Trips and Itineraries for Haora
Top Places To Visit in Haora 246 Spots
Victoria Memorial Hall
The Marble Memorial is a popular attraction in the whole world and people who come to Kolkata make sure they visit this place. The beautiful marble marble monument is built in Indo- Saracenic style with a blend of Mughal style opf architecture. This is also a symbol of British victory in India. The foundation was laid down in 1906 by the Prince of Wales and the building was built in the memory of Queen Victoria and also named after her. The memorial houses a beautiful museum which is also one of the most prominent if you want to know about the British Era. The whole complex covers a huge area and is surrounded by beautiful gardens which is also a popular picnic destination. Inside the museum you find photographs of people who had contributed in some way or the other towards the development of the state as well as the country. There are also a number of ancient artworks and weapons inside the museum. The light and sound show in the evenings is nerve wrecking as the sound of the British armies walking past behind you thrills you and the light work is done inside the memorial. It is like a time travel and is a place where people of all ages can enjoy.
One of the most famous landmarks in Kolkata, Victoria Memorial is another piece of historic architecture left behind by the British. The memorial lies on the grounds next to the arterial Hooghly and is almost as famous for its flamboyant gardens as it is for its imposing, stark-white façade.
White in Color stands tall with beautiful carving along with greenery, Victoria Memorial Hall. it is huge in size. Surroundings of this Hall was full of greenery were couples and families comes and enjoyed themselves under the shades of Trees. Inside this Hall there are some historic stories. It is like Museum. As i don't have the inside clicks becoz photography is strictly prohibited.
Victoria Memorial is the world renown curator, known to have preserved and properly described the British Raj from the beginning to the end. With an art gallery of artists who've been to Africa to painting by artists of every important event, this place is bound to take you back to the 19th and 20th Century. Also, the park around the museum is beautifully maintained. Though Kolkata tops the charts of being The Most Polluted City in India, these places seems to contradict this fact.
This large building of marble was built between 1906 - 1921. It is dedicated to the memory of Queen Victoria. The building is surrounded by lush green gardens. It is now a museum and a tourist destination. Visitors have to pay the fees to enter the building. Inside the building, one can see the British India memorabilia - the large collection of oil paintings by famous artists of that period.
As a kid, I always wanted to travel to Kolkata alone, and start my day with visiting the glorified Victoria Memorial at the time when the first ray falls on the spectacular monument. The gardens were well trimmed, and the look of the place - SPELL BOUNDING. Nostalgia train had left its station. And there are more halts to come.
As soon as I arrived in the city of joy, I had an unnerving experience with the Ola cab driver. I managed to see and admire Victoria's Memorial, anyhow, on my way and met my friends at the arranged accommodation. It was a budget travel so my friend and I decided to stay at a PG facility in Bhawanipore. There I met a common friend who is a resident of Kolkata and she took it upon herself to make our experience in Kolkata worth cherishing! We went for lunch at 6th Ballygunj - Flavours of Kolkata and I was simply left in awe of the place! From the food to the tastefully done interiors, everything shouted 'Bengal' in that place and the start of our trip couldn't have been better!
The next morning we headed straight to the Victoria Memorial, a visual delight in Indo-Saracenic Revivalist style made from white Makhrana marble. The monument dedicated to the memory of Queen Victoria is distinctly European with a formidable collection of paintings and artifacts. The first half of the day was spent absorbing and assimilating the unparalleled historic wealth of a city that has somewhat lost its past glory. By noon we vacated our room at Hotel Lindsay and checked into Hotel Eastern Plaza on VIP road, close to the airport. Moving from the ancient quarters steeped in antiquity to the urbanized half of the city was a long leap. The former sported an old world charm that was lost upon the modern aura of the newer half. Post lunch, we visited Science City, the largest science centre in the Indian subcontinent and a distinguished landmark in post-independent Kolkata. Later that evening we caught up with an ex-colleague of Azal's at a nearby mall that had not yet come out of the festive mood of Christmas and New Year. The chit-chatting continued over dinner at her cozy little apartment where we hogged on authentic Kolkata biriyani from Arsalan and guzzled some chilled beer.
Howrah Railway Station
This is the oldest as well as largest railway station of India and is the second busiest of the country as well. It has 23 platforms andalso one of the largest traffic per day. It is one of the intercity railway stations of India, the others being the Sealdah Station, Shalimar Station and the Kolkata Station. The railway station looks awesome from outside with a typical Church style of design with a huge clock on top. This is on the West Bank of the Hooghly River and is connected by the famous air suspended bridge known as the Second Hooghly Setu or simply the Hooghly or Howrah Bridge. The station was started in the year 1824. All the railway authorities have their trains linked from here to other parts of the country and the local authority is no doubt the Eastern Railway.
