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Explore Kolkata and the Popular Weekend Getaways

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The ‘cultural capital’of India, also known as the City of Joy, has been founded by Job Charnock, who arrived at the small fishing villages of Sutanuti, Kalikata and Gobindapur in 1690 and convinced the the East India Company to start building its trading base in Bengal. The city Kolkata, an official of the East India Company, grew through leaps and bounds until it was made the capital of the British Empire. Today Kolkata is a home to more than 5 million people and is often called the ‘cultural capital’ of the country. Kolkata stores the colonial heritage of the British empire from the time of the settlement of the English East India Company. Though the city had developed drastically yet it certainly carries the heritage of the erstwhile English. The city of joy has it all - from chaotic traffic, buzzing markets, delicious food, to bright yellow taxis, old-world goodness and endless ‘adda’ culture. A city with a wonderful personality, Kolkata is meant to be experienced and not just visited. This guidebook lists down some of the popular weekend destinations from Kolkata and some significant places of interest within the city for an experience to cherish.

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Explore Kolkata and the Popular Weekend Getaways

  1. 1. Explore and the KOLKATA DEDICATED TO
  2. 2. NISC or NASSCOM International SME Conclave is the biggest IT-SME Conclave by NASSCOM on 10th & 11th Jan 2019 in Kolkata. The conclave is aimed to create a global platform for innovative companies to showcase their Products, Solution & Services. It also aims to create the platform for the Global SME Community to Connect & Collaborate. The broad objective of NISC is Connect. Learn. Grow. The theme for this year is “FUTURE IS NOW” and is expected 2500+ Delegates, 15+ Country Participation, 200+ Exhibitors, 100+ Acclaimed Speakers, 100+ CIOs from across Sectors.
  3. 3. The purpose of this guidebook is to cater information to the visitors and participants of the NASSCOM International SME Conclave (NISC). The much-awaited international conference is in the city of joy for the first time in the Eastern edge of the country. Taking this thought ahead, this guidebook promises few places to explore and experience some of the thrilling escapades. Happy Exploring!
  4. 4. The ‘cultural capital’of India, also known as the City of Joy, has been founded by Job Charnock, who arrived at the small fishing villages of Sutanuti, Kalikata and Gobindapur in 1690 and convinced the the East India Company to start building its trading base in Bengal. The city Kolkata, an official of the East India Company, grew through leaps and bounds until it was made the capital of the British Empire. Today Kolkata is a home to more than 5 million people and is often called the ‘cultural capital’ of the country. Kolkata stores the colonial heritage of the British empire from the time of the settlement of the English East India Company. Though the city had developed drastically yet it certainly carries the heritage of the erstwhile English.
  5. 5. The city of joy has it all - from chaotic traffic, buzzing markets, delicious food, to bright yellow taxis, old-world goodness and endless ‘adda’ culture. A city with a wonderful personality, Kolkata is meant to be experienced and not just visited. This guidebook lists down some of the popular weekend destinations from Kolkata and some significant places of interest within the city for an experience to cherish. K O L K A T A
  6. 6. Amidst the residential bricks and mortars, lies the vast stretch of the greens that spans across, envelops the majestic Victoria Memorial and the magnificent St. Paul’s Cathedral Church. A thin stretch of tramways cuts across the vast stretch usually meant for the slow rides to experience the traditional Kolkata with authentic flavour as often shown in the films. Also referred to as the Brigade Parade Ground and the ‘lungs of Kolkata’, it is the largest urban park in Kolkata and is the property of the Indian Army. M A I D A N For the morning strolls in the city of Joy...
