Must See Tourist Attractions in West Bengal
Kolkata the capital of West Bengal is rightfully known as the ‘city of joy’, for it contains all the joyous elements to make your visit a memorable one. The state is a perfect blend of past and present.
While a few of its walls speak of British architecture, the other half is draped in metropolitan elegance. The city, especially, embalms the ghost of the times past and clutches gently to the call of the present. This amalgamation is witnessed not just in the city architectural display, but in its roads, in its people, in its language, in its food, and most importantly in its tourist locations.
There are spectacular tourist destinations to visit across the state and fill your heart with the beauty of Bengal. From the ancient tram lines still functioning in the city, to the heart-wrenching hills in Darjeeling, West Bengal has got it all covered for you. Grab your backpack and your camera and set out to explore the versatility of Bengal. In this article, we have tried to cover as many important places as we could. Have a glance through the places mentioned and see which tourist attractions can be scaled by you.
You require India e-Tourist Visa (eVisa India or Indian Visa Online) to witness the amazing places and experiences as a foreign tourist in India. Alternatively, you could be visiting India on an India e-Business Visa and want to do some recreation and sightseeing in northern India and the foothills of the Himalayas. The Indian Immigration Authority encourages visitors to India to apply for Indian Visa Online (India e-Visa) rather than visiting Indian Consulate or Indian Embassy.
Kolkata is a must-visit as it captures the main essence of West Bengal. The capital of West Bengal ranks first in the list of most-visited places in West Bengal, Kolkata has a range of places and fun activities to lure you in. Wish to witness a seamless blend of art, culture, ancient architecture, and modernity? Kolkata harbours it all for you. Historical structures such as the Victoria Memorial, St. Paul Cathedrals, Fort Williams, Birla Planetarium, Nandan and National Museum are sure to please the history buff in you. But what satisfies the soul of a foodie? Every variety of mouth-watering Bengali cuisine! You can fill your tummy starting with Bengali-style biryani (cannot miss!) to yummy roshogollas, to the roadside puchkas and the list is endless.
If you have time in hand, you can visit the very famous Dakshineswar Temple. The architecture and the temple carvings in Dakshineswar are things to marvel at. If you are comfortable, you can also spend some quality time with a huge group of monkeys that roams around the temple area. If you plan on spending a romantic evening with your better half, you can book yourself a boat to sail over the serene Ganges, viewing the brilliance of Hooghly bridge. When the golden hues of the setting sun falls on the restless water, the river glitters like scattered diamonds. Do not forget to capture such views while you enjoy them!
Darjeeling is all about sipping on the best tea and watching the high peaks of snow-capped Himalayas, snuggled comfortably in a blanket. Sounds like a dream vacation, right? Well, this is exactly what the beautiful Darjeeling has kept safe for you! The air is a mix of teasing cold weather, sweet aroma of the tea gardens, breath-taking views of the hills, and the thrill of travellers like you!
Do you know a fun fact that Darjeeling is quite famous for its toy train ride across the mountains? The toy train takes you to witness various tourist spots of the beautiful hill station, in a short span. You can also witness the journey of this train in films like “Parineeta” where an entire song has been shot inside one of the compartments of the train. If you visit the exquisite gardens of Darjeeling, do not forget to venture into the narrow pathways and click cinematic pictures of yours against the expansive tea gardens. The vibrant Tibetan markets, lush green sceneries, awe striking colonial mansions, and the aesthetic sight of the magnificent Kanchenjunga peaks are sure to melt you into agreeing that Darjeeling is undoubtedly among the top tourist places to visit in West Bengal.
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If you have been feeling adventurous lately, Kalimpong will prove to be an ideal destination for you. Kalimpong is the place to be if you love to participate in thrilling activities as well as have a liking for unique flora and fauna. This hill station harbours a plethora of West Bengal’s most-visited tourist locales including Morgan House, Deolo Hill, Neora Valley National Park, Pratima Tagore House, and many other interesting spots! Do you wish to spot a leopard in the wilderness of hill station with your naked eyes? Book yourself a jungle safari at the Neora National Park and watch your wish come true! If luck is on your side, you might get to witness endangered animals like the Asiatic black bear and Asian golden cat. If you still wish for more adventure, you can try water rafting on the Teesta River or you can also go trekking in the snow-covered peaks of Kalimpong.
If you are in the mood for some pure, unfiltered, countryside air, you should head towards Mandarmani. Mandarmani is a village locale, filled with luxurious resorts, calming sea, and beautiful beaches. Mandarmani is a very common West Bengal tourist spot, for both outsiders and locals. No matter how you are feeling, a romantic vagabond, traveller on a quest, or a nature admirer, Mandarmani has everything to cater to all your moods.
If you have been looking forward to a fun holiday, be rest assured the famous Mandarmani beach will keep up your expectations with various adventure sports like speed boating, snorkelling, sea surfing, and jet-skiing for a memorable experience. If you are in Mandarmani for your honeymoon, then you can book a fancy resort to spend an evening full of love and togetherness with your beloved.
India is known for its sporadically spread out, highly creative, handicraft industry. It is a common feeling for tourists to lose themselves amidst the hustling and bustling bazaars of India. Learn more at Bazaars of India.
