Hills of Bengal
Most states in India are fortunate to have one hill resort. But West
Bengal the gateway to the Eastern Himalaya, is surrounded by them.
conjures visions of serenity, of vibrant green hills steeped in
splendour, a land of breathtaking beauty crowned by the majestic
Darjeeling is one of the most magnificent hill resorts in the world.
This heavenly retreat is bathed in hues of every shade. The flaming
red rhododendrons, the sparkling white magnolias, the miles of undulating
hillsides covered with emerald green tea bushes, the exotic forests
of silver fir - all under the blanket of a brilliant azure sky dappled
with specks of clouds, compellingly confounds Darjeeling as the
QUEEN OF HILL STATIONS.
Darjeeling - the name is derived from the Tibetian word 'Dorje'
which means the precious stone or ecclesiastical sceptre, which
is emblematic of the thunderbolt of Indra, and 'ling' - a place,
hence the land of the thunderbolt. The sceptre of Indra is believed
to have fallen at a place where now stands the Observatory Hill.
A quiet township between Siliguri and Darjeeling at an altitude
of 1458m (4860 ft.), is noted for its secluded charm and Eagles
Crag which offers a commanding view of the undulating plains below.
The word Kurseong means the place of White Orchid. Because
of its lower elevation, Kurseong enjoys a milder and very healthy
climate throughout the year.
Derived from the word doors, the Dooars forms a gateway
to the hill stations of North Bengal and Bhutan. The valley stretches
across a total span of 130 km by 40 km. The unending stretch of
virgin forests is criss-crossed by the river Teesta and her innumerable
tributaries. Beautiful motorable roads cut through deep forests
teeming with wild life and Terai tea gardens.
The Dooars Valley is specially noted for its wild life sanctuaries,
the most notable of which is Jaldapara, offering memorable elephant
rides through rhino and tiger forests. Other sanctuaries include
Buxa Tiger Project, Gorumara and Chapramari.
32 km from Kalimpong and situated at an altitude of 7200 ft. commands
panoramic view of Jelep La and Rechi La passes. Short drives through
dense forests from Kalimpong are tourist spots with unspoiled idyllic
surroundings. Lava is the gateway to the Neora National Park.
56 km from Kalimpong and situated at an altitude of 5500 ft. Panoramic
view of Kanchenjunga can be obtained from this point. Fabulous view
of Sunrise over Kanchenjunga can be seen from Jhandi Dara.
Shiliguri may called the Gateway of Eastern India as it is the main
transit point for going to Darjeeling hill region, Sikkim, Bhutan,
Eastern Nepal and Assam. It is the biggest town in North Bengal
and is a fast developing one.
Mirik is anest in the hills is West Bengals one of the hill
resort at an altitude of 1767 meters with its own special charms-49
km from Darjeeling and 52 km. from Siliguri. 1.25 km. long lake
is fed by perennial streams. A floating fountain in the middle of
the lake is a joy for ever and very often you may find the glory
of Kanchenjungha reflected in the lake waters. A rich forest of
thousands of Cryptomaria-Japanica trees clothe the slopes on the
west. A 3.5 km zig-zag footwalk takes you along the lake
a sleek footbridge connects the garden on the east with the woods
on the west. Alone or in company, you are sure to enjoy a boat-ride
in the lake.
Heritage of Bengal
The Heritage Trail travels across 350 km and several centuries of
Bengals history. The lay of the land speaks about the golden
era of trade and commerce, of a rich culture and a land torn by
betrayal, partition, poverty and famine.
A quiet town on the banks of the Bhagirathi river, Murshidabad has
stood witness to events that changed the course of Indian history.
Capital during the reign of Siraj-ud-daula, the Nawab of Bengal,
Murshidabad was also a flourishing trading town between inland India
and the port of Calcutta.
Nimak Haram Deohri (Traitors Gate) is the place where Siraj-ud-daula
was assassinated after the battle of Plassey.
Khusbagh (Garden of Happiness) is a boat ride across the river,
where Siraj is buried.
Hazarduari (Palace of a Thousand Doors) is built in classical architectural
style. Nowa museum, the palace houses, among other artifacts, the
Nawab's silver throne, ivory sofa and ivory palanquins.
Other important landmarks are the Great Imambara, Moti Jhil (Pearl
Lake) and the impressive ruins of Katra Mosque, built in 1723, and
Nizamatkila, an Italian style palace of Nawab Mir Jafar, stands
beside Bhagirathi river.
The Jain Parasnath Temple is at Kathgola.
