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The capital of West Bengal, Kolkata is the major entry point. Kolkata ranks as the intellectual capital. Poets, thinkers and film directors of international reknown hail from this city where avant garde plays and art exhibitions go on show practically every day of the year.

KOLKATA Grown from mangrove swamps, Kolkata is the largest metropolis in India. Kolkata's role in the national economy is of crucial importance as the Gateway to Eastern India.

PLACES OF INTEREST
Belur Math 16.5 km, Botanical Garden 19.2 km, Dakshineshwar Temple 20 km, Howarh Bridge 6.4 km, Jain Temple 9 km, Kali Temple 3.2 km, Marble Palace 6.8 km, Nakhoda Mosque 6 km, National Library 1.4 km, Rabindra Sarobar 4.2 km, Raj Bhavan 3 km, Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture 5 km, Sahid Minar (Ochterlony Monument), St.Paul's Cathedral, Victoria Memorial 0.5 km, Zoological Gardens 3 km.

EXCURSIONS
Digha Beach 185 kms, Santiniketan 213 kms, Bakkhali Beach 132 kms, Chandannagar 39 kms, Diamond Harbour 51 kms, Sundarban 131 kms, Tribani 48 kms, Gangasagar 140 kms, Malda 340 kms, Kalna 82 kms, Navadweep 110 kms, Mayapur 134 kms, Murshidabad 221 kms etc.

Vishnupur : 152 kms. Famous for the exquisite 17th & 18th century terracotta temples, Seat of classical music. The Stylised, "Bankura horse" symbolic of excellence in rural handicrafts is native to this district.
Belur Math (16 km) is a modern temple within the grounds of the Ramakrishna Mission. Dakshineshwar Temple (20 km) dedicated to Kali is built in the architectural style of Bengal. Botanical Gardens (8 km) cover 110 hectares and have a number of rare plants, including a 200 year old banyan tree. Murshidabad (221 km) centre of Bengal’s silk industry and the residence of the erstwhile nawab of Bengal. Shantiniketan (167km) now a university, founded by the Nobel literature laureate, Rabindranath Tagore.

SUNDERBANS
A thrilling cruise through the largest estuarine delta in the world and the biggest colony of the `Royal Bengal Tigers' - the Sundarbans. These evergreen mangrove forests pulsate with a myriad forms of life. Above the Kingfisher and White-bellied Sea eagle add a brilliant burst of colour. The sea creeps in at high tide. The forests float. The ebbing waters reveal nature so alive on the glistening mud flats. The land is split by numerous rivers and water channels all emptying into the Bay of Bengal. Venture further to discover a rich tribal folklore. It is believed that Bonbibi, the goddess of the forest, protects the wood-cutters, honey-collectors and fishermen on their hazardous missions. For, as the saying goes, `Here the Tiger is always watching you'.
Delta-forest home of the Royal Bengal Tiger.

JALDAPARA SANCTURARY
Jaldapara Wild Life Sanctuary situated in Alipurduar Sub-Division of Jalpaiguri district in West Bengal was constituted in the year of 1941 for the protection of wild life, particularly single horned Rhinos. River Torsha runs through this riverrain forest sanctuary which is mostly covered with tall grasses. The wild life, in addition to the famous single horned rhinos, consists of Royal Bengal Tigers, wild elephants, deers, swamp deers, hog deers, wild pigs, bisons and a number of birds, pea-fowl etc.

EXCURSIONS
Local excursions may be arranged to visit tea gardens to see the manufacturing of tea in the nearby tea gardens by prior arrangement with the authority.Anthropological excursion in nearby Tribal village, TOTOPARA, can be arranged.
Best season : October to May. (Particularly March & April, when new grass is growing). Top BAKKHALI The second popular sea resort of West Bengal is Bakkhali , situated only 132 km away from Kolkata , It is quiet and charming.

SHANTINIKETAN- An International University founded by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore where the cultures of the East & the West could meet and mingle. Named Vishva-Bharati, the University represents Indian traditions while incorporating the best of other cultures. Shantiniketan, the abode of peace, was initially an Ashram or hermitage founded in 1863 by Maharishi Devendranath Tagore. In 1901 his son, Rabindranath converted it into an experimental open-air school with just five students. It proved a success. He widened the scope of studies which gradually formed the nucleus of a University.

MUSEUM & ART GALLERIES Kala Bhavan, Bichitra (Rabindra Bhavan).
PARKS & GARDENS Deer Park : Near Sriniketan, 3 kms from Shantiniketan. Originally, the area was a fast eroding `Khowai'. It is now a large wooded area with herds of deer and makes a natural bird sanctuary. Uttarayan Gardens: University Campus.