  7. 7. Away from the hustle-bustle of the city life, Eco Park has been designed to create a balance between ecological regeneration, resource conservation, and optimisation to create a sustainable environment for recreation in the urban open space in the city- perfect for morning walks or the evening strolls. E C O P A R K
  8. 8. F L U R Y S B A K E R Y Breakfast, Snacks and Adda! Forget about counting calories as you cannot resist yourself from grabbing a bite of the freshly baked bread or the cakes and the cheese, muffins, croissants as they are all there to tickle your taste buds at Flurys or Mrs. Magpie. There are varieties of omelettes to devour on to and milkshakes to quench your thirst that keep you refreshed all day. The soft and supple beacon and sausage will give you the experience of a sumptuous wholesome breakfast or brunch accompanied by Darjeeling tea that will take you back to the British- era period. Park Street, Kolkata
  9. 9. I N D I A N C O F F E E H O U S E Kolkata holds the Indian Coffee House since 1958. This place preserves the essence of ‘Adda over a cup’. This is a small Kolkata all by itself and literally you can smell the Bengali culture here. Indian coffee house has been a canvas that painted Kolkata in vibrant colors - art in all forms are mined here. Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, Mrinal Sen and other internationally acclaimed artists were daily visitors here. If you’re in Indian Coffee House, the baked fish is a must try! College Street, Kolkata
  10. 10. 6 B A L L Y G U N G E P L A C E Ballygunge, Kolkata Forum Courtyard, Kolkata O H ! C A L C U T T A The Food Scene in the city! The Best of Bengali Cuisine : A resplendent building, 6, Ballygunge Place boasts of the delicacies and the sherbets are creatively named as per the names of the streets named after the legendaries in Kolkata. Other delicacies like Lemon Ghandaraj Chicken or the thirst quenchers like Aam Pora Sharbat can brim you. The Kosha mangsho or the Galda Chingri or the Hilsa platter are equally sumptuous. Oh! Calcutta being their oldest and foremost restaurant to serve their first authentic Bengal delicacies, boasts of their Hilsa festival every year, the cuisine from Padma’s Hilsa (fresh Hilsa caught from the banks of the Padma river). The most special delicacy of Oh! Calcutta is chicken cooked in Chittagong style, aam kasundi kakra or the bhetki cooked in a banana leaf.
  11. 11. Elgin Road, Kolkata Park Street, Kolkata B H O J O H A R I M A N N A P E T E R C A T Restaurants dating back to the British era The name “Bhojohari Manna” has been rendered from Manna Dey’s song from the 70’s houses the Bengali delicacies that serves your tastebuds not only with authentic Bengali food but also those cooked in a simple home-style from mom’s kitchen. A variety of fish preparation that includes the platter of Desi Pabda, desi Tyangra, desi Parshe, desi Koi and even the Chara Bhetki. Other top picks are Potoler Dorma/stuffed wax gourd, Chingrir Bora, and many more! TherestauranthighlightsanelegantblendofIndianandContinental delicacies that is blissfully churned into the menus as well. The enthralling ambiance that speaks of history delivers the best Indian and continental delights. The famous Chelo Kebab will make you lick your fingers as this platter is served with steamed rice and two kebabs, topped with fried eggs and butter melting on top. Yum! The mixed sizzlers are equally mouthwatering and the service is great as well.
  12. 12. Park Street, Kolkata M O C A M B O A continental hub, Mocambo wears a classy English decor that replicated the 1956’s British era. The lighting and ambiance subdued that carried the lustre of the old British style. Deviled crabs, soups, steaks and fried fish with chips and mayonnaise. One may crave for simply boiled veggies and potatoes with bread to fill in your appetite. Mocambo, at the turning of the Park Street, serves bouquet of services right from a la carte to buffet lunch or dinner.
  13. 13. Eco Park, Kolkata T H E M I S H T I H U B Can you imagine that all of the sweet delicacies will be within your reach under a bevy of sweet shops from the renowned houses of K.C. Das, Bancharam, Gupta Brothers, Balaram Mullick, Ganguram Sweets, Nalin Chandra Das and others. Yes, Misti Hub of Eco Park is a combination of the traditional and modern taste of the dessert delicacies that satiate your taste buds with the most irresistible platter. The Mishti Hub has been built as a shop-in-shop concept where more than 10 famous sweet shops sell their iconic sweets, so that you can enjoy your favourite sweets under one roof. Located at the gate number 3 of the Eco Park, this is an MSME enterprise established by the Government of West Bengal to promote different types of sweets of Bengal. Dedicated to the iconic sweets from other parts of Bengal like Mihidana from Burdwan, Moya from Joynagar, Jalbhara from Chandannagore, and recently-GI tagged Rosogolla of K.C Das in Mishti Hub will drive you to the true essence of Bengal. For your sweet tooth
  14. 14. P A N I P U R I / P U C H K A Pani Puri or Golgappa is the fried familiar snack for the evening in Kolkata and the popular in the city of joy. So tempting that you will not leave gulping them one after the another. The phuchka is a crisp fried hollow ball made of flour or wholewheat, filled with assorted spices and potatoes, sometimes with tamarind water and a dash of sweet water. Sometimes it can be served dipped in yogurt (dahi), or mint water. Phuchka is that perfect combination of crispy, sweet and spicy that explodes in your mouth leaving a tantalizing aftertaste leaving you begging for more. The best places for the Phuchkas or the Golgappas are the make-shift stalls outside of the Victoria Memorial, Alipore, near the Vardaan Market, Salt Lake A.E Block, near tank No 4 crossing, 7 no Tank crossing, Hindustan Park, New Market, Ultadanga crossing, Lake Side, Lake Side, Max Mueller Bhawan, Southern Avenue, New Town, Rajarhat. Tickle your tastebuds with street food!
