A state in eastern India, between the Himalayas and the Bay of Bengal.
After the partition of Bangladesh, the Western part of Bengal Remained in India and is still Called West Bengal and is now divided into 23 districts.
This beautiful state is jewelled with a number of attractions to lure tourists to this state every year.
From snow-capped mountains, hill stations, to temples for the devotees and beaches for the nature lovers, this state has it all.
Tea gardens, national parks and lush green forests steel the attention of most people around the world.
Hop on the next flight and explore the wildlife and tribal and modern mixture in this state, while enjoying the juiciest Rasgullas from the capital state.
History of West Bengal
When India gained independence in 1947, Bengal was partitioned along religious lines.
The western part went to the Dominion of India and was named West Bengal.
The eastern part went to the Dominion of Pakistan as a province called East Bengal (later renamed East Pakistan in 1956), becoming the independent nation of Bangladesh in 1971.
Refugee resettlement and related issues continued to play a significant role in the politics and socio-economic condition of the state.
The state’s economic recovery gathered momentum after the central government introduced economic liberalisations in the mid-1990s.
This was aided by the advent of information technology and IT-enabled services.
The state has shown improvement regarding bandhs (strikes) and educational infrastructure.
Significant strides have been made in reducing unemployment, though the state suffers from substandard healthcare services, poor infrastructure, unemployment, and civil violence.
Popular Languages of West Bengal
Interestingly Hindi is the most spoken and common language in West Bengal and the secondary language spoken by the natives is Bengali.
Capital of West Bengal
The Capital of West Bengal is Kolkata (Calcutta).
Chief Minister of West Bengal
Mamata Banerjee who is serving as the 8th and current Chief Minister of West Bengal since 2011 being the first woman to hold the office.
Governor of West Bengal
Jagdeep Dhankhar is an Indian politician who belongs to the
Bharatiya Janata Party.
High Court of West Bengal
Address: Esplanade Row W, B.B.D. Bagh, Kolkata
Map of West Bengal:
West Bengal Tourism
Tourism in West Bengal refers to West Bengal’s tourism. West Bengal is a state in the eastern region of India and is the nation’s fourth-most populous.
West Bengal, located on the eastern bottleneck of India stretching from the Himalayas in the north to the Bay of Bengal in the south, presents some of the marvellous landscape features and natural scenic beauty.
Some of India’s most preferred travel destinations like; the Darjeeling Himalayan hill region in the northern extreme of the state.
Unlike many north Indian cities, whose construction stresses minimalism, the layout of much of the architectural variety in Kolkata owes its origins to European styles and tastes imported by the British.
Currently, Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan is the brand ambassador of West Bengal Tourism.
Best Time To Visit West Bengal:
West Bengal is best visited between October and March which is the winter season in the state so you can visit the beaches and hill stations. Summers are scorching, and it is best to avoid any trip during this time.
Best 50 Places To Visit in West Bengal:
This place is the ‘cultural capital of India’ and also the home to Mother Teresa, British Colonial Architectural monuments and galleries, worth your trip.
Known best for its tea plantations, cold weather, Himalayan views and Toy-Train. Darjeeling is an exciting hill station influenced for its culture and crafts.
Sundarban is a reserve for tigers, surrounded by huge forests and the biggest mangroves in the world providing the best estuaries.
Siliguri, also known as the Gateway of North East India, is a city in North Bengal famous for its temples and tea gardens.
East Indian hill town is known for its Monasteries and Deolo Park. Bengal is renowned for its panoramic valley views, Buddhists monasteries and churches and Tibetan handicrafts etc.
From boating experiences for your romantic getaway to temples for the faithful to orchids and gardens for nature’s child, West Bengal tourism is incomplete without Mirik.
Beach town situated on the shores of Bay of Bengal, Digha is a popular tourist destination known for its pristine beaches and scenic views, especially among people in West Bengal.
Starting from river Teesta in the East to river Sankoshi in the west, Dooars is a local name given to the floodplains of North-East India around Bhutan.
From the Nawabs of the pre-British era to the Lords from England, Murshidabad has seen history from its core and is the place for history lovers.
Also known as the ‘Land of White Orchids’, Kurseong is a hill station located close to Darjeeling famous for its waterfalls, temples and Buddhist gompas apart from the excellent view that the place provides.
With almost 200 temples concentrated in this small rural setting, on the banks of Ganges, Navadvipa is God’s own land, in every sense of the term.
Often touted as the Steel Capital of East India, Durgapur is the embodiment of the quintessential Bengali town.
Often considered as a mere river port assisting Kolkata, Haldia has more to offer to India than just foreign trade.
Known to few, mainly as Rabindranath Tagore’s home and now a university, Santiniketan is a small town located in the Birbhum district of West Bengal.
Located only 50 km away from Kolkata and yet a world apart, Raichak, is a riverside town and is nothing short of a breath of fresh air in its urban and commercialized surrounding.
If you wish to have the perfect beach getaway that doesn’t include ear ripping music or just alcohol-laden evenings, Bakkhali is the place to be.
Located on the outskirts of a National Park itself, Lataguri is the perfect place to set free the wild child in you.
