West Bengal, the paradise of cultural enchantment is undoubtedly the right travel destination for you. The diversified terrain, cultural enthusiasm and pictorial beauty of nature with a variety of options always promise you to deliver something more than what you desire. The capital city Kolkata is known as "the city of joy" which offers a bundle of enjoyable destinations and activities which unarguably steals the heart of the vacationers.
The state of West Bengal is located in the eastern part of India and slices its international borders with Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. This state is surrounded by Bihar, Jharkhand, Sikkim, Orissa, Meghalaya and Assam from different sides. Spreading almost over an area of 88,752 sq kms this place stretches from the Himalayas in the north and the Bay of Bengal in the south. It is situated at 27Â°13'15" and 21Â°25'24" north latitudes and 85°48'20" and 89°53'04" east longitudes. West Bengal has been divided into a few regions considering the soil and climatic variations of this state. The regions are as such: Himalayan hilly region, coastal plain, rarh region, terrain region, North Bengal plains, Sunder bans, Ganges delta and Western high lands and plateau.
The state is adorned with all the things which are needed to create a place attractive. The state of West Bengal is blessed with a plethora of important tourist destinations with a blend of serenity; eternity and an aesthetic touch that crafts an everlasting impact on the voyager. This state is embroidered with beautiful natural places like exciting sceneries, roaring sea, snow-capped hills, green vegetation, rich wildlife along with heritage temples and British architectural wonders. Some of the salient tourist attractions of West Bengal are as followed:
The hill Stations of West Bengal has something or the other to offer to its tourists. Along with natural beauty of the hill stations one can experience the blend of cultures starting from Bengali to Nepalese, Bhutanese and the Tibetan culture while visiting the hilly regions of this state.
Darjeeling: The sky kissing magnificent hill station Darjeeling nestles at an altitude of around 2134m above the sea level. Located at a distance of 665 kms from Kolkata, Darjeeling is simply the adobe of heavenly beauty. Apart from exploring the natural beauties of Darjeeling and the eastern Himalayas one should surely visit the Tiger Hill which offers a mesmerizing view of sunrise against the third highest peak of the world, Kunchenjunga.
Kalimpong: Located at an altitude of approximately 1247m above the sea level, the hill station of Kalimpong is the headquarter of Kalimpong sub-division of the district of Darjeeling. Lava and Lolegaon are the two famous tourist spots of Kalimpong which are mainly explored by the adventure loves. Apart from these, Mangal Dham Temple, Buddhist monasteries like Tongsa Gompa and Tharpa Choeling Gompa, the sight of the glorious river Teesta, are some popular places to visit while in Kalimpong.
Mirik: The hill station Mirik is famous for its picturesque beauty and at the same time it is a rapidly growing tourist destination of West Bengal. The tranquil atmosphere of the hills and the superb view of the Himalayan ranges draw the attention of the nature lovers to a great extent.
Sea Side Destination
West Bengal is slowly emerging as a popular seaside retreat and honeymoon spot for many tourists. Explore the virgin beaches and take the pleasure of your solitude.
Digha: The most visited and popular beach located on the eastern coast of India is Degha which is situated at a distance of around 185 km away from Kolkata. The sea shores of Digha are famous for its flat golden sands and serenity of the environment. The nature of the sea is very calm thus it is very safe for swimming and wadding.
Bakkhali: Situated only 132 km away from Kolkata Bakkhali, is popular as one of the most adorable honeymoon destinations across the globe. The splendid beauty of the romantic nature along with its pristine beaches enthralls the hearts of the voyagers.
Other beaches like Shankarpur beach, Sagardwip beach, Juput beach of West Bengal also offer beautiful sea views and are visited by many travelers throughout the year.
Goddess Kali is the central figure of Bengali religious literature and she is being worshipped in different names and forms with great devotion and spiritualism. There are a number of dedicated shrines in West Bengal which are considered to be the holy place of the deity Kali. Some such temples are:
Kalighat Temple: As per history this is one of the oldest temples of West Bengal which was constructed 200 years back. This temple is situated on the banks of the river Hooghly. Goddess Kali is the principle deity who is being worshiped here. According to the legends, kalighat is one of the Shakti Peethams of India.
