Short trips are a very good way to rejuvenate oneself. We can go about our daily chores with a renewed vigour after a short vacation. West Bengal is full of places where one can reenergise oneself, whether visiting for a few days or just a weekend.
Here is a list of places where one can spend a few blissful holidays.
180 km from Siliguri is the Buxa National Park. The main attractions there are Royal Bengal tiger, leopard, elephant, clouded leopard, Himalayan black bear, barking deer, gaur, pangolin and python.
From Siliguri, Alipurduar can be approached by train (on broad gauge) or by road.
Buxa Duar is famous for its prison fort.
Rajabhatkhawa is 15 km from Alipurduar, on the Buxa-Alipurduar road. One can spend a night at Rajabhatkhawa, surrounded by the deep forest.It is noted for the Royal Bengal tiger. There is a nature information centre and two forest rest houses.
Bhutanghat, 45 km from Alipurduar, is famous for its scenic beauty. It is located beside River Raidak bordering Bhutan. From the government rest house set amidst the natural landscape, one can enjoy the sight of wild animals crossing the river or grazing in the forest glade near the bungalow. At Bhutanghat, one can buy fresh oranges, which are brought over from orchards on the Bhutanese side of the border.
Situated at an elevation of 3000ft, Samsing is a nice cool shady place, ideal for nature lovers. The journey to Samsing is a memorable one, as one slowly rides uphill through the picturesque Dooars tea gardens on the rolling hill slopes.
At a distance of 82 km from Siliguri, it takes about 3 hours to reach Samsing.
Suntalekhola is where many tourists stay overnight. The place is about 4 km further up the road from Samsing. The road ends here close to a small stream named Suntalekhola (suntaley means ‘orange’ and khola means ‘stream’ in Nepali). There are also WBFDC cottages and a bungalow. Trekkers can trek to Neora Valley National Park from Samsing.
A small picturesque hill village on the Indo-Bhutan border,Bindu is a little-known tourist destination in lower Kalimpong foothills. The journey to Bindu via Chalsa-Khunia-Jhalong is a fascinating one as the road passes through beautiful teagardens, high forests, river valleys and quiet little villages.
Bindu is a 3-hour ride from Siliguri through the Dooars plains.
Jhalong is a popular tourist destination just 12 km ahead of Bindu renowned for its hydroelectric project. There is a beautiful forest bungalow at Jhalong just beside the Jaldhaka River.
Murti, along with Jaldhaka, is one of the main rivers of the Dooars region. Murti, the place is situated on the banks of the river by the same name, between the Chapramari forest and Gorumara National Park. West Bengal Forest Development Corporatation has its forest bungalow ‘Banani’ at Murti.
It has a lot to offer for nature lovers. If one is lucky, one can see gharials in the river. Elephants are also known to frequent around here. Gaur (Indian bison) and deer are also commonly sighted in the area.
Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary
Chapramari is located in the floodplains of the Murti and Jaldhaka rivers. The forests here provide some of the best views of wildlife in the state. Chapramari provides a breathtaking view of forests against the backdrop of the Kanchanjungha and other Himalayan peaks.
Located close by is the Gorumara National Park famous for rhinos, elephants, gaurs, deer, hornbill birds, and other fauna.
Resort can be booked at both of these forests.
Gorumara is 52 km from Jalpaiguri, and Chapramari is 20 km from Gorumara.
Jaldapara National Park
It was established in 1941 for the protection of the Indian one-horned rhino. It is a mosaic of woods, grasslands, perennial streams, sandy river banks and extensive belts of tall grass. It contains a great diversity of flora and fauna of mixed deciduous forest, grasslands and river banks. Situated in Alipurduar subdivision of Jalpaiguri district, it is home to a wide variety of wildlife, particularly the one-horned rhinoceros.
It is easily accessible from Siliguri, a distance of 121 km, and about a four-hour drive away.
Phuentsholing is a border town in southern Bhutan, opposite the Indian town of Jaigaon, situated in Chukha Dzongkang. Cross-border trade has resulted in a thriving local economy; the town serves as headquarters for the Bank of Bhutan.
The border clearly separates two very different peoples and cultures. Jaigaon is bustling and loud, similar to many other centres of commerce, albeit with many conspicuous Bhutanese shoppers. Phuentsholing is uniquely more urban than other Bhutanese towns, having absorbed the neighbouring culture, but distinctly far more quiet and orderly.
It is approachable by road from Siliguri.
Toto Para, 22 km from Jaldapara and 65 kms from Alipurduar, a small village on the bank of Torsha River. It is famous for the aboriginals of the Dooars regions - theTotos. Totos are one of the most primitive tribe in the world. Toto para is the only place, where the Totos live. One can experience their unique culture there.
At an altitude of 1250m, this tranquil hill station is located on top of a ridge on the east of river Teesta. Kalimpong offers many different tour options. Apart from leisure tours many options are available for adventure lovers such as treks. The travel attraction of this place also includes monasteries, orchid-nurseries and overall the exquisite view over the surrounding countryside.
