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20 Weekend Getaways From Kolkata

Discussion in 'Destination Guides' started by Debapriya Deb, Jan 20, 2016.

  1. Debapriya Deb

    Debapriya Deb Active Member

    Kolkata, the City of Joy, is in itself a hugely popular tourism destination. Not surprisingly, the city is a hub of tourism as far as the Eastern side of India is concerned. Add to that the ever-ready Bengali travel population who are keen to set out on trips with the drop of a hat! Kolkata handles every bit of the enthusiasm with amazing ease - thanks to its diversified neighborhood that has enough interesting places to satisfy the desires in every traveller.

    If you are on the lookout for places around Kolkata for planning your upcoming weekend trip, then be assured that you are at the right place. Our handpicked compilation on the best weekend tour destinations around Kolkata will provide you with the right set of information to plan your trip in a better way. So tighten your seat belts and explore some amazing places with this virtual trip! Here's introducing you to 20 wonderful weekend getaways around Kolkata that you are going to fall in love with.

    Best Weekend Getaways From Kolkata - The Top 20

    20. Shantiniketan

    Distance: 164 KM
    Travel Time: 3.5 Hours
    Suggested Trip Duration: 1 Day
    Destination Category: Heritage, Nature

    About the Location:
    Shantiniketan's claim to fame is linked to the renowned poet Rabindranath Tagore. An abode of cultural diversity, this small town is located in the Birbhum district of West Bengal. Situated at a distance of just 164 KM from the heart of the Kolkata city, the sleepy town of Shantiniketan can be an excellent choice to spend an engrossing day appreciating its riches of cultural heritage.

    Tourist Attractions and Activities:
    Tagore's Ashram is one of the most valued places in Shantiniketan that deserves to be visited. This heritage site is located in the Uttarayan Complex and houses many interesting artifacts belonging to the Tagore era. Another interesting place to visit is the Chattimtala - where the great poet used to meditate. Kala Bhavan, Rabindra Bhavan Museum and Amar Kutir are the other must visit attractions over here. There is a Deer Park situated at a distance of 3 KM at the Ballavpur forest which is the natural habitat for a large number of spotted deers. The Ballavpur forest is also a popular site for trekking and camping activities.


    19. Purulia

    Distance: 251 KM
    Travel Time: 5 Hours
    Suggested Trip Duration: 1 Day
    Destination Category: Nature


    About the Location:
    Purulia is a beautiful destination blessed with nature's finest creations. Visit this place for a breakaway from the monotonous routines of the daily grinds of city life. Surrounded by forests, lakes and hills, this largely unexplored territory is a must visit weekend getaway for the nature lovers. Purulia is situated at a distance of 251 KM from Kolkata and it takes around 5 hours to arrive at this lesser visited part of the state.

    Tourist Attractions and Activities:
    Baranti Lake, also known as Murardi Lake, is a scenic destination setup on the backdrop of green rolling hills. Doldanga, set on the banks of Kangsabati River, is a favorite picnic spot for many. It also offers the opportunity of boat rides and island camping. The Surulia forest is another popular picnic spot in this region. You can also visit the scenic Murugma Dam and spend some quiet time in the lap of nature.


    18. Shankarpur

    Distance: 168 KM
    Travel Time: 4 Hours
    Suggested Trip Duration: 2 Days
    Destination Category: Beach

    About the Location:
    A tranquil sea-shore lined up with lofty Casuarina trees makes Shankarpur a favorite weekend hangout for the urban crowd of Kolkata. Just a 4 hours' drive away from the City of Joy, Shankarpur's pristine beach and secluded ambience can be the perfect foil for a memorable weekend trip.

    Tourist Attractions and Activities:
    At Shankarpur you can enjoy the thrill of being in an isolated beach, with calming breeze and endless waves soothing your inner soul. It has the typical old world charm, a sense of raw nature that has not been tamed by the hands of modernization. The beach is known to offer mesmerizing views of sunrise - so it makes perfect sense to plan your trip with a night stay. Known by few and visited by even fewer, it is the ideal place to unwind and rejuvenate your dieing spirits.


