Head To These Places For Long Weekends
What are your plans for this long Independence Day-Rakhi weekend? We say plan a trip at these places near Kolkata for some quality time with friends and family.
Less famous than Digha, Mandarmani is an ideal place for an unplanned weekend getaway. Hit the place with your friends or family or plan a romantic staycation with your partner. Described as seaside resort village, beach lovers is sure to have a blast here. A four-hour drive from Kolkata, this is the perfect place to let yourself loose by the beach. You can also take a trip towards the mohana (estuary) during sunset.
Even though spring and winter are the best times to visit this place, Shantiniketan is always brimming with life. Experience Bengal's culture at its rustic best here. The university town houses Biswa Bharati, built by Rabindranath Tagore and is also famous for Ballabhpur Wildlife Sanctuary. Experience its inherent values with Sonajhuri Saturday haat and Amar Kutir, a co-operative society promoting art and craft.
Among all the beaches, Tajpur is a hidden gem. We think it is ideal if you go here with your squad as it's a favourite among millennials and college goers. By road, it takes almost four hours to reach via Kolaghat and is located between Mandarmani and Shankarpur. One thing we bet you didn't know is that Tajpur has around 1,400 acres of land dedicated to pisciculture.
Just 35 kilometres away from the city, Bawali is the best place for a weekend escape if you want to mix your vacation with a little dose of history. This village near Budge Budge is known for its palatial mansions and old temples. The greatest attraction of this place is the 300-year-old Bawali Rajbari, that has been restored and is now a heritage resort. You can also book one of the cottages at the Bawali farmhouse spread across several acres with nurseries, gardens, ponds and tree houses.
Balakhana in Nadia can be your spot for a retreat to move away from the din and bustle of the city life. You can visit the Maheshganj Estate at Balakhana, which was once an indigo planter’s bungalow that has an Italian origin. The estate has now been converted into a heritage home stay. You can wile away your time at the estate itself with its large open gardens and antiques, or get on a boat ride down the Jalangi River or to the Purbasthali oxbow lake to watch migrant fowls, river dolphins and ducks.
Sitting close to the India-Bangladesh border, you can actually take a boat ride right up to the intangible border over Ichhamati River. Otherwise you can also take a short boat ride to the birdwatcher’s paradise, Kingfisher Island. A must visit when in Taki is, of course, the mini Sundarbans (aka Golpatar Forest). Don't forget to carry identification proof to enter this protected and forest with an abundance of sundari and golpata trees. Get a glimpse of the architecture by visiting the 300-year-old Jora Shiv Mandir and also the Kuleshwari Kali Temple.