The very sobriquet ‘city of Joy’ describes Kolkata so well that even the international travellers do wish to be here out of curiosity. And you know it well that Kolkata really does have elements to please its fans. But, the people who have been living here for extended years might find all exciting elements to be pale and charmless for the simple reason that they have seen enough of it. For them the city has nothing but to offer noise, pollution and crowd (as this is the case with almost every city dweller). So, it is obvious that if you are in Kolkata for years or may be decades, you would seek a break from mundane city life. So, herein I bring a solution to break the monotony of your day to day life and enlist some great weekend getaways near Kolkata.
Distance from Kolkata: 151km
Known across the country for famous terracotta temples and Baluchari sari, Bishnupur is an artistically flourishing town, set up by Malla Kings in 17th century. The reminiscences of this quaint town are worth capturing in digital lens and perfectly satiate the hunger of every art and craft lovers’ soul. Portrayed in various historical writings as the face of rural Bengal, the temple town is dotted with some of the widely discussed religious buildings such as Pancha Ratna Temple (Shyam Rai temple), Jor Bangla temple, Radheshyam temple, Dolmadol Kaman, etc. The Madanmohan temple of Bishnupur is designed in ektarana style that has square flat roof with carved cornices.
Distance from Kolkata: 265km
A less crowded seaside retreat for the tourists in Kolkata, Chandipur is located in the Baleswar District of Odisha. The beach is the main attraction of this tourist spot and turns extremely gorgeous during the time of the ebb tide. This natural phenomenon takes place twice a day and leaves a wide stretch of silvery sand beach. Balaramgadi is the magnificent site near Chandipur where you can witness the confluence of river Budhabalang or Buribalam with the sea.
Distance from Kolkata: 185km
Literally the most sought after beach holiday retreat near Kolkata, Digha is located in the East Midnapur district at the border with Odisha. Lined with swaying chains of Casuarina trees, the beaches of Digha offer a beautiful canvas to be witnessed by the lovers of nature and serenity. Digha is mainly divided into Old Digha and New Digha. While Old Digha is found today at ruins and visited in the evening by lovebirds, New Digha is comparatively fresh in looks and attracts tourists for its Casuarina lined sea shore.
Distance from Kolkata: 132km
An ideal getaway for the tourists who would want to avoid crowd and commercialisation, Bakkhali is nature’s hidden treasure in the southern most part of West Bengal. The windmill of Frasergunj and crocodile propagation centre are the major attractions in Bakkhali. Enjoy solitude of walking past the beach of Bakkhali or explore the temple of Banbibi found at a close distance from the beach surrounded by dense Casuarina tree.
Distance from Kolkata: 468km
Though I know it is bit tiring to travel 468km to and fro in weekends. But trust me all your complaints against journey and distance would vanish the moment you step down in Rasikbil. Located in Coochbehar district of West Bengal, this peaceful travel destination with immense natural beauty embraces distinctive varieties of wild flowers and exotic species of fauna. A paradise for birders, Rasikbil is surrounded by three dense forests – Atasmochar, Nagurhaat and Bochamari. Storks, ibises, cormorants, parrots and spoonbills are commonly found birds in Rasikbil. The lake on the heart of the forest is home to an abundant variety of sweet water fishes. The deer park, crocodile rehabilitation centre, leopard house, python house and tortoise house are couple of ideal places to roam around in Rasikbil.
Distance from Kolkata: 185km
Only 14km away from Digha, the most popular sea beach in West Bengal, lays the utter serene and comparatively less trodden travel destination of Shankarpur. Preferred by people who love to listen to the sheer tranquil voice of the sea without getting bothered by the cacophony of bustling crowd, Shankarpur has spectacular sights to offer to its lovers. If you are in need of a break from monotony, head to Shankarpur and rejuvenate your real self spending some time in blissful seclusion of Shankarpur.
Distance from Kolkata: 393km
The wild beauty of Duarsini, Purulia knows the magic of impressing its patrons and that is why I suggest you all to travel at least once to Duarsini. Habitat of various tribal communities like Santhal, Munda, Shabaradh, and Kheriya, this tranquil hill station has hardly been touched the encroachment of multi-storeyed buildings or non-stop honks of fastest running vehicles. Spend your time walking around the greenery enriched households of the tribal people or forests with the help of a local guide. Walk along the river Satgudam or sit next to it and try to listen to the rhythmic music that every river loves to sing. As the sun sets and it starts getting darker, listen to the sound of drums coming out of the nearby villages.