    16. Bishnupur

    Distance: 136 KM
    Travel Time: 4 Hours
    Suggested Trip Duration: 1 Day
    Destination Category: Heritage

    About the Location:
    Bishnupur is a small township in West Bengal famous for its rich cultural heritage, striking architecture, divine folk music and handicrafts. Situated at a distance of just 136 KM from Kolkata, it can be the ideal getaway for your upcoming weekend trip.


    Tourist Attractions and Activities:
    A sublime architectural marvel, the Jorebangla Temple is a must visit attraction at Bishnupur. The temple is designed in the famous Terracota style and you won't see a similar architecture anywhere in the world. Constructed in the 16th century by the Malla King Raghunath Singh, the Jorebangla temple attracts a large number of history and archeology enthusiasts as well. The Lalji Temple, built by Bir Singha II of Malla dynasty in 1658, is an equally fascinating attraction with intricately decorated exterior elements. Madan Mohan Temple, Radha Shyam Temple and Chhinnamasta Temple are the other historical attractions of Bishnupur town.


    15. Bankura

    Distance: 170 KM
    Travel Time: 4.5 Hours
    Suggested Trip Duration: 1-2 Days
    Destination Category: Heritage, Nature

    About the Location:
    Looking for a trekking getaway near Kolkata? Bankura can be the right choice to satisfy your trekking aspirations. Known for its green forest cover, hilly terrains and heritage temples, Bankura is a wonderful weekend getaway from Kolkata that can aptly serve as a hideout away from the bustles of city life.

    Tourist Attractions and Activities:
    Susinia Hills is a trekker's paradise. The green-covered hills with its meandering trails and natural springs is a huge attraction for the trekkers and hikers. Biharinath Hills, located at a distance of 31 KM, is another scenic getaway for trekking. Being a religious place, there are a lot of important temples that you might want to visit if you are a religious buff. The Siddheswara temple is the most famous religious attraction at Bankura.


    14. Bakkhali

    Distance: 139 KM
    Travel Time: 4 Hours
    Suggested Trip Duration: 1-2 Days
    Destination Category: Beach, Adventure

    About the Location:
    Bakkhali is the nearest beach to Kolkata located at a distance of just 139 KM. If you are someone who loves to spend quiet evenings relishing the endless waves crashing into the shore, then Bakkhali is the right choice for you.

    Tourist Attractions and Activities:
    Bakkhali beach is a huge expanse of white sands running along the sea for close to 7 KM. There's nothing much to do here expect for spending some time in solitude with your near and dear ones. The beach remains off the radar for most of the tourists who flock the more popular beach destinations like Digha and Mandarmani. It's a blessing in disguise that lets you have a pleasant and peaceful experience at Bakkhali.
    Adventure seekers can hire a motorboat and visit the Jambu Dweep. A very beautiful spot surrounded by the sea from all sides, the island is known to be the natural habitat for a wide variety of birds. The 8 KM boat ride from the Bakkhali coast to the Jambu Dweep is a memorable experience indeed.

    Do pay a visit to the Bokkhali Crocodile Breeding Center. The Crocodile Park is the only crocodile reserve in West Bengal and one of the very few in India. If you are travelling with kids, then they are going to love this place.


    13. Raichak

    Distance: 53 KM
    Travel Time: 1.5 Hours
    Suggested Trip Duration: 1 Day
    Destination Category: Nature

    About the Location:
    Need a breath of fresh air? Head to Raichak, a river-side town merely 53 KM away from the heart of the Kolkata city! With the prospect of river adventure on the mighty Hooghly River and the added bonus of visiting some ancient historical forts, Raichuk must be on your list of places to be explored around Kolkata.

    Tourist Attractions and Activities:
    The marvelous Raichak fort is not only one of the most beautiful fortresses in West Bengal, but also in the entire country. Originally built in the 17th century by the British colonial rulers to keep a watch on the trade route via the Hooghly river, the grand fort at Raichak attracts huge amount of interest from the tourists. The Chingrihkali Fort is another historical site in the region built by the Portugese traders in the 16th century. The lighthouse at Diamond Harbour is another popular attraction in close vicinity.

