Kolkata, one of the famous cities in India, is surrounded by a number of fascinating places that range from natural and historical attractions to cultural and artistic villages. There is no dearth of places to visit in and around the city, whatever your travel interest is. Listed below are some places you can plan a day trip from Kolkata to explore a bit more of Bengal’s natural charm, colonial influence, and cultural heritage.
Situated on the eastern banks of the Hooghly River, Diamond Harbor is an idyllic town. A 60 km drive toward the south of Kolkata gets to you this scenic spot where you can witness the Hooghly River silently merging into the vast Bay of Bengal. You can spend a serene holiday here by enjoying great views of the endless sea, reveling in the freshness of the sea breeze, and eventually losing yourself in the quietude of this tranquil place. Take a ferry ride on the silent Hooghly River to make your day trip from Kolkata to Diamond Harbor even more memorable.
You can go a little further from here and explore the nearby attractions such as Bakkhali Beach, Sharisha Ramkrishna Mission Ashram, Raichak Fort, and the ancient lighthouse at the harbor.
Kolkata served as the capital of the British Raj until 1911 (after which the capital was shifted to Delhi) and thus, this city and its surroundings boast several colonial attractions. Barrackpore or Barrackpur is one such place known for its colonial heritage. It was developed as an army cantonment by the British in the 18th century. This scenic riverside town also doubled as a summer retreat for them. Several stunning British-era buildings, memorials, and ancient temples dot the entire town. Today, Indian Army and the state government manage a lot of these buildings here.
Barrackpore also holds a significant place in the Indian Freedom movement as the place where the first few rebellions against the British took place (in 1824 and 1857). For history buffs, it may be the ideal place for a day trip from Kolkata.
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Sundarbans National Park
If a nature getaway or wildlife holiday is on your mind, Sundarbans National Park is one of the best places to visit on a day trip from Kolkata. Sundarbans National Park, a part of the mighty Sunderbans Delta, is home to the largest contiguous mangrove forest in the world. A variety of flora and fauna including rare and endangered species thrive in these lush forests. Sundarbans is a popular park that has a large population of Royal Bengal Tigers. Witness these big cats during your wildlife-spotting adventure here in this park. You can explore this enchanting wilderness by taking a boat ride through the mangroves.
Situated in the Bankura district, at a distance of about 140 km from Kolkata, Bishnupur is a charming town known for its architectural heritage and impressive handicraft culture. You can find the best of Bengal’s terracotta temple architecture here. Bishnupur is home to more than a dozen terracotta temples built between the 16th and 19th centuries during the Malla Dynasty. The classic ‘Bengali hut’ structure and intricate architecture of these temples draw a lot of history, art, and architecture enthusiasts besides religious travelers. Jorbangla, Rasmancha, Shyam Rai, Mrinmoyee, and Madan Mohan are some of the most visited temples in Bishnupur. Do visit the Baluchari weaver’s village and witness the painstaking art of weaving the beautiful Baluchari Saree after your temple tour.
Located 165 km north of the city, Shantiniketan is one of the most popular destinations for a day trip from Kolkata. Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s home, Shantiniketan attracts hordes of travelers interested in Indian culture, arts, music, and literature. Visva Bharati University founded by Tagore himself is quite popular with tourists. There is a museum within the university where you can explore the works of Rabindranath Tagore. Basant Utsav held in March is the best time to visit Shantiniketan. It is a vibrant festival that celebrates the arrival of spring with an array of music, dance, art, and cultural performances reflecting Bengal’s rich heritage.
Which of these places would you like to explore during your next visit to Kolkata? Plan your trip to the ‘City of Joy’ and book New York to Kolkata flights at the lowest airfare.
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