Known For : Marichjhanpi Ghoramara Island New Moore Island
Known for hosting the biggest mangrove forests in the world, Sundarbans National Park is located in West Bengal, India. It is also a Tiger Reserve and a Biosphere reserve that provides a complete nature's circle to the tourist right from 'Royal Bengal tigers' to roaring rivers and beautiful estuaries. Sundarbans National Park is a part of Sundarban delta that is covered with Mangrove Forest and the largest population of the Bengal Tigers. It is a UNESCO world heritage site with a large variety of birds and reptiles including salt-water crocodile.
Best Time: September to March
The river town of Falta is what constitutes your ideal picnic destination or weekend gateway. Marked by the confluence of river Hoogly and Damodar on the south and river Rupnarayan and Hoogly on the north, this place has developed entirely on the banks of river Hoogly. Known for the beautiful farmhouse- The Bose Bigyan Mandir of famous Bengali scientist Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose. The grounds of this farmhouse allow picnic activities. When if Falta, do not miss the Falta jetty to watch ferries crossing the river and walks along the riverside.
Distance from Kolkata: 52 km
Known For : Bakkhali Beach Henry's Island Jambu Dweep
“A beach to yourself” is how one would describe Bakkhali. Close to Sunderbans, it is a halcyon getaway in itself. Away from the hustle-bustle of the main city and located around 135 km from Calcutta, Bakkhali comes across as a treat to its visitors. It is lined with casuarinas and one can take advantage of a mystic sunset here. Being one of the most secluded white sand beaches in India, Bakkhali boasts of a 7km long beach ending till Frasergunj.
How to Reach: Located on one of the many islands spread across the Bay of Bengal, Bakkhali is well connected by roads giving in easy access for a one day trip from Kolkata. The road route is an approximate of 3.5 hours from Joka (outskirts of Kolkata). The rail link is also quite accessible with Namkhana being the nearest railway junction.
Places of Interest: Apart from the rolling waves, one can indulge in the pleasure of visiting the Crocodile and Mangrove forest. Benfish Harbour is also a treat to explore.
Distance from Kolkata: 126 km
Best Time: October to March
Known For : Parasnath Hills Kangsabati dam Ambikanagar
An arresting beauty surrounded by verdant hills and forests creates in itself, an ideal place for a one day trip from Kolkata. Embracing the charm of the beautiful necklace like dam (second largest earth dam of India as well as Asia; 10.8 km freshwater dam) at the assemblage of river Kansabati and river Kumari; this undulating greenery is a picture perfect postcard. The gently lapping lake offers a grand view of the sunset. The lake also provides boating facilities to the visitors.
How to Reach: The fine drive of 250 Km from Calcutta leads to Mukutmanipur. This exotic locale is also known as the land of red soil. Railway services are also apt from Howrah till Bankura. Bus services can also be availed from Calcutta till Bankura (further hiring a car till Mukutmanipur)
Places of Interest: Apart from the dam, there are many tourist joints nearby. Parasnath Hills (an important pilgrimage point), Banpukuria Deer Park (finding some rare species of bird) or visiting the relics of the ancient town of Ambikanagar (5km from Mukutmanipur) can be the highlights of one’s escape into serenity.
Distance from Kolkata: 263 km
Best Time: October to March
Known For : Mahanada Wildlife Sanctuary Sumsing and Suntalekhola Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary
The grandiosity of the Eastern Himalayas is a natural backdrop in West Bengal. A vast warp of dense forests combined with wildlife, infinite tea gardens, prattling rivers, is what describes Dooars. Derived from the word ‘Doors’ (Doors to Bhutan); this picturesque beauty stretches from river Teesta on the west to the river Sankosh on the east, an area encompassing 130km from Jalpaiguri district (600kms approximately from Calcutta). A drive through the Dooars plains, the gateway to Bhutan and the whole of Northeast India, can be the perfect experience one day trip from Kolkata.
How to reach: Bagdogra is the nearest airport to Dooars. People choosing the rail route can get down at Madarihat station from where private vehicles are available. Regular bus service connects Jaldapara National Park (in Dooars) with Calcutta via Siliguri (New Jalpaiguri)
Places of Interest: Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary, Gorumara National Park are places of interest to the travellers who find solace in Wildlife. Bhutanghat, giving an artistic view of the Bhutan border is also an appealing vicinity to stalk.
