Known For : Parasnath Hills Kangsabati dam Ambikanagar
Famous for the Mukutmanipur Dam, the coastal town of Mukutmanipur is an ideal monsoon getaway near Kolkata. Characterised by lush vegetation during monsoons, Mukutmanipur is a favourite among picnickers from Kolkata. Leisurely boat rides in the reservoir can be taken. The Dam is over 11km long and has a Deer Park towards the end where one can see some seasonal birds and spot some spotted deer. There is also the Parshwanath Hill for the trekking enthusiasts. One can reach Mukutmanipur from Kolkata by road either by bus or by car.
Distance from Kolkata: 262 km
Best Time: October to March
Located 121 Kms south of Kolkata, Mandarmani houses one of the longest beaches in India. One of the most popular weekend getaways and picnic spots for Kolkatans, Mandarmani is especially thronged by young working adults. The many beachside resorts here cater to visitors every weekend and offer great hospitality and food. Reaching Mandarmani by car or by local buses is the most recommended mode of travel.
Distance from Kolkata: 174 km
Owing to its location in the coal belt of India on the Barakar river near Kolkata, Maithan is often called the ‘Kashmir of Koyalanchal’. The town is developed around the Maithan Dam and reservoir which is the largest dam of the Damodar Valley Corporation in India. Famous for its beauty, hills and clear blue water, it is a treat to the eyes in the monsoons. Nearby attractions include – Chammack Pahar or Spoon Island (a patch of land that looks like an inverted spoon located in the middle of the reservoir), Kalyaneeshwari Temple, Deer Park, among others.
Nestled between the scenic Sal tree forests, this town situated a little ahead of the Gangetic plains of West Bengal shares cultures of both West Bengal and Jharkhand. Jhargram shines in monsoons when its vegetation bloom in different shades of green and flowers bloom in abundance. The beautiful hill ranges of Belpahari and Kankrajhor adorn the town while the Ketki Falls are in their prime when it rains. One can take the train to Jhargram from Howrah station or hire a taxi from Kolkata.
Distance from Kolkata: 173 km
Located on the banks of River Hooghly, Diamond Harbour is a port town in West Bengal. A popular picnic spot for Kolkatans, river cruises and boat rides are a popular activity here. There are also several old forts to explore and a 200-year-old lighthouse for some sightseeing, making it an all-round fantastic weekend getaway from Kolkata in monsoons. Diamond harbour can be reached by bus or by car from Kolkata.
Distance from Kolkata: 54 km
Known For : Bakkhali Beach Henry's Island Jambu Dweep
This little beach town located in southern West Bengal, minimally inhabited offers a quiet and calm atmosphere for a weekend away from the city. One can spot bright red Fiddler crabs marching away on the beach or explore the dense Casuarina grooves in the area. There boating facilities available as well. A drive around the town is highly recommended during the rainy season.
Distance from Kolkata: 124 km
Best Time: October to March
A quaint little temple town, Bakreswar lying to the north of Kolkata, is for those who shy away from large crowds on most days. Known for its therapeutic hot springs, the town attracts those who wish to rejuvenate themselves in the hot waters. Some of the famous temples here include Mahishamardini temple and Bakreswar temple, One can also gorge on delectable Bengali food at the little eateries and street food stalls.
Distance from Kolkata: 215 km
Known For : Tagore's ashrama Poush Mela Amar Kutir
True to its name, Santiniketan is a quaint university town near Kolkata. The Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore founded a school here which is now known as Visva Bharathi Vidyapeeth. The Uttarayan complex is one of the popular attractions which are where Tagore lived and is now converted to a museum and art gallery. Apart from its literary status, this town is a peaceful weekend getaway from Kolkata in monsoons. The fastest way to reach Santiniketan from Kolkata is by train, although one can also take a taxi or private car.
Distance from Kolkata: 163 km
Best Time: Mid August to March
Situated a little ahead of Shantiniketan, Sonajhuri Forest is another offbeat weekend getaway near Kolkata in monsoons and is a cluster of untouched forests with winding village roads and the Kopoai River flowing through. Visitors flock here to cut themselves off from all modern living and truly enjoy a bucolic Bengali experience. One can experience the traditional lifestyle of the Santhali settlement and learn about the local arts and culture here. The best way to reach Sonajhuri Forest from Kolkata is to take a car.
Distance from Kolkata: 164 km
A treasure trove of history, Barrackpore has something for everyone. From old temples and cantonments, famous ghats like Dhobi Ghat and museums including Gandhi Museum and parks and gardens like the Mangal Pandey Park are some of the many attractions here. The lively ghats during the monsoon or even a walk through the old ruins of the Cantonment are nothing short of pleasing to the eyes.
Distance from Kolkata: 27 km
Tucked between Mandarmani and Shankarpur, Tajpur is a small town set on the Bay of Bengal's tranquil shore, just 170 kms from Kolkata. Considered to be a serene secret of West Bengal, the virgin beach is hidden away from view and is still untouched by commercialization and tourism. The highlight of the pristine beach are the hundreds of red crabs that are found on the shores, which also give a perfect crimson colour to the beach. One can reach Tajpur from Kolkata by train via Kanthi P H or Digha. Buses also regularly play to Tajpur.
Timings : Day time
Entry Fee : No entry fee
Believed to be where Lord Ram and Devi Sita came to spend their exile, Ajodhya is a village on a plateau which is an excellent offbeat weekend destination from Kolkata. This small settlement is a woody mountain with table land on top. Many small streams make their way through the slopes of the hill to meet Subarnarekha on the west and Kangsabati and Kumari from the northern slope. The lush vegetation and open grounds here serve as the perfect picnic spots. Ajodhya is best reached from Kolkata by private vehicle or hired taxi.
These offbeat weekend getaways near Kolkata in monsoons are perfectly suited for a trip with your loved ones. Let us know down in the comment section below which ones are your favourite