Who does not like spending weekends lavishly or at least different from what we do on other days of the week? Weekends must be strictly used for bringing a refreshing change from everyday mundane life. If you are in or around Kolkata, be assured that after reading this post of ours, your weekend lifestyle will change completely. In the city of joy, you have many weakened getaways option but we have shortlisted 12 destinations for ones who love to travel for a thrilling experience. Many places lie in the range lesser than 100 kilometres and prove great for short trip lovers. Let’s just quickly jump into the options to plan a weekend holiday. All the destinations mentioned below are at the close proximity of Kolkata and are surprisingly affordable too.
Sundarbans (109 Km)
Sunderbans is among one of the destinations which give travellers a unique opportunity to discover remarkable terrain of swampy forests and wildlife. Sunderbans is one of the World Heritage Sites declared by UNESCO. The National Park of this weekend getaway near Kolkata has 54 small islands which abode various kind of flora and fauna. Sunderbans is also famous for mangrove trees and endangered animals like spotted deer, Siberian ducks as well as Royal Bengal Tiger. If you are lucky enough, you may encounter a king crab, olive riddle turtle or even a Batagur Baska tortoise. Besides homing several endangered animals and wildlife, Sunderbans serves exotic seafood and thus one can choose easily to travel there on weekends. Go and enjoy fishing and catching prawns, explore mangrove trees and do visit Sagar Lighthouse, Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary and Dublar Char Island.
Deoghar (373 km)
If you seek travelling solo or want to travel to a religious place, visit Deoghar this weekend to reveal the most admired religious centres in India. This place will help you in comprehending culture and religion most simply. The meaning of the word Deoghar is ‘adobe of gods. But, Deoghar is not a place with only temples, gods or ashrams only rather it endows beautiful hills, forests, rivulets, serene lakes and colonial mansions owned by Seths or zamindars. Deohar is one of the popular destinations which Kolkata’s people love to travel to as it holds a unique charm which once used to prevail in smaller towns. There are many sightseeing places in Deoghar. Some of the remarkable places include Baidhnath Dham of Lord Shiva where thousands of pilgrimage visit during the holy month of Savana and on Mondays. One of the oldest institutions of Ramakrishna Mission established in the year 1322, Ramakrishna Mission Vidyapeeth is located in Deoghar. You can even visit Nandan Pahar or the Nandan Hill Park which hosts popular Nandi Temple besides lining a beautiful and attractive lake. The Satsang Ashram is famous for Thakur Anukul Chandra who spent the last 25 years of his life in Deoghar.
Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary (172 km)
The Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary is spread at an area not less than 200 hectors. The Sanctuary is located at the University Town of Bolpur and constitutes as one of the perfect destinations suitable for weekend getaways. The lush green wildlife sanctuary has three large water bodies, also known as Jheel where many migrant birds’ can be seen throughout the year. Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary was established in the year 1967 and is recorded as the most successful deer conversations in West Bengal. You can spot rare animals, cheetahs, spotted deer’s, jackals, foxes and blackbucks. The sanctuary is protected with watchtowers and has jungle paths for travellers who loves wandering around the forest to catch glimpses of wildlife and deer. If you wish to spend a night, do book a nice and cosy hotel room which are available at 5 minutes’ walk from the sanctuary. A huge water tract is filled with wetlands due to three water bodies that can be seen here. The wetlands home many resident birds such as White Bellied Treepies, Egrets, Black Hooded Orioles and Hoppoes.
Bishnupur (151 km)
Bishnupur town was created in the 17th century by Malla kings. The artisans and the craftsman of Malla king built this town creatively with many terracotta temples and shrines. The temples are maintained and supervised under archaeological departments. You can visit the temples during the morning hours. For extraordinary views and grandeur, do visit this place on Saturdays and Sundays when the temples are decorated with lights and flowers. Bishnupur is also a place with large water bodies like Yamuna Bandh, Shyamabandh and Kalindi. The place is famous for saris too which attract many women to visit Bishnupur to buy themselves beautiful Baluchari saris. Besides going in for local sightseeing and temples, you can enjoy a ride in a cycle rickshaw to move around and spot some popular places like Dolmondol Kaman, Gardorja, Madanmohan temple and Jor Bangalow. You can also visit the Pancha Ratna temple or the Shyamrai Mandir built in the year 1643. The walls of the temple have terracotta carvings which depict the life of Lord Krishna.
Digha (185 km)
Digha is among favourite spots for people who seek to escape mundane life. This weekend getaway destination is a popular sea beach where people all around the country loves to go to. Located at the border of Orissa and in the East Midnapur district, Digha has it’s in own aura to be a popular seaside for more than 50 years. The place has hotels and resorts which suits every budget. The bars and restaurants serve delicious cuisines and the shops in the sea beach sell everything which can be made out of seashells. Digha itself is divided into two destinations known as old Digha and New Digha. The old Digha sea has been submerged into the sea and therefore, the Government of West Bengal protects it from concrete constructions and boulders. Still, concrete steps and boulders itself provide visitors with a unique look. New Digha, on the other hand, has been developed recently and is only two kilometres away from old Digha. New Digha has a golden beach and remains maintained properly.
