. You can drive along the Durgapur Expressway, bypassing Panagarh, Durgapur and Ranigang. After crossing the Damodar River Bridge, drive straight towards Madhukunda. After bypassing the Madhukunda railway crossing, go straight to Biharinath (16 kms). You can also avail trains running to Asansol. Biharinath is located at a distance of 46 km from Asansol, which you can commute by hiring a cab from the Asansol Railway Station. However, the best way to reach Biharinath is by train to Raniganj and then to Biharinath by hired car (22 kms).

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Where to stay ?

There is not much accommodation facilities in Biharinath. Biharinath Tourist Point is an option.
Ph No : +91-(033) 6954 7111, 8017202499, 9732861020

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Takdah Forest Bungalow

Takdah, North Bengal – 27 km from Darjeeling, here you can enjoy a stroll in the cedar & pine forests & stay at local orchid garden

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Takdah is located in the Runglee Rungliot area of the Darjeeling District. It lies in the heart of the mountains and is just 27 km from the main city of Darjeeling. It is located at an altitude of 4000 feet. Here you can enjoy a stroll in the cedar and pine forests, and halt at a local orchid garden. You must drop at some of the famous heritage British bungalows and watch the local women pick tea leaves from the vast stretches of tea gardens. Takdah also called Tukdah was a British Cantonment area and you can still sees the fragments of the British Raaj in the bungalows and gardens of Takdah. In Takdah, you can stay at a heritage bungalow built in 1908 decorated with modern amenities for the tourists who want to make the days of the Raj alive once again.

Places to see at Takdah: There is a religious monastery or gumpha, (Dechhen Pema Tshoiling Monastery) centrally located in Takdah, just beside the caves of Mata Durga. This monastery and the caves were looked after by Rev. Lama Karma Gyaltchen (Bal Takdah Forest BungalowMe Me) till 1st May 2007. Other than these, there are the British Bungalows (locally known as Kothis) built mostly between 1905 and 1915. The most famous Colonial Bungalows of Takdah are the clubhouse, forest bungalow, Shikharini, Rani Kothi (presently a church), Att Number Kothi and the famous Sonpur Palace now in ruins. Some of the colonial bungalows have also been taken up by local schools like Green Shields and GriffithHigh School. There are around 12 colonial bungalows in Takdah. Flooded in colonial charm, Takdah is surrounded by larges stretches of pine forests and tea gardens like Runglee Rungliot, Takdah Tea Estate, Gielle, Teesta Valley and Namring. The Orchid Centre, Dokan Dara (local market) and the Durpin View Point are some other destinations where you can visit during your stay. Another interesting nearby place to visit is the 100 year old suspension bridge called Barbatey Bridge.

Nearby attractions of Takdah: The little village of Tinchuley, which enjoys some of the most beautiful views of Mt.Kanchenjungha is only 4 kms from the heart of Takdah. The famous orange orchards of Bara Mangwa and Chota Mangwa are around 12 kms away and the mesmeric views from Peshoke Tea Garden view point is 14 kms away. The newly – discovered Lamahatta village, which has great views of Kanchenjungha is around 12 kms away. You can visit the nearby destinations of Kalimpong (40 km) and Darjeeling around 27 kms away.

Things to do at Takdah: Doing nothing is what you should do when you are in Takdah. Going for sightseeing, taking a nature walk around the local villages and pine forests and enjoying a picnic in the lawns of the colonial bungalows are few other things you may like doing in Takdah. For tourists who have never seen a weekly village market, they will get to see this on Thursdays, when locals from nearby villages turn up to shop at Dokan Dara in Takdah. You can also see the collection of uncommon Himalayan orchids in the orchid centre of this cantonment town. A visit to the local Chagporti Tibetan Medical Institute can also be rewarding for all those interested in local culture. An early morning visit to nearby Durpin Dara viewpoint to witness the sunrise and Mt.Kanchenjungha in a cascading hue of gold with the river valley below can be the “moment” of your life.

Best time to visit Takdah: Takdah can be visited anytime of the year. The summers and the welcoming monsoons shroud the valleys and tea gardens of Takdah with lush greenery. The winter sunshine, the chill and sparkling weather in other times of the year makes it an ideal destination to escape the heat of the plains.

How to go ?

