¶ Places to See
A small town situated in the northern part of the state of West Bengal, provides the perfect ambience of a hill resort with its mild climate and laid back charm. Its verdant hills and valleys are steeped in colour, and are interspersed with vast stretches of lush green tea gardens. Perching over at 8586 metres, Mt. Khanchenjunga is looming over the northern ho riz on. This small hill station, built in a crescent shaped ridge, was a part of princely state of Sikkim, and was invaded time and again by Bhutanese and the Nepalese. The East India Company freed the place from invaders and received the place as a gift from the ruler of Sikkim in 1835 A.D. this place was popularised as a health resort of the British Army during the days of the Raj (Colonial Rule).Darjeeling lies at an altitude of 2,134 metres. Mostly considered as THE QUEEN OF HILLS, is the jewel in the crown of the East Himalayas. A land blessed with innumerable bounties of nature, which made the place an avid destination for nature lovers, trekkers and holidayers . The famous tea gardens, Toy train , which has been awarded Heritage Status, by the UNESCO. Lebong the highest race course in this world, the numerous Buddhist Monasteries and Temples make the place, very unique as a hill station. The Tiger Hill , famous for its spectacular sunrise view, is situated at an altitude of 2,573 metres. Ghoom , the highest railway station in the world, situated at an altitude of 2,247 metres, is just about 8 kms from Darjeeling. Sojourn to the famous trekking route of the Eastern Himalayan region, SANDAKPHU at an altitude of 3636 metres and PHALUT , 3583 metres begins from Darjeeling. The Singalila National Park, famous for its famous Rhododendrons, falls on the trekking route. A glimpse of the Himalayan village people and their culture can be experienced, in every single day.
Mirik, locally known as Burnt Hill is a pleasant hill station situated at an altitude of 1,767 metres in the Darjeeling hills. The place has a very calming atmosphere and is an ideal place for excursionists. The place is blessed with the largest man made lake of Darjeeling Hills, India. The lake known as Lake Sumendu , and is 1.25 kms long. There is also a Monastery situated on the top of a valley. The orange orchards & cardamom plantation around the valley makes the atmosphere soothing for the visitors.
Kurseong lies en-route to Darjeeling at an elevation of 1475 metres. This small valley is famous form calm and cool atmosphere. The place had become famous for its Forest Rangers Training College.
A calm & quiet hill station situated at an altitude of 1,250 metres is to the east of Darjeeling Town. This small hill station is scattered over an area of 10.6 sq. km. Nestling in the lush green mid ranges of the Himalayas, this hill station of "the Raj", has an incredible stunning backdrop of towering snow capped peaks. This exotic town of beautiful people, mystical and enchanting, with a rare ethnic blend of hill people, has a tradition of hospitality from the days of the mule caravans of old. It was ruled by Bhutan for 155 years, and was annexed by the British only in 1865 after Anglo-Bhutan war, after which it flourished as a centre of wool trade with Tibet. In 1916, Kalimpong became a part of Darjeeling .The place is famous for its Monasteries, orchids and flower nurseries.
Lava, a small Himalayan village, situated at a height of 1,551 metres and at a distance of 32km from Kalimpong remains hidden in the mist and cloud almost throughout the year . The Neora Valley National Park in the backdrop makes the place more interesting. The place is the house of Himalayan Medicinal Plants.
Loleygaon, a village under social development scheme lies at a distance of 24 km from Lava. The place is reachable along the serpentine slopes adorned with towering Dhupi & Cypress forests. The beautiful sunset from Jhandidara and a gentle walk amidst the Heritage Forest, will soak your soul in the nature.
Rishap, a virgin paradise on the lap of Himalaya, perching at an altitude of 2576m, is 10km drive from Lava. The land can be reached by a gentle trek of 4km through pine and spruce tree. The place gives a 360 degree view of the Eastern Himalayan range.
Bindu, the last hamlet of West Bengal, situated on the bank of river Jaldhaka. The valley is encircled by the hills of Bhutan and India, gives a rare glimpse of the natural beauty all over the valley.
To the North stand the Eastern Himalayas , as a natural backdrop. A vast texture of dense forests teeming with wild, unending tea gardens, babbling rivers, interspersed with sleepy or busy settlements, constitute a fascinating tourist destination--the Dooars , where nature has kept her doors wide open. Derived from the word door', the Dooars Valley also forms a gateway to the Hill Stations of North Bengal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Assam and the entire North East. The valley stretches across a vast span of 5,200 sq km. The unending stretches of virgin forests interwoven with innumerable tea gardens in criss-crossed by Teesta, Jaldhaka, Torsha & Sankosh rivers and their innumerable tributaries tottering and rolling down from the hills. The Dooars valley is specially noted for its Jaldapara Wild Life Sanctuaries and Gorumara National Park . These forests are abounding in fascinating diversity of Flora & Faunas. Varieties of rare plants & orchids are resounded with echoes of birds and wild animals make it a veritable paradise for lovers of Nature & Eco tourism.