Mandarmani (140 km)
Mandarmani has emerged as a popular destination in and around West Bengal. This tourist spot is perfect for a weekend holiday and has many places which attract tourists who wish to escape city crowds. The beach of Mandarmani has a very serene view and offers unique seclusion which is very rare in most of the beach destinations. If you wish to go to Mandarmani, you need to book a resort before handed as they remain pretty full especially during summers and holidays. Some of the resort is very well equipped and serves its guests with modern amenities to make their holiday a memorable one.
Henry Island (140 km)
Henry’s Island is one place which offers a complete escape from monotonous life and is considered as one of the popular beaches of West Bengal and a destination adjoining the Sundarbans. Around 100 hectares of land is taken care by Fisheries Department of Government of West Bengal to use for pisciculture and forest conservation. This place is perfect for a weekend getaway near Kolkata because it appears to be enchanting every time to visit Henry Island. A watchtower situated on the beach offers a panoramic view from where you can see the entire island by standing at its top. It is said that the sea of Henry Island is very timid and whenever a person walks over the slightly black coloured seawater, they get to see many ships in distant areas. One biggest advantage to visit this place is that you can visit Sunderbans too as it is very near to Henry Island. You can also visit Bheris or large shallow lakes which are scattered all over the island for doing pisciculture or fish farming.
Tajpur (140 km)
Tajpur is another beach destination which has gained much popularity recently. The beach area is surrounded by patches of forest area and certainly offers visitors with some pleasurable views. The main attraction of this beach is its unusual shape which provides viewers with an unusual panoramic view. Tajpur is also an unexploited virgin sea-beach located nearby Kolkata as it has very less footfall. The reason behind lesser visitors is fewer hotels and resorts beside the sea. However, if you love nature more than comfort, do visit Tajpur to enjoy clear waters of the sea. The virgin seashores also have Keya flowers shrubs and Casuarina Groves.
Raichak (50 km)
Raichak has emerged as one sought after destination around Kolkata. This weekend getaway destination offers some spectacular view of the Ganges and Radisson Fort of 18th Century. A charming and smaller town Raichak is situated in South 24 Parganas of West Bengal. To visit Raichak, you have to travel 15 km further from Diamond harbour towards Haldia. The Raichak Fort built by British East India is the primary tourist attraction of the town. The Fort was built in the year 1783, however, Bengal Ambuja Group and Carlton Group of Hotels took over the place in the nineties to transform it into a luxurious resort and named it as Radisson Fort. The entry to the resort is restricted and only guests are allowed, however, you can still enjoy the beautiful sight of the resort or acquire a permanent membership of the resort to get an entry to it. The resort has some memorable treasures of British period like a grand piano, clock, swords and perfume bottles.
Joypur Forest (140 km)
Joypur Forest is the place for people who loves spending time in a dense jungle filled with Teak and Sal trees. You can find spotted deer crossing the jungle now and then along with other wild animals. The forest is amidst age-old historic destination of Bishnupur filled with terracotta carvings. You can choose to stay in resorts beside Joypur forest. Some of them have a personal vegetable garden, farms or even a huge lake and remains equipped with modern amenities. The dense forest surrounds almost every resort area and is an idle place to spend a peaceful weekend away from busy city life. The dense forest also has a watchtower from where you can easily have a look at lush greens and forest animals. Many rare birds and parrots’ home in the forest. In winters, you might get to see wild elephants crossing the forest besides having a panoramic view of the forest. You can also visit an abandoned area, airstrip of Britishers in the forest, but remember to return before 4 pm.
Mayapur (132 km)
If all the above list still seems unadventurous to you, Mayapur will surely prove to be a perfect holiday destination. The serene and natural beauty of the place along with religious ambience brings peace to every troubled mind and spirit. The calmness in this place brings peace in the minds of people and rejuvenates for coming week’s work schedules. Mayapur is located amidst the middle of the river Jalangi and Hooghly. It is among the nine islands of the Mahaprabhu Chaityadham Nabadwip. The birthplace of Mahaprabhu is a must watch place. Mayapur also has famous ISKCON Chandrodaya temple, Chand Kazi Samadhi along with Yoga Peeth. You can visit the tomb of Chand Kazi and Ballal Mound nearby which is reminiscent of King Balal Sen.
Shantiniketan (212 km)]
Shantiniketan is a famous destination for being recognised as a University town worldwide and a significant centre for undertaking higher education. Shantiniketan is the home of National poet and Nobel Laureate of India, Rabindranath Tagore. Students worldwide come at Shantiniketan to enrol for further studies at Viswa Bharati University that was founded by Rabindranath Tagore in 1921. Along with students, this place is visited by many visitors who love loitering over extensive campus ground, scenic natural beauty and open-air classes taking place all around. Rich in culture and heritage, this weekend getaway place near Kolkata features many sight-seeing spots. Other than Viswa Bharati University, people love visiting Kala Bhavan to discover sculptures made by Ramkinkar Baij and Nandalal Bose.