    The most striking feature of any Raichak trip is the thrilling boat ride on the scenic Hooghly river. You can hire a rowing boat or a motorboat from the Raichak ferry and go on a river excursion to explore the beautiful scenic landscapes on either side of the river. It is an enjoyable experience that can amuse the tourists of all ages.


    12. Ajodhya Hills

    Distance: 250 KM
    Travel Time: 6 Hours
    Suggested Trip Duration: 1-2 Days
    Destination Category: Nature

    About the Location:
    Perched at an altitude of over 2100 feet above the sea level, the Ajodhya Hills is a scenic range brimming with a diverse population of flora and fauna. Situated in the Purulia district and around 250 KM away from Kolkata, it can be a great weekend retreat for the nature lovers.

    Tourist Attractions and Activities:
    Bagmundi to Ajodhya Hills is a popular trekking trail that boasts of unmatched scenic beauty. Sirkabad to Chemtu Hills can be yet another fascinating trekking route. The beautiful Khaira Beria Dam is a popular picnic spot in this region. Adventure tourists can be seen pitching their own tents near the dam to spend a night out in the wild. If that sounds interesting enough, then you can probably call in your friends and set out on an adventure trip to the Ajodhya Hills over the next weekend.


    11. Digha

    Distance: 181 KM
    Travel Time: 4.5 Hours
    Suggested Trip Duration: 2 Days
    Destination Category: Beach

    About the Location:
    The eternal favorite weekend retreat for the Bengali travellers, Digha has become synonymous to beach holiday among the common households in Kolkata. Digha's vast coast-line dotted with 'Jhau' trees attracts the Bengali tourists like no other. Merely 181 KM away from Kolkata, it doesn't even require an excuse for the Kolkata citizens to throng this beach town in huge numbers. Digha is a one-stop destination for families looking forward to spend a fun-filled weekend by the sea side.

    Tourist Attractions and Activities:
    Digha boasts of a flat, wide and shallow white-sandy beach that spreads across a length of over 7 KM. Casuarina plantations along the shore-line gives it a lovely cover of green - thus enhancing its photogenic appeal. Besides enjoying lovely sunrises and colorful evenings from the sea shore, tourists can engage themselves in a bunch of water sports activities at Digha. Parasailing, water skiing and water zorbing are the most popular adventure activities. If you are travelling in large groups, then go for beach cricket, beach volleyball and football matches which can be a unique experience. Tourists can also enjoy camping along the beach side with bonfire and music. Marine Station Aquarium and Chandaneshwar Temple are the other attractions at Digha.


    10. Mukutmanipur

    Distance: 204 KM
    Travel Time: 5 Hours
    Suggested Trip Duration: 2 Days
    Destination Category: Nature

    About the Location:
    Another scenic spot in the Bankura district of West Bengal, Mukutmanipur is a popular weekend getaway for the residents of Kolkata. The distance of 204 KM from Kolkata can easily be covered in 5 hours even at a leisurely pace. With lush green forests, tranquil lakes and meandering rivers setup on the backdrop of rolling hills, go for a weekend trip to Mukutmanipur to savor the riches of nature.

    Tourist Attractions and Activities:
    Located at the confluence of Kumari and Kangsabati rivers, Mukutmanipur attracts tourists with the promise of a peaceful, quiet vacation. The colossal dam at Mukutmanipur is the second largest in the country. With clear blue waters and beautiful natural surroundings, it is a place for admiring the beauty of silence - especially during the sunset time. A romantic boat ride is always on the cards, if you are travelling with your loved one. If you are on a trip with your buddies then it can be excellent spot to enjoy an overnight camping experience. On the other side of the dam, there is a deer park. Don't be misled by the name, the park not only houses deers, but is also home to a variety of other animals. The forests adjacent to the Jharkhand border is a great place for trekking.