The word Shantiniketan translates to ‘an abode of peace’ where ‘Shanti’ means peace and ‘niketan’ is understood for residence. The vibe of Shantiniketan is sure to rejuvenate your heart and bring peace upon your mind and soul. Did you know that Shantiniketan is the place where the great poet Rabindranath Tagore stayed for most of his life? This is where you will find the Nobel Laureate’s memories are preserved. You will still find the remnants of Rabi Thakur’s used items on display at Tagore’s Ashram and Rabindra Bhavan Museum.
Even today, students in West Bengal are often taught school lessons under the shade of trees at Shantiniketan, like old days. It is not just the rich history of the place that garners tourist’s attention, do not forget to miss out on the very attractive range of handicraft decors and jewellery made by the local craftsmen in the markets. What would be the ideal time to visit Shantiniketan you ask? Well, if you are a lover of colours, you can plan your trip in March to witness the city dipped in the colours of ‘Holi’, during the Basant festival. The next preferable time would be December to tread on the fallen dry leaves of Shantiniketan. Be sure to visit one of the special places in West Bengal known as ‘Poush Mela’ (fair), hosted during December every year.
Wish to see the royal side of the state of West Bengal? Pack your bags for a fun weekend trip to the district of Murshidabad! Murshidabad used to be the residing place of the former Nawab of Bengal. Today, it houses a range of mind-blowing Islamic architectures that are bound to charm your eyes. If you wish to visit the main attraction of the place, head over to the Hazarduari Palace. This is where you get to see a glimpse of the royal artefacts of the bygone Bengal rulers. It would be best if you go to the palace in the evening to witness the palace illuminated in hundreds of lights, all set for your dreamy adventure.
If you happen to be a history lover, what is stopping you from taking a day tour to the major historical places like Katra Mosque, Nizamat Imambara, Madina and Nasirpur Palace to notice the intricate detailing on these architectural splendours. Lastly, Murshidabad is known for its high-quality ivory and woodcraft, sericulture, pristine lakes, and so much more. Murshidabad is the place you cannot afford to miss out on.
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If you are a lover of the forests and wish to walk inside one, Sundarbans is your place. The name stands for ‘beautiful forests’ where ‘sundar’ means beautiful in Hindi and ‘bans’ means forests. Among the most-visited places in West Bengal, Sundarbans is the place where you can get to witness the world-famous Royal Bengal tiger. Yes mate, you heard that right! Traverse to Sajnekhali Wildlife Sanctuary and hire a boat to relax on the waters of the serene Ganges, while enjoying the view of the wild Sundarban forest lands. If you are lucky enough, you might get to see wild animals roaming inside the dense jungles or crocodiles basking on the banks of the river.
Want to turn this experience into a memorable one? Stay overnight in one of the nearby hotels or special treehouses and look out for wild animals like monkeys, deers, monkeys, and of course tigers. There are special spots separately marked as ‘Tiger spot’ to alert people where the tigers were last witnessed, or which place is their frequent visiting spot. The place earned its name from the beautiful mangroves growing in the region since time immemorial. Sundarban is not just a beautiful tourist location, it is also known for its varied delicacies, boat hotels and the scenic view of the unbound Ganges. Undoubtedly, one of the most enticing tourist places in West Bengal.
Lover of beaches and coconut water? Digha has got your back. Digha is, in all prospects, your paradise in West Bengal. The place for sure offers an amazing experience to all its visitors, both local and outsiders. The best time to visit the beautiful beach of Digha would be summers, then you can take a quick dip in the sea and swim close to the shore or have fun playing water sports along with your friends and families.
Once you are tired of swimming, walk back to the beach, dry yourself up, lie down and enjoy the humid sea breeze encircling you. If you are hungry, head straight to the beachside food stalls lined up with lip-smacking fish, chicken fries and other interesting food items. Not just this, but if you are a daredevil inside then best of luck with trying thrilling water sports like quad biking, speed boating, scuba diving, yachting, paragliding and parasailing. Trying at least one of these activities should be there on your bucket list.
You can also book a one-day or weekend tour at the hotspot of Digha’s tourist attractions. Make sure to include the Digha Gate, Mohona Watch Point, Amravati Park, and Digha Science Centre in your tour. Digha can be best described as a combination of paradisal beaches, soothing sea, pleasing landscapes, swaying coconut trees and a plethora of exotic resorts. This destination spot in West Bengal is surely one of the best places to visit in the state. Hurry and plan a quick getaway weekend trip with your friends and family to Digha!
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Dooars is a place adorned with magnificent hills, glittering rivers, well-distributed tea gardens, and an ever-evolving flora and fauna. The place can never fail to impress any tourist at least once. Do not believe us? Go out and explore for yourself the various thrills that encompass Dooars.
Amid the dark forests, cosy villages, and the constant rippling streams, you will discover a new meaning to your quest. Dooars is hands down what one calls the rhythmic pulse of nature, categorised as one of the most beautiful places in the state. Dooars also offers a range of marvellous resorts to its visitors. Wish to explore more? Do not miss out on the Mahananda Sanctuary to try and spot rare wild animals such as leopards, one-horned rhinos, cheetahs, and tigers.
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