The next time you decide to go east, remember to check these offbeat places in West Bengal!
West Bengal is located between the Himalayas and the Bay of Bengal. The capital is Kolkata, and apart from just visiting the capital and doing the mainstream Bengali things, how about visiting some offbeat, weird places and creating some unique memories? Since it is located between the mountains and the seas, why not try experiencing the best of both worlds?
There are some crazy, unique places in West Bengal where you spot Mt. Everest, go on safaris, find freshwater springs, witness Durga Puja processions, and so much more.
Also Read: 10 Iconic Places to Visit in Leh Ladakh!
Here are a few offbeat places in West Bengal that you really need to visit spice up your trip
Offbeat Places In West Bengal For Your Next Visit!
Dooars is one of the most stunning offbeat places in West Bengal. It is not a town or a district, but a region or an area which comprises of many townships, tea gardens, national park and wildlife sanctuaries. It also has a wonderful, green, lush vegetation like the dense forests of Sal and many mountain streams. This is because of the alluvial floodplains that lie on the outer foothills of the Himalayas.
Interestingly, the name Dooars has been derived from ‘doors’ (Dhwar). There are about 18 doorways or corridors between this place and Bhutan.
On the west flows the Teesta River and, on the east, flows the Sankosh river. There are many tributaries which run in between like Jaldhaka, Murti, Diana, Torsha, Kaljani, Karatoya and many more.
There many things that you do in Dooars. Especially, safaris. Since, the entire place is a serene nature sanctuary, Jeep safaris are quite popular. You can spot exotic animals here. Gorumara National Park is one that you can visit for a Jeep safari.
Samsing, also known as Shyamsing, is truly one of the best offbeat places in West Bengal that you need to visit!
Located, at the foothills of the majestic Himalayas, it is one of the most serene, peaceful and calm places to be in. It has grand, green tea gardens, silent streams flowing through which make its way into rivers and plains. Samsing has an undulating topography and remains to be quite unexplored, which adds to its beauty.
One of the best things about Samsing is the spectacular view that it has to offer. Since, it lies in the foothills of the Himalayas, you can get to witness the view of snowy mountains on one side and the serene, green plain on the other side.
Also, there are plenty of great picnic sports and sightseeing sports for tourists in and around Samsing like Lali-Guras, Rocky Island and Suntaley Khola or Suntalekhoa. Another place to visit near Samsing is Neora Valley National Park which would take you just an hour to reach.
The best time to visit Samsing would between the months of October and March.
Taki is a small town which is located on the banks of the Ichamati River. It is 70 km long. It is also, only a 2 hour drive away from Kolkata. This place is one of the most popular places to visit near Kolkata and so is a perfect weekend getaway for many.
There are so many places to visit in Taki. To start with, the Ichamati River is the pretty much the biggest deal of Taki. You can take a boat ride on the river to enjoy it even better. Since, Taki is located on the India-Bangladesh border, you can witness it in the river. You would be able to see Indian flags hoisted on the boats that you take. Of course, on the opposite rise of the river you get to see boats with the Bangladeshi flags. To witness this, the boat ride is only going to cost you Rs. 40.
You can also take a walk through the Golpata Forest. The forest is famous for its canopy jungle path walks.
The best time to visit Taki would be winter. The weather becomes perfect for picnics that you can arrange on the banks of the river. Apart from this, Durga Puja is also considered to be a great time to visit. You would be able to participate in viewing the immersions of the idols od goddess Durga. Natives of both countries come to each side of the river to witness this event.
A tip to keep in mind is to keep a proof of ID with a photo on it when you are travelling here, especially in the forest.
Ayodhya Hill is the perfect place for nature lovers. It is located on the boundary of the Purulia District and Jharkhand. The hill is about 700 m high and has recently become a testing centre for silk and team cultivation.
The visitors of this hill visit here to regain their health. Since, it is a place mainly known for its nature, climate and topography, you too would find it easier to just unwind and relax here. Ayodhya Hill is also abundant with minerals.
The dance forms like ‘Chhau dance’ and ‘Tusu Parab’ performed by the tribes are few of the main attractions. Ayodhya Hills is the native home to the Santal tribe. They are an ethnic group native to eastern India. Santals are the largest tribe in the Jharkhand state. They have a large population and also inhabit many states like Assam, Bihar, Tripura and, of course, West Bengal.
A fun activity to do here would be mountaineering or rock climbing. There are also fresh water springs and streams here that you can maybe even take a dip in.