    9. Chandipur

    Distance: 255 KM
    Travel Time: 6 Hours
    Suggested Trip Duration: 2 Days
    Destination Category: Beach, Nature

    About the Location:
    A secluded sea side village situated in the neighboring state of Odisha, Chandipur is not only a popular weekend getaway from Kolkata, but also equally favorite among the honeymooning couples. A 6 hours' drive away from Kolkata, you should ditch Digha for once and visit this lovely village beach to fall in love with its peaceful ambience and alluring coastline.

    Tourist Attractions and Activities:
    The shallow beach at Chandipur makes it an ideal place to indulge in fun in the water. The gentle waves make swimming a pleasure, while the alluring breeze does its best to revive your spirits. A romantic evening stroll along the coast-line can give you some unforgettable memories. Don't forget to catch the lovely views of sunrise from the sea shore - it's an experience to cherish for a long time. The Shimlipal Reserve Forest, situated at a distance of 18 KM from Chandipur, is a popular spot for adventure activities like trekking, hiking, camping and rock climbing.


    8. Hazaribagh

    Distance: 389 KM
    Travel Time: 7 Hours
    Suggested Trip Duration: 2 Days
    Destination Category: Hills, Nature, Wildlife

    About the Location:
    Located in the state of Jharkhand, 93 Km away from Ranchi and 389 KM from Kolkata, Hazaribagh is a beautiful place to explore. It boasts of scenic landscapes decorated with dense forests, natural lakes, rocky hills and rich wildlife. If you are on the lookout for an offbeat place devoid of tourist mad-rush, then Hazaribagh can be the perfect destination for you.

    Tourist Attractions and Activities:
    The Canary Hills is a beautiful trekking site at Hazaribagh. Enriched with lush greeney, the jungle trails around this hilly terrain can provide you with a breath of fresh air. From top of the hills, you will be able to catch a bird's-eye view of the Hazaribagh town. If you are fond of spotting wildlife, then go for a forest safari in the famed Hazaribagh National Park which houses a rich variety of wild animals like spotted deer, sloth bear, chital, sambar deer, and a number of exotic birds. The Hazaribagh Jheel is a popular picnic spot. The reflection of colorful rays on its crystal-esque waters during sunrise and sunset can take your breath away.


    7. Mandarmani

    Distance: 178 KM
    Travel Time: 4 Hours
    Suggested Trip Duration: 2 Days
    Destination Category: Beach

    About the Location:
    Mandarmani is a recently developed beach destination. Although it is yet to catch the imagination of holidayers in the Eastern parts of India, the place is slowly but surely turning out to be a great alternative to Digha and Shankarpur beaches. Situated at a distance of just 178 KM from the city of Kolkata, you can count on Mandarmani's pristine sea-shore to provide you an enjoyable weekend.

    Tourist Attractions and Activities:
    Imagine Digha without the mad rush of crowds! That's Mandarmani for you. If you are looking for a charming yet secluded beach, then Mandarmani is the place to be at. A beautiful beach devoid of any tourist activity is the main attraction here. But that's not the only beach around Mandarmani. Located pretty close by, Tajpur brings you yet another scenic but secluded beach. You can also explore the fishing village of Junput that has a pristine and expansive sea-shore.

    Although there's no adventurous water sports activities to keep you engaged over here, the alluring nature and calm atmosphere more than make up for the lack of adventure. The tourism department is planning to modernize the Mandarmani beach in order to attract higher number of tourists, so there is high possibility of experiencing water sports activities at Mandarmani in the near future. Before that happens, do ensure that you taste the beauty of solitude in this tiny little beach destination.


    6. Gopegarh

    Distance: 140 KM
    Travel Time: 3 Hours
    Suggested Trip Duration: 1 Day
    Destination Category: Nature

    About the Location:
    An eco tourism destination situated at a distance of around 140 KM from Kolkata, Gopegarh can be a rather offbeat place to visit on a weekend. Lying on the banks of Kansai River in the outskirts of Medinipur district, the Gopegarh Eco Park can provide you a different twist to the usual tale of weekend trips.

