About West Bengal
Dol Festival in Bengal.Known as 'Dol Jatra', 'Dol Purnima' or 'Swing Festival,' Holi in Bengal is a dignified affair and celebrated by placing the idols of Krishna and Radha on a palanquin. The decorated palanquin is then taken around the main streets and people, dressed up in saffron-coloured or pure white clothes, sing and dance to the accompaniment of musical instruments. Devotees, one after another, swing the palanquin and men spray coloured water at them.
Best Time To Visit
Best time to visit West Bengal is from September to March
How To Reach
Book a Package Tour
Gurudongmar Lake, also noted as Gurudogmar Lake, the lake is named after Guru Padmasambhava, otherwise called Guru Rinpoche, originator of Tibetan Buddhism who went to the lake in the eighth century. It is one of the most noteworthy lakes on the planet, situated at a height of 17,800 ft in the Indian state of Sikkim. The lake can be reached by street from Lachen via Thangu. As indicated by a legend, when Padmasambhava went to the lake he saw a favorable phenomenon in the lake and after that he thought of it as a decent augury to enter the territory of Sikkim, then known as Demojong. It is currently said that the lake provides a shelter to any pregnant lady offering prayers to God at the lake. The lake looks small at the spot where devotees offer love, yet the bigger piece of the lake is not visible because of uneven geography impeding the complete perspective at this area.
This place is paradise for adventure lovers. This is the highest point in West Bengal and you have to trek for around 12 hours from Maneybhanjan to reach this place. You can also hire a landrover from maneybhanjan. This is also a village and is a part of the Singalila National Park. As you reach on top of this [point, you will be welcomed with some of the most awesome views including the famous route from Bhutan till Mt. Everest. The view of the mighty River Teesta is also very attractive. This river is apt for river rafting due to the high speed in which the water flows. If you can put in physical effort for the love for nature, this is the right place to choose.
One of the most important attractions in West Bengal, this is around 12 kilometres from Darjeeling and is a point 2555 metres above sea level. The Tiger Hill is famous for the rare views at dawn. The only condition if you want to enjoy this enthralling experience is that you have to be awake and ready by 4AM in the morning. You go straight to the Tiger Hill before the sun comes out and take the last views of the snow capped Kanchenjunga Peak. As soon as the sun comes out, the color of the sbow turns absolutely red and a little later Orange and then turns to Golden which again cpmes back to white when the sun is completely up. This natural show of lights is extra ordinary and is a visual treat. Starting your day to something like this is complete bliss. You can come to this place at anytime of the year except for monsoons and deep winters as the climate is extremely uncomfortable at this time.
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.
Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park
The Darjeeling Zoo is also known as the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park to honor the ex- governor of West Bengal, Padmaja Naidu. This is a beautiful zoo where you can find some of the high altitutde animals as well as some endangered species of animals too. The zoo is in the Birch Hill area which is presently known as the Jawahar Parvat. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had dedicated the zoo in the honor of Padmaja Naidu who was also a poet and the daughter of the famous freedom fighter Sarojini Naidu. This is one of the best zoos in the world and is the first recipient of the International award of "The Earth Heroes 2014". This is an award given away by the Royal Bank of Scotland. The reason this zoo was chosen among more than 300 zoos all over the world is that it has successfully conserved and looked after Himalayan Animals and also those which are of the Alpine Region. You will find the endangered species such as Red Panda, Snow leopard and Tibetian Wolf here among many others. There are also a number of Siberian Togers and Yaks here. Very old herbs, shrubs, climbers, medicinal plants and orchids cover most of the zoo and you will also find trees such as birch and aldar here. There is a huge aviary too where very bautiful birds find home. The birds conserved here include Rose ringed Parakeets, Ring Necked Pheasants, Himalayan Mynahs, Blue- Gold Mackaws and others. There are steps on many sides inside the zoo and these are for the ones in search of extra adventures. Beyond these steps are the area which are home to H8imalayan bears, Sambhar deer, Blue Sheep. tahr, barking deer, goral and Musk Deer. They roam about openly ball around and thus a trained guide is a must when you opt for these places. The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute is also closeby.
This is a railway loop a few kilometers from the beautiful Darjeeling. The toy train goes round this loop and there is also a war memorial here. This war memorial was built after independence in memory of all the brave people of Darjeeling who laid their lives in various wars since the time of independence.