The one of the planned modern town of India after Jaipur is the cultural center of North Bengal. The town still now represents the old flavour of erstwhile princely state of Coochbehar. The Palace built as a replica of Berkingham Palace of England , is the resemblance the might & authority of the prince of the state. The town has also several temples of them the Madanmohan Temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, symbolizes love and oneness. The Sagardighi is also a place that has added to the charm of the town.
The largest mangrove forest of the world is the paradise of the lovers of Nature and Eco-Tourism. The region got its name from SUNDARI trees. The mangrove forests is the home of world famous Royal Bengal Tiger. Deltic crocodiles, dolphins, olive ridley, checkered killback, gangetic gharial, giant turtle and avifauna population which consists several migratory birds, heron, egret, cormorant, sandpiper, curlew and many more. Situated on the lower tip of the Gangetic West Bengal, Sunderbans comprises of 54 tiny islands, criss-crossed by innumerable tributaries of River Ganga and creeks and backwaters. The total area of 9630sq.km is the paradise of Honey seekers, prawn and crab catchers and fishermen. Sunderbans has been declared as a biosphere reserve and awarded world heritage status, by UNESCO in 1997.
With palm tree setting land of red soils, a place of cultural pride of Bengal , on a rural setting with a fond memory of Rabindranath Tagore, Shantiniketan is a land of art & literature. This place forms a part of Birbhum District of West Bengal . One can see the reminiscence of Rabindranath's work scattered all over the nooks and corners of Shantiniketan. One will be enthralled to see the various collections of Rabindranath's used items in the Museum. The famous Chatim Tree on the compound of the Pathabhavan takes one through the time tunnel to the days when Rabindranath first visited the place, with his father Maharshi Debendranath Tagore. The Shishmahal (House of Glass) is the place where the Prayers are held. The collection of Banyan trees at a corner of the compound is equally famous for the Teen Pahar (Hill), it is the place where Rabindranath's famous poem Kumor parar garur gari a famous rhyme was written. Apart from that from that we also saw the age old Bell at Ghanti Ghar. Sriniketan and Amar Kutir on the outskirts of Shantiniketan, is worth visiting. These places will give one an idea of the rural Bengal . Shantiniketan is a place of cultural bounties, various village melas (fair), cultural festivals, rituals are very common in this place
Bakreswar: Famous for hot water spring and temples, lies at a distance of around 50Km from Shantiniketan.
The erstwhile Calcutta or Dominique Lapiers City of Joy is believed to have formed out of 3 villages namely Sutanati, Gobindapur and Kolikata on the east bank of river Hoogly. The vibrant city of the Eastern India was the first capital of colonial India and basks with colonial heritage. Kolkata is the birthplace of Indian renaissance and the cradle of spiritualism, intellect, art and culture.
The attraction of Kolkata lies in its colonial boulevard and buildings. The famous Victoria Memorial built in 1921AD on the line of the famous Taj in memory of Queen Victoria, Raj Bhavan (House of Governor) built in 1803 AD houses wonderful collection of architecture and rare collection of arts, Town Hall built in 1813AD in Doric style, Indian Museum dated back to 1877AD, Fort William (the massive fort) built in 1773AD, Ochterlony Monument built in 1828 AD (renamed Shahid Minar in 1969 AD), GPO built in 111874, Marble Palace built in 1840, Writer's Building , National Library and so many.
One can still enjoy a pleasant ride on aging Tram near Maidan (vast field) or can have a ride past the city heart on Tomtom Cart (horse driven cart).A visit to the college square will give a traveler an insight into the cultural and literal pulse of the city, a visit to Coffee house is a must.
Howrah: A twin city of Kolkata only separated by river Hoogly resembles Kolkata in many aspects. The city still has its own distinctions and attractions. Of the countless of beauty offered by the place, one is Botanical Garden at Shibpur, situated on the west bank of river Ganga and founded in the year 1787 AD and houses 30000 species of rare flora of which 250years old Banyan Tree is the most fascinating. Belur Math the spiritual seat founded by Swami Vivekananda is also a place to be visited.