Now I know what you would think seeing this at first. Why would anyone want to start off their trip with a Railway Station? Or why would a person pick a railway station for sightseeing? Well, here's the answer: Since Kolkata was the first city to be occupied by the British and it also happened to be the capital of the country initially, this Railway station like no other, has stories to tell about the British and their stay here when Kolkata (Then known as Calcutta) was the capital of the country. The interesting part about this place is that it would expose you to the typical Indian environment of people belonging different walks of life. Right from food vendors to elitists. According to me, from all the Railway Stations I've been to, Howrah railway station has a charm of its own. With a variety of eateries where ever you look and bookstores, it's a good pass time for travelers who need to wait for their train's arrival.
Taken several trips into East India while venturing East and North East India
I reached Kolkata on time, I boarded the train on time. Now the journey to Hyderabad seemed to be normal and boring. But all in these days I noticed a very weird thing. I was traveling solo but never felt that I was alone. I always felt that there was some supreme source of energy with me, all the time, in some form or the other. The man who told me to board and alight the train in the start, the priest, the people who guided me. how can I forget Pradeep, the local people who welcomed and treated me with warm. The lady in the Japanese temple, the sound of the bell, the person at Nathula pass, the taxi driver, the film screened in the bus and even the hiccups that I faced. No matter wherever I went in Darjeeling and Gangtok, people were dazzled that I traveled alone. But was I really alone or not......only I knew. I was on trip where dreams turned into reality
We boarded a fine train from Howrah early morning. The train was packed with tourists from every corner of Kolkata. What I liked in this Train was the variety of food that was served and that too at a very reasonable rate. So I savored pakoras, idlies in the short journey of five hours!
Howrah Bridge made from 705m long steel cantilevers, is something that catches the attention of old and young alike. It is one place that defines Kolkata in real terms. Though, the place is always polluted and is really crowded, the view of the place is worth the pain taken to reach there. It is one of the top notch architectural icons of Kolkata from World War II till date. For those who want to click this wonderful bridge, needs to do it from a ferry on River Ganga that passes from below it. The Howrah Bridge is also the connection between the city and the 1906 formed Howrah station.
Being a big fan of movies like Barfi and Kahaani, this one has always fascinated me. Built on the banks of river Hoogly, the view of this bridge at night can leave anybody spellbound. What makes me even more proud is the fact that the bridge is made of Tata steel and hence is totally 'desi'. It weathers the storms of the Bay of Bengal region, carrying a daily traffic of approximately 100,000 vehicles and possibly more than 150,000 pedestrians. Way to go Tata steel!
Howrah Bridge which is also known as "Rabindra Sethu" (Named after the Noble Laureate Rabindranath Tagore), is the global icon of Kolkata in the world. This is the first picture which comes to a person's mind or is viewed when a person or a specific portal talks about Kolkata. This bridge connects the capital city of Kolkata with Howrah. Stretched across the banks of the Ganges river (River Ganga), it is quite an admirable scene especially at night...
Howrah Bridge is the famous symbol of Kolkata. Commissioned in 1943, it is a cantilever bridge with a suspended span over the Hooghly river in West Bengal. It is the sixth longest bridge of its type in the world. The bridge provides the views of the vibrant city.
As you walk a little from Shovabazar Ghat of River Hooghly or from the west gate of the Shovabazar metro Station towards the Rabindra Sarani Lane, you will come across the Kumartuli. This is a place where a number of Kumars or potters are always busy with their work of designing and sculpting huge statues of Gods and Goddesses which are later used for the festivals of the city. The most common are the statues of Goddess Durga here. Initially clay and straw are used to form the figures and then they are spray painted. The original material used are the marrows of the banana trees but now many other materials are being used in making these idols. Later, the idols are dressed in fine attires and are ready to be sent to the pandals for being worshipped.
The best time to visit this place is right before the Durga Pujo, the largest event in the city in October. Because this is the place all the idols are made and it looks beautiful. But anytime in the year too, one may get to meet the talented and skilled workers. there are idols being made all the year round.
Kumartuli is the neighbourhood of artisans specializing in making clay idols of Gods and Goddesses. In makeshift shafts idols in various stage completion can be seen - from bamboo straw structures to the finished idols. The area becomes a fascinating hive of activity especially before the Durga Puja. Watching the artisans engrossed in the intricate work itself has the ability to mesmerize any onlooker. Today, the idols made in Kumartuli adorns pandals across the world . The temple at Kumartuli is also the abode of the original idol of 'Devi Dhakeshwari' brought from Dhaka during partition.
