West Bengal is one of the oldest states in India with a ton of rich history, although it was referred to as the British Bengal Province before 1950. It is often said that innovations made in West Bengal took 5 years to be adapted throughout the rest of the country due to their rapid progress.
The state of West Bengal houses a vast array of historic institutions, museums, forts, and palaces, as well as birthed several celebrated poets, playwrights, and artists from every field. It is also the birthplace of many crusaders and freedom fighters who left a mark on not just the state but our beloved country. This beautiful and mystical state situated on the banks of the Ganges lies on the eastern side of the country, sharing borders with aesthetic destinations such as Bhutan, Nepal, and Bangladesh. With the diverse activities, short tours, cultural exploration, variety of festivals, and delightful treats to the taste palette, West Bengal weekend getaways have rightfully become one of the most preferred holidays for Indians as well as tourists from all around the world. The state of West Bengal extends across a large piece of land and it is ideal to plan your trip beforehand in order to make the most of your weekend getaway. We have a few suggestions that will make your West Bengal weekend trip a lot more fulfilling and enjoyable. So, let’s take a look.
SOTC provides a selection of tour packages that will help you cover the major attractions of West Bengal during your weekend vacations. These packages include several amenities including sightseeing trips in the region with a licensed guide so you can enjoy the offerings of the place to the fullest. Here are the packages to opt for on your West Bengal weekend trip:
How to reach West Bengal?
The state of West Bengal is one of the most connected regions in the country. You can travel to this place via any mode of transportation of your choice, depending on where you're travelling. Here are the top three choices that tourists usually use for their West Bengal weekend getaways:
When travelling to weekend destinations in West Bengal, people prefer air travel the most. The city of Kolkata houses one of the biggest and most esteemed airways establishments in the country of India, I.e., the Netaji Subash Chandra Bose International Airport. It is the most frequented point destination for people travelling from abroad and facilitates some of the biggest airlines. It also offers domestic flights to locations all over the country as well as to cities within the state limits.
It is much easier to take a flight from Kolkata International Airport to the best we can getaways in West Bengal, such as Bagdogra airport in Darjeeling, Kazi Nazrul Islam airport, Malda airport, and others. If you are travelling to hill stations or small village towns during your short breaks in West Bengal, you can find airlines from any location to the DumDum Kolkata International Airport and connecting flights from there to your vacation destination.
The second most popular mode of transportation for West Bengal weekend getaways is the railway service. The Howrah region of Kolkata in West Bengal houses one of the largest railway services in Asia. You can literally find trains leaving from big cities to remote towns or at least passing by them and heading to the Howrah railway station.
Some of the most demanded railway services are Duronto Express, Satabdi Express, Akal Takht Express, Kolkata Agra Cantt Express, and Garib Rath. These trains run to locations such as Uttarakhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and other major states as well as holiday destinations.
There are 36 arrivals and departures from the Kolkata railway station, which not only connects other states but also runs along intercity lines. What’s more, is, you can also find local trains running through the cities connecting the different regions. Therefore, if you are looking forward to checking out some remote villages or smaller towns on your weekend getaways in West Bengal, you can take the local train for an immersive experience on a budget.
Last but not least, the state of West Bengal is also well connected by Road. One of the oldest and largest roadways, called the Grand Trunk Road, runs almost through all parts of West Bengal. These broad open roads are ideal for intercity travel if you wish to visit remote locations during your West Bengal weekend trip or simply hire a car for a road trip to travel destinations.
Other important roadways are the National Highway, The State Highway, The Expressway, and the district roads. You can travel to Kolkata by Airways and take a road trip using any of these roadways to your vacation destination. If you so prefer, you can also choose to take the roadways to travel directly from your current location to your weekend getaway destination In West Bengal.
The ideal time for quick trips in West Bengal:
The ideal time for West Bengal short trips depends on the area or region of West Bengal where you plan on taking your short vacations. If you are travelling to hill stations, the ideal time is to visit between the months of March to June, preferably in April and May, when the weather is not as chilly due to the heat of summer. It'll allow you time to explore the scenic views in all their glory as well as partake in adventurous activities.
If you plan on taking a weekend trip to more populated cities or towns, you may want to visit during the fall or winter between the months of October to February. The seasonal changes are much more forgiving at these times when the heat is at its lowest, thus allowing you an opportunity to go out and explore the town as well as try the local cuisine.
If your short breaks in West Bengal involve weekend vacations or short tours of remote villages, try planning your trip either in the autumn season or in spring. This is simply because the villagers can be a little chilly during the winter due to the lack of crowds and pollution. It’ll offer you an opportunity to check out the renowned factories and historical areas and maybe even connect with a few locals on your West Bengal short trips.
Places to visit in West Bengal
Given the size and charms of the state of West Bengal, there are a number of places that you can visit during your weekend travels for a fun vacation with your friends and family. However, there are certain places that you simply cannot miss during your weekend getaways in West Bengal. They are as follows:
- Sunderban National Park
The places in detail:
- Darjeeling is one of the highest-rated tourist spots for people looking for weekend destinations near me. It features some of the best views of the Himalayan range, Victorian architecture, old railways, and exquisite tea plantations. You can travel around on toy trains or explore the region with a certified tour guide. They are bound to have an enhanced experience of adventure and serenity on this beautiful hillside.