Distance from Kolkata: 674 km
Best Time: Throughout the year
Situated off the southern coast of Hoogly, Diamond Harbour is a popular one day trip from Kolkata. This is the very spot where the Ganges takes a turn towards the south to join the Bay of Bengal, and you can witness the confluence of the holy river with its final destination. The serenity and natural beauty of this place is something rare, making it one of the most sought-after weekend destination among locals. You can sit back and contemplate life as you look over the scintillating stretch of the water ahead or take a leisurely walk around the banks as well. With its unpretentious layout and quaint atmosphere, Diamond Harbour is no less than a blank canvas where you can paint your own adventure.
Distance from Kolkata: 56 km
Barrackpore was the first place where Britishers set up their cantonment and later spread their rules in India. This place is of great historical significance as it was also the first place where the spark to attain I from Britishers was lit. Not to stop at that, this one day trip from Kolkata will also treat you to the most mesmerizing and green parks which are perfect to spend some time lazing around? and relaxing. Pristine temples are also situated in Barrackpore that will purge you soul and invite positive vibes. A visit to Barrackpore will let you enjoy some calm away from the hustle bustle of the city and also give knowledge about one of the most important chapters in the history of India.
Distance from Kolkata: 31 km
Known For : Rasmancha Lalji Temple Susunia Hill
Dotting the landscape of West Bengal’s Bankura district (135 Km from the city limits); Bishnupur happens to be a history buff’s oyster. The cultural nourishment of this princely Bengal rose to illustriousness under the royal patronage of the Malla Dynasty in the 17th century. The distinctively styled terracotta temples boast the rich heritage of this town. Witnessing the art of weaving Baluchari Saree is a must behold attraction in Bishnupur.
How to Reach: Hassle-free driving can help one reach Bishnupur in 2 hours 15 min making it a short one day trip from Kolkata. Bankura is 35 km away from Bishnupur and one can avail train services till here. Further, cars on rent can be availed till Bishnupur from Bankura.
Places of Interest: This historical heritage provides a mystic blend of temples, museums and religion. The Bishnupur Museum, Jor Bangla Temple and Rasmanch (A terracotta based pyramidal tower) happen to be a travellers delight. Shopping for Baluchari (rich handwoven) Saree is also a must-do on the list.
Distance from Kolkata: 137 km
Best Time: October to March
Known For : Tagore's ashrama Poush Mela Amar Kutir
Known to few, mainly as Rabindranath Tagore's home and now a university, Santiniketan is a small town located in the Birbhum district of West Bengal. The town comprises mainly of Visva Bharati University.
Distance from Kolkata: 167 km
Best Time: Mid August to March
The mystifying waves and the natural beauty of the Tajpur beach, does woo the hearts of the beach lovers. Situated along the sea fringes, one can observe the dense forest of Tamarisk trees which highlight the crimson beaches. Differentiating itself from the regulars and entwining the adventure junkies is what defines Tajpur. One can merrily take advantage of the various activities like Zorbing, Kayaking, Paragliding, Rafting, et al.
How to Reach: With an approximate distance 170 km from Calcutta, Tajpur is a good 3-hour drive from the latter. For those willing to avail the bus services, the boarding point happens to be Esplanade (Calcutta) and the drop off point is Chaulkhola.
Places of Interest: A walk along the sea periphery happens to be enriching. However, adventure sports take the entire time of tourists visiting Tajpur. River Mohana and the villages of fisherman (close to the sea fringes) happens to be a must visit one day trip from Kolkata as well.
Distance from Kolkata: 137 km
Known For : The F fort Diamond Harbour Lighthouse at Diamond Harbour
Located only 50 kms away from Kolkata and yet a world apart, Raichak, is a riverside town and is nothing short of a breath of fresh air in its ultra urban and commercialized surrounding. With the Hooghly river on its side and the numerous forts that add to its earthen charm, this town manages to be a getaway you will not want to miss.
Distance from Kolkata: 54 km
Best Time: October to March
Chinsurah or Chuchura (as it is called) is a town in the district of Hooghly, West Bengal. Situated on the bank of the Hooghly river, Chinsurah was once considered as the most beautiful city of West Bengal. Today, this town stands as an example of elegant architecture, with a plethora of architectural marvels that include churches, mosques, gardens, clock towers, etc.