Being trapped in the morbidity of a typical city life, Kumartuli ends up serving you a platter of shriveled memories. The broken alleys and the withered walls exude a sense of belongingness which seems untouched when one is amid the city-hullabaloo. Further, the place exemplifies the artistic roots of this city. Being a hub of artistry, a photographer interested in culture and people might bump into a series of instances to revel in. Therefore, I would suggest everybody to pay a visit to this place in a bid to trail down the forlorn essence of a typical Bengali culture.
This locality stuffed in the northern fringes of Kolkata houses generations of potters. Their heritage is as diversified as the gharanas (styles) of idols they create.
Amazing place, when you see people handcrafting and sculpting statues, priceless. Roaming around and clicking those photos, such experience you can't get everywhere.. Since I heard this place is famous for amazing sculptures and sculptors, it's been a pleasure being witness to that.
My second day in Kolkata had a lazy start with a relaxing hot water bath and delicious ‘Luchi and Aloo Sabzi’ and ‘Jaggery Sandesh and Rosogulla’. I desperately wanted to go to Kumortuli and hence it was my first destination for the day. Metro connected Bhawanipore with Kumortuli pretty well. I had seen so many pictures of the streets of Kumortuli overflowing with artistic sculptures of Hindu Gods & Goddesses and Venerable men & women that I was jumping with excitement when I got the first glimpse of the street from a distance! After I entered the street, it felt like a different world altogether! Artists were painting and shaping the sculptures as if they were lost in meditation. I was humbled to see the dedication and affection with which each sculpture was being made. Since Saraswati Pooja was around the corner, a huge part of the Tuli was dedicated for sculptures of Goddess Saraswati. It would be an understatement to say that it is one of the best places in Kolkata for people who have an eye for art! As one wanders through the narrow streets of Tuli, the ages old British Era buildings add an entirely unique vibe to the experience. Some buildings even have a caution board on the front doors warning the passers-by of high chances of the collapse of those buildings! And, of course, on our way, we saw ‘Putul Bari‘! Tuli’s end lead us to Ahiritola Ghat at dusk. After resting at the tranquil ghat of Hooghly, we took a local train to go to Prinsep Ghat. We reached Prinsep Ghat at sunset and the view was spectacular! Swami Vivekananda Bridge looked astonishingly beautiful with the multi-coloured lights reflected on the sparkling currents of Hooghly. We called it a day after a sumptuous North Indian dinner at ‘Balwant Singh ka Dhaba’ on Harish Chandra Road.
My second day in Kolkata had a lazy start with a relaxing hot water bath and delicious 'Luchi and Aloo Sabzi' and 'Jaggery Sandesh and Rosogulla'. I desperately wanted to go to Kumortuli and hence it was my first destination for the day. Metro connected Bhawanipore with Kumortuli pretty well. I had seen so many pictures of the streets of Kumortuli overflowing with artistic sculptures of Hindu Gods & Goddesses and Venerable men & women that I was jumping with excitement when I got the first glimpse of the street from a distance! After I entered the street, it felt like a different world altogether! Artists were painting and shaping the sculptures as if they were lost in meditation. I was humbled to see the dedication and affection with which each sculpture was being made. Since Saraswati Pooja was around the corner, a huge part of the Tuli was dedicated for sculptures of Goddess Saraswati. It would be an understatement to say that it is one of the best places in Kolkata for people who have an eye for art! As one wanders through the narrow streets of Tuli, the ages old British Era buildings add an entirely unique vibe to the experience. Some buildings even have a caution board on the front doors warning the passers-by of high chances of the collapse of those buildings! And, of course, on our way, we saw ' Putul Bari'! Tuli's end lead us to Ahiritola Ghat at dusk. After resting at the tranquil ghat of Hooghly, we took a local train to go to Prinsep Ghat. We reached Prinsep Ghat at sunset and the view was spectacular! Swami Vivekananda Bridge looked astonishingly beautiful with the multi-coloured lights reflected on the sparkling currents of Hooghly. We called it a day after a sumptuous North Indian dinner at ' Balwant Singh ka Dhaba ' on Harish Chandra Road.
My partner was keen on experimenting with the Indian Chinese cuisine in Kolkata. Online sources confirmed that Terreti Bazar was Kolkata's very own Chinatown with the streets going live in the early hours of the morning. We are sure we reached the right place but we could not find the juicy momos and soupy noodles we were looking for. Instead we got to see life in action - fish and flowers laid out by the roadside and locals bathing and shaving and cooking all next to each other on the narrow pavements. We walked through the inside lanes to catch a glimpse of the despicable poverty and filthy living conditions Kolkata is often linked with. I feel the colour of the city is brown - brown with age, brown with dust, brown with dirt and in its varying shades, the color captures the earthy tones of existence in its crumbling brick walls and congested alleyways inhabited by a forgotten strata of society. The next on our agenda was Kumortuli - the globally acclaimed potters' quarter that manufactures and exports clay idols to different parts of the world. The artisans were at work as usual, adding a stroke here and a knot there. The straw and bamboo framework was plastered with paper mache and cow dung before the clay was applied. There were enormous statues of various Gods and Goddesses from the Hindu mythology fashioned out of clay dug out from the river side. We stopped to speak to an elderly man engrossed in his craft and watched him give life to clay right before our eyes. For lunch, we chose Nizam's inside New Market - the legendary restaurant that claims to have invented the ubiquitous Kathi roll. I must say the place lives up to its name. We attended the marriage that evening - a traditional Bengali wedding with all the hooting and snickering and chuckling that made it a happy affair. I watched intently as the couple underwent the various rituals with the holy fire bearing testimony to their lifelong union. The highlight was of course the sumptuous feast with an array of fish and mutton delicacies and the quintessential rasogolla.