- Siliguri is known as the gateway into North East India. It lies along the foothills of Darjeeling and connects West Bengal to several picturesque weekend vacations. The region is popular for its wide spread of Tea farms, wildlife sanctuaries, adventurous activities, hillside cuisines, Museums called mom, and shopping destinations to procure unique handcrafted products.
- If you prefer serene hill stations for your West Bengal week and getaways, you cannot go wrong with Kalimpong. This mystical location houses several Buddhist monasteries, temples, and even churches. You can indulge in a lot of nature walks along nurseries or explore the colonial arts in historic buildings.
- The capital city of West Bengal has a lot to offer, among the hustle and bustle. Kolkata is in Mecca for those who love history. There are numerous museums, planetariums, cultural escapes, temples, churches, nature preserves, wildlife sanctuaries, and tons of lifestyle choices for shopping and exploration.
- For thrill-seekers, the Sunderban National Park is amongst the best we can get away. Being surrounded by nature and sighting endangered species in the wild probably makes for the best West Bengal weekend trip.
- Midnapur is a land of monuments and ancient temples within a spectacular landscape of beaches, gardens, and parks.
- One of the prominent destinations in West Bengal, Bardhhaman, is the perfect location for those who love basking in the remnants of Mughal architecture and Bengali traditions.
- Lastly, in a perfect amalgamation of Bengali, Islamic, and Oriya styles, you can witness the Terra cotta temples of Bishnupur for a transcendent experience.
A polite conversation with the locals in these areas will also help you learn more about the history of this state.
The culinary charms of West Bengal:
West Bengal is a land of good food and exuberance. Therefore on your West Bengal weekend getaways, try these exquisite dishes that you cannot find elsewhere:
- Aloor Dom Luchi
- Shorshe Ilish
- Bhetki Machher Paturi
- Daab Chingri
- Kosha Mangsho
- Bengali Sweets
The most popular sweets of West Bengal are:
- Shukto - A treat for vegetarians, Shukto is a combination of potatoes, plantains, a variety of beans, and bitters, alongside dried lentil dumplings. It is mostly consumed during celebrations and as a must-have during festivals.
- Aloor Dom Luchi – Luchi is a variation of Puris that is enjoyed with a traditional combination of potatoes in onion and tomato gravy.
- Posto - a variety of dishes are created with poppy seeds called Posto and either vegetables or egg and fish. You can try popular dishes such as Aloo Posto, Aloo Jhinge Posto, Posto Bora, Dim Posto, and Rui Posto.
- Shorshe Ilish - it is a delectable dish made with Hilsa fish dipped in hot mustard gravy.
- Bhetki Machher Paturi - A delicious concoction of fish marinated in coconut and mustard paste and slow-cooked in a banana leaf.
- Daab Chingri – A unique dish made of jumbo prawns that are cooked in hot mustard gravy and so in the shell of tender coconut.
- Kosha Mangsho - Succulent pieces of mutton marinated in yoghurt and cooked with onions, tomatoes, herbs, and spices. It is a treat for on-vegetarians and a coveted dish for the locals.
- Bengali Sweets – Lastly, we are all familiar with the popularity of Bengali sweets. You cannot end your West Bengal weekend getaways without trying Rasagulla, Chamcham, Nolen Gurer Sondesh, and Mishti Doi.
Though you may find Bengali restaurants in your area or recipes on the internet, nothing can replicate the joy of tasting the culinary charms of West Bengal.
Shopping in West Bengal
Shopping ventures in the Bengali hub is just as unique as the charms of the state itself. When visiting this land of celebrations, check out the local markets at your weekend destinations in West Bengal to procure delightful items:
- College street
- Dakshinapan Shopping Center
- New Market
- Sunshine Market
- Hathibagan Market
- Bada Bazaar
- Darjeeling Mall.
Most famous shopping locations in West Bengal:
- If you are an avid reader, try the Oxford bookstore to acquire a wide selection of books. You can even find second-hand educational books in the area at College Street.
- A perfect destination to procure handicrafts and handloom is Dakshinapan Shopping Center.
- New Market is the perfect destination for bargain shopping, where you can find over 2000 shops selling almost every kind of apparel, especially traditional Bengali sarees.
- Speaking of apparel, try the unique collection of clothing and textiles at Sunshine Market.
- The Hathibagan Market is another shopping destination that boasts a collection of traditional cotton and silk sarees and happens to be one of the biggest marketplaces.
- Shop for everything from household goods, décor, jewellery, electronics, spices, toys, and cosmetics at this all-inclusive market called Bada Bazaar.
- On your vacation at weekend destinations in West Bengal, check out Darjeeling Mall for its selection of local tea stores, handicrafts, waxwork, homemade sweets and chocolates, spices, and exquisite wildflowers.
These shopping destinations are perfect for little memorabilia or for acquiring traditional objects and apparel to broaden your horizons from your West Bengal short trips.
There are innumerable shopping hubs all across the state of West Bengal, local food items found in specific regions, and places with divine views to remember for a lifetime. You are bound to have the time of your life in this extraordinary state that has so much to offer.