West Bengal offers a varied choice of experiences for visitors. The country’s capital, Kolkata, is as cosmopolitan as any other city. Close by are the Sundarbans, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the home of the Royal Bengal Tiger. In this state, coastal sites such as Digha and Mandarmani are popular tourist destinations, attracting a huge number of beachgoers. Bishnupur, Bankura, and Shantiniketan, for example, provide a one-of-a-kind vacation experience by highlighting the state’s rich cultural history. Hill stations such as Darjeeling, Kalimpong, and Labha offer interesting diversions from the plains, as well as a distinct culture and way of life. The wildlife reserves of Jaldapara and Gorumara bring attention to the area’s varied fauna.
West Bengal is a big state, and the experiences it offers are in proportion to its size. It offers a fair dose of adventure tourism and is dotted with historic landmarks. While Kolkata, the state’s capital, is rich in culture and features monuments from the colonial era, there are other places worth visiting if you want to get a sense of the state’s many shades. You’ll travel to culturally significant cities that were formerly the capitals of various kings and kingdoms. Seeing a Baul performance is as addicting as eating the city’s famous sweetmeats.
Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal, is a cultural melting pot with museums, art galleries, temples, and colonial-era buildings. One of the most well-known of the latter is the Victoria Memorial. It consists of 25 galleries housing a magnificent collection of paintings, artifacts, fabrics, coins, and royal treasures, which can be recognized from afar by its Angel of Victory, which sits atop the tower and blows in the wind.
Other British-era structures include Bow Barracks, Calcutta High Court, and St. Paul’s Cathedral. Anyone interested in science should visit Science City and the Birla Industrial & Technological Museum. Nicco Park and Aquatica, featuring water coasters, swings, a rain disco, and other attractions, are perfect places to visit for a day of fun and enjoyment. At the Academy of Fine Arts, take in a theatrical performance or admire works by well-known painters.
West Bengal boasts a variety of coastal regions with lovely beaches that are perfect for a family vacation. The most well-known of these is Digha. The beauty of this 7-kilometer-long beach is enhanced by the presence of casuarina forests encircling the bay. Tajpur is a beautiful beach in South Bengal’s Purba Medinipur district, around 16 kilometers from Bigha. Seagulls and red crabs can be seen among the stunning views that greet your gaze.
West Bengal is home to a number of animal sanctuaries and national parks that provide guests with an unforgettable vacation experience. The Duars region contains all of these things. Because it is the sole way into Bhutan from India, it is also known as Doors. The mainstays of its economy are tea and wildlife sanctuaries. The most well-known is the Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary, which is home to the one-horned rhinoceros. It also houses India’s largest rhino population, second only to Kaziranga National Park in Assam. One of India’s most rarely seen birds, the Bengal Florican, is a particular draw here. The park’s scenery is characterized by grasslands, riverbanks, tall grasses spanning enormous regions, and year-round streams.
West Bengal’s beautiful hill stations are one of the state’s most popular tourist destinations. The most well-known of these is Darjeeling, often known as the Queen of Hill Stations. Simply being in this area is a treat in itself, with its stunning scenery and nice weather.
Mt. Kanchenjunga, which is concealed behind eastern Himalayan peaks, is seen from here. The ultimate delight is seeing the sunrise from Tiger Hill, as well as taking a toy train trip (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) as it slowly winds its way over extreme bends and turns. You may wander through The Mall or proceed to other tourist attractions such as the Shanti Stupa, Batasia Loop, Peace Pagoda, Bhutia Busty Monastery, and the Darjeeling Himalayan Zoo, where you can witness the vivacious Red Panda. Keventers’ breakfast is a great way to start the day.
Best places to visit in West Bengal
Kolkata, India’s second-largest city, is a never-ending celebration of human life, wealthy and filthy, polished and frantic, proudly modern yet charmingly decaying. Nothing is commonplace in West Bengal’s capital, a busy 350-year-old metropolis on India’s Eastern Coast, which thrives on paradoxes and intimidating displays. In every way, Kolkata, also known as the City of Joy, serves as the country’s aesthetic, cultural, and intellectual capital. Kolkata’s streets are filled with life and creativity, despite being vibrant, congested, and chaotic. The city has created a remarkable contrast between ancient colonial-era grandeur and the burgeoning oncoming hipster culture that thrives among the city’s millennial population, fuelled by the self-made middle class’s tenacious spirit.
Kolkata is layered with history and culture, and peeling back each layer to see what lies beneath the surface is a rewarding, once-in-a-lifetime experience. Kolkata is saturated in layers and layers of legacy and culture, from admiring the city’s booming art scene to going on rewarding gastronomical expeditions to meandering amidst the many bazaars to relaxing by the banks of the Hooghly and enjoying a quiet sunset.
The nightlife of Kolkata is bustling, and Park Street is dotted with restaurants and pubs where you can party the night away. Kolkata’s street food is well-known across the country, and the city is packed with cafés and food stalls on every corner where you may experience native Bengali cuisine or local delicacies such as Jhalmuri or Ghugni Chaat.
- Time required to visit the site- 2 to 4 days
- Best time to visit the site- October to March
Darjeeling, India’s old summer capital during the British Raj, has grown into one of the country’s most popular hill resorts. This romantic honeymoon destination in West Bengal is a lovely hill station. Darjeeling enjoys a chilly climate all year because it is surrounded by tea estates and stands at a height of 2,050 meters above sea level.
The toy railway, which was founded in 1881, has been listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The railway ascends from the plains to about 2000 meters above sea level, affording breath-taking views of the mountains as it travels.
