West Bengal

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West Bengal

The only thought of West Bengal evokes images of blissful Baul music, women in white and red saris, sweetness of Sandesh, grand theatrical performances, aromas of mustard-cooked fish and bust streets. The state is an epitome of diversity with uncountable ethnicities, cultures, religions and languages dwelling here. Its topography stretches it from the majestic Himalayas to Bay of Bengal.

Top Places to Visit in West Bengal include:

Kolkata

Kolkata can be rightly called as the face of West Bengal. Here you can find every hue of the state, from ancient to modern. Howrah Bridge, the sixth longest cantilever bridge on the planet, has become a landmark of Kolkata. The Jorasanko Thakurbari, ancestral residence of the Tagore family, also remains on the itinerary of many travelers. It has the Rabindra Bharathi University and a museum sharing numerous stories from the times of the Tagores. Take a walk along the Park Street which still has hints from the 70’s and the 80’s.� Here you can taste delectable local food at various restaurants and pubs dotted here. Victoria Memorial of Kolkata looks jaw dropping especially during evening hours when it shines with vivid colors. The memorial is dedicated to Queen Victoria and captures hearts with its unique architectural mix of Mughal and British styles.

Darjeeling

For a serene escape amidst nature nothing can be as soul-soothing as Darjeeling. Catch stunning views of Kanchenjunga Mountain from here. This hill station is known for its tea industry apart from the very popular Darjeeling Himalayan Railway also known as the ‘Toy Train’. This narrow gauge rail takes you on a memorable ride amidst ample of nature and has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. For some moments amidst flora and fauna, nothing is as pleasurable as the Singalila National Park where some endangered species like the Red Panda, Black Bear, Leopard, Tigers, etc. can be spotted. Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park is another wildlife haven in Darjeeling known for Red Panda and Snow Leopard breeding program. For catching some stunning sunset and sunrise views, there cannot be a better place than the Tiger Hill which is also a paradise for trekkers.

Bankura

The silent town of Bankura is far from concrete jungles and bumper to bumper traffic. Its extensive greenery, forests, temples and fairs make it culturally rich. For savoring joys of nature, visit Jhilmili blessed with a variety of flora and fauna. The Gokul Chand Temple here has both religious and historical significance. Its 64 feet high structure looks marvelous and radiates peace.� For some serene moments, take a trek to the Biharinath Hill offering bird’s eye views of the surrounding nature. �Bishnupur, just a few kilometers away from Bankura, is known for its terracotta temples and cultural wealth. Other popular attractions to visit in Bankura include Siddeshwar Temple and Mukutmonipur.

Siliguri

The pristine hill station of Siliguri is ideal for tired souls looking for an escape from exhausting city stress. The Chilapata Forest here looks magical with ample of nature all around. Here is a forest bungalow that gives you a camping experience amides nature. The Kali Mandir of Siliguri holds great importance among Hindu devotees, especially during fiestas of Durga puja and Navratri. ISKCON Temple of the hill station, dedicated to Lord Krishna, remains busy with devotees lost in religious chants. It is believed that the temple is great for meditation, enlightenment and self-reflection. Shopaholics must explore the Hong Kong Market of Siliguri where everything is sold from foreign apparels and international brands to delicious Bengali delicacies.

Murshidabad

Clutching the eastern banks of Bhagirathi, Murshidabad has varied hues of the past. The grand Hazaarduari Palace here belongs to the 19th century housing artifacts from the times of the Nawab rule. Nizamat Imambara of Murshidabad is a larger than life shrine raised by Nawab Siraj-ud-Daulah. The original shrine was destroyed twice due to fires and the one you see today was constructed by Nawab Nazim Mansur Ali Khan. It is said to be the largest Imambara in India. The architecuural style of Katra Mosque is also worth appraising. Today it acts as a centre of Islamic learning.� Other must visit places in Murshidabad include Katgola Gardens and Khushbagh.

How to Reach

By Air: West Bengal has two airports - Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata and Bagdogra airport in Bagdogra.

By Train: West Bengal has great rail connectivity with two major railheads - Howrah railway station and Sealdah railway station.

By Road: West Bengal is well connected to different parts of India via National and state highways.

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