famously known as the ‘city of joy’ has a lot to offer to its visitors. Alongwith some spectacular sightseeing, one can get a taste of rich culture and heritage that this city has inherited over time. This city is surrounded by plethora of places where one can get to feel the beauty of nature. While most of these places can be traversed by road (which in my opinion is the best way), trains are also available if one prefers. There is abundance of hotel in Kolkata near railway station. So, without further delay let us know about best road trips that you can enjoy from Kolkata.
Digha is one of the most popular destinations around Kolkata which is visited by a lot of tourists every year. It is one of the best places to spend some time away from the hustle-bustle of the city life. Located at couple hour’s drive from Kolkata, it is a great place to indulge in beach activities and enjoy some exquisite sea food. Mandarmani is another beach which is much quite compared to the former one. There are a few beach cities nearby if you are looking for a quite ambience.
The world’s largest delta and home to the Royal Bengal Tiger-Sunderbans is an eye catching beauty of nature. It is also home of the ‘Sundari’ trees, after which this marshy region has been named. Now, you cannot drive all the way to sunderbans but majority of the journey can be covered by road trips. There are only a handful of entry points into Sunderbans and you can take any one of them, the nearest one being Godkhali or Koikhali. Godkhali is nearest to the Sajnekhali Wildlife sanctuary and Sunderban Tiger Project while Koikhali gives you access to Kalas Island and Haliday Island. The best place to stay would be on one of the islands with the locals. You will get to hear some chilling tiger stories from them. Foreigners need to take a special permit from Kolkata or through a travel agent.
On this trip you can enjoy a nice drive, a great picnic spot, and an easy hike up-the-hill. Upon reaching Bishnupur, you can visit the famed terracotta temples. Muktamanipur is well known as a picnic spot because of the dam situated close to the junction of rivers Kangsabati and Kumari. Bankura is little over an hour’s ride from Muktamanipur, which hold one of the largest Canons ever built in India, Dalmadal Canon. Entire area of Bankura and Bishnupur is built around a dozen 17th and 18th- century Terracotta temples, most famous being Rasmancha and Madanmohan temples.
Long remaining an under-rated destination, Orissa has some of the best architectural sites in entire India. Being close to the equator, these places are best to travel during winters. You will witness a mesmerizing mix of Ancient Caves, Iconic Temples and unparalleled natural beauty on your road trip to Puri. On reaching Puri you can relax and do some walkabout to nearby places. Konark Sun Temple and Chilika Lake are a delight to visit. With little bit of luck and perfect timing you can spot the endangered dolphins in Chilika Lake on a boat ride.
Don’t wait for train ticket confirmations if you want to get the best out of your Darjeeling trip. You can instead jump into your car and explore this hill city. It is one of the most favorite tourist destinations in India. Going for a train journey will leave you lumbering on taxis. This road trip is all about taking small breaks from driving and enjoying a decent tea on road side tea stall. From Darjeeling, you can go to Pelling which is an amazing place to visit. It is a small hill town in Sikkim from where you can have a breathtaking view of Kanchenjunga and surrounding peaks.
If you are looking for some spiritual gain alongwith awesome road drive, this is the trip to go for. Varanasi or Benaras is an ideal place to refill your energy deprived souls. On your way you can take a small detour to Bodhgaya and Nalanda. Bodhagaya is the place where Lord Buddha achieved his enlightenment. Overnight stay at hotels nearby Bodhgaya will relax both your body and soul. Varanasi is another 5 hours drive from there. On reaching Varanasi you must look out for ‘Sandhya Arti’ along the banks of Ganges and stroll along the Ghats in the morning.