There is a benefit to living in Bengal, unlike any other state in India. You have the beauty of the sea at the Bay of Bengal as well as the serenity of the snow-capped Himalayas. Many tourist places from adjacent states like Orissa and Sikkim are also accessible as amazing weekend getaways from Kolkata. Let’s have a look at a few of them.
Arambag, West Bengal
Just 82 kilometers of drive from Kolkata via NH2, makes Arambag one of the easiest weekend getaways from Kolkata. There are trains from Howrah to Arambag too. Are you thinking about what to do at Arambag, a town in Hooghly District? Well, you have loads to enjoy if you are staying at Arambag lodges at Aambagan, the Riverside Treehouse. Set across a sprawling mango orchard (Aambagan) on the bank of River Dwarkeswar, this resort is blissful in Kolkata’s summer. The space is cool because of the shade from the huge mango trees. Then there is a cool breeze from the river too.
The resort has loads of activities, both indoor and outdoor, for kids, friends, and families. Delicious Bengali cuisine is available. The cottages are literally tree houses and are named after mangoes, like ‘Himsagar’, ‘Amrapali’, and ‘Golapkhas’. They are river-facing, provide an excellent view, and are air-conditioned with all other modern amenities. Watching the sunset from the bank of the river is an experience. Kamarpukur, the birthplace of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa, is just half an hour’s drive away. It is a serene place/ Math, maintained by Ramakrishna Mission.
Tajpur, West Bengal
Tajpur is a lesser-known beach in West Bengal. When you want the sea breeze to beat the summer heat but at the same time want to avoid crowded beaches, then Tajpur tops the list of weekend getaways from Kolkata. Secluded beaches which look carpeted with red crabs and tall trees around make Tajpur extremely serene unlike its more popular neighboring beach destinations like Digha, Shankarpur, and Mandarmani. Tajpur, in Purba Medinipur District, is 170 kilometers drive from Kolkata.
Chandipur is a beach town in the Balasore district of Odisha (Orissa). It is 16 kilometers from Balasore Railway Station. The beach is unique in the way that the water recedes up to 5 kilometers during the ebb tide and the beach becomes a beautiful stretch to walk around during gorgeous sunset. The trains from Kolkata to Balasore take around 4 hours or one may drive 256 kilometers from Kolkata to Chandipur for around 6 hours. Chandipur is popular among weekend getaways from Kolkata. Besides the beach, Panchalingeshwar on the Nilagiri Hills must be visited. It is a beautiful drive through green fields and forests to the hill. After an easy trek, you reach Panchalingeshwar, a perennial waterfall covering 5 Shiva shrines.
Chandipur is well known for the Indian Strategic Command’s Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Abdul Kalam Island (Wheeler Island). A number of Indian missiles have been tested and launched from the ITR, like Prithvi and Agni.
Sittong, West Bengal
Sittong is an offbeat destination in Darjeeling District, known for its oranges, tea, cinchona, and natural brooms called ‘Phuljharu’ in Bengali, besides the pristine natural beauty of the Eastern Himalayas. This mountain village has many sightseeing spots but all of them can be done in a day, in fact on the way to Sittong from New Jalpaiguri Station/ Bagdogra Airport. The forested hills, waterfalls, Riyang River, and simple people make the place so charming and one of the coolest weekend getaways from Kolkata.
It takes a little more than 3 hours to reach the cute little mountain town of Namchi in Sikkim. Namchi means sky-high (‘Nam’ means ‘sky’ and ‘chi’ means ‘high’) and it lives up to the name. Namchi is located at 8860 feet in the gorgeous Sikkim Himalayas, offering spectacular views of the Kangchenjunga range and Rangit Valley. If you are planning to escape the scorching heat, Namchi is one of the best weekend getaways from Kolkata. The world’s largest statue of Rinpoche or Guru Padmasambhava (135 feet) looks upon the town from a hilltop. There is a 17th Century Buddhist Monastery too. The major attraction is the Siddheshwar Chardham Park with replicas of the 4 popular Hindu Temples that make the Chardham; Badrinath, Dwarka, Rameswaram, and Puri Temples. The complex has a Shirdi Sai Temple and a majestic statue of Lord Shiva too. Namchi rock garden is also a popular spot.
The list of weekend getaways from Kolkata is never-ending, yet we have made a shortlist, keeping in mind the burning temperature. Whether the list is short or long, as the saying by Lao Tzu goes, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”, just take that step and enjoy your summer weekends.
A versatile writer and travel freak, discovering the world in her own casual way. Loves to immerse into the core of Mother Nature and extract her inherent beauty.