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West Bengal

West Bengal - Fascinating Culture, Rich History

New horizon, vibrant state, colourful people with their rapidly changing lifestyle, modernisation -- in one word metamorphosis – this is new West Bengal. On one hand it has fascinating culture, rich history and heritage and on the other hand it has modern, techno-savvy, upwardly mobile people. The land of West Bengal has in it intricately woven stories of many civilisations and settlements which left their footprint here. With the memory of that rich history West Bengal boasts of different ethnicity, culture, religion and languages and most importantly the diverse landscape - flanked by the Himalayas as the top and decorated by the natural beaches and a unique biosphere, the Sunderbans in the south. Let us unfold the true Bengal – its history, its real nature, its culture - the canvas with all colours.

The people

The people in the land of Tagore are the most intellectual ones. They are believed to have the power to revolutionize the globe with a pen. Bengali is the main language that circulates around the state but people are well versed with English, Nepali, Hindi & Odia. Being nestled beside the Bay of Bengal, the abundance of fertile alluvial plains & sea shores has made the most popular dish of Bengal to be steamed rice with assortment of fish curries. But the variety of sweets the Bengalis have to offer are the main attraction.

How to Reach

Kolkata is normally the gateway to the state but there are entry points all around. Two commercial airports are at Kolkata and Bagdogra. The state has a number of smaller airports. Railways link it with other states from all sides. Major road connections are NH 2 from Delhi, NH 5 from Chennai, NH 6 from western India and NH 31 from Guwahati. Major ports are Kolkata and Haldia. There are a number of smaller ports.

PLACES TO VISIT

Darjeeling :

A buzzing hill station 3 hours away from the Bagdogra Airport, visit here if you love sightseeing amidst the grandeur of the hills & resplendence of tea gardens. Because it was a popular hill station during the days of the Raj, a lovely Victorian town was built among the Himalayan foothills, the remnants of which are still visible around the Chowrasta and Darjeeling remains a popular summer and fall resort for the natives of Kolkata today.

Digha :

5 hour away from Kolkata,one can spend an entire evening here amongst the teeming masses of carefree holiday makers and check out the wares of hundreds of makeshift stalls while enjoying the sea breeze. It is more than a mile long and continues on a long desolate stretch to New Digha - a van ride in the dark is worth every rupee. Enjoy cool sea breeze with melodious Bengali songs being played through loudspeakers creating a serene and soothing feel.

Sunderbans :

The Sundarbans are the largest littoral mangrove belt in the world, stretching 80 km (50 mi) into the Bangladeshi and Indian hinterland from the coast. The Sundarbans has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The forests aren't just mangrove swamps though, they include some of the last remaining stands of the mighty jungles which once covered the Gangetic plain.

Shantiniketan :

The town is home to Visva Bharati founded by Rabindranath Tagore in 1921. It was declared a central university in 1951. It has produced such diverse personalities as Indira Gandhi and Amartya Sen. It has been home to great artists and musicians.

Murshidabad :

In Birbhum-Murshidabad of West Bengal was once the capital of Bangla, Bihar and Odisha (formerly known as Orissa). The last capital city of independent Bengal was named after Nawab Murshid Quli Khan, the Dewan of Bengal, Bihar and Odisha. It is situated on the banks of the Bhagirathi. A city of splendors and famous for its silk, was made capital of Bengal in 1717. The British shifted the capital to Kolkata in 1773.

Mandaramani :

It is a beach resort in South Bengal.The nearest train station is at Contai and the nearest airport is at Kolkata. Previously,there was no proper road for the last 6 km into Mandarmani, which forced you to drive along the beach. However, recently a narrow but all-weather road has been constructed, which takes you directly to the hotels and resorts, provided you travel in a car or jeep.

Kalimpong :

One can roam around the town, or take a tour or go trekking. There are some really interesting places to visit such as Gauripur House (home of the great Bengali poet Ravindra Nath Tagore), Mangal Dham a temple, Deolo the highest point in Kalimpong offering a guest house with spectacular vistas. Biking is possible as the the traffic is not intense and its really enjoyable to view the beautiful scenery, and the kindhearted people living in the outskirts.

Dooars :

Is the undulating plains virtually on foot of the Himalayas starting from Siliguri in the west and Alipurduar in east, bordered by Assam, Bangladesh and Bhutan.The vast area is under exclusive administrative control of Coochbehar and Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal state of India. You may club your trip to Dooars along with popular destinations of Darjeeling and Gangtok (Sikkim). Siliguri serves as a perfect launchpad for all these destinations

WEST BENGAL (WBTDC) (AC & Non AC Rooms) :

Darjeeeling : 900 – 3000 (Off Season Discount 25% & Season Extra 25%)
Kurseong : 1600 – 1800 (Off Season Discount 25%)
Kalimpong : 1100 – 2500 (Off Season Discount 25% & Season Extra 25%)
Jaldapara : 1600 – 10000 (Off Season Discount 25% & Season Extra 25%)
Murti : 2300 (Off Season Discount 25%)
Malda : 900 – 1500
Baharampur : 800 – 2000
Shantiniketan : 900 – 2500 (25% Extra on Poush-Mela & Basanta Utsav)
Bishnupur : 750 – 1800 (Off Season Discount 25% & Season Extra 25%)
Maithan : 1200 – 1800 (25% Extra on Holi)
Bakkhali : 1900 – 2500 (Season & Holi Extra 25%)
Digha : 1000 – 2500 (Season & Holi Extra 25%)
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