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Kolkata
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.
Dhaka
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.
Murshidabad
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.
Bankura
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.
Jamshedpur
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!
Digha
Best time to visit - January,February,March,November,December
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 Pakhiralay

As the boat moved on and the stories heard, the day was coming to an end...our tourist stop was a place called, 'Pakhiralaya' which means the abode of the birds. It is like a big stream that comes and meets the main river system, and rows of 'Sundari' and other trees have grown over the banks without an inch of space to spare..very dense indeed ; no wonder a tiger is camouflaged so well, and victims hardly have any chance at all. The sun had vanished and probably millions of birds were returning home, and the cacophony of their calls was like a continuous concert of a Bird Philharmonic orchestra.
Pakhiralay

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