We all need an escape from the chaotic life when we live in a big city like Kolkata. Kolkata is the first word that comes to our mind whenever anyone mentions West Bengal as it offers magnificent colonial architecture, art galleries, and cultural festivals. But West Bengal is a treasure-house filled with amazing places for people who love to travel. Kolkata is surrounded by a lot of beautiful places which deserves more recognition. So, here are the top five places to visit near Kolkata:
• Sundarban National Park
Sundarban National Park, around 100 km away from Kolkata, is the world’s biggest mangrove forest spread across 10,000 sq. km between India and Bangladesh. It is a tiger reserve and a biosphere reserve that protects the ‘Royal Bengal Tigers’ and other endangered species like Batagur Baska, King Crabs, Olive Ridley and Turtle amongst the fresh rivers and magnificent estuaries. Sundarban is a UNESCO world heritage site with a large variety of birds, flora, fauna, and reptiles including saltwater crocodile. The Nilkamalor Hiron Point and Katka viewpoints offer fantastic views of animals in the wilderness and you can also enjoy trekking in Chargheri Char.
• Babur Haat
Babur Haat is the perfect place to escape the chaos of the city and spend some time close to the rustic Bengali rural life. It is 51 km away from Kolkata. This nature paradise offers amazing fishing lakes which are responsible for some of tastiest fish in West Bengal. Huge rice farmlands, vegetable orchards, mango groves, palm groves, and ancient temples make this place even more beautiful. You can also go a picnic in the open grounds while enjoying the outdoor games like badminton, cricket, and football. You can also visit famous fish markets situated in Malancha village or enjoy country boating.
Bakkhali, located around 125 km away from Kolkata, is a treat for the tourists. It is one of the most beautiful secluded white sand beach in India. This seven km long beach is surrounded by casuarinas and gives you a chance to experience beautiful sunset and sunrise. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Bakkhali beach gives you a chance to retrospect in serenity. Spending time in one of the most peaceful beaches while enjoying long walks can be therapeutic. The Bishalakshmi temple at the end of the Bakkhali beach is worth a visit.
Barrackpore holds great historical significance as it was the first place where Britishers had set up their cantonment in India. Pristine temples like Tarkeshwar temple and Kali temple are also located in Barrackpore that will calm your soul by inviting positive vibes which makes it the perfect place for people who are interested in the history of West Bengal. Around 22 km away from Kolkata, Barrackpore is the home to some of the most amazing green parks which are perfect for short picnics. Mangal Pandey Park, Gandhi Museum, Bartholomew Cathedral, Gandhi Ghat, Jawaharkunja Garden are a few great places to visit here.
• Machranga Dweep
Machranga Dweep, also known as the Kingfisher Island, is just 75 km away from Kolkata. It is situated near the river Ichamati, with India on one side and Bangladesh on the other. Surrounded by beautiful trees, this little island is perfect for nature lovers, as they can a enjoy long walk through the green fields and observe the Bangladeshi rural settlement from a distance. You can go for a short picnic, enjoy boating or take a dive in the Ichamati river. The stunning view of the sunset and sunrise on the river Ichamati is hard to miss.