With much historical significance, Bankura is a town famous for its hills and temples and a treat for adventure sports enthusiasts such as trekkers and hikers.
A small town in West Bengal famous for its terracotta temples, Bishnupur is famous among tourists, especially for its rich culture including architecture, music and handicraft.
Cooch Behar, once the province of Koch dynasty, is a small town and it makes a good option for the eco-tourists along with those with an inclination toward history and archaeology.
Located about 120 km from Siliguri, Lava and Lolegaon is merely 25 km apart. These two pristine villages offer beautiful snow-capped mountains and ancient Buddhist monasteries, among their many enthralling sites.
With a convergence of religion, nature, man-made marvels and the proverbial old world charm, Bardhaman is the ideal fit for a weekend getaway.
A popular weekend getaway for Kolkata locals, Mukutmanipur is a serene town with lush green forests, clear blue water and green hills in the backdrop.
Malda, a city in Bengal, is famous for its archaeological sites and unique Mango varieties available in summer.
Known for its scenic beauty, the one thing that gives Shankarpur an edge over other beaches of India is its pristine surroundings.
Standing at the junction of river Ganga and Jalangi, Mayapur is a laidback city with lovely views and plenty of temples, making it ideal for multitudes of teams.
Tarapith is a famous Hindu pilgrimage in the state of West Bengal and a Shakti Peetha, believed to be the place where the eyes of Sati fell.
The westernmost district in the state of West Bengal, Purulia is a beautiful destination blessed with mesmerizing natural beauty with lakes, hills and greenery all around.
The largest district of North Bengal, Jalpaiguri is bounded by Bhutan in the North and Bangladesh in the South. It is a famous tourist place particularly known for the number of tea gardens, rice farms and heavy downpour.
Jaldhaka is a valley town hidden in the hills of Darjeeling. The place is one of those that will combine the beauty of a relaxation trip with the thrill of an adventure getaway.
Wrapped in the interiors of West Bengal, in the Hooghly District, is the small yet significant town of Chandan Nagar.
This small town could have been in the place of present-day Kolkata, had history gone as planned.
In the interiors of West Bengal is yet another treasure- Midnapore town or Medinipur, as it is locally known. Midnapore combines the beauty of India’s multi religion culture with the exuberance of ancient history.
33. Ganga Sagar
Sagardwip is a small island, a part of the Sundarbans group of islands. Sagardwip is at the confluence of the holy river Ganga (Ganges) and the Bay of Bengal, making it one of the most popular religious havens of the country.
Known largely for being adjacent to Buxa Tiger Reserve, Rajabhatkawa has more to offer than just this. In addition to the Tiger Reserve, it has some beautiful ancient temples, nature centres and much more.
Howrah often referred to as the doorway to or the twin city of Kolkata, is a bustling yet appealing town located on the western bank of the mesmerising River Hooghly flowing through West Bengal.
The interesting amalgamation of its traditions, history and present keeps it going.
Asansol is the second biggest city in West Bengal, after Kolkata. It is also one of the busiest commercial centres of India and the most populated city in West Bengal. It is located approximately 200 km from Kolkata, West Bengal’s capital.
Bagdogra is a small hill station town resting at the foothills of the Himalayas, in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal. It is often regarded as the gateway town to North-East India and the Himalayas.
Sprawling over forty acres of land on the west bank of the Hooghly River, Belur; the Belur Math in Kolkata is a place of pilgrimage and also the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission. People from all over the world, irrespective of the religion that they believe in, visit the temple to enjoy the tranquillity and serenity that it imbues.
Mandarmani is a small and upcoming beach resort town near Kolkata. Due to its top-notch facilities and luxuries, it has a tremendous potential of becoming a world-class destination.
With great scenery, sandy beaches and an amazing aura of luxury about itself, Mandarmani is a great place to be away from the hustle-bustle of daily life.
Rishyap is a quaint, romantic village located in the pristine Neora Valley, it is essentially a picturesque hill station situated just 4 km uphill of Lava.
Although there are paved roads, it is recommended that you trek upwards as the roads, currently, aren’t strong enough for cars. A stay in this village allows you to take random strolls around its beautiful market.
Sandakphu Peak (11,941 Feet) is the highest peak in West Bengal. The highest peak of Singalila Ridge in Darjeeling district, almost near the border of Nepal, it is located very close to Singalila National Park.
A popular picnic spot for travellers, Surulia has been developed by the forest department and is popular amongst eco-tourists.
Tajpur is a small town set on the tranquil shore of the Bay of Bengal, just 170 km from Kolkata. Considered to be a serene secret of West Bengal, the virgin beach is hidden away from view and is still untouched by commercialization and tourism.
At a distance of about 32 km from Darjeeling, Tinchuley is an offbeat hamlet situated close to the West Bengal-Sikkim border.
The name of the place derives from the words ‘tin’ and ‘Chula’, which translates as ‘three ovens’ because the trio of hills constituting the hill station resembles mud ovens.
Jhargram is a small city located in the state of West Bengal with a rich historical and cultural background. Surrounded by dense forests this place is mystical.