    Tourist Attractions:
    The huge Eco Park at Gopegarh is set amidst picturesque surroundings. Bounded by the River Kansai on one side and the Arabari forest range on the other, it is an ideal retreat to spend a relaxing day away from the hustles and bustles of city life. Canoeing on the river can be a real stress-buster. You may also hire rowing boats and sail along the course of the river for a few kilometers. The Arabari forest can be an excellent trekking getaway. Dominated by the lofty and massive Sal trees, the forest is known to be the natural habitat for a wide range of wild animals. Elephant sightings are not too uncommon in this region. Herds of elephants can often be seen entering the Arabari forest range from the Dalma Hills. If you are fascinated by the thought of forest camping, then the Gopegarh Eco Park has a few cottages set amidst lush greenery to satisfy your taste.


    5. Bangriposi

    Distance: 221 KM
    Travel Time: 4.5 Hours
    Suggested Trip Duration: 2 Days
    Destination Category: Nature

    About the Location:
    A forest-surrounded remote village in the Mayurbhanj district of Odhisa, Bangriposi is nestled on the Thakurani Hills Ranges around 221 KM away from Kolkata. The word 'Bangriposi' literally translates to 'the beautiful daughter of hills' and the place rightfully justifies its naming. With rolling hills, dense rainforests and dancing waterfalls, Bangriposi will make you fall in love with its natural beauty.

    Tourist Attractions and Activities:
    Suliapat Dam is a major tourist attraction at Bangriposi. Built on the Khadkhai River in the midst of hills and lush greenery, it is an excuisite location. The river and the dam are known for trout fishing and angling activities. The green woodlands surrounding the dam adds to its scenic charms. The banks of Buribalam river can be an excellent picnic spot and camping site. The Badam Pahar hills can be a great spot to let loose the trekker in you. Covered mostly by Iron Ore rocks, this rocky terrain is an excellent place to learn rock climbing. The tribal villages around Bangriposi attract tourists with their handicrafts. The Dhokra Art form is a speciality of this region and you can purchase beautiful showpieces made of metal castings and clay.


    4. Simlipal National Park

    Distance: 248 KM
    Travel Time: 5.5 Hours
    Suggested Trip Duration: 2 Days
    Destination Category: Nature, Wildlife

    About the Location:
    Wildlife enthusiasts residing in Kolkata should not miss out on visiting the Simlipal National Park and Tiger Reserve. Situated in the Mayurbhanj district of Odhisa, at a distance of 248 KM from Kolkata, it can be an exciting place to spend a thrilling weekend out in the wild. With the roar of wild animals, the chirpings of birds and mindblowing natural landscapes dominated by the lush green woodlands, waterfalls and hillocks, a trip to Simlipal can have a revitalizing effect on your body and mind.

    Tourist Attractions and Activities:
    Covering an area of 2750 square kilometers, the Simlipal forest is one of the very best wildlife sanctuaries in India to spot the elusive king of jungle - the Royal Bengal Tiger. With a population of 95 tigers and other species of mammals, amphibians, reptiles and birds, a guided forest safari at Simlipal National Park can bring you a truck load of amazing wildlife experience. Few of the commonly spotted wildlife species at Simlipal include tiger, leopard, elephant, deer, sambar, bison, langur, sloth bear, crocodiles and over 200 species of native and migratory birds. The forests of Simlipal is also frequented by naturists for the 82 different species of orchids that are found in this area.

    Besides its rich wildlife, the Simlipal forest is also famous for the 400 meters high Barehipani Waterfalls. One of the tallest waterfalls in the entire country, it is a mesmerizing sight to see the milky white waters gushing down from a height of over 400 meters!


    3. Bhitarkanika Mangrove

    Distance: 297 KM
    Travel Time: 6.5 Hours
    Suggested Trip Duration: 2 Days
    Destination Category: Nature, Wildlife

    About the Location:
    Bhitarkanika is a mangrove creek lying along the estuary of Baitarani river in Kendrapara district of Odhisa. Covering a wide wetland of 667 square kilometers, the crisscrossing creeks and meandering rivulets of Bhitarkanika is home to over 215 species of birds, salt water crocodiles, different varieties of turtles and other amphibian species. If you are looking for a unique weekend getaway from Kolkata, which is, at the same time, an offbeat destination too - then a trip to Bhitarkanika would aptly match your requirements.


