After London, Kolkata is the second city built by the British Empire. Situated on the banks of the river Hoogly, Kolkata is known to be the cultural capital of East India. While the city is truly honored with a few characteristic wonders and attractions, it becomes a vital thing for individuals to discover a getaway from the clamor and the scorching heat of the plains, therefore, we take you through the best weekend getaways, or simply, the best hill stations around Kolkata which not only refresh your inner self, but also are a delight to be captured in camera and memories!
From Delhi, you can take a direct Delhi to Kolkata train which will take a maximum of 19 hours to cover the entire distance. If you are one slow traveller who likes to experience each and every aspect of a journey, be it the commuting itself, then this mode is apt for you. Otherwise, one can always choose the air mode to reach Kolkata in a maximum of 2 hours 10 minutes from Delhi. Decide for yourself, and on reaching, of course hit the roads to discover these enchanting hill stations around the Salt Lake City.
Kalimpong is located at an elevation of 1,065 meters above sea level. The district went under the British East India Company in 1864 and was created as a hill town. It is known majorly for its mild atmosphere, colonial architecture and nearness to the high mountain ranges of Nathu La and Jalep La. The main wellspring of the town’s economy is tourism and one can discover a few vacation spots here. Kalimpong is known for its Tibetan Buddhism culture and is visited by enthusiasts mostly for its Buddhist monasteries.
Known far and wide for its tea, transport, tourism and timber, Siliguri is situated around 80 kilometers from Darjeeling. This gorgeous town lies on the banks of Mahananda River and the foothills of Himalayas. The hill station’s main markets, Sevoke and Bidhan Road, are constantly humming with travellers across the country. This city serves as gateway to exploring the surrounding beautiful tourist town of Darjeeling, Dooars, Kalimpong, Gangtok, and some more.
There are direct trains and flights to Siliguri. You can also take a bus if you are travelling from nearby areas.
Mirik is located in the midst of the Eastern Himalayas and was initially a commercial center for the different merchants and the general population of the encompassing tea estates and towns. Later, it was utilized more as a polo ground by the British authorities. In 1974, it attracted attention as a noticeable and tranquil hill station with the famous Sumendu Lake. Mirik is well known for its magnificent perspectives of the Kanchenjunga, the encompassing mountains and Buddhist religious communities.
Purulia, with its crisp green scene, undulating hills and thick woodlands, is ideal for a peaceful getaway. Offering peace and break from the chaos of city life, this westernmost region of West Bengal is a part of the Chotanagpur plateau. Another attraction for visitors here are the archaeological excavation sites around. Scattered with vestiges and relics of old structures and sanctuaries, there is an enchantment and appeal about the spot.
5. Dooars Valley
Known as the floodplains of the eastern Himalayas, the Dooars Valley is also a gateway to Bhutan. It was earlier under the control of Bhutan till it was taken over by the British in 1865. Today, it is a part of the states of West Bengal and Assam. The town is known as a beautiful nature reserve with foggy winters and gentle summers. One can even visit the Gorumara National Park, Buxa National Park and Jaldapara National park, all of which are in close proximity to the Dooars valley.
So, without much ado, get an IRCTC train reservation done in order to avoid unavailability, and losing out on the chance to explore the green havens of the eastern side of India, especially close to Kolkata. Hope you have a cherishable experience!