If you live in Kolkata and love to travel, bookmark this page. There are many places around Kolkata that are perfect for a weekend destination or short trip.
There are some great destinations like Mandarmoni and Garhpanchkot which you probably know of so we will not include those here. Here in this list there are fifteen weekend destinations – some are newer and other are lesser explored places.
So check the calendar and pick your next destination. Here is the first part of this series –
#1 Meen Dwip
We have been to islands in the sea, but Meen Dwip is different. This island is in the midst of Haldi River. Meen Dwip is a place for people who love raw nature, open fields and greenery. There is fresh air and the huge expanse of the blue sky. Do not forget to take your camera there!
It is very close to the mohona of the river which makes it an excellent fishing spot. Meen Dwip is a wonderful picnic spot and you could return in a day as it is only about 70 km from Kolkata. If you want to stay overnight, there is only one lodging facility that is run by the Fisheries Department.
Geonkhali is a small and picturesque village but it is very special. It is the place where three mighty rivers meet – the Damodar, Hoogly and Rupnarayan. They become one and so huge like the sea that you cannot see the opposite bank.
Before flowing into the sea as these rivers merge into one, it makes a wonderful spot where you can idle away your day. From sunrise to sunset, flocks of birds, cool wind and greenery all around – we get the break that we city dwellers need. A river cruise is the icing on the cake.
Geonkhali is about 115 km away from Kolkata. You should stay overnight and there are some hotels available. WBTDC owned Rupnarayan Tourist Lodge is a popular lodging option.
Junput is 145 km away from Kolkata and about 9 km from Contai. Junput has a beach but do not make a mistake, it is not for bathing. Junput is different from Digha or Mandarmoni.
Junput is a place which is famous for its undisturbed natural beauty of sea on one side and trees on the other side. It is uncrowded and undisturbed, ideal for a relaxing day. You would feel that the whole beach is yours. Enjoy the view and watch the fishermen all day long. Do visit the museum that has extremely rare collections of amazing and interesting aquatic life.
Related: Henry Island is waiting for you
Duarsini is a bit far from Kolkata for a weekend – about 390 km – but worth the trip. It is a painting-like surrounding in a natural ambience with hills and sparkling streams. Big, old trees of palash, sal and shimul will take you to a different mood. Any more words needed?
Duarsini is situated in the outskirts of Purulia and is near to Ghatshila. It is one of those spots where you can enjoy the mesmerizing beauty of the Chotanagpur Valley. You should plan to stay at the wonderful WBFDC Eco-Tourism Centre.
Chandraketugarh is one-of-a-kind place in West Bengal and you would not find another like it in the whole state. Chandraketugarh is only about 45 km from Kolkata, along the way to Haroa and about 1 km from the town of Berachampa along the river Bidyadhari.
There are two things to see in Chandraketugarh. Firstly you can see the remains of the place where the great astrologer and seer, Khana lived. Then there is an ancient fort with the remains of an old lake, dargah, graveyard and more historical ruins. It is said that a monster lived in the lake here which was pleased by sacrificing two children.
There is no place to lodge or eat in Chandraketugarh but you can get these facilities in the nearby Haroa and Barachampa towns.
Image credits: Wikimedia, RailYatri blog, timesofindia.indiatimes.com, Pintrip, Around Guides, gotraveldiscoverer.wordpress.com