Tourism in West Bengal – Five Hidden Places for a Summer Getaway

In this pandemic, many of us have given up doing the things that we like, such as vacationing every now and then. In the last couple of months, governments have begun easing their lockdown protocols. The restrictions that were there for curtailing movements for ‘non-essential’ purposes are much less. Several people in Kolkata have planned getaway vacations but are doing so with the greatest of caution. That is, they are choosing those locations where they know they can enjoy their time but the chances of getting infected are less. Tourism in West Bengal is now gaining momentum because of this one critical shift in the trends, and are noting high footfall in these locations.   

Taki

Taki | Image Source: Google

Taki is a well-known picnic spot situated in the Kolkata outskirts and is just a short drive from the urban area. The area is filled with wooded farmlands making it into a wonderful green retreat for a breath of fresh air. You can enjoy a quick picnic along the Ichamati Riverbanks. The other locations worth visiting are the Golpata Forest and Machranga Island. It is advisable to carry some government ID as this is a border town, that’s validated by the border Security Force before they permit entry.   

  • Approximate distance: 65 km
  • Approximate travel time: 2 hours
  • Activities available: walks in the jungle, picnics, ferry rides
  • Ideal time for a visit: October through February

Mousuni

Mousuni Island Backpacker’s Camp | Image Source: Google

Mousuni is the beach-like tourism in West Bengaldestination that few people know about, and it’s located on an island. The place is famed for the migratory birds that turn it into a paradise for birdwatchers. Out here, you could spend hours spotting some bird species and take beautiful images. There are hammocks that you can enjoy a good nap on or you could swim around in the ocean water. On the shores, you have plenty of space to build sandcastles or walk along the beach. 

  • Approximate distance: 120 km
  • Approximate travel time: 4 hours 
  • Activities available: swimming, long walks, boating, camping, fishing, windsurfing, paragliding, and birdwatching. 
  • Ideal time for a visit: October through February

Baguran

Baguran | Image Source: Google

Baguran is another secret beach located around Kolkata that might be less crowded for tourism in West Bengal. It is a coastal town that is really quiet and with nothing but sea waves filling the air with sound. This makes Baguran a great coastal getaway for anyone wanting a break from the coastal grind. One unusual sight is the numerousred crabs that line the sea shore.  

  • Approximate distance: 140 km
  • Approximate travel time: 4 hours 
  • Activities available: catching or watching crabs, relaxing on the shores, walks along the shore, fun and games on the beach
  • Ideal time for a visit: October through February

Junput

Junput | Image Source: Google

Consider Junput as a good replacement for those Goa beaches that you can’t visit at the moment! It is one of the beaches that share the coastal stretch with other areas like Digha, Mandarmani, and Tajpur. The Junput is your tourism in West Bengaldestination for a quiet, relaxing vacation. It is one beach that isn’t very tropical and is lined with eucalyptus trees in place of palm trees. You can sit on the shores and play around in the sand, or walk through the lush farmlands that are further inward. 

  • Approximate distance: 140 km
  • Approximate travel time: 4 hours 
  • Activities available: fun on the beach, kayaking, rafting, zorbing, rock climbing, relaxing and visiting nearby duck and fish farms
  • Ideal time for a visit: October through February  

Mandarmoni & Shankarpur

Shankarpur | Image Source: Google

Mandarmani is one destination that is overdone, and as a result, overcrowded. In place of this popular weekend getaway spot famed for tourism in West Bengal, you could head over to Shankarpur. It is just slightly further than Mandarmani and has unspoiled shores populated by a fishing village. This makes for a calming, soulful vacation where you can witness the locals bringing in their daily catch from the neighboring sea.       

  • Approximate distance: 155 km
  • Approximate travel time: 5 hours 
  • Activities available: Fishing, photography, swimming, fun on the beach
  • Ideal time for a visit: October through February  

Sonajhuri

Sonajhuri | Image Source: Google

This is a heavily forested area and is a good alternative to hot beaches in the summer. Here, you are surrounded by tall trees that are untouched, complete with dirt tracks. Be prepared with your camera, as the forests are home to several species: elephants, jackals, foxes, spotted deer, and a host of migratory birds like woodpeckers, ducks, kingfishers, and parrots   

  • Approximate distance: 165 km
  • Approximate travel time: 4 hours 
  • Activities available: Photography, wildlife spotting, birdwatching and walks    
  • Ideal time for a visit: July through February  

Gangani

Gangani | Image Source: Google

Gangani is often referred to as the Gandikota of West Bengal. The best attraction is seeing the mighty Silabati River as it flows through the gorge. This gorge is lined with sandstone hills that bear various shapes that have been carved into them over time, by rivers water, winds, weathering, and erosion. The river is shallow enough for you to walk across it easily.    

  • Approximate distance: 180 km
  • Approximate travel time: 4 hours 
  • Activities available: Photography, river activities, river crossing, hiking and walks    
  • Ideal time for a visit: October through February  

Bangriposi

Bangriposi | Image Source: Google

This might be your answer to a nice trip to a hilly place out in Odisha. ThisEastern Ghatshamlet is a green haven surrounded by tribal culture and regional wildlife. The roads here are practically empty and lined with green trees on either side that is perfect for drives or walks. You could even visit the rivers, waterfalls or participate in the trekking trails when considering affordable tourism in West Bengal.

  • Approximate distance: 220 km
  • Approximate travel time: 4 hours 
  • Activities available: Chahal, Bankabal Lake, Simlipal National Park, Thakurani Hill, and the waterfalls in Barehipani andJoranda
  • Ideal time for a visit: October through February  

Mukutmonipur

Mukutmonipur | Image Source: Google

Mukutmonipur is along the theKangsabati Dam and is the place for a peaceful time in a relatively isolated area. Here, you can enjoy hiking opportunities or the boating facilities on the reservoir. If not, then set up a spot for a picnic as you enjoy the open, green expanses.

  • Approximate distance: 230 km
  • Approximate travel time: 2 hours 
  • Activities available: hiking, boating, picnic, relaxing, walks, camping
  • Ideal time for a visit: July through February 

So what are you waiting for? Grab your backpack and binoculars and head to one of these destinations soon as the summer starts knocking on the door.

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