Imagine Baul music subtly playing in the background! Now imagine women adorned in red and white sarees! Imagine betel leaves and mustard-cooked fish! Imagine the sweetness of Sandesh! All this and a whole lot more is West Bengal in a nutshell for you. It would not be wrong to say that West Bengal is probably one of the most dynamic states in the country of India. From food to people and colors as well as festivals, there is simply a lot to see and do in the state.
Therefore, if you have been considering West Bengal as a holiday destination lately, here are the top 20 places that you can consider visiting to ensure a grand time on your vacation!
Shantiniketan is a fairly small town that is situated in the Birbhum district near Bolpur. It is also popularly called the Treasure Trove of the famed Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore. In fact, Rabindranath Tagore even founded an ashram in Shantiniketan in the year 1863. It was then that he initiated the Brahmo Samaj. The campus of Shantiniketan is adorned with a plethora of splendid frescoes, sculptures, paintings and murals of Nandalal Bose, Rabindranath Tagore, Binod Bihari Mukhopadhyay, and Ramkinkar. The place is also well-known for fairs, festivals and Baul singers. All in all, you are guaranteed to have an exceptional time in Shantiniketan.
Kolkata can easily be called the face of the state of West Bengal. This city gives us a sneak peek of precisely what the whole state is all about and all that it has to offer. Right from its sprawling gardens to its elegant British Raj buildings, its buzzing nightlife to its historical colleges, sweets to delicious foods, Kolkata definitely has everything a tourist (or locals for that matter) might potentially look for in a holiday destination.
Mandarmani is super popular as the longest beach in India where you can drive. Therefore, Mandarmani is definitely one of the best places to visit in the state of West Bengal. This is also precisely why Mandarmani is a quickly growing tourist attraction in the present times. Locally, people call it Mandarmoni and it is a quaint little village that offers a super tranquil atmosphere where travelers can unwind with their loved ones after a day spent in the busy city life. You can enjoy water sports or simply watch the sunrise according to your preference.
Bishnupur is another popular place in West Bengal that you can consider visiting. It is very popular for its ancient temples and is even known as a paradise for history lovers. Bishnupur is located in the district of Bankura and possesses some beautiful terracotta temples as well as the prosperous industry of Baluchari Sarees. According to popular beliefs, culture and art flourished in Bishnupur during the Malla rulers’ reign who were the patrons of music and painting. Moreover, the temples situated in Bishnupur demonstrate the gorgeous architecture of that time.
Digha is a seaside city, which can potentially be the perfect vacation retreat for you and your family. This place in West Bengal is usually on the top of the holiday list of most people. It is incredibly popular amidst local as well as international tourists. It consists of a pristine beach that calls to the soul and leaves people relaxed and rejuvenated. Therefore, if you book your trip to Digha in advance, particularly on weekends, you can spend a great day lazing around and having fun with your loved ones.
The Sundarbans is definitely one of those places that make West Bengal a praise-worthy place. It is the largest delta and mangrove forest in the world which is why it is at the top of the bucket list of most travel aficionados across the world. The Sundarban Reserve Forest is divided by the River Malta into the Reserved Forest on the south and the Sunderban Tiger Reserve on the east. The place has been titled as a World Heritage Site, which is enough testimony to the fact that it is a place worth visiting when in West Bengal.
Another must-visit place in the state of West Bengal is Bankura. This district boasts of dense virgin forests, fine terracotta temples, several scenic spots as well as rolling hills as far as the eye can see. Bishnupur falls in Bankura district so if you ever plan to visit Bishnupur, you will automatically be visiting Bankura. Mukutmanipur is another popular place in Bankura besides, of course, Bishnupur. The lake in Mukutmanipur is absolutely stunning and you can spend some quality time here with your family and friends, enjoying the scenic beauty.
Darjeeling is a super popular hill station in the state of West Bengal. Tourists from across the country and the world often visit this place for holidays and to get a breather from the busy city life. It offers a serene and scenic environment to tourists as well as locals, which is why it is a rather celebrated place as a holiday retreat. You can enjoy the toy train ride and a lot of other activities whilst in Darjeeling. You can even visit the Peace Pagoda and the Tiger Hill for an adventurous time.
Midnapore, also sometimes known as Medinipur is a popular pilgrim center in the state of West Bengal. Religious people often visit this place to spend some time in this holy place and get positive vibes from the spirituality that emanates from Midnapore. You will be able to locate several ancient mosques as well as temples in this place. In addition to that, the place is also known for the freedom fighters that hail from this part of West Bengal. Therefore, if you are one of those people who like to mix fun with a little bit of spirituality, Midnapore is a must-visit place in West Bengal.