  15. 15. R O L L S J H A A L M U R I The Bengali Rolls made up of either egg, chicken, mutton, double egg chicken are the most popular street food to munch on. Wherever you go, you can grab a bite of the most crispy and flaky parathas wrapped with spicy chunks of chicken or mutton inside along with cucumber, onion, chilies and sauce. This can be found anywhere around the city but the most famous ones are the Rolls are from Zeeshan in Park Circus, Arsalan in Park Circus, Shiraz in Park Street, Nizam in New Market, Campari in Rash Behari and Jabbrr Afghani in Salt Lake City. The feeling of the crispy puffed rice mingled with chopped onions, nuts, chillies, tomatoes, coriander and a dash of assorted spices with tangy pickle tossed in a mustard oil will leave your tastebuds piquant. This can be the ideal break chewed in-between meals forms an appetiser. Try grabbing some Jhalmuri usually served in a folded newspaper packet, colloquially called ‘thong’ as you take a tram ride in the middle of the Maidan stretch will be so much fun!
  16. 16. The Party Scene Park Street, Kolkata S O M E P L A C E E L S E Another address for pulsating and palpable heartbeats have been in the heart of the town has brimmed up with the city’s best bands playing live music. Time to rock and roll at the lounge and effervescence tequila shots will render a good time whenever you drool with the music being played here. Kolkata is always about happening something around. Be it party or having a pint near the neighbourhood standalone resto-pubs, there is no inhibition to the party freaks when it comes to hopping out with drinking on the rocks or buzzing with loud noise. You have entered to the perfect party zone. The culturally rich City of Joy is enticing, inviting and vibrant among the party hoppers. Few nightclubs, pubs, resto-pubs, bars, have been listed below
  17. 17. Camac Street, Kolkata Park Street, Kolkata Park Street, Kolkata S H I S H A R E I N C A R N A T E D M B A R R O X Y Another Avatar of the town, Shisha Reincarnated has been known for thumping pop music, houses a hookah corner in the smoking arena. The drinks here are priced according to the demand, making it a truly unique bar in the city. Games and talented DJ’s keep the patron entertained. The crowd pulls in to the loud and lively music and keeps the merrymakers inebriated with the unbridled joy. MBar has a feel of an international gastropub which perfectly sets the mood for your party. Catering to the concept of gastropub, this is somewhat new to the city’s food and beverage escapades. The eco-friendly restaurant has been made with the liberal use of stone, raw wood and glass. The ambience has been heightened to the glittered LED and 100-seatings with high-seated stools and tables designed to elevate the mood of the party goers. Reflecting the interiors of the 60’s, Roxy bar is the ultimate nightclub of Park Street, famous for cocktails. It is a cave-like structure and offers a comfortable seating arrangement. The well-decked up interiors with groovy music keep you escalated, a perfect place for party hoppers. There’s this girls-night-out held every Thursday in a week. Indian and Chinese platter tickles the taste-buds accompanied with drinks.
  18. 18. Topsia Road (South), Kolkata T H E G R I D The connoisseur will always love to land up to the microbrewery tucked in the heart of the city, The GRID. The GRID is known for its tip-toeing taste-buds that renders ecstatic taste of the different flavours of beers around the world and has an award-winning interior. This pub has the continental platter that has been excelled to the exotic taste of crab meats, fresh poultry and meat variety from the different parts of the world.
  19. 19. Sector V, Kolkata Sector V, Kolkata JW Marriott Hotel Kolkata 1 0 D O W N I N G S T R E E T B A K S T A G E G O L D J W Located in Salt Lake Sector V, this pub has the elegant British styles and groovy music that upbeats any party goers but polite to the corporate employees on Tuesdays when they can add colours to their mundane life before it ends. A perfect place for Rock music lovers. This place is endearingly reflected back to the kind of 70s pub and with your gang, you would like to land up yourself with the music beats tapping your feet and guzzling down with cocktail pitchers Located at the basement of JW Marriott, this is a disco club that has the thriving crowd and the most happening place for a top-notch party hopper happening to explore the amazing dance floor, drink and food.
  20. 20. Cruise along the Hooghly river... At the pristine Belur Math facade, explore the Hooghly river that lashes out its shores, such is the view of the Hooghly that adds the divine ambience when you take a cruise ride from Belur Math to Botanical Garden. The cruise starts at 8 am in the morning that takes you from Millenium Park to Belur Math and then comes the Botanical Garden, the home of the Banyan trees and as assorted medicinal plants the largest of its kind in the East.
