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Exploring East India: West Bengal

Exploring East India: West Bengal

When the average Indian hears the term ‘Bengal’, they immediately associate it with a list of words and phrases. It seems as if their mental image West Bengal involves an old Kolkata street where a man sells fish. But West Bengal is lot more than that. This blog is all about exploring our east India: West Bengal.

In this blog, you will know about the best places to visit in West Bengal, famous sweet dishes which you can try and the famous festivals of West Bengal. If you are planning to visit West Bengal or if you love to learn about the culture of different places, then this blog would be very useful for you.

Places To Visit

Exploring East India: West Bengal
Places To Visit

1. Kolkata

It is the second largest city in India after Mumbai and is the capital of the eastern state of West Bengal.

  • Howrah bridge: It is also known as Rabindra Setu. It is one of the most remarkable landmarks of Kolkata. This bridge is built over the Hooghly river. It is a cantilever bridge. This bridge is 950 meters long.
  • Botanical garden: Also known as the Acharya Jagdish Chandra Bose Botanical Garden. This garden is spread on a total area of 270 acres. Many beautiful and multicolor flowers are present here. The trees present in this garden are more than a hundred years old. This garden is heaven for a nature lover. This is a must-visit if you are in Kolkata. The park is closed on Monday and has an entry fee of Rs.10 and foreign national Rs.100.
  • Fort William: Built-in 1696. This fort is named after William 3, the king of England (r.1689-1702). It is located on the eastern bank of the Hooghly river. It is an octagonal structure that extends over an area of 70 acres. Its three sides face the river, and the rest five faces the city. Timings to visit this fort are 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM.
  • Victoria Memorial: One of the most beautiful architectures of West Bengal. This structure was built in the memory of Queen Victoria, the Empress of British India at the time of her demise, by Lord Curzon. The building has 25 galleries and showcases coins, artwork, and memorabilia of British rule.
  • St Paul’s Cathedral: Located near Victoria Memorial lies the magnificent St. Paul’s Cathedral, the first cathedral built overseas by the British Empire. With its breathtaking Gothic architecture, exquisite stained glass windows, and manicured lawns, this church is a visual treat for all visitors.

2. Darjeeling

This destination is a paradise for mountain lovers. This mesmerizing city is located in the eastern range of the Himalayas. It is 6700ft. above sea level. Darjeeling is famous for its tea industry.

  • Toy Train: This is one of the most joyous activities you can do in Darjeeling. The train runs over the route between Darjeeling and Ghum and provides a round trip. This train can operate on both steam and diesel engines. The way from which the train passes by is true bliss. It gives such a fascinating view which is hard to forget.
  • Japanese Peace Pagoda: It is the tallest free-standing structure in Darjeeling. The Pagoda, built by M Okha, is a symbol of world peace and showcases the four avatars of Buddha. There are also some incarnation of Buddha on the wall.

3. Siliguri

It is located in the foothills of the eastern Himalayas and by the end of the Mahananda river. It is the largest city in the region and the second-largest city in West Bengal after Kolkata. Known as the ‘gateway to the northeast, much of the traffic that passes through the city goes towards Sikkim and the seven sisters. Siliguri is also a major educational and commercial hub.

  • Salugara Monastery: Located merely 6Km from the city near the army camp of Salugara, the Salugara Monastery is a major tourist attraction here. This Tibetian monastery houses the Great International Tashi Gomang Stupa, a 100-ft-tall stupa containing critical Buddhist relics.
  • Hong Kong Market: Located on Hill Cart Road, this flea market is an excellent place for shopping enthusiasts.

4. Durgapur

It is situated on the banks of the Damodar River. Also, Durgapur is known for its looming steel plants and chemical and engineering industries. Over the year, excavation carried around these parts has yielded hunting implements, chisels, and stone seals, indicating that present-day Durgapur was home to prehistoric and later civilizations dating back to 5000BCE. 

  • Kumar Mangalam Park: Named after Surendra Mohan Kumarmangalam, the first steel minister of India, this sprawling park greets visitors with an awe-inspiring sculpture of Lord Ganesha. The park makes for a perfect day out with lush green expanses, immaculately kept gardens, a tranquil lake, and meandering paths.
  • Benachity: No trip to Durgapur is complete without a stroll down to Benachity, the historical commercial quarter of the city. It is the most visited place in Durgapur. So next time you visit Durgapur, remember to give this a look.

Sweet Dishes To Try

Sweet Dishes To Try
Sweet Dishes To Try

A trip to Bengal is incomplete without tasting the local food. West Bengal is famous for its variety of sweet dishes. There are undoubtedly numerous sweets on the Bengal menu. Let’s have a look on the famous one’s.

  1. Roshogulla: These are spongy round dishes dipped in sugar syrup. It is the most famous sweet dish of West Bengal.
  2. Misti Doi: It is a very popular dessert throughout the country. This is generally sweet yogurt. It tastes good and also helps in digestion.
  3. Raj bhog: One of the most famous sweet dishes all over India. These are yellow-color spongy balls with dry fruits filling.

Festivals Of West Bengal

Festivals Of West Bengal
Festivals Of West Bengal
  1. Durga Puja: Celebrated in September or October, the Durga puja occupies center stage in the socio-cultural life of Bengalis. The festival marks the victory of Goddes Durga over the powerful buffalo demon Mahishasura, epitomizing the triumph of good over evil. This is one of the major festival of West Bengal.
  2. Saraswati Puja: Dedicated to Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of learning, music, and the arts. This festival falls during Basant Panchami (Spring Festival) in January or February.
  3. Poila Baisakh: The Bengali New Year, or Naba Barsha, starts from the first day of the month of Baisakh, which falls on 14 April according to the gregorian calendar. The day is of great religious and socio-cultural significance to Bengalis, with people traditionally greeting their near and dear ones with “Shubo Nabobarsho,” which means “Happy New Year.” So try visiting West Bengal during this period of time.

I hope this blog have helped you explore the beauty of West Bengal. So, next time you visit West Bengal, try to visit the above given places. attend the festivals and try their delicious sweets.

Check out our other blog : Top 7 Adventure Sports You Need To Do


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