Siliguri is another famous place in West Bengal that people visit often. It is a super picturesque town that offers stunning views of the Himalayas. In addition to that, the place is extremely famous for its thick forests and beautiful tea gardens. Situated on the banks of Mahananda River, Siliguri offers a quiet and serene respite from the typical city life. Nestled amidst greenery and in the lap of nature, you can do the one thing that most people crave for on their holidays – RELAX and REJUVENATE.
Murshidabad is situated on the banks of Bhagirathi River. It can easily be regarded as one of the most ancient cities of the state of West Bengal. According to popular beliefs, the city was well on its zenith of glory before the invasion of Britishers moved to the capital of Kolkata. It is noteworthy that the city still has a lot of memories of the Nawabs of that time who ruled here once upon a time. Today, Murshidabad is the center of sericulture, agriculture, and handicrafts.
Another popular place in West Bengal is Hooghly, which is considered to be an important tourist attraction in the state. Hooghly is regarded as the place where Sarada Devi and Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa stayed for a number of years. In addition to that, it also has a historical significance because the place was colonized by the French, Portuguese as well as the Dutch. As a result, a lot of influence of this colonization by different nations is also found in the overall architecture of the place.
One of the loveliest places on this list to visit in West Bengal is Kalimpong. It is a beautiful hill station that is located in the lower Himalayas at a height of 1250 meters. The place overlooks the Teesta River and the entire town is ideal for holidaying as it is a delight for nature lovers across the country and the world. Kalimpong offers a stunning view of the Himalayas and nature’s bounties aplenty. You can also find a beautiful flower market and an assortment of traditional handicrafts in this place.
Kamarpukur is a village in West Bengal located in the Hooghly district. This ancient place invites all kinds of history buffs from near and far. The place is perfectly adorned with temples, tanks and old buildings that will stay with you long after you have left the building. You will also be transported back in time, thanks to the old-world charm of this place. This place is also regarded as sacred because Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa was born in this town.
Jalpaiguri is a place in West Bengal that enjoys a beautiful topography. It is a super blissful holiday destination in the state of West Bengal when it comes to nature lovers. In addition to that, the place also offers easy access to Sikkim and Darjeeling, which is another reason why it is a much-visited place by tourists who are seen bustling in the city across the year. Moreover, the entire topography of this place is crisscrossed with rivers, rivulets as well as hills, which makes it a haven for nature lovers.
Mirik is another town you can consider visiting. It is a hill town situated in the district of Darjeeling at an elevation of 1767 meters. This beautiful town is only 49 km away from Darjeeling. Furthermore, it has a gorgeous lake fed by perennial streams. The entire place screams of nature and peace. Smack in the midst of the lake is a floating fountain which is considered to be the highlight of this place. You can also find countless Cryptomeria-Japonica trees in Mirik that further enhance its beauty.
17. Cooch Behar
Cooch Behar can easily be regarded as a place that is influenced by the Mughals. This place is located in the district of Jalpaiguri. The place is not just popular for its monuments that have been influenced by the Mughals but also for its huge water bodies. Once upon a time, this place was the only planned town in the region of North Bengal. If you visit the place, you will easily be able to see the remnants and influence of the royal heritage that exists in this place till date.
Birbhum is popularly known as the “Land of the Brave.” It would not be wrong to say that this district in the state of West Bengal is super important in the state’s history. It is very popular for the red soil houses it possesses. Shantiniketan is one of the most prominent places in the district but apart from that, the Birbhum district has a lot of other places to offer such as Nanoor, Tarapith, Hetampur, Labpur, Rajnagar and many more. Therefore, you will be spoilt for choice when you visit this place as there will be a lot of things to see and do.
Another land filled with the beauty of nature is Barrackpore. This place is also well-known for its history. Sepoy Mutiny originated in this very place and this is another reason why Barrackpore has received a special mention and recognition in the history of the country. This is also one of those places that not a lot of people know about. That said, if you actually visit Barrackpore, it will definitely be worth it! You can visit the beautiful Mangal Pandey Park, the Gandhi Ghat as well as the Gandhi Museum.
Last on the list is Kurseong, another visit-worthy place in West Bengal. It is situated at the height of 1458 m and is another lesser-known but beautiful hill station in the state. It is 30 km away from Darjeeling and offers a salubrious climate across the year. This is one of those places that can provide you with a world of peace and leave you feeling refreshed in no time.
West Bengal is one of those states in India that has something to offer to everyone. Visiting these top 20 places in West Bengal is definitely guaranteeing an unbeatable time in the state with your loved ones. So, which places are you going to visit on your upcoming trip to West Bengal?