  21. 21. V I V A D A C R U I S E M A T S Y A K A N Y A Along the shores of the ghats this great River Ganges cruise grew since the time Job Charnock struck his anchor at Cossim Bazar to the second Hooghly Bridge, the river and its winding channels has woven itself around the lives of the city. There are 54 ghats (quays) that stores heritage of the city from the British era to the erstwhile Zamindari. This is the best way to explore the city through the riverine cruise. Some of the memorials, markets and monumental structure are located on both the banks of the river. Available for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this cruise offers both day and night ride. Ahalya or Matsyakanya as purportedly called is the unique golden mermaid boat that has the sculpted pillars and paintings studded with neon lights illuminating the lower and the upper deck. Crafted with wooden works this boat provides a luxury ride in any time of the year. It is available for booking all round the year on an hourly basis.
  22. 22. Gothic Architecture V I C T O R I A M E M O R I A L Undoubtedly, Victoria Memorial remains in every visitor’s bucket list whenever anyone wants to travel Kolkata. One of the finest structure ever built in the country has become an icon for the city of joy and also for the prominent architectural heritage they left back in the city during the reign of the British rule. The colossal memorial is dedicated to the Queen Victoria the “Empress of India” also the foremost structure of the British rule has the structure of the Indo- Saracenic architectural style was a brainchild of Lord Curzon, the then Viceroy of Kolkata. As you step into the beautiful well maintained grounds of the memorial hall through a gateway flanked by the large marble stone lions, you will notice the majestic statues in every direction, there is a large bronze statue of Queen Victoria seated on her throne in the foreground leading to the memorial structure, above it lies the statue of Motherhood, Learning and Prudence. The 16 feet high statue of the Angel of Victory weighs about 4.5 tons. The Angle of Victory with its slender figure, large wings and blowing bugle was made in Rome and stands on a mercury ball that allows it to rotate on its axis when the wind speed is high but this is however stopped as unequal weight distribution would put unnecessary loads on some parts.
  23. 23. S T . P A U L ’ S C A T H E D R A L C H U R C H Famous for its Christmas Midnight mass, St. Paul’s Cathedral is the most well-decorated church resembling of the Gothic architecture is thronged by many tourists and local visitors. The construction of this Gothic edifice began in 1839 and was completed sometime in 1847 at the southern edge of Maidan. The construction was patronised by Bishop Wilson, who is believed to have been buried in a vault under the Cathedral’s altar, though no sign of this vault exists today. St. Paul’s Cathedral is said to be the first Episcopal Church of the Orient. This Indo-Gothic Church is not only the religious site but also an architectural wonder. It took eight years to build the Cathedral which resembles England’s Norwich Cathedral. It has three stained glass windows and two frescoes in Florentine Renaissance style, an instance of the beautiful gothic revival has vertical piers and pointed arches. Designed by Major W.N. Forbes, it was rebuilt three times after the earthquake in 1897. This church has carved wooden chairs and benches and adorned in the true Gothic style, which was rebuilt in the lines of the Bell Harry Tower of Canterbury Cathedral.
  24. 24. P R I N C E P H A L L Princep Hall, the kaleidoscopic structure, has been one of the finest experience beholding the skies as the sun shines or sets, where the crimson hues paint the colossal Howrah bridge or the formerly called Vidyasagar Setu. Towering above the Princep Ghat, lies the majestic Gothic-embellished Princep Hall. Build by James Prinsep in the year 1841, after which the architecture has been named, the uniqueness of this hall and the bridge on its overhead makes the city special.
  25. 25. I N D I A N M U S E U M Thecity’sarchive,IndianMuseumhasbeenthelargestmultipurpose museum in India and in the Asia-Pacific region of the world. Known foritsGothicarchitecture,thisisoneoftheearliestmuseumfounded in 1814 and its growth and development have been accredited to Sir William Jones, who founded Asiatic Society and also devoted his life to the service of India. It was from the year of 1796 that the idea of Museum was conceived by the members of the Asiatic Society. It was later under the guidance of Dr. Nathaniel Wallich, a Danish Botanist that this museum was being curated to highlight the socio- cultural and scientific achievements of the country.