New Market happens to be an important shopping center in Bhopal that lies in Madhya Pradesh. The market is close to TT Nagar and one can get some good deals on raw silk and fabrics, Chanderi silk and tussar. The Chanderi silk sarees are quite famous and one can get some very good varieties here at New Market. For everything else like cosmetics, footwear, clothing, perfumes, jewelry and accessories, bags and wallets and other such stuff, there are numerous stalls and shops here to browse through all day long.
One of the most chaotic and oldest markets in Kolkata, New Market also known as Hobbs Market and Gariahat offers a microscopic view of the wonderful treasures that this city has to offer in terms of artistic variety and craftsmanship. Silver Jewellery with strong influences of Tibetan art and Indian artistry, stones of myriad colours and hues, saris (silk and Bengal cotton), clothes and bed sheets with patch work, embroidery, leather goods, cane furniture, terracotta items (ranging from ear-rings and bangles to toys and decorative objects) jute work and a variety of items from different parts of the country can be bought from these parts of Kolkata.
Because shopping for tote bags, ethnic junk jewelry, cotton kurtas and everything that is sheer delight to eyes is a MUST. "Shoppers Paradise", and the best part is that no matter how much you buy, it won't burn a hole in your pocket. Unless you decide to buy a store, then god saves you *crackles*
Shop till You DropFor the shopaholics, shopping malls may be a new trend in India, but Kolkata has had its Mall since 1874. Yes, you saw it right, 1874! The Stuart Hogg Market, lovingly called the New Market. With over 2000 shops, the typical English style red brick market building is as much an architectural marvel as it is a shopping paradise. It houses every imaginable store possible, from groceries to vegetables and meat shops, from confectioneries to designer boutiques, from florists to antique shops, Hogg market has it all.The shopping experience is not restricted only to the Hogg market. Numerous other markets have come up in the area. Even the pavements and the streets are crammed with vendors selling every imaginable piece of necessity in the world.Tip: Bargaining is an art and beware of pickpockets. Taste the pastries at the century old Nahoum's.
My husband's bestie from college was getting married in Kolkata and there was no way I would let my chance slip. We boarded the Mysore Howrah Express from Bangalore City Junction at three in the morning on the 18th of January 2016. The train journey was uneventful and pleasant. We shared the compartment with a young jovial man from a village on the outskirts of Kolkata who worked as a cook with an online food delivery service in Bangalore. He was going home to attend his brother's wedding with a box of chocolate cookies he baked himself. I remember him for his cookies more than anything else. We reached Howrah Junction by 3 pm the next day. Commotion, typical to a railway station, heralded a mundane welcome to the travelers. A fleet of yellow ambassadors were lined up outside the prepaid taxi counters. We hired one of them to go to Hotel Lindsay in the bustling New Market area. As the taxi made its way across the iconic Howrah bridge, I marveled at the mammoth steel framework forming a canopy over the sea of vehicles and pedestrians. The dilapidated buildings with their hand-painted name-boards smothered with dust and age, the maroon and beige architecture of the 19th century monuments and the unobtrusive flow of human traffic deported me into a world that was still caught in the wide chasm between the pre-independence era and a fledgling modern economy. Sometimes the streets looked straight out of a movie scene with its wide roads dotted by yellow cabs and the dome of an ancient cathedral in the vicinity.
College Street (Boi Para)
Also known as boi Para, this is a long stretch from the Ganesh Chandra Avenue to the Mahatma Gandhi Road and is known for the many colleges out here. Apart from colleges there are other building for the city's intellectual group to spend time in. The Coffee House has served as the hangout for budding poets and politicians discussing on serious agendas over hot cups of coffee and kobiraji cutlet for years now. Above all what makes this place even more famous are the presence of many small and big book stalls and thus the name, 'boi para'. If you want to buy old or new books there can be nothing better than a couple of hours in College Street.
