Whether it’s the beautiful art galleries, the grand colonial architecture or its general hustle-bustle – Kolkata in all its glory comes alive as soon as one sets foot in this city. From being India’s capital under the British Raj from 1773-1911, Calcutta, as it was formerly known, has today earned the reputation of being the intellectual and cultural hub of our country. But what does the city have to offer, away from its daily rush? If you want to beat the stress, here’s the right way to do it. Following is a list of 10 places that one should definitely explore around Kolkata.
Distance from Kolkata – 54 kms via NH 117 (approx)
From the Diamond Harbor port to the ruins of Chingrihkali fort (that rhymed!), the place is a marvel to explore. The visitors in Raichak love exploring the collection of manuscripts, terracotta figurines and black stones images of Buddha, Mahavir and Vishnu to the Ramakrishna Mission Ashram, which is frequently visited by pilgrims. There is a lot that you can check off your bucket list while in Raichak.
Distance from Kolkata – 105 kms via NH 2 (approx)
The splendour of Bardhaman would charm one and all. With the Shrine of Sarvamangala, the Curzon Gate, a group of 108 Shiva lingam temples, Tomb of Sher Afghan in its lap, it easily boasts of a multi-cultural heritage. On top of that, Burdwan is the rice bowl of West Bengal.
Distance from Kolkata – 109 kms (approx)
If you want your weekend to be wild, quite literally, this exotic Mangrove is the place to be. The Sunderbans are a part of the world’s largest delta and the largest Tiger Reserve and National Park in India. To explore the facts we once read in our General Knowledge books back in school, like the one about Royal Bengal Tiger, do not miss booking one of those Tiger camps or the Nature camps.
Distance from Kolkata – 124 kms via NH 2 (approx)
‘Navadvipa’ – meaning ‘nine Islands’ is beautifully situated on the banks of the Ganges. With almost 200 temples concentrated in this small rural setting, it is like God’s own land. It gives you a palpable sense of peace.
Distance from Kolkata – 126 kms via NH 117 (approx)
Bakkhali is a serene seaside resort located on one of the many deltaic islands. It is an off-beat destination away from the hue and cry of city life.
Distance from Kolkata – 172 kms via NH6 & NH 116B (approx)
Imagine staring at the vastness of the Bay of Bengal while being surrounded by the humble beauty of a village. Mandarmani is an ideal place to bury all your worries,as the place acts like an antidote to one’s soul. While here, one would behold thousands of small crabs crawling around the 13 km stretch, which is quite a sight in itself. It makes it look like a field of the red flower, Mandar. Who would want to miss out on a long drive along this beautiful beach? After all, it boasts of what would probably be the longest motor-able road in India.
Distance from Kolkata – 184 kms via NH6 & NH 116B (approx)
Digha is a seaside resort city well-connected with Kolkata. It is a popular destination for its scenic views and pristine beaches. Whether it is your family, your loved ones or a crazy group of friends – watching a sun-set on the shores of the Bay of Bengal would definitely make your day. If you want to lose track of time, this is the one.
Distance from Kolkata – 197 kms via NH 2 & Bardhaman-Bankura Rd (approx)
Arts and architecture, Terracotta temples are part of Bankura’s heritage that is integral to the cultural history of Bengal. The scenic spots of Mukutmoipur, situated in the confluence of river Kansabati and Kumari, are quite a delight.
Distance from Kolkata – 210 kms via NH 34 (approx)
It is at times refreshing to explore the bygone times, especially when you visit Murshidabad, a place where history lives and survives. The Hazarduari Palace, Nizamat Imambara, the Katra Mosque should be on your go-to list. To get a glimpse of a French colony, one must also visit Chandannagore, which has beautiful churches, convents and French-era residences.
Distance from Kolkata – 288 kms via NH2 (approx)
With lakes, hills and greenery, what more could one ask for? Purulia is the perfect destination to rejuvenate your mind. If you want to be amidst the beauty of Nature and culture, then you would also be mesmerized by its wonderful picnic spots and the famous Chhau dance. The Ajodhya Hills lends this place its beautiful landscape.
There is a diverse array of options to explore around the capital city of Kolkata. All you need to do is take a break and pack your bags for a refreshing weekend. Here’s your chance to stop complaining about the pressures of the modern world and rediscover the traveller in you. So what are you waiting for?