  26. 26. This charm of Kolkata cannot be similar to pouring old wine into a new bottle. Even though Uber or ZustGo or Ola have taken the main seat in the competition and a convenient mode of transportation, Yellow Taxi ride will just brighten up your mood as it falls so much in place with the city’s backdrop - a true essence of Kolkata. Hand-pulled rickshaws date back to the British colonial era. The end of the 19th century saw the splurge of the hand-pulled rickshaws of the British heritage. Y E L L O W T A X I H A N D - P U L L E D R I C K S H A W The old-world charm
  27. 27. These have remained an integral part of Kolkata’s socio-economic evolution for over 100 years. They are most commonly found in Terreti Bazar, Chandni Chawk, Esplanade, New Market area and a few scattered in the streets of North Kolkata. The Colonial treasure of the erstwhile British heritage tram ride is one of the most enjoyable experiences that you cannot afford to miss once you step in the city of Joy. The first tram rolled out on the tracks way back on February 28, 1873. The Heritage tour on tram starts from Esplanade Tram terminus and moves through Dalhousie Square, Chitpore Road, College Street and makes its way back to Esplanade. Tram timings are from 8:30 and to 11:30 am, all throughout the year. T R A M H E R I T A G E R I D E
  28. 28. Paradise for book lovers O X F O R D B O O K S T O R E C O L L E G E S T R E E T Lying at the heart of the city, where the happening evenings are mostly spent, Oxford Bookstores stands tall. Near the Park Hotel in Park Street, this place stores different books, novels, catalogues of various categories and sections. There is a cafe under the same roof, were you can have a sip of coffee and read your favourite book. College Street, also known as the Boi Para’ (book-mart) is lined with makeshift bookstalls on both sides of the road and is the largest second-hand book market in the world and the largest book market in India. This one of a kind book market draws a crowd from every corner of the globe - tourists and locals alike.
  29. 29. For the shopaholics: T H E S T R E E T M A R K E T S L U X U R Y S H O P P I N G Street shopping has its own charm. New Market, Esplanade has been the oldest shopping hub for all kinds of imported and Indian items. Be it gold, sarees, fabrics, confectioneries, spices et al, this erstwhile British heritage houses it all. Gariahat market is another address for street shopping which has some makeshift stores selling a fresh variety of vegetables, fruits, fishes, jewelleries and other clothing ensembles. When the big brands beckons you to shop for more, the options are located right in the heart of the city. Quest mall, South City and Central Mall stores some of the vibrant shopping malls which houses some of the luxurious brands to shop.
  30. 30. Temples across the city D A K S H I N E S W A R B E L U R M A T H Dakshineswar Kali Temple was constructed between 1847 and 1855 covering an area of about 25 acres by the queen of Janbazar, Rani Rasmani, the renowned. Being the largest temple and the most spiritual site, it had the famous spiritual guru, the priest Ramakrishna Paramhansa, who achieved this endeavour of his spiritual vision. The twelve Shivlings are located adjacent to the Ganga gives an impeccable view to Hooghly Belur Math. One of the breathtaking shrines along the shores of the Hooghly river, it stands as the perfect place and some serene moments confining to divinity. Founded by Swami Vivekananda, a great follower of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Sarada Devi, this stands the most enriching shrines comprising of the libraries, museums and religious assemblies.
  31. 31. K A L I G H A T B I R L A M A N D I R The Kali temple, one of the 51 Shakti Peethas of the Sati from times of the Hindu Mythology. This was a landing stage called Ghat dedicated to the goddess Kali on the banks of River Hooghly situated in the city. A 200 years old temple, initially built similar to a small hut, believed by the devotees, that the right finger of the toe or Dakhiyani of Mother Sati fell during the Lord Shiva Tandav. Birla Mandir is located on the main road of Ballygunge towards the Ballygunge Phari. Build by the industrialist Birla family, it is one of the attractions in Kolkata. Lakshmi and Narayana are the main deities and this entire temple has intricate works of imported marble stones.
  32. 32. The “New Town” in town! Kolkata has been declared as a potential smart city where New Town furnished the qualities of turning it into one. At the eastern fringes lies the fast-growing planned satellite city, New Town, situated partly in the North and South 24 Parganas of the district of West Bengal. New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) has been accredited to build New town in the Rajarhat area. Housing Industrial Development Corporation (HIDCO) has worked round the clock to develop and ornate the newly build-up city. Enabled with 10.5km of Wi-fi zone, this stretch connects from the Main Arterial Road to the airport and to Salt Lake Sector V, this forms an excellent and the first WiFi road connectivity. For this reason, this area has been declared as a green corridor. The newly-emerged IT hub has also been proposed as the new Silicon Valley of the city. This area has a plethora of IT parks, offices, residential apartments, stores, schools, hospitals and shopping malls. This area has been the enclosure to quite a few attractions like Biswa Bangla Gate, Mother Wax Museum, Biswa Bangla Convention Centre, Kolkata Central Mall, Nazrul Tirtha and Eco Park.