Singalila National Park
The total distance is 22 kms from Tonglu to Sandakphu through gravel road which will break your back. The only respite is the viesw as you tread forward.Sankakphu is in the Sangalilla National Park. After Tonglu, Sandakphu might look a bit congested. Tonglu has only two guest houses but in Sandakphu one has around 10 built badly on the hillock to block the view of the Kanchenjunga. This place officially lies in Nepal. The owner of the guest house we stayed was a Nepali and from her behavior it seemed she didn’t like Indians. Since she was the leader of the place and had all the lodges running under her, she knew we didn’t have much choice. Her attitude was “Take it or leave it”. The room that we got here was for 1800/night and the food she was serving was also very costly but since there isn’t much option we had to budge and anyways we didn’t want to spoil our journey for few hundred bucks. The only good thing was there was solar light installed and we had a private western toilet for ourselves. In the afternoon we took a 2 hours stroll on the ridge which leads to Phalut. Came back and had hot meal consisting of Dal, chawal and one sabji which tasted delicious in the Nomads land. We retreated to the bed early as there wasn’t much to do. Day 4 :- Sandakphu to Darjeeling
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.
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.
Built in 1875 by Lama Sherab Gyatso, this monastery in Darjeeling is mainly known for the beautiful statue of the Maitreye Buddha or the 'Future Coming Buddha'. This place is also blessed by the very famous Tomo Geshe Rimpoche of Tibet. The Monastery has conserved some very rare Buddhist Writeen Manuscripts. The monastery will fall on your way back from the famous Tiger Hill.
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.
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.
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.
Prinsep Ghat with a good spectacular view is names after the famous James Princep. The place was built when the city and the whole country was under the Raj of the British. It is among the serene and quaint places in Kolkata where locals and tourists go for a getaway from city's hustle-bustle. This place is also considered by the locals for morning and evening walks by the banks of the river Ganga with not really a great view but also clean and oxygen free of pollution, amidst the lush greenery all around. For those who want to pay some quality time by the Hoogly without spending much, this is actually the spot to head to. An extra activity here's boat rides that are slow and serene in the waters of the Ganga.
Gorumara National Park
Along with the Chapramari and Sansung National Parks, this is another one in the Terai Region of the Jalpaiguri District of West Bengal. Mainly known for the beautiful green views and the presence of leopards and rhinos, this is one of the most popular wildlife safaris here. you can also take elephant rides as there are no cars to take you on a wildlife safari. This is an out of the world experience and a must vosit.
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway or more dearly known as the Toy Train. With its narrow gauge trains of two feet, things do not get more exciting than when one is on a ride on the toy train. The length that the train covers is about 80 kilometers. The starting point is New Jalpaiguri in the district of West Bengal and the train goes past Siliguri, then Kurseong and Ghum while chugging along many loops and reverses. After having been out of service for quite some time, the toy train is now back in action and promises one a ride of a lifetime.
How does the thought of a cable car ride between hills sound to you? Exhilarating is the word that describes the Darjeeling Rangeet Valley Passenger Ropeway. Open for the enjoyment by the public since the month of February in the year 2012, this ropeway is perhaps the best way to enjoy the hilltop view of all that Darjeeling has to offer. The ropeway is completely safe and spans across 298 metres making it the longest of its kind in India. The journey begins at North Point in Darjeeling and goes up till Singla.
This place was started by Lord Ramakrishna Dev's disciple, Swami Vivekananda. This place is not only a place of worship, but it's an admirable piece of art if it's viewed from the eyes of an artist. The main temple, has been constructed quite beautifully with minute detailing to every nook and corner of the structure. The place where Lord Ramakrishna Dev's idol is placed, is made in such a way that devotees can get a clear view from the corners as well. There are shrines of Goddess Sharada Devi and Swami Vivekananda. You could even think of spending the night there as there are clean and well maintained guest houses and delicious food (veg though.) served to guests. Also, you might get to witness the 'Arti' at the temple at dawn. Now this might sound quite petty a thing, but it does instil a lot of inner peace and tranquility. Local's tip: please keep your gadgets in your bags, switch off your cell phones and please don't try clicking pictures from any corner of the campus. This is considered to be punishable. Also, if you want to take a dip in the river Ganga, you are gladly welcome, but make sure you carry spare clothes with you. Try not littering the place, not because it's punishable, but you don't want to carry around the guilt of littering a place that's clean and beautiful as Belur Math, which has maintained this reputation for over 200 years.
