The second largest city in India, Kolkata boasts of immense beauty and a high quality of life. No wonder it is called the City of Joy’ and the ‘Cultural capital of India‘. The city is densely populated and is well known for its diverse culture, people, food, music, etc. Also, there are a number of options when it comes to places to visit near Kolkata. Listed below are some of the best among them. Take a look:
Located on the banks of River Ichamati, Taki is an extremely peaceful place to seek solace amidst the beauty of nature. It has an average elevation of 5 metres at the bank of the river. The place is mainly famous for its boat ride on Ichamati River. Though the place can be visited during any time of the year, winter season is usually preferred by the tourists. The best places to visit in Taki include Kuleshwari Kali Temple, 300 years old Jora Shib Mandir, Golpatar jungle and General Shankar Roychowdhury’s adi bari. You can also visit the ruins of zamindar houses, Ramkrishna Missions, and the nearby locations like Machranga River Island.
Distance from Kolkata: 75 kms
Transportation options: You can easily reach Taki Road station within 2 hours via local train from Sealdah Station. The station is just a 10 minutes cycle van ride from the banks of Ichamati River. You can also reach the place by car or bus which will take you around 2 hours, 30 minutes.
Well-known for its terracota temples, rich culture, architecture, music and handicraft, Bishnupur is certainly one of the best places to visit near Kolkata. It lies in the Bankura district of West Bengal. As per the sources, Bishnupur is named after Lord Vishnu, the deity of the Vaishnavite Malla Kings who ruled it. It is also known as Mallabhum as it was once ruled by the Malla rulers. When in Bishnupur, the places like Bishnupur Museum, Jor Bangla Temple and Rasmanch are a must-visit.
Distance from Kolkata: 137 kms
Transportation options: You can easily reach Bishnupur from Kolkata in 2 hours 15 min. The option of traveling by train is also available from Bankura, which is at a distance of 35 km away from Bishnupur.
3. Piyali Island
A trip to the Piyali Island is the perfect way to enjoy the beauty and tranquillity of nature. It is considered as the gateway to Sunderbans National Park. The place can be visited during any time of the year but has the maximum number of visitors during winters as it is a nice time for watching migrating birds. On visiting the Piyali Island, you should not miss boating on the river, visiting the Piyali Dam and Ramkrishna Ashram near Kaikhali. Its surreal beauty makes it one of the best places to visit near Kolkata.
Distance from Kolkata: 75Km
Transportation options: For anyone planning to visit Piyali Island can easily reach the place via car. In case you’re travelling by train, you need to get down at the south Barasat station.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sundarbans is considered as one of the best places to visit near Kolkata. Sprawling across an immense landscape covering 54 tiny islands, Sundarbans is home to a variety of flora and fauna. The forest covers the areas like Khulna, Satkhira, Bagerhat districts of Bangladesh and South 24 Parganas, North 24 Parganas districts of West Bengal, India. The name has derived from two Bengali words- Shundor and bon, which mean a beautiful forest. It is also said to be derived from the Sundari trees which are found in Sundarbans in huge numbers. For the people who love exploring dense forests with wild animals, Sundarbans in the place to be. It has a number of endangered mammals such as the Royal Bengal Tiger, spotted deer, and jungle fowl and Siberian ducks. Its tiger reserve is said to have the largest number of tigers in the world. In some of the rarest instances, the visitors also get to see the Batagur baska, king crab and Olive Ridley turtle. Along with being the World’s largest Mangrove forest, Sundarbans is also the world’s largest deltaic forest.
Distance from Kolkata: 108 kms
Transportation options: You can reach Sundarbans via local train from Sealdah to Canning. You can cover the remaining distance through local vans which are available from Canning to Godkhali Jetty, where the boat journey to the Sundarbans starts.
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Last modified: April 11, 2018