A mecca for bibliophiles, the street is lined with stalls buying and selling books. The locals call it 'boi para' (colony of books) and it is the largest second-hand book market in the world and the largest book market in India. Visit to get hold of some precious book titles and the joys of bargaining for that one book you just cannot do without. Also, stop-by the famous Coffee House and Calcutta University campus.
The best place to start a Calcutta trip is from College Street. It is an entire street filled with only bookshops. You get all kinds of books here. On myriad subjects. The entire place has a culture of its own. It is very colourful and bubbling with energy. Places like Coffee House or Presidency College reek of history. The Naxalite movement began here. Every lane has a story to tell, a different era to revisit. Some of the really old buildings of the city are near here.
"Paradise for readers", my grandfather exclaims everytime someone mentions College Street. Nostalgia hits his face, and all he imagines is his college days. Even an hour was not enough for me to explore all the bookstores. Even if a book is available for 300 outside, this place will have the second hand book, in the best condition, for less than 50-60 bucks! Left for my next spot with at least 9 books in hand and a nine inch smile on face.
Be a BookwormThere is an old adage, "If you do not find a book in College Street, then that book was probably never published". This is not any ordinary book store with smell of print on paper wafting from every corner of the store, nor has it any similarity to any second hand book shop. A whole block of city street, chockablock with ramshackle stalls dealing in books. Bookworms; Welcome to College Street!College Street is home to iconic educational Institutions, The Presidency University (formerly Presidency College), The Calcutta Medical College and The Hindu School to name a few. Nicknamed "Boi Para" meaning Colony of Books, the book kisosks jostle for space on the pavements. Thronging with students, scholars, academicians, intellectuals, sellers and book lovers haggling and bargaining for prices it is every book lover's paradise. One may search for any book in any stall, and if they do not have it, they will surely get it from somewhere else; Don't Worry. Its not all second hand books though. There are numerous stores selling new books, and every possible piece of stationary imaginable.An article in the journal Smithsonian described College Street as ...a half-mile of bookshops and bookstalls spilling over onto the pavement, carrying first editions, pamphlets, paperbacks in every Indian language, with more than a fair smattering of books in and out of print from France, Germany, Russia and England. It is the largest second-hand book market in the world and largest book market in India. One can buy rare books at throw-away prices.Things to Do: Buy Books, that's what one is supposed to do here. Refresh at the iconic Indian Coffee House or have a glass of juice at Paramount or taste the famous "Kachoris" at Putiram.Tip: Do not feel ashamed to bargain. And bargain hard!
Shopping was next on our agenda. We battled the morning traffic to get to Gariahat market that is famous for its saree shops. That is when we inadvertently walked into Gupta's to experience one of the best mishti dois in town. We savored more of the freshly prepared sweets including the 'notun gurer sandesh' and bought a box of the delicatessens to take home with us. All the sweetness was followed up by some extravagant shopping at Indian Silk House and a hearty meal consisting of Mutton chaap, Biriyani and the best ever Shahi Tukda from Royal Indian Hotel which has a legacy of serving customers for more than a hundred years. Swarming in and out of the first metro railway in India, we plunged headlong into the intellectual hub of Kolkata - College Street. It is the largest second hand book market in the world with countless book stalls packed together on either side of the road. One can find almost any title here, all at throw away prices - from academic textbooks and paperback editions to rare gems which aren't stocked elsewhere. Many renowned educational institutions are located here including the Presidency College, the University of Calcutta and the Hindu School. I picked up a book to mark the memory of my visit to this book lovers' paradise - The Weekenders - Adventures in Calcutta, a collection of fiction and non-fiction travelogues about Calcutta by eminent writers from around the world. Back in Bangalore, I relived my personal adventure in this esoteric land as I flipped the pages of this gripping book.