EXCURSIONS
Fullora (40 kms), Nalhati (104 kms), Kankalitala (7 kms), Bakreshwar (58 kms): Nearest railway station Dubrajpur 12 kms. WBTDC Tourist Lodges & PWD Inspection Bungalows available
Massanjore (78 kms): Mayurakshi Bhavan, Youth Hostel available to stay there.
vv Kendubilwa (42 kms): Buses ply from Bolpur railway station. Buses also ply or Kenduli from Kolkata for tourists.
Nanoor (23 kms) : Birthplace of the Vaisnava poet,Chandidas (14th century). Buses ply from Bolpur railway station. Travelling time: one hour.
Tarapith (80 kms) : One can reach Tarapith firstly from Bolpur to Rampurhat by train or bus and then 5 kms by bus or cycle rickshaw. Ramkanai Dharamshala a number of hotels are there.

VISHNUPUR
Terracotta, metalware & temples characterise Vishnupur. The temples are built mostly of brick & at times, of laterite. Clay & laterite are the only building materials available here besides wood and bamboo. The architecture is modelled on the pattern of Bengali huts built of bamboo & mud and roofed with thatch.
Vishnupur will remain ever famous for its distinct style of music, i.e. the Vishnupur Gharana, if not anything else. The name of Jadu Bhatt, the music teacher to Rabindranath Tagore, is remembered with respect to this day.
A discerning visitor may find traces of the past splendour and glory thatwas Vishnupur in its superb temples and unique handicrafts.

PLACES OF INTEREST
Ras Mancha (3 kms), Dalmadal Cannon, Jor Bangla Temple (5 kms), Madan Mohan Temple (5 kms), Malleswar Temple (6 kms), Lalji Temple, Mrinmoyee Mandir (3 kms), Shyam Rai Temple (7 kms), Malla King's Fort (3.5 kms), Jogesh Chandra Pura Kirti Bhavan Museum (Timmings 1000 to 1200 & 1400 to 1800 hours).

EXCURSIONS
Jairambati & Kamarpukur: 43 kms and 48 kms respectively. These two places are associated with Shri Ramakrishna and his consort Shri Maa Sarada. Ruins of the historic Garh Mandaran fort are a few kilometres from Kamarpukur.
Mukutmanipur: 82 kms. A dam has been constructed across the rivers Kangsabati and Kumari. A picturesque spot for a quiet holiday.
Bahulara: 25 kms. The Siddheswar Shiva Temple of Bahulara is well known for its unique architectural style and exquisite ornamentation of the temple walls. The Shaileswar Temple of Dihar, 8 kms from Vishnupur, is also an old temple.
Panchmura: 21 kms. Famous for the terracota Bankura Horse, a folk artefact and now the national symbol for Indian handicrafts.
Susunia Hills: 50 kms. The famous rock inscription of Chandavarma can be seen on the walls of a cave and dates back to the 4th century AD. Susunia is connected to Bankura town by bus. Delightful holiday resort in winter. Also, a centre for rock climbing & trekking.

DARJEELING -
Darjeeling is nestied in a setting of Kanchenjunga and Mount Everest, Tibetan Monasteries, Himalayan Tribal Life, Pine Trees etc. Which make her qualify as the queen of the hill stations.
PLACES OF INTEREST
Tiger Hill- 11 kms. 8482 ft./2590 mtrs; Ghoom Monastery- 8 kms; Batasia Loop- 5 kms; Himalayan Mountaineering
Institute- 2 kms. 0830-1300 & 1400-1630 hours; Himalayan Zoological Park; Darjeeling Rangeet Valley Passenger
Ropeway- 8 kmslong ropeway. Fare: Rs.25 return journey; Tibetan Refugees Centre; Lebong Race Course; Natural History
Museum- 1000-1600 hrs; Happy Valley Tea Estate- 3 kms; Lloyds Botanical Garden- 0600-1700 hours; Observatory Hill;
Dhirdham Temple; Senchal Lake- 10 kms.

EXCURSIONS
1. Sandakphu: 58 kms. Jeepable Road. Tourist can reach by jeep or by landover.
2. Tonglu: 10074 feet or 2070 metres.
3. Phalut: 3600 metres.

Warden,Youth Hostel,Darjeeling organises regular Trekking Tours during season.
GENERAL INFORMATION:
Altitude : 2134 Metres.
Climate (deg C) : Summer- Max. 14.9, Min. 8.6; Winter- Max. 6.11, Min. 1.50.
Best Season : April to middle June and September to November.
Clothing : Summer- Light Woollens & Tropicals; Winter- Heavy Woollens.