  33. 33. M O T H E R ’ S W A X M U S E U M , K O L K A T A Wanna feel the Madame Tussauds like experience? Mother’s Wax museum is the museum for the life-like sculpture made up of wax. Located bang opposite to the Eco Park, this museum has been designed picture perfect for all the visitors. From the fraternity of Bollywood, Hollywood, musicians, historical legends, this museum boasts of the famous personalities in the world. This is the perfect selfie zones to catch live of the favourite personalities.
  34. 34. K O L K A T A G A T E / B I S W A B A N G L A G A T E Biswa Bangla Gate, one of the marvel creations, located in New Town. A spectacular arch stretching from one arm to another span across both the sides of the wide street, interspersed with traffic on both the lanes. The construction, made up of 70 tons of steel has a hanging restaurant inside. Beamed up with lights the entire architecture will have a bird’s eye view from the terrace to the miles across the city. The height of this structure is 55 metres and forms a welcoming arch to the visitors in the city of joy.
  35. 35. B I S W A B A N G L A C O N V E N T I O N C E N T R E The largest convention centre in South Asia, Biswa Bangla Convention Centre (also the venue for NISC 2019) has been located at the eastern fringes of the city close to the International airport dedicated to the seminars, conferences, symposiums. This auditorium has been set to establish MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) has been the pioneer in the city with almost 32k seater auditorium developed by HIDCO.
  36. 36. If you have explored the city of joy and experienced the beauty, let us take you through some of the popular weekend destinations. A perfect getaway is always a treat to explore different places around. Under a canopy holds the lush green fields, the mysterious mangroves, the enchanting temples, the dramatic hills, the cascading landscapes, the historic citadels – an assortment of Beautiful Bengal. We have listed down some of the fascinating destinations from Kolkata you can visit over a weekend. Every page you turn captivates the essence of true Bengal, the real and natural ‘Bangla’ that tranquilizes your senses and beyond. Happy Exploring!
  37. 37. S U N D E R B A N S Sundarbans, the largest mangroves of the world, is one of the rich and diverse wetlands of the world. It lies on the arms of the Gangetic Delta, where the river Brahmaputra and Meghna confluences at the mouth of the Bay of Bengal. The Sundarbans deltaic area houses one of the largest mangrove forests in the world and has been declared as the World Heritage site in 1987 by UNESCO. It is a house of more than a lakh species - rare and endangered, a small island of tidal creeks and water isles of salt-tolerant mangrove forests and presents an excellent example of ongoing ecological processes. The area is known for its rich and varied fauna, including more than 280 species of birds, the Royal Bengal Tiger and the other endangered species such as the estuarine crocodile and Indian python. WORLD’S LARGEST MANGROVE FOREST Mangroves, tides and tigers, Arouses your undaunted spirit of adventures
  38. 38. M A Y A P U R A spiritual site, or the Kirtan Capital of Bengal, Mayapur Iskon is the birthplace of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who was born here 500 years ago. It is one of the nine islands of Nawadwip and is situated between the river Jhalungi and Ganges. Mayapur has numerous temples and samadhis (a kind of tomb in memory of) the Brahma Madhava Gaudiya Sampradaya, including ISKCON’S Chandrodaya Mandir which houses Sri Sri Radha Madhava, Sri Narasinghadeva, Sri Pancha Tattva, Srila Prabhupada’s Pushpa Samadhi and other samadhis of Iskcon. Here, Mahaprabhu is Radha-Krishna who appeared to teach and experience Bhakta. It was Sri Chaitanya who gave Bhakti both a national and international appeal. Mayapur has much of philosophy, surrounding practices that include literature not only found in orthodox Sanskrit but also in the local language- Tamil, Marathi, Bengali, Brijbhasi, Gujarati, and Mewari. THE HEADQUARTERS OF ISKCON Chants of Hare Krishna spreads along the Ganga, Here lies the divine shrine of Shri Krishna Chaitanya
  39. 39. R A I C H A K Off the banks on the Hooghly river lies a small town, Raichak, converted into a splurge of luxuries. A feast to the eyes to the beauty that reminisces every breath you take. Back in the 18th century, Raichak was captured and colonised by Dutch settlers has been turned into a travel spot which treats the scenic landscape into a heavenly abode. If you are a coastal lover you will vouch for this scenic getaway, just about three hours drive from the heart of the city that shall make your travel delightful. Raichak is a perfect getaway to submerge in the scenic mesmerised spurt of the Ganges. The irresistible taste of the assorted delicacies right from devouring into the fresh Hilsa served in a grand luncheon platter and fine dining relaxes your mood all through holidaying. Often during the brunch or in the day you may sip a flute of champagne, absorbing therhythmicsoundoftherivergushingrightacross-happytripping! EXPERIENCE THE RIVERSIDE IN LUXURY Imbibe the tranquility with exotic river ride, Witness the serene ambiance in the azure sky.
