The state of West Bengal sits on the Bay of Bengal, off the coast of Eastern India and is steeped in culture, a colourful heritage and literature. Travel back in time, as you hop aboard Darjeeling’s Toy Train that chugs along undulating hills and tea plantations. During October, head to Kolkata, that is a kaleidoscopic melting pot of cultures and ethnicities and especially during this month, the City of Joy takes to the streets for an exuberant celebration of Ma Durga’s arrival. Tourists seeking the hills, can travel to West Bengal’s quaint hamlet of Kalimpong, go hiking through any one of its picturesque trails and feast on a steaming bowl of thukpa from any of its hole-in-the-wall shops. West Bengal’s thriving tourism sector can also be owed to its vibrant cultural hubs. The idyllic town of Santiniketan, was prolific laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s alma mater and welcomes tourists from all across the world throughout the year. On the banks of the reticent Hoogly river, lies Dakshineswar that is home to a magnificent Goddess Kali shrine and also happens to be one of West Bengal’s most visited pilgrimage sites.
Peak Season: October to March is the best time to visit the state. October also sees the beginning of autumn in Kolkata, which apart from ushering in the festival season, makes for pleasant weather. In winters, temperatures drop to as low as 9°C, and there’s occasional rainfall too.
For Budget Travellers: INR 600 - 1000 a day
For Mid-range Travellers: INR 1000 to INR 3000 a day