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.
Here you will find more than fifteen weekend destinations which are lesser known and hence less visited. These are perfect for a day trip or a one-night stay.
So check the calendar and pick your next destination. Here is the second part of this series –
If you are looking for a group picnic or a weekend experience in a quiet place full of greenery and cool wind, go to Garchumuk. Only 61 km away from Kolkata in the Howrah district, it is well connected by road, train or car.
Garchumuk is very close to Uluberia and buses run regularly to the spot. Garchumuk also makes a good idea for a long drive. Although you may find some of inner roads not so great, but the cool wind from the river and the lush greens will make it worth it.
Visit the Atanna Gate (Gate No. 58) which is a gate on the river barrage. The view is breathtaking. Take a leisurely boat ride across the Hoogly and watch the birds fly by. Overall, a great place to spend an idle day. Winter is the best time to visit.
There is also a small park with some deer and peacocks. If you want to stay overnight, a few private and government lodging options are available. If you want to stay in the WBFDC Rest House, please book it beforehand.
#7 Kalash Island & Camp
Visit Sunderbans but this time for a bit different kind of an experience. Near the estuary of the River Matla is the pristine 4-acre area called the Kalash camp. The adjoining Bay of Bengal forms the coveted Kalash Beach which brings hundreds of Olive Ridleys every winter apart from many other aquatic life. The Kalash Camp is protected by a high fence throughout – to keep you in and to keep the tigers out. Just outside the camp is the freshwater hole where animals of the Sunderbans, mainly the deer and tiger visit every day.
Kalash Camp is not for everyone. It is for those who want raw natural beauty and adventure. It can also get dangerous although armed guards are there, but tigers may know how to overcome a fence.
You can go to Kalash Deep via the Bonnie Camp along Bidyadhari river. The other and more popular route is through Ramganga (Diamond Harbour-Kulpi) which is about 100 km from Kolkata. It is safe to reach Kalash Island before the high tide sets in. Stay at the Kalash Camp and have an experience of a lifetime.
#8 Maheshganj Estate Balakhana
How about living like a zamindar this weekend? Maheshganj Estate is a time travel trip and has been ranked as one of the best heritage stays of India. This 200 year old Neelkuthi has had the honour of having Netaji and just outside its gate you can see the spot where Apur Sansar was shot. See more here.
If you are looking for a weekend break which is very near to Kolkata, go to Sundargram. Just 35 km away in Sundargram you can get all that is beautiful and natural village along with the modern amenities.
There is a nice pond where you can catch fresh fish and also take a dip if you like. The ambience is rustic and picturesque with horizons full of green fields and sounds of birds all day. No rush, no noise. Everything will calm your nerves. The food served is delicious homemade Bengali dish. Sundargram is also perfect for a picnic spot but stay overnight in their beautiful cottages for a nicer experience.
# 10 Golpatar Jungle
Do you want to experience the forests of Sunderbans without the fear of a tiger? Come to Golpatar Forest.
Situated very near to Taki, it is about 80 km away from Kolkata. Golpatar Jungle is named after Golpata, the Nipa Palm mangrove which is abundant in these deltaic regions of Bengal.
The forest is quite dense and when you enter into it a rich scent of the forest gently hits you. A beautiful walking path has been made amidst the deepest canopy and at times you will feel the thrill of being a dense forest.
Golpatar Forest is situated along the Icchamati River. You can walk along the muddy tracks of this river and just a few feet away at the opposite bank lays Bangladesh. Carry your ID proof in original as you may be asked by the Border Security Force (BSF) to show it and enter the forest. If you want to stay overnight, you can stay in Taki.
Credits: sundargram.com, Tripadvisor.in, Wikipedia, wbfdc.com, balakhana.com, dbiff.com