If you’re looking for a break from all the noise and pollution around, we’d suggest you take advantage of the weekend and head to these places for a quiet time with your gang or family.
Head To These Places On Your Weekends
Known as the ‘Kashmir of Odisha’, this unexplored, quiet hill station will make for a perfect getaway if peace is what you’re looking for. Nestled amidst waterfalls, coffee plantations and pine trees, Daringbadi is surrounded by dense forests and gushing rivers. Head to Belghar Sanctuary and Kotgarh Wildlife Sanctuary for animal and bird sightings or go trekking and camping along the hills.
No need to go to the US to see the Grand Canyon because you can see it right here in Bengal. Gongoni in West Midnapore is known as the Grand Canyon of Bengal thanks to years of soil erosion by wind and river. The erosion has carved a fascinating gorge made of red soil that changes to yellow as you go down. Visit early morning or late afternoon for stunning pictures.
A list on weekend getaways is incomplete with Santiniketan. Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore's home has been converted into a university while the entire place is nothing short of paradise thanks to its beauty and historic significance. Get your hands on a lot of local handicrafts and listen to bawl singers hum melodious tunes. We also recommend trying the rice beer, a local drink served warm and tastes yum.
Head to the Sundarbans and spend some time amid wilderness and close to Mother Nature. The mangrove forests of Sunderbans (among the largest in the world) aren't just home to the Royal Bengal Tiger and crocodiles. They also provide shelter to an incredible variety of birds that you can spot while navigating the many rivers and channels. Stay at the eco-friendly Earth Villa on Bali Island from where you can hire trained guides for walks and national park tours.
A tranquil village near Darjeeling, Mongpu was known to be the summer retreat of our very own Rabindranath Tagore. The road to the place itself is marked by scenic views - lush green tea gardens, orchids, flower nurseries and pristine water streams. The village is famous for its Cinchona plantations and the Rabindra Bhavan where you'll find his original artworks, furniture and handwritten verses. Visit the Mungpoo Cymbidium Orchid Park that's got over 150 varieties of orchids, take a walk around the local market or stop by the breathtaking Kalijhora Waterfalls.
Spend the weekend amidst sweeping hills and gushing rivers and streams at Dooars. Explore the tea estates and gardens, forests, national parks and wildlife sanctuaries here. Stay at the century-old Taljhora Bungalow with colonial interiors, landscaped gardens, wooden gazebos and an open portico. Go on tea tasting sessions or wildlife safaris to Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary, Gorumara National Park and Neora Valley National Park. Seriously, what more do you need?
Situated on the foothills of the Panchet Hills in Purulia, Garh Panchkot is a ruined fort that was once home to the Rajas of Panchkot. It’s situated adjacent to Panchet Lake and is surrounded by hills and forests. Visit the terracotta temple ruins that boast of different architectural styles like Pancharatna (the most popular one), Jor-Bangla, and Pirha. Besides, the overall scenic view of the place with lush greenery, ruins, woods, perennial springs along with the Panchet Hill and lake make it a must-visit. Make sure you stop by Panchet Lake to get a glimpse of the half-submerged ruins of the ancient city of Telkupi.
Jalpath is a gorgeous rustic hotel in Hadia surrounded by lush greenery. The rooms overlook an attached pond. It's like a garden of your own. Sloping tiled roofs, carefully designed windows, low lying traditional furniture, tribal and indigenous décor and rustic crockery is what the rooms and the interiors are all about. You can book the entire property as well just for yourself. Best part? They don't have Wi-Fi or TV.
Giridih, like the name suggests, is the land of hills situated in Jharkhand. It's surrounded by hills and greenery and boasts of waterfalls, pilgrimage centres and unexplored trails. Don't miss the Usri Falls, Khandoli Park and the Parasnath Wildlife Sanctuary. Head to Shikharji and Parasnath Hills for scenic views and age-old temples. They are also popular pilgrimage places.
Built in 1766, Itachuna Rajbari is a heritage homestay surrounded by plants, trees and water bodies. Request for a guided tour of the rajbari where you get to learn about the rich history of this place. There's also a doctor available in case of an emergency. They also organise summer camps, night walks, Baul music programmes, games, kite-flying, fishing, bar-b-que and bonfires too! Best part? They play the flute every evening for you to get close and personal with nature.