    Tourist Attractions and Activities:
    A 2-day launch safari at the Bhitarkanika Mangrove National Park is an exciting and thrilling prospect. Not only you will be greeted with enthralling scenic views, the ride in itself is a greater enjoyment. Add to that the prospect of spending a night in the traditional cottages at one of the civilization-deprived islands - it can't get any more adventurous. The launch safari is organized by the tourism department of Odhisa and the ride takes you to interior parts of the wildlife sanctuary including uninhibited islands like Dangmol, Kalebhanj and Havelighati. You also get to spend a few hours' time at the famous Ekakhula beach - which is otherwise inaccessible to the general tourists.


    2. Talasari

    Distance: 248 KM
    Travel Time: 5.5 Hours
    Suggested Trip Duration: 2 Days
    Destination Category: Beach

    About the Location:
    There lies a virgin stretch of silver-white sandy beach in Baleswar district of Odisha - the Talasari beach. This little piece of serene nature has been bestowed with spectacular panorama and is situated at a distance of 248 KM from Kolkata. If there is any beach in India which is beyond the reach of urban invasion, then it is here at Talasari. This remote village is not frequented by tourists much, except for the group of backpackers, so the pristine sea-shore has managed to retain its virginity to the best possible extent.

    Tourist Attractions and Activities:
    The shallow water level and calmer waves make Talasari a great place for swimming. The shore is edged by several palm trees giving it an envelope of tranquility. If you are travelling with a group of friends, then Talasari beach can be a great camping site. The beach looks great on a full-moon night with the mendearing Subarnarekha River crisscrossing through its expansive sea-shore.

    Located right at the point of confluence between the Subarnarekha River and the Bay of Bengal, a unique feature about this virgin beach is its sand dunes. The coast-line on the opposite bank of the river features a huge sand island with an endless stretch of sands, giving it a desert-esque resemblance. The island is surrounded by the Bay of Bengal on one side and the Subarnarekha River on the other. You can hire a boat for crossing the river during the monsoon season, but in winters, you can easily walk across the knee-deep water level to reach the sand island.


    1. Sunderbans

    Distance: 125 KM
    Travel Time: 3 Hours
    Suggested Trip Duration: 2 Days
    Destination Category: Wildlife, Nature

    About the Location:
    The largest and most diverse mangrove forest in the world, Sunderbans is situated on the delta of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers on the Bay of Bengal. The place is famous for being the original habitat of the world famous Royal Bengal Tiger. Situated at a distance of just 125 KM from Kolkata, Sunderbans can be the best weekend getaway to explore from the City of Joy.

    Tourist Attractions and Activities:
    Sunderbans is known for its diverse range of fauna, including 35 species of reptiles, 270 avian and 42 mammalian species. Sunderbans Tiger Reserve was established in 1973 to protect the habitat of the elusive Bengal tigers, which were alarmingly dimishing in numbers. It attained the status of a National Park in 1984.

    Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987, about two-fifth of the Sundarbans overall surface area is covered with mangrove creeks and water constitutes more than half of that area. Royal Bengal Tigers are undoubtedly the most important attraction here, but don't forget that Sunderbans is also the most favorite hunting ground for the Estuarine Crocodiles and the Indian Pythons.


    Sundarbans is only accessible by boat, and the entire excursion takes place on water. It's a thrilling experience that one should taste once in a life time. Remember to carry your binoculars for better viewing of the unique flora and fauna of sunderbans which you wouldn't find anywhere else in the world.

    Regards,
    Deb
     
  2. Vinaya

    Vinaya Member

    Never heard about any of these destinations. I have always wanted to visit the historic city of Kolkata. When I am in Kolkata, I will try to visit some of these places.
     

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