Hotels and Homestays in Haora 488 Hotels
Weekend Getaways from Haora
264 Kms from Haora
Best time to visit - January,February,March,November,December
The largest and the busiest city in Bangladesh, Dhaka may seem like a regular, commercial city to you in the first glance but it's much more. It's a place that grows on you with time, and when it does, it's difficult to forget its many experiences. If this is your first visit here, you can choose among the many Dhaka day tours. The tours will help you see the city in its entirety and one can also choose customised tours according to individual preferences. Lal Bagh Fort, Liberation War Museum and Ahsan Manzil are some of the must-visit spots in Dhaka. Do include Baitul Mukarram Mosque in your itinerary. It is the 10th largest mosque in the world and is a sight to behold. Sonargaon is another wonderful place to include in your itinerary. An erstwhile administrative centre of Bengal, the site makes for an interesting visit outside Dhaka. Sitara Mosque is named so because it is decorated with a million stars and is a delight to explore. There are a number of options to stay in Dhaka and you can choose one according to your budget or preference. Read More
After a quick and uneventful flight we began our descent to Dhaka. The views as we flew in were pretty cool, it's an island framed by rivers and agricultural land. From the air it looked to be currently pretty waterlogged. We disembarked the plane into the sun, the weather was hot and humid again, like India. We squeezed onto a rickety airport bus to take us to the terminal. En-route I noticed one of the ground staff had also dyed his beard the same bright orange as the man on our flight. Curiouser and curiouser, what was this orange beard thing I thought. Some strange fashion statement maybe, the latest fad? Immigration which was a pretty straightforward process due to us being able to get Visas on arrival. There was just a little hassle as we didn't have any accommodation pre-booked. Bangladesh immigration requires hotel contact details before you granting a visa. A quick google search to find a hotel name and phone number though and we on our way. Airport Entertainment A little girl of about three years old entertained us in departures whilst we waited for our next flight. She seemed fascinated by us and wouldn't leave us alone, laughing and chattering away. After we'd walked to our gate, we suddenly realised the little girl had followed us all way across departure lounge. Her dad grabbed her and told her to say bye bye, which she did with a little wave and blew us kisses...cute! We boarded a little turbo prop plane with about sixty people on it. Across the aisle from us was another man with a flaming orange beard. I was now wondering if it was something cultural and made it my mission to find out what was behind it. I later discovered that around one in five older Muslim men in Bangladesh dye their beards and/ or hair orange with henna. It's to show their devotion to the prophet Mohammed who dyed his beard. Bags collected, security waved us straight though. In fact security seemed pretty lax, they also waved through the chap in front of us who was holding a 9mm pistol. A little concerning to say the least. We found domestic departures and Andy went to buy tickets for the next flights to Cox's Bazar in South Bangladesh. I waited with the luggage, swatting at the cloud of mozzies that tormented me. It was Andy's turn to do the planning for Bangladesh. He'd decided we'd fly straight to Cox's Bazar for five nights, saving Dhaka for the last two. With only a week to spend in Bangladesh, Andy was keen to not do a typical Tanya whistle-stop tour, visiting lots of places with only a night or two in each. We had no idea what to expect of Cox's Bazar, but thought we should give it a look as it has the longest unbroken beach (about 174km) in the world. Andy returned with a ticket for the wrong return date giving us only three full days there. Well that wouldn't work especially if we were going to have a trip to Saint Martins island too as I hoped. I was most perturbed and may have put my parts on a bit (I blame it on tiredness and hunger). After returning my grumpiness (being together 24/7 was taking it's toll a bit I think), he changed the flights for right date. Arrival in Cox's Bazar
The last couple of days we found ourselves back in Dhaka, which we pretty much spent holed up in hotels as we felt really unsafe, something I’d never experienced anywhere before even when travelling as a solo female. We treated ourselves to a bit of luxury the last night in The Westin.
308 Kms from Haora
Best time to visit - N/A
Located in the South Western Part of Maharashtra, this is a small city on the coast of the Arabian Sea and is surrounded by the beautiful Sahyadri Hills. This place was once the administrative capital of the Bijapur Kingdom who also built a fort here in 1670. this fort was later strengthened by Chhatrapati Shivaji before the city was taken over by the British East India Company in the year 1818. This beautiful fort is the only one here and is known to be the destination where the last king of Burma, Thibaw and Veer Savarkar were confined. There are also a number of tourist attractions in and around this region including the Parashuram Temple, Pavas and caves of Chiplun, Khed, Dabhol, Sangameshwar, Gauhani Velgaum and Vade Padel. The Ganapatipule is a little away from the city and a very famous tourist attraction too. according to Indian mythology, during the Mahabharata, the Pandavas also visited this place during their 13th year and the king of this region accompanied both Pandavas and Kauravas to the battleground of Kurukshetra.Read More
After arriving in Bhubaneswar, hire a taxi to Ratnagiri. If you make prior bookings, you can have the hotel arrange a pick-up from the airport. Spend this day resting, or head out for light exploratory walk around the area.