Darjeeling has approximately 86 tea farms, all of which produce the world-famous ‘Darjeeling Tea.’ Choose between a cup of freshly brewed chai at the tea estate or a trip through the plantations to harvest your own tea leaves.
From here, you can see the Kanchenjunga peak, the world’s third tallest mountain and India’s highest, and take a panoramic photo of it. Darjeeling’s most popular attractions include monasteries, botanical gardens, a zoo, and the Darjeeling-Rangeet Valley Passenger Ropeway cable car, which is Asia’s longest. Tiger Hill is a fantastic spot to see the sunrise over the mountains in all its blazing glory.
- Time required to visit the site- 2 to 3 days
- Best time to visit the site- February to March, September to December
Sundarbans National Park is notable for having the world’s largest mangrove forests and is located in West Bengal, India. It is both a Tiger Reserve and a Biosphere Reserve, providing visitors with a complete natural circle that includes everything from ‘Royal Bengal tigers’ to roaring rivers and beautiful estuaries. The world’s largest population of Bengal Tigers may be found in Sundarbans National Park, which is located in the Sundarban delta. It’s a UNESCO world heritage site that’s home to a wide variety of birds and reptiles, including a saltwater crocodile.
The Sundarbans, which mean “beautiful forest” and are shared by India and Bangladesh, have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Despite being home to some of the most active and awe-inspiring flora and creatures, this area has a peaceful beauty that dazzles with the simplicity and naturalness of its ecological balance. They are the last remaining stands of the enormous jungles that formerly blanketed the Gangetic plain, and their long-term survivability is rather astounding. Since 1966, the Sundarbans have been a wildlife refuge, with an estimated 400 Royal Bengal Tigers and 30,000 spotted deer.
In this forest, the Sundari trees are the most numerous. The Sundarbans exemplify wilderness with its meandering rivers, springs, creeks, and estuaries. It is a designated Tiger Reserve, and the Royal Bengal Tiger, a nearly extinct species that swims in saline water and preys on humans, calls it home.
- Time required to visit the site- 1-2 days
- Best time to visit the site- September to March
Siliguri, also known as the Gateway to North-East India, is a city in West Bengal. It is situated in the districts of Jalpaiguri and Siliguri. Siliguri, located 560 kilometers north of Kolkata, is the twin city of Jalpaiguri and West Bengal’s third-largest metropolis. Siliguri has its own international airport, which is mostly utilized as a gateway to nearby tourist destinations like Kalimpong, Darjeeling, Gangtok, and Bhutan. Siliguri, on the other hand, is a fantastic vacation spot with a lot to see and do. Over the years, Siliguri has been known for its tea and timber products, as well as for being a key commercial and transportation hub.
Jaldapara National Park, on the banks of the Torsa River in Siliguri, is a famous tourist attraction. The park, originally known as the Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary, is made up of riverine woodlands and grasslands and covers an area of about 215 kilometers. Royal Bengal Tigers, elephants, one-horned rhinoceros, and other deer species abound in the park. Taking an elephant ride will allow you to get up and personal with the animals, allowing you to get the most out of your visit to the park.
When most people visit Siliguri, they go to Mirik, which is a local tourist site. Mirik is a small town around 50 kilometers from Siliguri famed for its picturesque beauty, pristine Sumendu Lake, and monastery. Sumendu Lake offers fishing as well as boat tours, which are a beautiful opportunity to take in the breathtaking views of the hills that surround the lake on all sides.
- Time required to visit the site- 1 day
- Best time to visit the site- Throughout the year
Haldia, which is frequently considered as nothing more than a river port feeding Kolkata, has much more to offer India than just foreign trade. Thanks to its diversified collection of heritage monuments, temples, and local markets, Haldia is poised to become West Bengal’s next great tourist attraction.
From coastal excursions to palaces, Haldia is one of those rare places that mixes the majesty of monuments with the abundance of nature. Explore this mythical location that has escaped the ravages of tourists and commercialization.
- Time required to visit the site- 1 day
- Best time to visit the site- October to March
Best Hotels in West Bengal
- ITC Royal Bengal
- Lemon Tree Premier, Kolkata
- Green Homestay
- Vedic Village Spa Resort
- Hotel Platinum
Frequently Asked Question
If you're interested in wildlife and finding uncommon kinds of flora and fauna, including a jungle safari in Jaldapara and Gorumara National Park in your Bengal itinerary. These national parks are home to around 194 bird species, 22 reptile species, seven varieties of turtles, and 27 fish species, in addition to several plant species. While you're here, you can witness rare one-horned rhinoceros, leopards, sambars, barking deer, and other species in their natural habitats.
Women, particularly those from the Muslim community, wear sarees as part of their traditional clothing. On ordinary days, a salwar kameez is also worn. Andhra Pradesh's popular outfits include kalamkari sarees, Kurtis, and salwar-kameez. Heavy skirts consisting of stones, beads, and mirrors are worn by tribal women from communities such as Lambadi, Banjara, and Sugalis. The state's men dress in the traditional Indian dhoti and kurta. Muslims, on the other hand, prefer to sleep in their jammies.
Nothing compares to West Bengal in terms of culture, literature, sports, and physical diversity. West Bengal is India's fourth most populous state, located on the banks of the Bay of Bengal in the eastern section of the country. The state has effectively achieved a great balance between maintaining its incredible legacy and forging ahead boldly into the future. In terms of geography, West Bengal is bordered on the north by Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh, on the east by Assam, and on the west by Bihar. The state of Orissa is to the south-west, while the Bay of Bengal is to the south.
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