West Bengal, a state located in the eastern region of India, is a land of diverse cultures, traditions, history, and natural beauty. From the iconic Howrah Bridge to the serene tea gardens in Darjeeling, West Bengal is enriched with amazing tourist destinations that attract visitors from all over the world. Here are some of the best places to visit in West Bengal that you should add to your travel bucket list.
1. Kolkata: The Cultural Capital of India
Kolkata, the capital city of West Bengal, is a hub of culture, art, music, literature, and architecture. From the famous Victoria Memorial to the Howrah Bridge, Kolkata has a lot to offer to its visitors. The city is also known for its famous sweets, such as rasgulla, sandesh, and mishti doi. Don’t forget to explore the colorful markets of Kolkata, where you can buy traditional handicrafts, sarees, and jewelry.
2. Darjeeling: The Queen of Hill Stations
Darjeeling, located in the foothills of the Himalayas, is one of the most popular hill stations in India. The town is known for its lush tea gardens, scenic Himalayan views, and the famous Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can take a ride on the toy train and enjoy breathtaking views of the mountains and valleys. Darjeeling is also a great place for adventure activities such as trekking, camping, and paragliding.
3. Sundarbans: The Largest Delta in the World
The Sundarbans, located in the southern part of West Bengal, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest delta in the world. The area is known for its rich biodiversity and the Royal Bengal Tigers. You can take a boat safari through the mangrove forests and spot various species of birds, crocodiles, and other animals. The Sundarbans are also home to traditional fishing communities, and you can visit their villages and learn about their way of life.
4. Bishnupur: The Temple Town
Bishnupur, located in the Bankura district of West Bengal, is a small town known for its exquisite terracotta temples and traditional crafts. The town was once the capital of the Malla dynasty, and the temples and palaces built by them are a testimony to their architectural brilliance. You can also visit the local market and buy Bishnupur’s famous baluchari sarees and dokra crafts.
5. Shantiniketan: The Abode of Peace: Shantiniketan, located in the Birbhum district of West Bengal, is a small town known for its cultural heritage and art. The town was founded by the famous poet and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, and it is now home to the famous Visva Bharati University, which is a center for learning and research in art, literature, and culture. You can visit the Tagore Museum, the Kala Bhavan art school, and attend the annual Poush Mela festival, where you can experience the local music, dance, and food.
6. Murshidabad: The Land of Nawabs
Murshidabad, located in the northern part of West Bengal, is a historical city known for its rich heritage and Nawabi culture. The city was once the capital of the Nawabs of Bengal, and the famous Hazarduari Palace, Nizamat Imambara, and Katra Masjid are a testament to their grandeur. You can also visit the famous silk weaving centers in the town and buy exquisite silk sarees and fabrics.
7. Jaldapara National Park: The Wildlife Paradise
Jaldapara National Park, located in the Alipurduar district of West Bengal, is a wildlife paradise known for its rich biodiversity and rare species of animals. The park is home to the Indian one-horned rhinoceros, elephants, tigers, leopards, and various species of birds and reptiles. You can take a jeep safari or an elephant ride through the park and spot these animals in their natural habitat.
8. Digha: The Coastal Delight
Digha, located in the East Midnapore district of West Bengal, is a popular beach town known for its serene coastline and seafood. The town is easily accessible from Kolkata, and it is a great place for a weekend getaway. You can take a stroll on the beach, enjoy the local seafood, and visit the nearby Udaipur Beach and Shankarpur Beach.
9. Kalimpong: The Serene Hill Station
Kalimpong, located in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal, is a small hill station known for its tranquil atmosphere and scenic beauty. The town is surrounded by lush green forests, hills, and valleys, and it is a great place to relax and unwind. You can visit the famous Zang Dhok Palri Phodang monastery, the flower markets.