When we talk about West Bengal, it mostly revolves around their culture, festivals and food. But we rarely think about the beautiful places this state has to offer. Let me take you to the mangroves forests and pretty hill stations. Here are some of the best places to visit in West Bengal.
Sundarbans is a magical place where you can sail through the brackish water amidst the dense mangrove jungle and hear the tiger roar in the background. I remember reading about the Sunderbans in school and since then I wanted to visit world’s largest delta. Formed by the amalgamation of the rivers Ganga and Brahmaputra, it is spread out in an area of almost 1,330 square kilometer. Sundarbans is constituted of 102 islands. Of these only 52 islands are inhabited by humans while the rest are covered with dense forests.
It is also the largest mangrove forest in the world, and was therefore awarded the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site. Named after the ‘Sundari’ trees, Sundarbans is the best place for the wildlife enthusiasts. You can look at the magnificient tigers swimming and relaxing in the water. During the winters the banks of the water-bodies are filled with many species of colorful migratory birds. The green forests and the colourful wildlife will make you fall in love with the place.
The word Dooars originates from “Duar” which means door. Dooars is literally a door or gateway to the hill stations of North Bengal, Sikkim and Bhutan. Dooars is where you will find green hills and valley, jungle, rivers and tea plantations. The hills have every shade of green while in the valley, you’ll see Teesta river flowing with a vigour. There are several colonial-era heritage buildings in this area which add an old world charm to the place.
The jungles are rich in flora and fauna. The major forest areas in this region are Jaldapara and Gorumara National Park, and Buxa tiger reserve. A safari to one of this place is a great idea to explore wildlife and take the pictures in their natural habitat.
Mirik is a small hill station located near the popular town of Darjeeling. Not many people know about this quaint town and therefore it’s comparatively untouched by the crowds. Nestled in the tranquil hills, Mirik is a a lakeside town with the picturesque Sumendu Lake grabbing all the attention.
There are many orange orchards here and during full bloom they become one of the most charming feature of the town. Apart from that, the sprawling tea gardens are a delight to watch. You can also go to the Tingling View Point from where you can see the panoramic views of these tea estates.
Check out the Eastern coast at the beach town of Shankarpur. Still not very popular, this destination is a quaint holiday spot to spend time in the tranquil lap of nature. Go beach-hopping to Shankarpur Beach, Mandarmani Beach and Digha Beach.
In the mornings, fishermen can be seen hauling their huge nets out of the sea. With the golden rays of the sun reflecting off the sparkling sea, it makes for one of those moments which last in your memories for a long time.
Gaining popularity with time is the small town of Lepchajagat. Located very close to Darjeeling, this little hamlet is a place out of a story book. The entire area is surrounded by forests full of pine, oak and rhododendrons. There are no shops or markets here, and the only sound you will hear is the chirping of birds.
You will also get the majestic views of the Kanchenjunga ranges. Hawa Ghar is the vantage point from where you can see all the five peaks of the Kanchenjungha massif on a clear day. Lepchajagat is your time with nature. Make most of it.
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