SAGARDWIP (SAGAR ISLAND)
Gangasagar Mela, the largest fair in west Bengal held near the confluence of the Ganga and the Bay of Bengal ,draws millions of piligrams from all over India. They come for a holy dip on Makar Sankranti(last day of the Bengali Month) Negha -Mid January )and after their obligations at the Kapilmuni Temple nearby.

Transport
From Kolkata to Namkhana by bus (105)kms.Namkhana to Chemaguri by launch across the river Muriganga from Chamaguri to Gangasagar by bus (10kms.) One may cross the Muriganga from Herwood Point (lot no. 8) near Kakdip to Kaachubrie also.Kakdwip is 85 kms. from lot No. ',to Kachuberia and bus service from Kechuberia to Gangasagar(30kms)

PLASSEY
A place of great historical importance. Here in the year 1757 a battle was fought between the British and the last Nawab of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. Clive the British Chief defeated Nawab - Siraj-ud-daula by unfairmeans. Siraj-ud-dula was killed and Mirzaffar became the Nawab. The historic battle field is till preserved. A memorial was erected by Lord Curzon at the mango groves where the actual battle took place.

KURSEONG
Situated at an altitude of 2458 metres (4860 feet), Kurseong is 51 kms from Shiliguri and 30 kms from Darjeeling. The word Kurseong means the place of White Orchid. Beacause of its lower elevation, Kurseong enjoys a milder and very healthy climate throughout the year.
Because of its lower elevation, Kurseong enjoys a milder and very healthy climate throughout the year.

PLACES OF INTEREST Eagle's Crag- 1 km; Deer Park- 4 kms; Forest Museum; Giddhapahar Mandir- 2 km; Ambotika Shiv Mandir- 5 kms; Makaibari Tea Estate-4 kms; St.Mary's Hill- 4 km; Dowhill; Baggaura; Chimney; Kettle Valley Picnic Spot; Namsu; Netaji Kothi.

KALIMPONG
Just 51 kms east of Darjeeling is the picturesque town of Kalimpong, the former headquarters of the Bhutanese Governor. Situited at an altitude of 1250 metres between the Deolo and Durbindra Hills, Kalimpong is an ideal place for a quiet holiday amidst gently rolling hills and deep valleys at the foot of the mighty Himalayas.
PLACES OF INTEREST Durpin Dara; Flower Nurseries (Shri Ganeshmoni Pradhan Nursery, Standari Nursary, Shri L.B.Pradhan Nursary etc.); Gouripur House- 2 kms; Swiss Welfare Dairy- 4 kms; Tibetan Monastery.

DURGAPUR
Durgapur projects an image of an industrialised India. It is the third integrated steel plant of Hindustan Steel Limited and occupies an area of 6.47 sq. kms. Founded under the Colombo Plan Mission which visited India in April, 1955, the plant has been instrumental in changing the rural face of Durgapur into a vast industrial complex comprising public and private sectors.
PLACES OF INTEREST (Distances are from the railway station) Alloy Steel Project (10 kms), Mining and Allied Machinery Corporation (6 kms), Durgapur Coke Ovens Project Limited (6 kms), A.V.B. (6 kms), Durgapur Barrage (3 kms), Durgapur Steel Plant (10 kms), Philips Carbon Black & Sankey Wheels. Note: Permits (nontransferable) are issued only on a visit in person to the Public Relations Office.Visiting Hours: 1030 to 1230 hours and 1430 to 1630 hours on weekdays and 0930 to 1215 hours on Saturday. Tel: PABX 483, 732. PARKS AND GARDENS Park in `A' Zone and Bel Park in `B' Zone, Steel Township.

EXCURSIONS
Asansol: 42 kms. Connected with Durgapur by train and bus.
Chittranjan: 77 kms. Connected with Durgapur by train and bus.
Jaidev: 22 kms. The birthplace of the famous Bengali Vaishnava poet Jaidev. Regular bus service available upto Ajoy river from where the river can be corssed on foot. Ferry service across the river is available during the monsoons. A fair is held during the first half of January which lasts from 10 to 15 days.
Shantiniketan: 61 kms. International University Founded by Rabindranath Tagore
Vishnupur: 72 kms. Ancient-city reputed for temples and terracotta sculpture.

DIGHA
Beach-on-the-bay of West Bengal, Digha, has the whispery, languid, soft-focus, charm which is so graciously bengali : sighing casuarinas, ponies nodding on the beach, prolonged meals in the flavoursome sweet-&-salt idiom of the state and timeless days and nights of nothing to do but unwind and find yourself.