The word ‘Ratnagiri’ literally means ‘a hill adorned with jewels’. Perhaps it was the crowning glory of the Pushphagiri Mahavihara and, the largest of the Buddhist monastic settlement found in this area. ASI excavation under the supervision of D.Mitra unveiled the magnificent monasteries, stupas, temples, and votive stupas from under the earth. The Ratnagiri Mahavihara flourished most from the 5th to the 11th century AD in art, architecture and learning. The votive stupas are eloquent proofs of the fact that more than ten thousand students were under the tutelage of Ratnagiri during this time. A sharp decline occurred 13th century onwards perhaps due to lack of royal patronage and because of Muslim invasions in India. Still, it is believed to have survived till 16th century AD. A small trek uphill from the entrance gate took us to the votive stupas. The amazing stone votives with inscriptions and figures stood in neat rows, the distance between them being exactly the same! It’s a wonder with how much precision and accuracy these were made. It is said, students were supposed to build a votive to symbolize the successful completion of learning.We, the modern erudite people couldn’t even dream of paying such wonderful adulation to our alma-mater.A narrow pathway led us to the main monastery. The green field on one side was resplendent with wildflowers. The existing relics here speak of the magnificence of the monastery. A large stone courtyard lies in the middle with monastic cells all around the porch. The intricate designs of the entablature attest the glory of the Vihara in its heydays. Directly opposite to the entrance towards the rear end of the courtyard, there is a cell housing a huge statue of Lord Buddha in the Bhumisparsha Mudra. Two male figurines are there on either side of the statue with lotuses and chamars (fans) in their hands. Perhaps this served as an altar. Huge heads of Buddha, statues of Tara, Jambhala, and several other sacred Tantric deities are strewn all over the place. You can feel the awe, the excellence, and the wonder of Ratnagiri here.Standing in the middle of the huge courtyard, with the vast blue sky above, it seemed history came alive to us. It gave me a shiver down the spine to think of those days when India was one of the most revered countries of the world. The giant Buddha head besides the entrance looked like as if it was healing us from the core. Those lotus eyes still shine with mercy and love spreading ahimsa. You are bound to feel the magic when you’re in Ratnagiri, the divine essence dominating all devilish spirits around. The lush green freshness will rejuvenate your eyes and mind, the somber serenity will provide you a somnolence. The Tantric Buddhist monks wisely chose these places to attain enlightenment through learning while Mother Nature carefully curved her beauty here to match the soulful illumination. I’ve witnessed the past in glimpses of the present. The opulent architecture, the mesmerizing scenic beauty will be in my mind forever.P.S. There is an air-conditioned museum in Ratnagiri housing over 3000 artifacts that have been excavated from the site is also a must visit.This trip was originally published on Scattered Thoughts.
The 70 km road journey from Cuttack to Ratnagiri made us (me and my sister) a bit tired and, after reaching the resort, we decided to take some rest. But, we just passed into a deep slumber post lunch only to wake up in the evening. The next day, early in the morning, we started our journey for the excavated sites. Taking a cue from the map, we decided to start with the farthest one first, the Lalitgiri.Lalitgiri:“Look within. Be still.Free from fear and attachment,Know the sweet joy of living in the way”
184 Kms from Haora
Best time to visit - January,February,October,November,December
One of the most important cities of North Bengal, Murshidabad comes with a rich history. Once a stunning example of grandeur, power, culture and beauty, the erstwhile centre of the nawabs was from where the revenue of the whole state of West Bengal went to the king in Delhi. Till date, Murshidabad and its historical monuments are a tourists' delight and the local communities welcome everyone with warmth. This place is also one of the most important Jain pilgrimages with the four most important jain temples of Bengal situated here. These are the Sri Chintamoni Parshwanath Bhagwan Temple in Azimganj, Shri Shambavnath Bhagwan Temple in Jiyaganj, Sree Adinath Bhagwan Temple in Katgola and other one is in Murshidabad itself. You can also visit Hazar Duari Palace, a palace with over 100 doors. Now a museum, the palace is definitely worth visiting. The intricate art work in the museum is a delight for art enthusiasts. Another lovely spot is Katra Masjid. Go during visiting hours for a memorable experience. Read More
The city of Murshidabad in the Murshidabad district of West Bengal has seen a rich history right from the time of the Mughal Empire. Get a taste of a long gone era when you visit its historical places like the Hazarduari Palace, Nazamat Imambara, Katra and Madina mosques, Jafarganj cemetery and Khush Bagh cemetery which houses the graves of the Nawab Ali Vardi Khan and his mother Siraj ud Daulah. The place has a glorious past is a welcome change from city life.Distance from Kolkata : 239 Kms
The capital of Bengal during the Mughal period, Murshidabad stands at a distance of around 230 kilometers from the state's current capital. The best way to get to Murshidabad from Kolkata is by train, which takes around six hours. Murshidabad is best visited between October and March to avoid extreme heat. Finding accommodation is usually not a problem, but as always, make your bookings in advance to be safe rather than sorry!