  40. 40. B I S H N U P U R The miles across, the enchanting Bishnupur stands gleefully amidst the lush green paddy fields, tiny rivers that cut across the landscape and the odd group of tribes dancing all along the road gives a picturesque portrait similar to that of the postcard. The prosperous Bishnupur, once the cultural capital of Bengal, is the dynasty of the Guptas and the Malla’s. It is rich in arts, architecture, crafts, music and textiles. Bishnupur, the cultural city of Bengal also retains its glory of terracotta temples, has a rich tale to tell. Over the four hundred years ago, these temples built between 17th and 18th-century displays resembling the diverse styles of architecture. Rasmancha, for example, made in the year 1600 AD by King Bir Hambir for the annual ‘ras’ festival, looks more like a baradari and less like a temple. Also known for its famous Baluchuri sarees, it is home to many terracotta artworks and temples located around. THE LAND OF TERRACOTTA TEMPLES Feed your eyes over the dusky terracotta architecture The intricate art stands beneath the scenic nature
  41. 41. S H A N T I N I K E T A N Shantiniketan was established by Marahshi Debendranath Tagore, and later was expanded by his son, Rabindranath Tagore with a visionofmakingitauniversitytown.In1901,Tagorestartedaschool at Shantiniketan that replicated ancient Gurukul system and later came to be known as the Patha Bhawan school. It was planneds in an open landscape that would be more enriching. Tagore received the Nobel Prize (1913) which not only made India proud but also the prestige of Shantiniketan has been highlighted. Shantiniketan dates back its origin to 1833, is widely known to be the veritable place for art and literature after its establishment as the pioneer seat of education and learning- Viswa Bharati University which later transformed from the school. Shantiniketan is also significant for fairs and festivals like Poush Mela (December), Joydev Mela (January), Basanta Utsav/Holi (March). TAGORE’S VISION OF A PLACE OF LEARNING Where the fearless mind epitomises art and culture, The folklore mesmerises winds to cheer.
  42. 42. M A N D A R M A N I Do you know what makes Mandarmani attractive and pleasing? The unfamiliarity and obscurity makes this seaside as the most relaxing and alluring for the visitors. The best aspect of Mandarmani is that it remainspleasantduringtheyears.However,thesummersarepretty hot and humid touching the mercury to about almost 36 degrees while the evenings are cool and breezy. Mandarmani, a pristine and a virgin seaside village resort along the coast of the Bay of Bengal in East Midnapur, almost 180 km and 4-5 hours drive from the heart of the city, is one of the fastest developing seasides of Bengal. The special attraction of the seaside is the red crabs crawling on the beaches and is the longest drivable beach in India. This is the low waves beaches of Digha and has the deposition with the formation of neo-dunes in some areas especially around Dadanpatrabar. THE SEASIDE RESORT VILLAGE Where the shores beckons you to relax and calm, The nature embraces you with charm.
  43. 43. A J O D H Y A H I L L S An extension of the Dalma Hills of Jharkhand, Ajodhya is situated in Purulia, surrounded by forests of sal, teak and mahua tree. A picturesque gateway encapsulating hills, dales, trees, lakes, river and azure skies, is a home to 16,000 tribal people. Known for Chhau mask or the mask of the colloquial art, this place is crowded with buffaloes bathing in the small fountains near the hills, brooks around the hills and tribals laying muds with handprints or colourful paintings on the walls in front of their huts. Goga Buru (2850 ft.) is the highest peak of Ajodhya Hills spans an area of 34, 514 acres of forest covering this hill is a house of various wild animals including leopards, elephants, deer and wolves. A SMALL PLATEAU IN PURULIA DISTRICT Grasp your view to the Purulia trails, The land of Chhau Nach where Ajodhya hails
  44. 44. G A U R Located on the Western banks of Ganga River in the Malda district, this city is considered to be one of the ancient residential places in West Bengal. The city’s magnificent architecture has now been reduced to ruins but the mystique nature of the citadel becomes the main attraction for the tourists at any time of the year. Gaur is believed to be discovered by Lord Lakshmana, brother of Lord Ram. The ancient Gaur owes its origin from Hindu Puranic texts and its history from the inscriptions that date back to 500 BC. During that period, Gaur and Pandua were under the Mauryan Empire. If you are into archeological studies and historical surveys, this place is a must visit as it has many architectural structures of historical importance. The monuments are now under the control of the Archaeological Survey of India. THE CAPITAL OF ANCIENT BENGAL Dotted the architecture with Mughal style Blazes the ruins of Bengal’s pride
