Sagardwip (SAGAR ISLAND)
Buxa Tiger Reserve
Rest of India
three hundred years old, traces its history to the landing of Robert Clive on the banks of the Hooghly beside three villages.
It was from here the monumental British Raj was launched in
India. The capital of West Bengal, Kolkata is the major entry
If Delhi is the elegant capital of the nation, and Bombay its
major industrial city, then 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 was the first headquarters of the East India Company,
and some of its best known monuments were built by this British
trading house. However, the city has, within its 300 years
history, hosted other communities both from other parts of
India as well as abroad Chinese, Armenians, Jews
all of whom have left their imprint in pockets of Kolkata.
Sightseeing in this fascinating city includes Raj Bhawan,
the residence of the Governor of Bengal; Victoria Memorial,
the citys landmark; Botanical Gardens, which are notable
for the oldest banyan tree, and orchid house; Armenian Church;
Marble Palace, one familys collection of memorabilia;
and the Birla Planetarium. Darjeeling, the states most
popular hill resort, is a slice of England 2,134 metres above
sea level. Surrounded by tea gardens growing the prized leaf
known as Darjeeling tea, the little town faces some of the Himalayas
highest peaks. Darjeeling is an abrupt variation from the
lowlands of West Bengal. Buddhism, being a major faith here,
Darjeeling and the nearby town of Kalimpong have, between
them, several Buddhist monasteries, chiefly of the Yellow
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. Ships were the
begining of Kolkata's history & the river Hoogly was
the key to the city's fortunes.
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.
AND ART GALLERIES
of Fine Arts, Tel: 248-4302;
- Asutosh Museum, Tel: 34-7472;
Academy of Art & Culture, Tel: 76-6802;
Industrial & Technological Museum, Tel: 247-7341;
Planetarium, Tel: 242-1554/-6619;
Museum; Indian Museum, Tel: 29-9902;
Children's Museum, Tel: 248-3517;
Bharati Museum, Tel: 34-5241;
Archaeological Gallery, Tel: 243-6636;
Memorial Hall Museum, Tel: 248-5142.
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
: 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.
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 Bengals silk industry and the residence
of the erstwhile nawab of Bengal. Shantiniketan (167km) now
a university, founded by the Nobel literature laureate, Rabindranath
: 187 sq. kms.
Altitude : 5.8 metres
Climate (deg c) : Summer- Max. 41.7, Min.
38.1; Winter- Max. 29.3, Min. 9.6.
Rainfall : 158 cms June to Mid September
Clothing : Tropical
Languages Spoken : Bengali, English, Hindi
Season : Throughout the year.
STD Code : 033.
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'.
home of the Royal Bengal Tiger. The Ganges, which is rightly
known as the Ganga, carries silt and fertility from its ice-melt
sources in the high Himalayas, through the lush plains of
India, past the riverine port of Kolkata. Here, however,
it is no longer the Ganga because it has become one of the
major distributaries. For, in the flat grey-clay lands of
Bengal, the great river splits into numerous channels, dividing
and sub-dividing like the roots of a tree, till it pours through
many mouths into the Bay of Bengal.
Kolkata and the final outpouring of the river are the lands
knows as The Sunderbans: literally, the Beautiful Forests.
Some people, believe that they could," however, have
got their name from the profusion of Sundari trees. These
forests are extremely dense, often impenetrable, fringed by
mangrove jungles and are one of the most intriguing wilderness
on earth. Most journeys through these humid forests are done
by boat, and it is a fascinating trip. Fishermens boats,
like black scimitars, drift past, spreading nets for the fish
that teem in these rich waters. Near the delta villages the
clay is relieved by green vegetation. When the tourist ferry
stops, occasionally, visitors walk ashore on palm- and-bamboo
jetties to enter forest areas fenced in by bamboo corrals.
crabs extend their cherry-red claws out of their mud burrows;
curious, air- breathing, mud skipper fish climb the stilt
roots of the mangroves on their flipper-like fins, viewing
intruders with pop-eyed amazement. Tribes of honey gatherers
live in these dark forests. They believe that the giant, saline
water drinking Royal Bengal Tigers always attack from the
rear and so they wear masks on the backs of their heads. This
is why a posse of armed policemen accompanies all visitors
who venture into these beautiful forests. Other wild creatures
which lucky visitors might see are spotted deer, boar, monkey,
crocodile, python, Salvator lizards, and a wide range of water
: 2608 sq. kms.
Altitude : Sea Level.
Temperature (deg C): Summer- Max. 42, Min.
37; Winter- Max. 29, Min. 9.2.
Clothings : Summer- Tropical / Cotton, Winter-
Languages spoken : Bengali, Hindi, English.
Best season : September to March. July to
September for Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary.
STD Code : 03219.
visit Tiger Project area including Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary
permission is to obtained from:
The Joint Secretary (Forest), Govt. of West Bengal, 4th Floor,
G-Block,Writers' Building, Kolkata- 700 001, Tel: 225-5601
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,
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.
: 100 sq. kms.
Altitude : 61 metres.
Best season : October to May. (Particularly
March & April, when new grass is growing).
Clothings : Summer- Cottons, Winter- Woollens.
Languages spoken: Bengali, Hindi, Nepali,
second popular sea resort of West Bengal is Bakkhali , situated
only 132 km away from Kolkata , It is quiet and charming.