Barrackpore was the first place where Britishers set up their cantonment. This place is of great historical significance and is also home to some of the most mesmerizing and green parks which are perfect to spend some time lazing around and relaxing.
Babur Haat is the perfect weekend destination for you and your loved ones if you do wish to take a break from the hectic city life and spend some time close to rustic Bengali rural life.
Tiger Hill is most famous for its splendid sights of sunrise from where you can see the peaks of Kanchenjunga illuminate before the sun is seen at lower elevations.
Located in the mesmerising hill station of Darjeeling, the Nightingale Park is a public park area frequented by the tourists and locals to relish gorgeous views of the Kanchenjunga ranges.
This sea beach adorned with casuarina groves, accompanied by the rhythmic sound of sea waves and gentle breeze form a breathtaking experience.
Famous & Important National Parks & Wildlife Sanctuaries:
1.Sundarban National Park
Sundarban comprises 54 islands with mangrove forests containing endangered animals and birds like the Bengal tiger, Saltwater crocodile, dolphins, turtles, etc.
2.Jaldapara National Park
This national park is mainly for one-horned Rhinos and elephants located on the banks of Torsa river containing the rarest birds and reptiles.
3.Gorumara National Park
This park contains snakes like King Cobras and Pythons, also, deers, sloth bears and elephants.
4.Neora Valley National Park
A paradise for nature lovers and trekkers, the Neora Valley National Park in Kalimpong, the park is home to several endangered species like Leopards, Red Pandas, and Musk Deer.
5.Singalia National Park
One of the popular national parks in the Indian Himalayan region is also an abode of several wild orchids including the poisonous Himalayan Cobra Lilies.
The most commonly sighted mammals include the Leopard Cat, Barking Deer and Pangolin.
6.Buxa Tiger Reserve
It encompasses as many as eight forest types and houses some of the rare species of animals and birds like Tigers, Asian Elephants, Leopard Cats, Bengal Floricans, Regal Pythons, Hispid Hares, Hog Deer, Slender-billed Vultures, Great Hornbills and many more.
7.Lothian Island Wild Sanctuary
Lothian Island Wildlife Sanctuary is spread over 38 sq.km. and is home to Estuarine Crocodiles, Olive Ridley Sea Turtles, Spotted Deer, Jungle Cats and Rhesus Macaque.
8.Sajnekhali Wildlife Sanctuary
The Sajnekhali Wildlife Sanctuary mainly comprises mangrove forests and houses a rich population of animals, birds, fish and amphibians.
9.Haliday Island Wildlife Sanctuary
It is one of the smallest wildlife sanctuaries in India that is located in the Deltaic region of West Bengal. It mainly comprises Wild Boar, Barking Deer, Spotted Deer and Monkeys.
10.Ramnabagan Wildlife Sanctuary
Home to Spotted Deer, Common Langurs and Black Bucks, the Ramnabagan Wildlife Sanctuary in Burdwan district is fast emerging as one of the prominent weekend getaways for several wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers.
11.Rasikbil Bird Sanctuary
Rasikbil Bird Sanctuary houses several species of birds including Cormorants, Storks, Ibis, Spoonbill, Kingfisher, Parrots and many more for bird lovers.
12.Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary
One of the oldest wildlife sanctuaries in India that are located in the Darjeeling district.
The sanctuary is home to many common animal species like Rhesus Monkey, Assam Macaque, Himalayan Flying Squirrel, Barking Deer, Leopard, Jungle cat and Himalayan Black Bear.
West Bengal Is Famous For:
- Theatre – West Bengal has a long-standing tradition of folk drama known as Jatra.
- Fine Arts – Bengal is credited to be the forerunner of modern contemporary art with famous artists like Abanindranath Tagore, Gaganendranath Tagore, Jamini Roy, Rabindranath Tagore being among the forefront to promote modernization of art in the country.
- Music and Dance – Baul singing is perhaps the most famous of all the traditional singing of the yore. Traditional dance forms like Chau originated in the state of West Bengal, where people wear huge colourful masks and dance.
- Food – Roti, Vegetables with thick curry, fish, egg and meat from staples of everyday life. The sweets of West Bengal are also very famous with the majority of them being made of milk and its subsidiaries. The most famous are Rasogolla, Sandesh, ras malai, homemade pitha, etc.
- Dressing – Bengali women traditionally wear a sari, draping the ‘pallu’ in a special manner that is exclusive to the state of West Bengal. The men used to wear dhoti kurtas in olden times but now do so only during some special occasions like during festivals or marriages.
Fairs & Festivals of West Bengal:
Kali Puja was practically unknown before the 18th century, however, a late 17th-century devotional text Kalika mangalkavya by Balram mentions an annual festival dedicated to Kali.
Durga Puja is the most important Hindu festival of the Bengalis. This festival is celebrated in the month of October.
Holi is known by the name of “Dol Jatra”, “Dol Purnima” or the “Swing Festival”. The festival is celebrated in a dignified manner by placing the icons of Krishna and Radha.
The Chhath Puja is performed in order to thank Surya for sustaining life on earth and to request the granting of certain wishes.
The freshly harvested paddy along with the date palm syrup in the form of Khejurer Gur and Patali named after a month in Bengali.
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