158 Kms from Haora
Best time to visit - January,October,November,December
Bankura has gradually gained attraction as a popular tourist destination. Located in West Bengal, Bankura is home to various art and architecture spots, terracotta temples, dense virgin forests, hills and scenic beauty spots. Susunia, the second highest hill of Bankura, is famous for rock climbing, trekking and attracts adventure enthusiasts and tourists because of its natural springs. The Biharinath Hill has the highest altitude in the district. It stands guard on the northwestern border and is believed to be an age-old centre of Jainism. The one-of-a-kind Rasmancha Temple is located at Bishnupur in Bankura and is regarded as the oldest brick temple in India! Garh Darwaja is a terracotta gateway situated in Bankura near Bishnupur. The best time to visit is during the annual four day Bishnupur Mela held around the last week of December. The Mukutmanipur Dam, Krishna-Balaram Temple, Amarkanan and Koro Hill, Gangdoha, Ganesh and Nandi Statue are also famous tourist spots and worth visiting.Read More
The food was nothing we have here in Kolkata. Indian 'french' toasts, rice and dal, noodles-this place has everything to offer. But,don't really expect to be sitting at air-conditioned restaurants.. Sitting at a small hut-like food-shack and hearing stories from the locals is what you'll be missing out in the restaurants.
239 Kms from Haora
Best time to visit - January,February,July,August,September,October,November,December
Jamshedpur is the largest city in Jharkhand and is situated on the Chota Nagpur Plateau in the East Singhbhum District. Also known as the 'steel city' for its number of established steel factories, the city was founded by the late Jamshedji Nusserwanji Tata and is also called Tata Nagar. The planned industrial city is enclosed by Dalma Hills with the rivers Subarnarekha and Kharkai winding through the cityscape. Major attractions of the city include the Tata Steel Zoological Park, Dalma Hills, Hudco Lake and Pardih Kali Mandir. The Jubilee Park offers a wildlife safari, giving travellers a closer experience of wildlife. The annual flower show held in December at the Sir Dorabji Tata Park attracts countless numbers of tourists and locals. The Dalma Hills, famous for spotting wild elephants, offers great opportunities for adventure trekking and mountain climbing. The confluence of the rivers Kharkai and Subarnarekha is another attraction Jamshedpur is popular for. A holiday experience here will remind you of any other metro, though there are spots that will surprise the traveller in you!Read More
Start your exploration of the culturally-rich state with the Hotwar State Museum in the capital city Ranchi that gives an insight into the lifestyles of the tribes and explore the collection of paintings, carvings, and bow and jewelry in its 10 sections. In the art village of Amadubi, 65 kilometres from Jamshedpur, Pyatkar paintings, cultural dance performances, and local dishes give you a taste of rural Jharkhand.
After good food we left towards our home, Jamshedpur. The road in Jharkhand was pretty bad as most part was either under construction or were very uneven. The humps, bumps and jerks made us realize that we have entered Jharkhand . Also advisable that the route is not safe at late night and should be avoided as far as possible. We too got too late due to the bad road condition and reached Jamshedpur at 12 : 45 pm at night.The scenic beauty all along was beautiful and the most beautiful part for the trip is Andhra Pradesh, esp Rajahmundry that has amazingly beautiful nurseries along the highway. This part was covered on our return trip as while coming it was dark and we couldn't really see the green all along AP. Overall, the farms, the trees, the road, the food (esp at Odisha and AP ), scenery and the diversity of culture that we saw along the highway and places that we halted left us with beautiful memories and amazing feeling. Shared below the photos while returning.
290 Kms from Haora
Best time to visit - March,April,May,June,July
The twin towns of Malda and English Bazaar make for an unusual holiday destination. Serving as a gateway to Bengal, one usually spots Malda on the way to Siliguri from Kolkata. Malda is a very small city, though the places surrounding it are considered to hold great architectural significance. Some of these destinations are also mentioned by the Archaeological Survey of India, including Gour, Farakka Barage and Jouhra Kali Bari. Gour, the erstwhile capital of Bengal is home to the original footprints of Lord Mohammad and it is very well preserved here. Adina is home to a beautiful mosque and if you have a few hours to spare, this small town deserves a visit. If you are a history buff, Malda will be a pleasure to discover, though you'll have to do a little research before setting out to explore.Read More
When we reached at Malda it was already 12:30 am. We reached Souma's Aunt's place. Had some dinner , get some sleep for about 2:30 hrs. We had slept only 2-3 hrs in the last 24 hrs and traveled more than 300 km by road that was too in uncomfortable conditions.We boarded on the train from Malda at about 6 o'clock. Not that its the best place I have ever visited , but something was special about the Darjeeling trip. There are a lot of things I have learnt from this trip , most importantly -1. Never delay when you need a trip, no matter whatever it takes.2. Unplanned trips are better, but only for off seasons.3. If you want to go for unplanned trips always make sure of two things that you know about the place , and you are physically fit for any type of situation.4. It is hard to go for a unplanned trip that even in budget. But if you are physically fit enough to stay in any type of room, travel in uncomfortable conditions and not allergic to local foods , you can travel anywhere without planning and within budget too.5. Traveling makes you wiser, happier and more fearless - if you trust this you can travel anywhere no matter the hurdles comes in your way.
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