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.
interesting feature about Santiniketan is that splendid sculptures,
frescoes, murals and paintings of Rabindranath, Nandlal Bose,
Ramkinkar, Bindobehari Mukhopadhyaya and others adorn the
PLACES OF INTEREST
is a University town and a centre of learning. The Uttarayan
complex where the poet lived consists of several buildings
such as Udayana. Konark, Shyamali, Punascha and Udichi which
reflect the architectural genius of the poet's illustrious
son the late Rathindranath Tagore. In addition there are Kala
Bhavan (College of Fine Arts and Crafts). Sangit Bhavan (College
of Music and Dance), Vidya Bhavan (College of Humanities),
Siksha-Bhavan (College of Science) and Vinaya Bhavan (Teacher's
Training College), Cheena Bhavan and Hindi Bhavan. The Shantiniketan
campus of Viswa Bharati has grown up to be a centre for learning
with a bias towards art, music and humanities. At Shriniketan,
mainly a Centre for Rural Service and Studies (Palli Samgathan
Bibhaga), there is a college of Agriculture (Palli Siksha
Sadan) as well.
places of interest are mainly on the campus and have a distinctive
feature of some of the best in Indian art and culture.
Bhavan : The Chinese Faculty.
: Here Maharshi Devendranath, the father of Rabindranath
Tagore, used to meditate. Prayers are held usually at Convocation
time. Successful graduates of the Vishwa Bharati University
are presented a branch of five leaves each from the Saptaparni
trees which abound in the area.
Bhavan : The College of Fine Arts & Crafts has an museum
exhibiting sculptures, frescoes & murals and a library
of art books.
Bhavan : Now a secondary school, it is of particular interest
as an example of the traditional `Brahmacharya Ashram'.
Hall : Founded by the poet's father in 1863, the hall is
made of glass. Prayers are held on Wednesday.
: Also called Rabindra Bhavan, a Research Centre and Museum
where the poet's personal belongings, paintings & various
editions of his works are exhibited.
Bhavan : College of Dance and Music. The University is replete
with works on Art, Music and the Humanities.
Complex : The poet lived and worked in the Northern Complex
consisting of several buildings as : Udayana, Konarka, Shyamali,
Punascha and Udichi. The Bichitra ( or, Rabindra Bhavan
) designed by the poet's son Rathindranath Tagore.
O T E : PHOTOGRAPHY IS NOT PERMITTED.
: Winter:- 1400 to 1630 hours, Summer:- 1430 to 1730 hours.
During vacations:- 0730 to 1100 hours.
: Winter:- 1030 to 1230 hours, Summer:- 0800 to 1000 hours.
N O T E : Permission is required from the Public Relations
Officer, Vishwa Bharati for taking photographs.
& ART GALLERIES
Bhavan, Bichitra (Rabindra Bhavan).
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
Gardens: University Campus.
(40 kms), Nalhati (104 kms), Kankalitala (7 kms), Bakreshwar
(58 kms): Nearest railway station Dubrajpur 12 kms. WBTDC
Tourist Lodges & PWD Inspection Bungalows available
(78 kms): Mayurakshi Bhavan, Youth Hostel available to stay
(42 kms): Buses ply from Bolpur railway station. Buses also
ply or Kenduli from Kolkata for tourists.
(23 kms) : Birthplace of the Vaisnava poet,Chandidas (14th
century). Buses ply from Bolpur railway station. Travelling
time: one hour.
(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.
(deg C) : Summer- Max.39.4, Min.34.3; Winter- Max.15.7, Min.12.1.
Rainfall : 125 cms ( June to September ).
Heavy in July\August.
Season : Throughout the year.
University remains closed in May-June and for one month during
the Puja Holidays i.e. September-October.
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
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.
discerning visitor may find traces of the past splendour and
glory thatwas Vishnupur in its superb temples and unique handicrafts.
PLACES OF INTEREST
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).
& 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.
82 kms. A dam has been constructed across the rivers Kangsabati
and Kumari. A picturesque spot for a quiet holiday.
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.
21 kms. Famous for the terracota Bankura Horse, a folk artefact
and now the national symbol for Indian handicrafts.
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
Most important festival of Vishnupur is Jhapan, held in the
glory of Manasa, the daughter of Shiva & goddess of snakes.
Jhapan represents the snake worship cult in Bengal. It is
basically a regional harvest festival and closely associated
with the fertility cult too. Amidst chanting of hymns in glory
of Goddess Manasa, groups of snake charmers demonstrate tricks
and feats with poisonous snakes. Jhapan literally means a
stage erected to exhibit tricks with snakes. At times performed
on decorated bullock carts and carriages. Charmers, called
Jhampanias, bring king cobras, spectacled and other cobras,
vipers, kriats, pythons, rat snakes, vine and flying snakes,
in baskets made of cane, bamboo or grass, to the old palace
ground. Jhapan festival began as a grand reception first given
to Bir Hambir Malla on his return after battle festival continues
and the great snake show by traditional devotees of Goddess
Manasha, with live & venomous snakes, attracts a large
gathering every year.
Another colourful festival is held at Vishnupur with great
pomp. This is known as the Indra Puja or the Indra Parab.
On this occasion the Malla Raja of Vishnupur presents yellow
turbans to local Santal chiefs.
Gajan festival begins at the end of a week culuminating in
month long rural fairs on Shivaratri day and is a popular
festival of rural Bengal. The festival at the Bahulara Siddheswar
Shiva Temple (25 kms away) and the fair draws large crowds
from distant places.
: 20.6 sq.km.
Altitude : 70 metres.
Temperature (deg C): Summer- Max.44, Min.28;
Winter- Max.29, Min.21.
Rainfall : 14.3 cms (July-August).
Clothings : Summer- Tropical, Winter- Light
Languages spoken : Bengali, English.
Best Season : September to March.
STD Code : 03244.
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.