Kolkata, or Calcutta (also Cal), is a kaleidoscopic melting pot of cultures and ethnicities. There's quite possibly no Indian festival that the city doesn't celebrate with glorious hoopla. Each month sees small festive marquees popping up at every corner of the street and come October, throngs of women enwrapped in silk sarees and red bindis convene around the city, undeterred by the ever-present rains. This celebration alone is reason enough to travel to Kolkata. From the glut of vibrant attractions, the city also holds a rich vehicular heritage ranging from the big yellow taxi that floods both parts of the city (Calcutta and Howrah) divided by the reticent river Hoogly, to the hand-pulled rickshaws and rickety trams meandering the roads. Tourists will hardly ever run out of things to do in Kolkata. Starting from Kumartuli, a traditional potters’ quarter, famed for its sculpted idols of gods and demons, to the architectural spectacle, that is the Howrah Bridge, Kolkata city will engulf you with its sights, sounds and scents. Calcutta’s biggest, most prismatic wholesale flower market on Mullick Ghat, Victoria Memorial, the old Chinatown Tiretta Bazaar, the magnificent Nakhoda Masjid and Jorasankho (Rabindranath Tagore’s ancestral home) are few of the most picturesque places to visit in Kolkata.
Named after Tribhuvan Eshwar or the 'lord of the three worlds' is the capital of Odisha, Bhubaneswar. It is set on the Mahanadi Delta but is not restricted to only coastal areas. Caves, hills, zoological parks, museums, art galleries, temples, amusement parks – you'll find all this and more at Bhubaneswar. The 180 ft tall, majestic Lingaraja Temple is the most popular in the locality. It is a sculptural feat featuring gods, goddesses, kings, queens, hunters and musicians. Lord Harihara, a union of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu is the presiding deity. The Mukteshwar Temple is smaller in comparison to others, but is famed for its beautiful ceiling of an eight petalled lotus and a glorious archway. The other prominent temples are Brahmeswar and Rajarani. The captivating natural beauty of the Udayagiri and Khandagiri caves will compel you to lose yourself in historical wonder. However, be prepared to deal with numerous langoors jumping all over the place. The dense and tranquil forests of Nandankanan will welcome you on your way to its national park. Apart from the wildlife and the white tiger safaris, you can also spend some quiet time in the gardens and indulge in an exciting ride on the ropeway. Another wonderful site to visit is the Dhauligiri Shanti Stupa. Situated on Dhauli hills, it is a well-maintained edifice where you can visit for beautiful views and solitude. If you want to be enlightened about the tribes of Orissa make sure you visit the tribal villages, markets and the Museum of Tribal Arts & Artifacts. Among places to stay, the Mayfair Lagoon or Trident are great options, but there are also other hotels that are light on the pocket.
The district headquarters of the Puri District, the City of Puri lies on the western side of the state capital of Bhubaneshwar and is right on the banks of the Bay of Bengal. Puri is known to be one of the most important pilgrimage places for the Hindus and a seat of Lord Vishnu in the form of Lord Jagannatha. The Jagannatha Temple is the most important attraction here and the Lord here resides with his brother Balaram and sister Subhadra.Other than this, the sea is what attracts tourists from all over the world. The historically rich city has a moderate climate and heritage places which dates back to the 3rd century as well. There is also the Math of Sankaracharya which finds great popularity with peace seekers. Apart from that shopping is what you can enjoy here. You get all sorts of traditional items to bring back home.
Cuttack is one of the oldest cities in Odisha. It is also called the 'Millennium City', owing to its history of about a 1,000 years. The former capital of Odisha, Cuttack has seen the rise and fall of various empires over the years. Ranging from the magnificent Keshari dynasty to pre-independence struggles, the city has always been a centre of attention. Cuttack is a major commercial hub, sitting at the delta formed by Mahanadi and Kathjori. Cuttack is best known for its internationally acclaimed silver-filigree work called Tarakasi. Cuttack is home to the once magnificent, Barabati Fort on the banks of Mahanadi. Barabati Fort hosts multiple cultural and sports events today. The temple Katak Chandi lies at a walking distance from the fort. Qadm Rasool, a holy site for followers of Islam, is said to have the footprints of Prophet Mohamed embedded on a circular rock. The shrine is acclaimed by both Hindus and Muslims. Another attraction in the holy shrine is an 18th century music gallery in the middle of the compound. Qadm Rasool makes for a very enriching visit! Other tourist attractions include Paradeep Beach, Dhabaleshwar Island and the Odisha Maritime Museum.
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!
Digha is the most famous seaside resort town in the state of West Bengal. Situated only 187 kilometres away from the capital of the state, Kolkata, it is well equipped with hotels and various other tourist facilities. The sunrise and sunset reflecting off the misty blue water of the Bay of Bengal offer the most picturesque view. Digha was originally known as Beerkul and it started gaining fame when in 1923, an English tourist by the name of John Frank Smith got so greatly allured by its charm and magnificence that he started living there and writing about Digha. Being a seaside resort town, Digha naturally offers a number of stunning beaches such as Digha beach, Udaipur sea beach, Junput beach and Shankarpur beach. Chilling at these beaches, swimming in the water, or simply lying down admiring the view is a blissful experience. Besides its beaches, Digha also offers other places of interest, the most popular being Digha Gate, Marine Aquarium and Research Centre (MARC) and Lord Shiva Temple at Chandaneswar. With its extremely picturesque beaches and enticing charm, Digha never fails to impress its visitors.
About Jammu Dwip
Jammu Dwip is a inhabited delta island in the bay of Bengal. Going there itself is an experience. You need to go to the Benfish Harbor. From there take a motor boat and go there. The boat travels through the river and meets the sea. You will get an experience of flowing into the sea. Keeping Sundarban to your right, you travel an hour into the Bay of Bengal and reach the Jammu Dwip. It's a small island where you can see army of red crabs moving around. Being too close to Bangladesh border, you are not allowed to get down on the island.