Situated on the bank of river Roopnarayan, Deulti provides for an ideal picnic spot. This small village picnic spot is ideal for a one day trip from Kolkata and is also accompanied by a handful of tourist attractions, like Samtaber, the hometown of renowned Bengali author Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay and the temples of Madangopal and Radha, adorned with embellishments of Terracotta art.
If you are a bird lover, keep an eye (read ear) for the chirps of different birds, while you take a walk on the clay paths of the villages. Other popular townships like Kolaghat, Garchumuk and Gadiara are also located nearby Deulti. If you travel by car, Deulti is situated at a distance of about 51 km from Howrah. Alternately, you can avail train services from Howrah station to Deulti station.
Distance from Kolkata: 61 km
For all those who do not want to visit the conventional Sunderbans in West Bengal, Piyali Islands come as a rescue retreat. A perfect amalgam of restfulness with Sunderbans is what describes this under-penetrated getaway. A serene 75 km one day trip from Kolkata takes one this scenic beauty after crossing a bridge over the river Piyali which connects the island to the mainland. Since it is often named as Pseudo Sunderbans, therefore we can expect the vegetation, landscape and topography to be similar.
How to Reach: Travelling conveniently by car (crossing the Baruipur Railway gate) takes one to Piyali. Trains are available till South Barasat station from where shared trekkers are available to tale one to the island.
Places of Interest: Piyali Islands embrace the assimilation of two rivers Matla and Piyali. However, there is not much to explore. One can take a wilderness stroll, engage in bird watching (there are various species of birds) or take a boat ride. The village surrounding Piyali can also be relished.
If you wish to spend some time in peace and tranquillity, then Junput is your place. This sea beach adorned with casuarina groves, accompanied by the rhythmic sound of sea waves and gentle breeze form a breathtaking experience. The most famous attraction is the convergence point of rivers Rasulpur and Ganga. Other attractions include the lighthouse and museum of the fisheries department. The best part about your visit to Junput is that other famous weekend gateways like Digha, Mandarmani, Tajpur and Talshree are all located at an hour’s drive. You can choose to drive to Junput, which is located at a distance of about 145 km from Kolkata.
Distance from Kolkata: 154 km
An unblemished introduction for the urban dwellers to the core roots of rural Bengal will put forth Taki as a prime one is the list of day trips from Kolkata. Located on the banks of River Ichamati (in Hasnabad), within a distance of 80 Km from Calcutta, Taki envelops the supreme definition of natural beauty. This particular village intrigues the travellers who long for a break from the fabricated humdrum of their daily life. A peaceful shelter at the Bagan-Bari can do wonders to the frazzled minds.
How to Reach: Taki is well connected by roads and railways. Driving through the city outskirts for an approximate of 2 hours, 30 min will get you to Taki. One can also opt for trains till Hasnabad from Sealdah.
Places of Interest: One can observe the Bangladesh border on the other side of the river (popularly known as the Bangladesh Khulna district). The boatmen here have the country flags on their respective boats to differentiate them from the neighbouring state.
Distance from Kolkata: 67 km
Also known as Kingfisher island, this little known one day trip from Kolkata is situated in the middle of river Ichamati, with India on one side and Bangladesh on the other. Covered by trees, this little island is perfect one day trip from Kolkata for nature lovers, as they can walk through the green fields and observe distant Bangladeshi rural settlement. You can arrange for a picnic, take a boat ride and go swimming in the river. Try not to miss the awe-striking view of the setting sun on river Ichamati. You can also visit the nearby attractions- Taki ( only 20 minutes away) and Hasnabad. In order to reach Machranga Dwip, you need to travel to Hasnabad, either by road (75 km from Kolkata), or by bus from Dharmatala or by trains from Sealdah. After you arrive in Hasnabad, avail the services of vans to reach the ferry dock for motorboats to reach the island. You can also hire motor boats from Taki.
Distance from Kolkata: 90 km
Kolkatta also called as the 'city of joy' is indeed a beauty in itself. Visiting these beautiful one day trips from Kolkata will make you feel refreshed.