Another interesting palace is Wasif Manzil, with its unique collection
of curios, paintings, arms and costumes.
The Char Bangla Temple at Baranagore was built in the 18th century
by Rani Bhavani.
The Bhavaniswar Temple, too, is one of the finest examples of terracotta
sculpture in West Bengal. It is located 23 km from
Bishnupur is famous for its beautiful terracotta temples and artifacts.
There are many such temples which stand testimony to the exquite
craftsmanship of the artisans of the region. We take a brief look
at some of them:
Rasmancha: Oldest brick temple. Built in the late 16th century
by King Beera Hambira. The temple has an unusual elongated pyramidical
tower, surrounded by hut-shaped turrets.
Pancha Ratna Temple of Shyam Rai: Built in 1643 by King Raghunath
Singha. The walls are richly decorated with terracotta carvings
featuring aspects of Lord Krishnas life.
Jorebangla Temple of Keshta Rai: Built by King Raghunath Singha
Dev II in the 17th century. The ornate terracotta carvings are set
off by the roof in the classic chala style of Bengal architecture.
Madanmohan Temple: King Durjana Singh Deva built the temple in
1694 AD in the ekaratna style, a square flat-roofed building with
carved cornices, surmounted by a pinnacle. Impressive carvings on
the walls depict scenes from the Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Puranas.
Shantiniketan is the embodiment of serenity and peace, far removed
from the concrete jungle. Here imposing sculptures of Ram Kinkar
greet you at every turn of the road. Paintings of Nandalal, Abanindranath
and Binod Bihari captivate your senses.
Uttarayan, the complex where Rabindranath lived, has a museum and
Visva Bharati University at Shantiniketan, 2 km from the nearest
railway station Bolpur, is now a centre of international studies
and culture. The university is also open to visitors.
Unique among the temples are the ornate Palki Krishna Chanraji Temple
and the Pratapeswar Temple, a 108 temple complex dedicated to Lord
Shiva. The temples are divided into two circles with black and white
lingas. Not to be missed are the Lalji Temples with 25 spires and
the Ambika Temple.
Beaches of Bengal
Breathtaking Beaches premise the perfect escape to tranquility !!!
The coastal strip of West Bengal, extending from the Gangetic delta
land to the border of Orissa, presents some beautiful options in
sea resorts Digha, Shankarpur, Junput, Bakkhali, Sagardwip.
All of these offer wide, flat, hard beaches, a gently rolling sea,
rows of casuarina forests and a pleasant, warm weather round the
Down south from Calcutta, the coastal areas of West Bengal present
eye-catching beautiful options: Digha Shankarpur
Junput Frazergunj and Sagardwip.
The Southern West Bengal is endowed with the most famous beach on
the eastern coast of India Digha. The beach town of Digha
is famous all over for flat, hard beaches. The beauty of this place
was discovered as early as the days of Warren Hastings. Digha was
known as Beercool at that time. Digha beach is girdled with casuarina
plantations along the coast. The sea is calm and shallow for about
a mile from the beach making it quite safe for swimming.
Shankarpur, a virgin beach as yet, is a recent discovery. It is
a twin beach of Digha, around 10 km. from it. It offers nearly all
the pleasures of a private beach. This beach too is cupped with
Shankarpur is only 14 km. east of Digha, along the Digha-Contai
Road. It is also a regular fishing harbour.
Junput fish firm 40 km,from Digha by bus;it also has a beautiful
sea beach with a change at Contai. The place offers beautiful sea-view
and lines of casuarina trees. The beach is unspoilt. Brackish water
fish cultivation and research are done here by the State Government
A lovely destination combining pilgrimage and fun, situated on an
island in the Sunderban,
holds the charms of a completely unspoilt beach on the estuary of
the mighty Ganga. Sagardwip presents a quiet, silvery expanse of
beach and the calm sea provides the perfect setting for a quiet
From Diamond Harbour one has to travel to Kakdwip (30 km. past
Diamond Harbour), then to Herwood Point (Lot No. 8), cross the ferry
to the other side of the river Muriganga. The other side is Kachuberia.
From Kachuberia, a journey by bus, minibus or trekker to Sagar Island.
West Bengal Surface Transport Corporation runs direct buses between
Esplanade and Lot No. 8 and ferry vessels across the river.
The white sand beach, is entirely different from the other beaches.
It is pristine pure and holds the charms of a beach unspoilt. It can
be accessed from Calcutta, and is a three hours drive on very good
roads. The destination is also all too famous for the migratory birds
that can be sighted over there.
Information on Tours & Travel excursion of West Bengal - India