Shobhabazar Metro Station
Locally known as Lewduh, this is one of the oldest and largest traditional markets and trade center of the North East India. Most of the shopkeepers here are women and there are a number of monolithic idols of gods and goddesses out here. A number of religious ceremonies are performed here every year and this place is directly managed by the government authorities. The best thing you can shop from here are flat bamboo items such as mats, hats and other decoratives. It is suggested that you do not bargain much out here as the women are poor and they work really very hard with very low sales turnover due to the remote location.
Darjeeling Rangeet Valley Passenger Ropeway
The Ropeway is probably the best way to get a birds eye view of the spectacular valley below. it was started in the year 1968 by the forest development authority. After an accident in 2003, it was shut down for tourists and was restarted in 2012. There are two lines which go to and fro between the 'North Point', and Singla on either end. If you want a quick view of the entire valley in just a few minutes, then the Ropeway is the place you should head to. However, be prepared for a serpentine queue as almost every tourist in Darjeeling eventually makes his way to the Ropeway.
Happy Valley Tea Estate
This is a tea estate in Darjeeling and rolling meadows of emerald green tea plantations. It is a bliss watching the women plucking carefully the tea leaves. There is also a factory where you can see the making of tea and fermentation processes. It is both an entertaining as well as educational trip
Neora Valley National Park
Every year we organize a seasonal trekking which begins from the month of December- April, the trek covers the versatile desires of all the types of nature enthusiasts. It can be an educational trek, adventure trek, amateurs trek, cultural trek, wild trek, snow trek etc, Rhododendron trek.The paces we cover are the Neora valley national and Buxa tiger reserve Depending upon the trekkers desire,Below are the details of the dates and tariff for the participants:Neora valley national park:Best for Botanists, bird watchers, animal census, butterfly trek , geographical excursion, wild trek, snow trek, rhododendron trek, jungle tour. Brief description:Neora valley national park is rich in its heritage flora and fauna. The place is an abode to different types of medicinal hers, shrubs and extinct species. It is also a habitat for several extinct species like the Red panda, Tiger. The trek can be an ample source for the information required for the educational thesis and theories for students. We provide professional guides for such treks. The highest point of the park is called Rachela, a virgin paradise of north bengal (9500 ft -10,000 ft), The place is beautifully decorated with the forest of rhododendron trees which are more than 300 years old. During the month of December one can enjoy the experience of snow trek. While trekking Neora valley national park the botanists can gain different experiences on different types of vegetation from , evergreen, deciduous, coniferous, bamboo and rhododendron forest. The point happens to be the meeting point of three borders, Sikkim, Bhutan and India adjacent to the legendary "Silk route".There is more to come which cannot be described in words and can only be experiences live.Below are the dates for the participants: ( join the group) **NOTE- ALL THE NAMES OF THE PLACES MENTIONED BELOW ARE THE LOCAL NAMES OF THE AREAS OF NEORA VALLEY NATIONAL PARK** Category - moderateAttraction - Snow covered green mountains, Rhododendron BlossomingTREK ROUTES: DAY OPTION-1 OPTION-2 OPTION-3 1ST DAY Samsing FARI ( HALT) SAMSING FARI ( HALT) TODEY TANGTA (HALT) 2ND DAY TONGTONGAY (HALT) TONGTONGAY (HALT) RUKA (HALT) 3RD DAY TIGER CAMP (HALT) TIGER CAMP (HALT) RACHELA ( HALT) 4TH DAY RACHELA (HALT) RACHELA (HALT) ALUBARI (HALT)/ 5TH DAY TANGTA ( HALT) ALUBARI (HALT) CHAUDAPHERI (HALT) 6TH DAY CHECK OUT (THROUGH TODEY) CHECK OUT( THROUGH CHAUDAPHERI) CHECK OUT (THROUGH LAVA) TREKKING COST: (5NIGHTS 6 DAYS) 1. Rs 7000 per/person (Total cost for seasoned trekkers)2. Rs 8000 /per person ( total cost for amateurs)3. Rs 12000 per/person ( for foreigners) The total cost includes: 1. Food and lodging2. Potter charges ( two potter/per person for amateurs)3. Permit charges4. Guide charges5. Tents and trekking equipments ( hiring charges)6. Lodging at base camp and check out camp7. Transportation till and from base camp ( To and from nearest railway station) *** Trekkers are requested to get a medical fitness checkup 5 days before the trek*** For booking and inquiries please email firstname.lastname@example.org call +91 7384083137
Earlier known as Bhubandanga after the name of Bhuban Dacoit, this place was named Shantiniketan after the house built here by Maharishi Debendranath Tagore, the father of Rabindranath Tagore. This is from where also started the Brahmo Samaj. This town in the Bolpur District of Birbhum is mainly known for Rabindranath Tagore's visionary Vishwa Bharati University which is over here. The Patha Bhavan school started by Tagore is also an attraction here. Children out here are taught in the open classrooms which are inside the forest of the crimson flowers. This is how children learn to be more friendly with nature. There is also a memorial dedicated to Tagore out here. All these have made Shantiniketan a popular tourist attraction as a neighbour of Kolkata.