If you want to go for a shopping-spree for crafts during your tour, Kalimpong is the place. The town is famous for its indigenous handicraft. The artisans here produce Tibetan and Bhutanese handicraft and jewellery such as woodcarvings, copperware like feng-sui bells, tapestry bags, scrolls, paintings and Tibetan jewellery.
From Siliguri, one can reach the place by following the national highway 31A.
Kurseong is a quiet township on the Siliguri-Darjeeling highway. Perched at an altitude of 1458m, the small town is noted for its secluded charm and Eagle's Crag, which offers a commanding view of the undulating plains below. Because of its lower elevation, Kurseong enjoys a milder and healthy climate throughout the year.
The total area of the town is about 5.05 sq Km. Peace, serenity and healthy climate attract many people here. Some of the famous poems and songs of Rabindranath Tagore were composed in Kurseong. The painter Abanindranath Tagore and great composer Atul Prasad Sen got inspiration for some of their famous works around the town. Sister Nivedita, the great disciple of Swami Vivekananda, made Kurseong her home.
Rishop or Rishyap, developed recently in 1998, is rapidly becoming a popular tourist point. Situated over the Neora valley at an altitude of 2,360 m, this hill station at the foot of Tiffin Dara comprises a Lepcha hamlet and a few resorts. An excellent view of Kanchenjungha from ‘Tiffin Dara’ in Rishop attracts tourists to this place. The 300 degree visible mountain ranges you can find from Rishyap/Risop are Mt.Kharg, Kokthang, Rathung, Kabroo, Talung, Pandim, Khang-Chen-D-Zongha, Simvo, Narsingh, Siniolchu. Sunrise in Rishop will be in memory for years.
Nabadwip (120 km from Kolkata) is the birthplace of the great social reformer and founder of the Vaishnav movement, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The temple town is a major attraction for devotees and tourist. It is a seat of Vaishnav culture.
Mayapur is claimed by some as the actual birthplace of Sri Chaitanya. The huge ISKCON temple complex in Mayapur is a major crowd puller, and one can spend a whole day there.
Ayodhya Hills are a perfect destination to practice mountaineering and rock climbing. With legends of Ram and Sita intertwined in the region, Ayodhya Hill is known for pristine fresh water springs and streams. There are numerous small hills in the area, like Gorgaburu (900 m) and Mayuri.
Dam Dim falls under Malbazar subdivision in Jalpaiguri district, West Bengal, India. It is famous for tea gardens and moist deciduous forests. This Place is in the border of the Jalpaiguri District and Darjeeling District. Dam Dim is in the lap of Dooars, situated about 50 km from Siliguri and about 6 km from Malbazar. Travelers can still enjoy the rich colonial culture in the Tea Gardens of Dam Dim.
National Highway 31 between Siliguri and Guwahati passes over Damdim. New Jalpaiguri Rail Way Station is major railway junction near Dam dim, about 33 km away.
Your imagination will be real if you come to Henry’s Island, which has become one of the most popular beaches adjoining the Sunderban. Under the supervision of the Fisheries Department of the Government of West Bengal, some 100 hectare land is being used for pisiculture along with forest conservation.
The sea here is quite timid and as you walk on the slightly black colored beach, you will see many ships sailing in the distant sea. Some of the birds sighted at Henry’s Island are Lesser Whistling Ducks, Eurasian Wigeon, Gadwall, Streak-throated Woodpecker, Black-Rumped Flameback, Kingfisher, Common Snipe, Ruddy Turnstone, Red Knot and others.
To reach Henry’s Island, you have to turn left from Jelighat stop which is some 4 km before Bakkhali. On driving some 1.5 km, you will come across the lodges one by one.
The calm waters of Bay of Bengal, an unspoilt, solitary beach and the grove of casuarina trees make Junput an abode of peace. The museum of the Fishery Department with a grand collection of carcasses of rare species of fishes, different kinds of snakes; taxonomies of different wild animals, is also a place worth visiting. The Temple of Kapalkundala and the lighthouse in Dariapur, the confluence point of two rivers Ganges and Rasulpur River near Junput are added attractions. If time permits one can choose to visit Hijli, to the north of Junput, and Dariapur, to the south of Junput.
Jhargram is situated in the western part of West Midnapore district. It is known for its canopy of sal, teak, mahua, and peasal. Beyond the Gangetic plains of Bengal, Jhargram offers the most exotic beauties of undulating topography culminating in hill ranges of Belpahari and Kankrajhor in the north to the serene beauties of the meandering Subarnarekha river in the south. Jhargram is the paradise of nature lovers with bountiful forests of sal, mahul, wild elephants, deer and many birds.
Chinpai is a Village in Dubrajpur Tehsil in Birbhum District. Called by the name of "The land of red soil" Birbhum is famous for its topography and cultural heritage which is unique and is somewhat different from that of the other districts in West Bengal.