Wednesday, October 23, 2013

7 Easy Breaks From Kolkata

1. Mukutmanipur

mukutmanipur river

Asia’s longest earthen dam forms part of the West Bengal-Bihar border. There’s a lake on one side and the emerald groves of the Bangopalpur forest on the other.

Where to stay: The Peerless Resort. If you are a budget traveler, don’t worry there are lots of small hotels here, offering you decent room with Indian toilet. Ask them to change the bed sheet.

When to go around: Year round

Getting there: Six hours by road, or four and a half by train to Bankura followed by an hour’s drive.

2. Bishnupur


The ancient capital of the Malla kings boasts Bengali terracotta temples. Bishnupur is also known for classical music (Tagore’s teacher came from the Bishnupurgharana).

Where to stay: Bishnu Tourist Lodge. There are also other accommodations including budget hotels.

When to go: In winter, for the classical music festival.

Getting there: Five hours by road, or three and a half hours by train.

3. Raichak

raichak

Escape to this little hamlet on the Hoogly River and visit the famous Mansa Devi idol, which is said to have floated down the river to Raichak during a flood.

Where to stay: Ganga Kutir Resort & Spa

When to go: Year round

Getting there: One and a half hours by road.

4. Kurseong


Newly opened to tourists, the 150 year old Selim Hill tea estate offers breathtaking views of the Mahananda River and the Himalayas.

Where to stay: Selim Hill tea estate

When to go: Year round – except during the monsoons, when landslides are frequent.

Getting there: Selim Tea Estate is a two hours drive from Siliguri Airport, which is 45 minutes from Kolkata by air.

5. Hooghly

chandannagar church french

Immerse yourself in Hooghly’s mix of European and Bengali history with a visit to its numerous colonial buildings. From Portuguese to Dutch and French to British, you can trace the history of colonialism along the river through Bandel and Chandannagar.

Where to stay: Itachuna Rajbari

When to go: Any time, except the unbearable hot summers.

Getting there: Just over an hour by road from Kolkata.

6. The Sunderbans

sunderbans delta mangrove

Read More about Sunderbans Tiger

Starved Man-eaters of Sunderbans

Spread over 1,400 sqkm, the wetlands at this World Heritage Site are home to a robust Bengal tiger population.

Where to stay: Sunderban Tiger Camp.

When to go: October to March

Getting there: Three hours by road to Basanti or Sonakhali, then a two hour boat ride.

7. Dhaka

dhaka

Tour the bazaars of old Dhaka by cycle rickshaw, take in the city’s varied architecture, or check out its rich art and handicrafts scene – textile enthusiasts will love the city’s signature woven cloth, the Dhakai.

Where to stay: Radisson Blu Water Garden Hotel Dhaka

When to go: October to March

Getting there: 50 minutes by air.

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