169 Kms from Chaittali Village
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.
282 Kms from Chaittali Village
However, next day I packed my backpack and leaving my suitcase and comfort behind, boarded the bus to Bodhgaya from the Mithapur bus stand in Patna at 8:15 in the morning. I enjoy bus rides as it gives a chance to look at the inner cities and towns of new states and absorb the land as a whole instead of looking at some isolated sites.
276 Kms from Chaittali Village
Best time to visit - N/A
As the name suggests, the history and significance of this place revolves around the Bodhi tree which is actually a peepal tree. The original name of the place is Gaya and the Bodhgaya is the combination of the two words Bodhi and Gaya. This is the tree under which Gautama Buddha had attained enlightenment and became Buddha- The Enlightened one. The main attraction of this place apart from the history of the Mauryan Empire is the Mahabodhi Temple. This is the oldest seat of Buddhist worship and dates back to the 2nd or 3rd Century. The initial temple structure was built by Emperor Ashika when he visited this place after he had left violence and adopted the path of peace and love. What we see at present is not at all the temple the Chinese Ambassador Fa Hien had mentioned in his account. This is a beautiful ornate temple and monastery with a beautiful spire and a large complex. What Fa Hien had mentioned was just the Bodhi Tree surrounded by brick walls. No doubt this was the forst brick Buddhist temple in the country, but presently it is much more beautiful and the magical sense of inner peace you recieve on visiting this place cannot be explained in words.
190 Kms from Chaittali Village
Best time to visit - January,February,March,July,August,September,October,November,December
Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand, is known for its gushing waterfalls and umpteen temples. Another place that attracts tourists is the unique Muta Crocodile Breeding Farm – a rare existence in India. Perfect for a leisurely holiday, this rapidly growing city overlooks the Chhota Nagpur plateau. If you are interested in learning about the various tribes here and their culture, the Tribal Research Institute and Museum will help you understand and explore their rituals, customs and way of life while also offering intriguing souvenirs to take back home! The mighty Hundru Falls, Jonha Falls, Panchghagh Falls and Dassam Falls must definitely be on your list for an adventurous, action packed holiday. For the spiritually inclined, the Jagannath Temple, Angrabari and Pahari Mandir are worth exploring for their architectural brilliance and faith.
172 Kms from Chaittali Village
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.
264 Kms from Chaittali Village
Best time to visit - N/A
Once the capital of the Magadha Empire which later evolved to become the Mayryan Empire, Rajgir is a valley surrounded by hills. This is a very important seat of Buddhist worship in Nalanda, Bihar. Hinduism and Jainism are also practised by many out here. Rajgir, earlier known as Rajagriha or the King's home is also known to be a winter health retreat. This is because of the number of pools and natural springs here filled with warm water which have therapeutic values and goo for healing many bone and skin diseases too. The Buddha Temple here is also encompassed with a monastery and is a popular place for meditation. The white colour is a symbol of peace and the gold colour used for the spire of the temple is to show eternity and good taste. The Buddha idol inside has some magic in it that you want to keep on looking at it. The typical peaceful atmosphere of a Buddhist Temple is also found here and this is the prime attraction of this town.
109 Kms from Chaittali Village
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!
251 Kms from Chaittali Village
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.