Distance from Kolkata: 250km
Get lost in the utter serene beauty of Mukutmanipur and find yourself in ecstasy spending a vacation in Mukutmanipur. Azure waterbody of this enchanting getaway is surrounded by hills and forests. Nestled at the confluence of two lively rivers, Kumari and Kangsabati, this quaint weekend getaway seeks attention for its necklace like dam. Mukutmanipur is located in Bankura district of West Bengal. Go for boating to the middle of the huge waterbody and get the feel of floating at the heart of ocean. Bonpukuria Deer Park is a famous pick of Mukutmanipur.
Distance from Kolkata: 108km
Want to gather a thrilling experience this weekend roaming around the impenetrable forest of Sundarbans? Head to Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary, located amidst splash greenery of Sundarbans. Paradise for birders and avid wildlife enthusiasts, this wildlife getaway is known for Royal Bengal Tiger. There is a nature interpretation centre at Sajnekhali which is surrounded by wire fencing. Close to it there is a crocodile breeding centre, a turtle farm and a pond that houses sharks.
Distance from Kolkata: 132km
Do you love to take solace at the feet of the supreme power? Travel to Mayapur to spend weekend amidst serene natural beauty and utter religious ambiance. Mayapur is located between the river Hooghly and Jalangi and constitutes one of the nine islands of Mahaprabhu Sri Chaitanya’s Nabadwip. The main attraction of Mayapur is the ISKCON temple where you can spend your weekend without much hassle. For sightseeing in Mayapur, you can go exploring Ballal Mound and the tomb of Chand Kazi.
Distance from Kolkata: 111km
If you have sufficient time after exploring Mayapur, head to Krishnanagar around 19km away from the former. Located at the southern banks of Jalangi River in Nadia district of West Bengal, this historical town was ruled by Raja Krishna Chandra. An ardent lover of art and culture, this famous zamindar of Bengal nourished this town aesthetically as well as culturally. The main attraction of this town is the Krishnanagar Rajbari (palace). Krishnanagar is known in West Bengal for clay idols. The Roman Catholic Church of Krishnanagar is also popular.
Distance from Kolkata: 163km
Hardly touched by clutter and cacophony of city life, Bolpur echoes enchanting harmony of mystical Baul songs and chirping of birds. Nestled on the cradle of gorgeous Nature Goddess, this exotic travel destination of rural Bengal is close to the world famous Visva Bharati University, Shantiniketan and Sriniketan. Shantiniketan is the main attraction of this municipal town. If you would like to see the most colourful phase of Shantiniketan, travel during Dol Utsav or Poush Mela.
Distance from Kolkata: 163km
Another much celebrated beach destination near Kolkata, Mandarmani has been attracting tourists for last couple of years for its clean and wide sea shore. An ideal getaway to take refuge in the lap of nature, this golden sea beach is lined with lush green vegetation and exclusive beach resorts. The cleanliness of the beach would let the willing travellers to take a dip in its water.
Distance from Kolkata: 145km
Does your soul lust for abundant greenery and heavenly tranquillity? Then plan for a weekend trip to Junput. There is nothing much to do in Junput than to become laid-back. So you will have enough time to relax and enjoy the rhythmic sounds of the sea waves, gentle sea breeze and the presence of Casuarina groves across the seashore, which indeed make Junput an ideal romantic getaway for couples. One can go exploring the Kapalkundala temple and the museum of fishery department.
Distance from Kolkata: 191km
Shrouded in envelop of tranquillity, Talsari or Talasari Beach stands as a perfect getaway for city-escapists. Located at the border of Odisha and West Bengal, this tranquil destination rejuvenates travellers offering fresh air, eye-soothing vistas and non-chaotic environment. It is in Talasari River Subarnarekha meet the Bay of Bengal. The Chandaneswar Temple and Udaipur Beach are very close to Talasari Beach. A walk across the confluence in the evening to feel the cool breeze is ideal.
Distance from Kolkata: 638km
Blessed with breathtaking landscape, lush tea gardens and densely covered forest, Samsing is a popular long weekend getaway from Kolkata in the Darjeeling District of West Bengal. If you want to savour the natural surroundings of an untouched rural destination, Samsing will meet your need perfectly. The emerald green Murti River adds life to the panoramic vistas of this natural landscape. The sleepy village is full of orange orchards and looks vibrant in winter when oranges ripe.
If you want me to correct or to add some more destinations that I missed out in this list, please update me on the comment box.
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