Takdah is very near to Darjeeling and you would get regular shared cars and buses from Darjeeling to Takdah. You can also avail shared cars from Ghoom to Takdah. Takdah is around 70 kms from Siliguri and you can also hire cars directly from Siliguri, NJP or Bagdogra.

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Where to stay ?

In Takdah, you can stay in a heritage British bungalow built in 1908. The present owners have restored its old glory and renovated it with some modern amenities like hot water geysers and western bathrooms. Run by a retired teacher and his wife, this bungalow has a lawn with a pair of fountains, a colonial verandah overlooking the plains and valleys and off course the quintessential fireplace to keep you warm during the evenings and help you to break a conversation with your hosts and fellow travellers. But a British Bungalow is not complete without a dog and so you have a nice gentle dog guarding the premises of this bungalow that is fortunate enough to get a new name every time a new guest arrives. Food is essentially home cooked delicious Indian cuisine served hot and fresh. The host can also serve English breakfasts and continental dishes. Lastly, the view of rising sun from the bedroom of this bungalow is unforgettable. For reservation purpose you can visit www.takdah.com

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gour

Gour, North Bengal – If you love history then the city of Gour is your ideal holiday destination

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If you love history, then the city of Gour, is your ideal holiday destination. This place fully which is fully soaked in history is located near the west bank of River Ganges. It is around 40 km. downstream from Rajmahal, in the district of Malda of West Bengal. The location is marked with a number of archaeological sites and historical places, and admired with splendid architectures. Though most of the architectural splendours are dilapidated, yet the city of Gour holds some aura, which attracts tourists from far and near.

Places to see at Gour: This tourist spot Gour is a witness to some age-old architectural treasures, which enhance the historical value of the site. Gour is famous for housing an ancient fort on the bank of the River Bhagirathi, where you can only view the ruins of the fort. However, the sight of the main entrance of the fort, the Dakhil Darwaza, admired with five-storied towers built in its four corners is truly amazing. It was built with red bricks, decorated with motifs of rosettes, suns, lamps etc. The south eastern corner of the fort is adorned with the Biasgazi wall, boasting a towering height of 22 yards. You will also admire the extensive Lukochuri Darwaza or the Royal Eastern Gate, built in Mughal style in the year 1655 by Shah Shuja. A domed squared building, known as Kadam Rasul, housing the footprint of The Prophet is also found within the fort area.

Make a visit to the Tantipara Mosque, located near the fort. The mosque features five entrances and is highly decorated with red coloured bricks. Another site of tourist interest is Lattan, gracefully structured with colourful bands of green, blue, white and yellow glazed tiles. You will also be attracted to the beautifully built Firuz Minar, symbolizing the victory of Firuz Shah. The Bada Sona Masjid admired with 44 domes also offers a visual treat. You can spot the Madan Mohan Jiu Mandir in Ramkeli, located nearby the Bada Sona Masjid, frequently visited by the devotees of Sri Chaitanya.

Nearby attractions around Gour: You can highly organize a tour to the old city of Malda, located at the confluence of two rivers. Visit the Mala town located 4 km. away from the Old Malda. The major attractions of the Old Malda city are the Nimasari Tower and The Jami Masjid. The region also features some marshy tracts called bhils, which attracts wild fowl like the Siberian goose.

Things to do at Gour: Explore the city of Gour admired with a number of significant historical places and archaeological sites. You can also enjoy a trail along the forest, encircling the entire region.

Best time to visit Gour: You can visit Gour any time of the year.

How to go ?

Gour is directly accessible from Malda by both roadway and railways. Moreover, direct flights are also available from Kolkata to Malda.

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Where to stay ?

Though the site features some hotels, you can find out some decent accommodation and dining facilities offered by the guest houses and hotels located in Malda. The state tourism department also runs a guest house in Malda. For booking details you may contact:
WBTDC, Tourist Centre ,
BBD Bug (East), Kolkata – 700001
Phone Number – (033)-2219591, 5178
You can also stay at the
Circuit House. Write/Fax to District Magistrate,Malda at (03512)-253092 , (03512)-253049.
Or  Call at: (03512)-252330
For further details you may visit the link: www.wbtourism.gov.in

There are also many private hotels. Some options are:
Hotel Continental
(03512)-220388
Hotel Meghdoot
(03512)-266216

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

 

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