Kolkata, the cultural hub of India, not only boasts a rich heritage and bustling city life but also offers easy access to a variety of travel destinations that are perfect for weekend getaways or short vacations. Whether you’re interested in historical sites, serene beaches, or lush hill stations, there’s a diverse array of options within a few hours’ drive from the city. Here, we present ten must-visit nearby travel destinations in Kolkata for an enriching and memorable experience.
- Sunderbans – The Mangrove Marvel
Just a few hours away from Kolkata, the Sundarbans, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, beckons with its unique mangrove ecosystem. Known for its stunning biodiversity, this is where you can catch a glimpse of the majestic Royal Bengal Tiger. Boat safaris through the winding waterways of the Sundarbans offer an unparalleled wildlife experience.
- Darjeeling – The Queen of Hill Stations
Nestled in the Himalayas, approximately 600 kilometers from Kolkata, Darjeeling is a charming hill station celebrated for its tea gardens, panoramic views of the Kanchenjunga, and a pleasant climate. Don’t miss the enchanting Darjeeling Himalayan Railway ride and a visit to the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park.
- Shantiniketan – Abode of Tagore’s Legacy
Founded by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, Shantiniketan is a cultural haven located a few hours from Kolkata. Immerse yourself in the teachings of Tagore, visit the Visva-Bharati University, and participate in cultural events, such as the Poush Mela, to experience the essence of this unique town.
- Digha – Coastal Tranquility
A popular seaside getaway around 180 kilometers from Kolkata, Digha offers sandy beaches and calm waters. Whether you’re into water sports or prefer to unwind with a gentle sea breeze, Digha has something for everyone. The Udaipur Beach and New Digha Beach are the main attractions.
- Bishnupur – Terracotta Treasures
Situated approximately 150 kilometers from Kolkata, Bishnupur is renowned for its impressive terracotta temples and rich history. Explore these unique 17th-century structures, dedicated to various deities, and delve into the town’s cultural heritage.
- Raichak – Riverside Serenity
For a peaceful riverside retreat, Raichak is just a short drive from Kolkata. Relax in luxurious resorts, including the stunning Raichak Fort, which offers spa treatments, fine dining, and mesmerizing views of the Hooghly River.
- Mandarmani – Seaside Paradise
Located about 170 kilometers from Kolkata, Mandarmani is another coastal gem, known for its long and pristine beach. The shallow waters and serene environment make it an ideal destination for families and couples alike.
- Murshidabad – Historical Grandeur
Around 200 kilometers from Kolkata, Murshidabad is steeped in history and was once the capital of Bengal during the Nawabi era. Explore the Hazarduari Palace, Katra Masjid, and the Nizamat Imambara, and gain insights into the region’s rich past.
- Bakkhali – Offbeat Beach Escape
Bakkhali, about 125 kilometers from Kolkata, offers an offbeat beach experience. Unlike the crowded beaches, Bakkhali is a serene, less-visited destination with a tranquil ambiance.
- Puri – Divine Getaway
Approximately 500 kilometers from Kolkata, Puri is a sacred city with the famous Jagannath Temple as its centerpiece. It also features beautiful beaches like the Puri Beach and Konark Beach, making it a unique combination of spirituality and natural beauty.
Kolkata is not only a city of culture and history but also a gateway to diverse travel experiences. These nearby travel destinations offer a rich tapestry of nature, heritage, spirituality, and relaxation. Whether you’re planning a short weekend trip or an extended vacation, these destinations have something for every traveler, making them ideal for memorable getaways from the City of Joy.