The state of West Bengal is yet another feather in the crown of Incredible India. Due to its excellent location, stretching from the Bay of Bengal to the Great Himalayas, West Bengal is rich in natural diversity. Be it the snow clad mountains, the wild sea or the dense forests, West Bengal is a complete tour package. Each district of West Bengal has its own proud history and it is the same state that gifted us with legends like Rabindranath Tagore and Swami Vivekananda.
Listed below are some of the best places to visit in West Bengal.
1. The City of Joy- Kolkata
Kolkata, the capital city of Bengal, is considered to be the largest metropolitan of India. You can still find the old trams crawling through the city while the high speed metro storms through it. Speaking about the prime attractions of the city, the Victoria Memorial tops the chart. This white marble memorial takes you back in history. This beautiful building is encircled by a lavish garden and serves as a museum. From historical relics, arms, armours to Mughal miniatures, it is a treasure house.
Close to this historic building is located the Indian Museum, the oldest multipurpose museum of the Asia-Pacific region; the Birla Planetarium, Botanical Gardens and the Eden Garden are the other nearby attractions.
2. The Spiritual Abode- Dakshineshwar
The Dakshineshwar Kali Temple is one of the oldest temples of West Bengal. The spiritual leader Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was the chief of this temple.
Belur Math, founded by Swami Vivekananda is located nearby and serves as a museum. You can enjoy a pleasant boat ride over the River Ganges, to travel between these sites.
3. The Queen of Hills- Darjeeling
Nested between the Kanchenjunga and Mt. Everest, Darjeeling is loved for its pleasant weather and lovely landscape. Tiger Hill is one of the popular tourist sites of Darjeeling. Visit this place before sunrise to witness a mesmerizing sunrise and get a spectacular view of Kanchenjunga.
Sandakphu is a paradise for trekkers. Tweets of six hundred species of birds welcome you from the dense jungles of rhododendrons, magnolias, primulas, orchids and ferns, as you trek through the sloppy hills. The lush green tea gardens and a pleasant ride on the toy trains are the other activities that you must experience at Darjeeling.
4. The Romantic Sea- Digha
Digha is one of the oldest sea beaches of West Bengal. Almost every premium hotel here has their personal beach, where you can relax and enjoy a rejuvenating vacation. Digha is a busy tourist spot, where you can enjoy some of the best sea food, spicy prawns and crabs and take back souvenirs in the form of jewellery made from sea shells and home decors made with beads.
If you want to be far from the madding crowd, visit the sea beaches of Mandarmani and Tajpur, where you can enjoy parasailing and ride cars on the beaches.
5. The Royal Wildlife- Sundarbans
Now it is time to visit the lord of the jungles, the Royal Bengal tiger. Sunderbans is a UNESCO world heritage site, known for the largest mangrove forests. Scattered over 54 islands, it is the natural habitat for the endangered species of saltwater crocodiles, olive ridley turtles, horseshoe crabs and river terrapins.
Checkout the wildlife at night at the light houses located here. You can also enjoy a thrilling motor boat ride through the jungles or participate in the tiger camps.
6. The Artistic Land- Bishnupur
Located at the Bankura district of West Bengal, history of Bishnupur dates back to the 15th century. The city is known for its exquisite terracotta temples and glistening silk saris. These Baluchuri silk saris depict stories from the Indian epics.
The most popular temples of the town are the JoreBangla, Rasmancha and Pancha Ratna Temple.
Visit the Lal Bai ghat to know the love story of a Malla king and his beautiful consort, Lal Bai. The Dalmadal cannon stand as another example of the power of the Malla rulers.
7. The Abode Of Peace- Shantiniketan
If you are in love with Bengali literature, art and music, you cannot miss a visit to this small town of Birbhum district. Shantiniketan was founded by the noble laureate, Rabindranath Tagore, holding whose hand Bengali culture has reached a different dimension.
Tour the Vishwa Bharati campus, Tagore House, Kala Bhavan, Sangeet Bhavan, Bichitra, Uttarayan Complex and Prayer Hall to get a glimpse of the simple life style of the author and the masterpieces created by him. As you tour the place, you will find students studying under trees, a unique experience indeed.