  45. 45. K U R S E O N G The origin of Kurseong has a mystery, but its name originates from the stories that suggest the word Lepcha that connotes “The Land of White Orchid”. Driving almost 32 km South of Darjeeling, this place is a tiny and bustling hill town best known for its formidable league of tea-estates and a rush of Raj-era boarding schools that have extended. The small hill town as flanked by the hilly slopes and draped with manicured tea estates, this is also the southern terminus for the charming little toy-trains running in the mystique Darjeeling Himalayan Railways. The tea gardens that envelop Kurseong are Makaibari, Ambootia, Goomtee and Castleton all of which can be visited. Other places of interest or sight-seeing spots like Eagle’s Craig, Rock Garden, Deer Park, museum, temples can be best visited from this place. THE LAND OF WHITE ORCHID Flanked by hilly slopes, basked in sunny shades, As you look around, lies the manicured tea-estates
  46. 46. D A R J E E L I N G Darjeeling, the hill station of the North Bengal quintessentially reminds of the toy train and steaming hot cuppa. The mystic snow- clad peaks of Kanchenjunga boastfully speaks of the spectacular distance far off the lands- alluring you to come again and fall in love with the ‘Queen of the Hills’. The sliding toy train blows its whistle running along Ghoom railway station across the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. Ghoom Monastery houses a towering 15 feet high statue of the Maitreyi Buddha. The early mornings or the sunsets in the Tiger Hills will make you mesmerised over the scenic beauty. Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park fosters conservation to the endangered species of animals includes red pandas, snow leopards and the Tibetan wolf. Japanese Peace Pagoda, Mahakal temple, Darjeeling Mall, Chowrasta are some of the notable local attractions. QUEEN OF THE HILLS A toy train ride to the snowy peaks that feast your eyes, Devour through the tea estates that horizons your skies
  47. 47. S A N D A K P H U Sandakphu, a perfect getaway is especially known to be a destination for trekking. Being the highest peak in West Bengal, Sandakphu offers mesmerising views of the world’s tallest peaks. Four of the five highest peaks in the world, the Everest, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse and Makalu are visible well from this summit. Kanchenjunga can be best viewed from Sandakphu. The cluster of Kanchenjunga range which is visible from there is also known as the “Sleeping Buddha” due to its appearance. It is the perfect place for adventure lovers. From Bhutan till Mt. Everest, the long drawn River Teesta flows through Sandakphu, is a suitable place for river rafting- a perfect adventure for the travel enthusiast. Sandakphu stores the rare rhododendrons, silver fir forests and more than 600 varieties of orchids are found in this area. If you plan trekking to Sandakphu, you can start from Manebhanjan which will take 12 hours. THE LAND OF SLEEPING BUDDHA The gleams of rising sun kisses the peaks, Beneath the floating clouds the mist and the hue meets
  48. 48. C O O C H B E H A R The bygone era of the Raj dynasty takes you to the facade of the Rajbari or the palace of the Kings and the endless royal palaces that have innumerable stories to tell. Located in the foothills of Eastern Himalayas, this beautiful district boasts of the large green fields. The concept of the classical European style of Italian Renaissance takes you to the magnificent palace built by the famous Koch King Maharaja Nripendra Narayan in 1887. Cooch Behar palace has been modelled exactly as the Buckingham Palace of England. Flanked by a small elegant balcony, the centre of the Durbar Hall has more than 50 rooms halls of varied dimensions. On the pristine white architecture, the Madan Mohan Temple lies which is the only place of worship for the royal families. Besides these, Sagar Dighi, a large tank in the middle of the town has been surrounded by the colonial era buildings is worthy of mention. REMNANTS OF ROYAL HERITAGE The sprawling gardens of the grand Rajbari beautifies As you enter the royal palace the colonial feel relives
  49. 49. Hitched with Bengal and its beauty? The Bold Bengal feasts your eyes to the amazing scenic nature that ought to be in your travel diaries. The tryst with Bengal and the countryside is an everlasting affair. The thrill that you will derive while travelling in Bengal and the experiences that you gather around Kolkata will leave you simply mesmerized. The aftertaste will be as fascinating as you relive galore of experiences that you gather from here. Photo: Surendra Pradhan, Rajatabha Ray, Riddhi Mukherjee, Subhadeep Sengupta, Ambor Debnath, Sudipta Roy, Jhilik Dasgupta Content: Ria Banerjee, Iraban Chakraborty Design: Jhilik Dasgupta ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
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