Dakshineswar: This is another pilgrim place located on the banks of the river Hooghly. Dakshineswar is known for its legendary Kali Temple which is the adobe of Goddess Kali and Lord Shiva. The temple came into existence during 19th century and is associated with Saint Ramkrishna which attracts scores of people all the year.
Adyapeath: West Bengal's patron deity Kali is being worshipped in Adyapeath which is made of white marble. This famous pilgrim place is located at Dakshineswar in the North 24 Paraganas District.
Other worth mentioning temples of West Bengal are Tarakeshwar Temple at Tarakeshwar, Radha Krishna Birla Temple, Madangopaljiu Temple, Ramkrishna math at Belur Math, Tarapith etc.
Other Excursions in West Bengal
Internationally recognized institution Visva Bharati established by the noble laureate Tagore is another famous tourist destination of West Bengal. The university located at Bolpur is renowned for its international culture and studies, the residence of Tagore, museum and traditional handicrafts are also very popular there. Apart from this one can easily make a trip to the oldest and largest Botanical Garden situated in Shibpur. Spread over an area of 109, 27 km. This garden is renowned for its Great Banyan tree which is approximately 250 years old. The world famous cricket stadium Eden Garden is located in Central Kolkata which is the capital city of West Bengal. Victoria Memorial Hall, Alipur Zoo, Birla Planetarium are some prominent places which are visited by large number of tourists every year.
West Bengal is strategically situated at the eastern part of Indian and offers a smooth and comfortable communication network with a variety of options like road, rail or air.
By Air: The international airport of the state is situated in Kolkata and another domestic airport is located at Bagdogra which is in Siliguri. Numerous airline services are available which connect West Bengal with the other important cities of India and abroad.
By Rail: Sealdah and Howrah are the two major railheads located in the heart of the capital city Kolkata. Numerous passenger and express trains crisscross the state and link West Bengal with major railway stations of India.
By Road: West Bengal is all covered by smooth and widespread roadway connectivity. It has a number of national and state highways which interlock the entire state. One can even directly approach to West Bengal from the neighboring states like Orissa, Jharkhand and Bihar. International bus service connects West Bengal with neighboring countries of Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan.
Water Sports: West Bengal is famous for its water sports and beach sports which take place in almost all the beaches of the state.
Adventure Sports: Lofty mountains and the flowing rivers offer a bucket full of adventure sports like tracking, mountaineering, river rafting etc.
Toy Train Journey: The famous little trains which are known as toy trains connect New Jalpaiguri with the attractive hill station of Darjeeling. A toy train ride across the high hills of the Himalayan Ranges provides you the opportunity to feel the nature from the closest possible extent.
Shopping: Shopping in West Bengal means purchasing some handicraft items which are unique it its style. The cane and bamboo products, jute items, terracotta items and the Baluchari silk sarees are also very popular in West Bengal.
Other Activities: The festive season arrives in the month of October which commences with Durga Puja followed by a number of religious festivals. Food festival, film festival, tourism fest and many more activities throughout the year create the venue for celebration and entertainment which are widely enjoyed by the natives as well as by the visitors of this state.
West Bengal is one of those states of India which allures a great chunk of visitors throughout the year. But September to December is the preferred time to head towards the hills stations like Darjeeling and Kalimpong. Whereas, the most suitable time to visit the plains of West Bengal is between Octobers till the end of February. Incessant rains and humid weather may ruin your trip during the monsoon season; therefore, this state is best to be avoided during rainy reasons.
West Bengal has a rich historical background which has witnessed many ups and downs at different times during the reign of different emperors. The history of West Bengal can be traced out from the Vedic reference. A number of freedom movements commenced from Bengal during the British Rule. Indiaâ€™s independence was achieved at the cost of the present neighboring country Bangladesh being separated from Bengal.
Summer, monsoon, autumn, winter and spring are the five seasons which are being observed in West Bengal. Summer arrives in the month of March and extends till June. The highest temperature recorded in summer is approximately between 38 Â°C to 45 Â°C. Rain appears in the month of June and lasts till September. The average annual rainfall is 125 cm to 175 cm. The winter arrives towards the mid of September and continues till February. The climate remains pleasant in all the regions during winter, only some of the places in the Himalayan district observe heavy snowfall.