Belur Math Shrine
This is the headquarters of the Ramkrishna Mission and Math and is also the center of the Ramkrishna Movement. This was built by Swami Vivekananda who was a disciple and an ardent follower of Ramakrishna Paramhandsa. When Swami Vivekananda went to Colombo in 1897, he ordered the building of two missionaries, one at Belur and the other near Almora. Thhese were places meant for the young boys who would become future sanyasis and to train them for their activities. The Belur Math is on the western banks of the hooghly River and also encompasses the Ramakrishna Mission University. This is one of the most important institutions as well as an architectural marvel of the country. The design and architecture of the building is a mixture of Hindu, Islam, Christian as well as Buddhist styles of architecture. The reason behind this was the motto of Swami Vivekananda that all human beings are equal and that humanity is their only religion. The building looks different from different angles and the three chattris are inspired from thew thatched huts of Kamarhati, a village which was also the birthplace of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa. There is a temple where the statue of Paramhansa is seated on a 100 petalled lotus. There is also a shrine of Swami Vivekananda built on the same place where parts of him were cremated in 1924.
Deolo Cliff Eco Resort, Kalimpong, charms guests with breathtaking views of river Teesta and misty Kanchenjunga. The rocky terrains that form a part of the resort's design add a natural touch. The rooms are tastefully done up and offer ultimate comfort. With various amenities, thrilling activities and gratifying hospitality, this resort offers the true pleasures of vacationing.
Esplanade Bus Terminus
This is the biggest shopping arena in the city where you literary get everything. This place is very interesting because sweaty, haggling hawkers are juxtaposed against the majesty of the Grand Hotel. Dalhousie or Dharamtalla is a place which is infested with buildings from Calcutta's colonial past.
After trotting non stop, my stomach made funny noises, and so I took myself out to Bara Bazaar, one of the biggest wholesale markets in India, and also the place with cheap priced lip smacking food. On Jagmohan Mullick Lane, the footpaths are covered with stalls of chaat vendors, and their pav-bhaaji is worth dying for! Sizzling hot butter right on top of mouth watering bhaaji made me lose all my table etiquettes, and eat like a crazed up person, who hasn't had meals for days! Right on the crossing of the road sits an old aged man, who sells Pani Puri and Jhalmuri - the things-you-should-eat-in-Kolkata, since 30 years. And he still hasn't lost the charm for sure!
When the locales saw so many red crabs crawling along the beach, it looked like a red mandar and thus the place was named Mandarboni which later became Mandarmani. This is a fast- growing sea resort in East Midnapore and on the Northern part of Bay of Bengal. The sea here is shallower than Digha and thus even better for swimming. The sea beach is a drive- in one and is the longest motorable beach of India. The place is a village and thus is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. The views of casuarina and the sound of sea waves crashing the shore are blissful. The main activities you can enjoy here are swimming, cricket, tennis, boat cruises and others. There are also a number of holiday resorts just on the beach. The village is connected to Kolkata via a highway and buses are always available from the city if you wish to travel by public transport.
The Fourth day in Kolkata was slightly better in terms of my health but I decided to take it slow and just wandered in the nearby streets of Kolkata. I had a very light breakfast at a small sweets shop, had tea at ‘Balwant Singh ka Dhaba’ nearby and went back to PG. In the evening, I went to the much talked about confectionery ‘Flurys’ to soothe my chocolate cravings and had a long chat with friends over tea-tasting at ‘Au Bon Pain’. We strolled in the Park Street, had dinner at Subway and returned to the PG.
Fed by a number of perennial river, this 'Long Lake' is in the most famous hill resort of Bengal, i.e., Darjeeling. There is a bridge and a fountain in the middle of the lake forming the main attraction of Mirik Lake. It is also very close to Siliguri and thus easy to reach. The reflection of the Kanchenjunga into the eaters of the lake looks beautiful. Besides the natural beauty of the surroundings is also refreshing.