An abode to beautiful Jain temples, Mukutmanipur is one of the serene and culturally rich offbeat places in West Bengal that you need to visit to unwind and take in. It has the second-largest earthen dam in India. Mukutmanipur also has two rivers flowing through and is known to be a district of Kolkata with beautiful green dense forests, clear blue waters and lush green hills. The two rivers that flow through these regions are Kumari and Kangsabati.
Here, a few places to visit are Kangsabati Dam, Musafirana Viewpoint, Deer Park, Noadihi Sunset Poin,t and the Ambika temple.
The second-largest earth dam is called Kangsabati dam. The dam is 11 kilometers in length. The water looks beautiful with the sun and is truly a sight to witness
The Musafirana viewpoint is a great place to catch a ‘Moonrise’. This view is spectacular. The water reflects the light and turns into shades of blue and green. It looks as though the moon is rising from the water.
The deer park that you could pay visit here is the Bonpukuria Deer Park. It is a perfect place to take a walk around. The trees shade the pathways and the sun comes in through the gaps between the leaves to make beautiful patterns on the ground. Also, you have the opportunity to explore the Bonpukuria village.
Sandakphu is the highest peak in the state of West Bengal. It is located in the border of the Singalila National Park. For accommodation, there are a few hostels in a small village on the summit. There is a view to the five highest peaks in the world from here like to the Everest, Kangchenjunga, Lhotse and Makalu.
Sandakphu is situated at a height of more than 3000 m above the sea level. It is one of the best offbeat places in West Bengal to go on a trek. At the end of your trek, you will be awarded wonderful views of the long-range Himalayas, from Bhutan to the Mt. Everest.
River Teesta flows through this region as well. So, if you are ready for some river rafting then this is a great place for you.
The best time to visit would be during the summer months. The temperature would be around 10 to 15 degrees. The precipitation is also at an all-time low then.
A regular fishing village, located 14 km to the east of Digha in West Bengal, this beach village is a pristine attraction that is found on the tourist maps only lately. Do not miss the beach here! It has dense forests around.
If you are one of those who loves photography, this is an ideal place for you. Shankarpur also inhabits many temples. Some of the topmost things to do, would be to stroll on the beach as mornings and evenings are beautiful. Coastal food is readily available and so are shacks and bars for enjoying coconut water and beer.
Last but not the least, this place allows you actually learn about the activities of fishermen who can be seen hauling huge nets. This beach is also called as the twin beach of Digha. This virgin beach town is famous as a weekend getaway.
A hidden beach, located to the East of Midnapore district of West Bengal, it lies just 16 km ahead of Digha. Since this beach has only recently become popular, it is less crowded, and so you can have your solitude and privacy.
This beach is lined with tamarisk trees and you can see plenty of red crabs walking around. This beach unlike the regular beaches has an inverted crescent shape adding to its uniqueness. If you are very adventurous, there are many other activities on the beach available for you like water zorbing, rafting, boating, snorkeling, kayaking, parasailing, coastal biking, and fishing. This place also serves to be a wonderful camping sight as you can find many camping resorts providing a wholesome experience.
Dedicated to pisciculture and fish farming, you can see many fish farms and it also gives you an opportunity to learn about it. A foodie’s paradise, this town provides you with a plethora of seafood which can be enjoyed with chill beer. Not an isolated attraction, but a place surrounded by many other beaches, deserves a spot in your must-visit list!
A destination for all types of travellers from families to couples this island, a part of Sundarbans, is a beach town that is not crowded. This crescent-shaped beach is a small island that juts out to the Bay of Bengal and provides exemplar sunrise and sunset views.
The best time to visit this beach is February – March and October – December. This is beach is known for its attractions like the Bakkhali Watch Tower, Bhagabatpur Crocodile Project, Jambu Dwip and Sagar Island. It is a hard beach making it a cyclers paradise. Driving along the beach is a also preferred.
If you are a foodie, this place is for you. The smell of freshly fried fish along with an assortment of snacks form the base of the street food of Bengal.
Buxa Tiger Reserve
Situated in the northern West Bengal and bordering the Himalayas, this reserved habits tigers and is home to a number of birds, Asian Elephant, Sambar deers, and leopards. Lying in the Alipurduar district of West Bengal, it runs the international border of Bhutan.
The Sinchula hill range lies along the northern side of Buxa Reserve. Home to more than 96 tigers (official count as per 2020), this reserve is famous for the Buxa fort a fort that was captured by the British after the Bhutan war. Buxa has also derived its name from this fort.
Adventurous trekkers can enjoy the 13 km trek through dense forest and reach the tiger reserve. Jungle safari is the most famous activity to do and the Mahakal Cave is another famous attraction. A sight not to be missed, Mahakal cave is cylindrical and is dedicated to Lord Shiva.