West Bengal Trip Information
Built in 1809, this shrine dedicated to the goddess Kali, is a great centre of Hindu pilgrimage. The curved double canopy roof of the temple is typical of medieval Bengal Hindu architecture.
The Headquarters of the International Ramakrishna Mission was built in 1899. This mission was founded in 1897 by Vivekanand following the death of his guru Sri Ramkrishna Paramhansa in 1886. The Belur Math, a modern shrine resembles a temple, a mosque, and a church seen from different directions and symbolizes the message that all religious faith are essential one.
Dakshineswar Ka1i Temple
20 km. north of the city and across the river Hooghly, opposite Belur Math, stands this Kali temple built in 1847. Associated with Sri Ramkrishna Paramhansa, its main shrine houses the image of Goddess Kali the chosen deity of the Paramhansa standing on Prostrate Shiva.
This amazing centilever bridge across the Hooghly, was erected in 1941. This 457 meter tensile steel structure is a great landmark, which dominates the whole landscape here. It is now called the Rabindra Setu. It is estimated that over 2 million people use it every day.
Other interesting places of Calcutta include Birla Industrial and Technological Museum, Ashutosh Museum, Academy of Fine Arts, Children’s Museum, Asiatic Society, Eden Gardens, St. Paul’s Cathedral, St. John’s Cathedral, Armenian Church of Holy Nazareth and the Parsi Fire Temple.
Calcutta is a shopping paradise for those interested in buying terracotta folk sculptures, articles made of sponge wood, handloom cotton and silk saris, bamboo and cane ware, muga silk, etc.The main shopping areas are New Market, Gariahat, Shyam Bazar, Bara Bazar, areas around the lake. Harisoii Road and the Bengal Govt. Sales Emporium located at various places 01 the city. Calcutta is well connected with most of the major towns of the country as also with the big cities of the world. For North Eastern States, Darjecling. Port Blair and Andaman Islands; this is the main airport. It has two big stations Howrah and Sealdah. Local transport includes trams, buses, taxis, man-drawn rickshaw and the underground Metro. Sight seeing tours are operated by ITDC and the State Tourist Bureau. There is a plethora of good hotel, rest houses, tourist bungalows, many Govt. and private hostels, etc. There are three 5 star hotels and many other standard hotels.
Excursions include trip to Diamond Harbour—the entry point of the Hoogly into the sea, Bansberia—famous for temples, Chandernagar—an erstwhile French Colony; Vishnupur—the Cradle of Bengali Culture and Santiniketan— the University founded by the Noble Laureate Rabindranath Tagore (163 kms. away).
Once the Capital of Bengal. Murshidabad is 219 km. north of Calcutta, had been connected intimately with the events which shaped the course of Indian history. Nawab Siraj-ud Daula, the ruler, was defeated at plassey by the British forces led by Clive, the architect of the British Empire in India. Murshidabad has a number of interesting historical places including the Hazardurari Palace, the Jafargani Deorhi, the Moti Jhil, Khushagh. This old town is also larnous for its silks, ivor) carvings, hrassware and other traditional handicrafts.
Enroute Murshidahad is Plassey, 172, km. north of Calcutta where in 1757 Siraj-ud-Daula was defeated by Lord Clive. Nabdwip, the famous town associated with legendary religious reformer Sri Chaitanya Mahaprahu (1486-1527), is 114 km. north of Calcutta. Near Murshidahad along the route to Daijeeling is English Bazaar, well known for its ancient remains and ruins.
Temperature: Summer 8°C to 15° C. Winter l.5° C to 6°C. Altitude: 2,130 meters
Best Season: April-June and Sept.-Nov.
About 651 km. north of Calcutta, Darjeeling, the only hill station of Bengal, is surrounded by sprawling tea plantation. With majestic Kanchanjunga. the real king of the mountains, is an ideal place for holidaying, trekking, hiking and long pleasant walks, The toy train journey from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling is a real fun to enjoy. The mini train loops and switch-backs so fascinatingly in its journey up the wooded mountains that one feels amply rewarded. It is well over 100 ears old and took about three years to complete at a cost of Rs. 421 lakhs. Darjeeling can boast of the highest station in the world at Ghoom. Darjeeling was founded by Lord Napier of Royal Engineers. The British annexing it from Gurkhas of Bhutan developed it. This is also the centre of the multitudes of Tea Gardens sprawling all round. There are good hotels for the visitors at the Chowrasta and the Nehru Road. The places of tourist interest are: Tiger Hill (11 km. away, famous for fascinating view of the dawn), Senchal Lake (also a golf course nearby), Ghoom Monastery (having 15 feet high giant image of Maitreya or of the Coming Buddha), Lloyd Botanical Garden, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Zoological park; Passenger Ropeway (India’s first ropeway, and 5 km. long) and of course the various Tea Plantations. Bagdogra is the nearest airport to Darjeeling and there regular flights to Bagdogra from Calcutta, Delhi and Patna. By coming from train, one has to come to New Jalpaigurj and then take the famous train to arrive at Darjeeling. The place is also popular for trekking.