It’s not everyday that you chance upon a place which has all the qualifications to be termed as the traveller’s paradise.
West Bengal is one such place which will cater to all your inner traveller’s needs. It will invite poetry for every one of them.
Here are five reasons why West Bengal is the place to rediscover.
1. Mountains and Sea Beaches
Have you ever felt the urge to run into the lap of the mountains? Do you imagine yourself rolling on the lush green carpets of grass, while experiencing the feast on the sight of sprawling tea gardens daintily adorned over many a hill slope?
Have you longed to watch a waterfall crash down on the rocks, a lake cradled in between the behemoth snowcapped mountains ?
For the adventure seeker, a trek down the Changey Falls will leave him over-satisfied.
For those seeking leisure, Darjeeling and Kurseong will nurture to your needs, taunting you with peek-a-boo views of the Kanchenjunga.
Trailing downwards, we come to the sea coasts. The bustling beaches of Mandarmani and Digha or Tajpur, is where you can spend your time musing as you watch the waves crawl away from the sand.
It’s also some kind of a fish-lover’s little heaven with small food stalls which line the coast at daybreak.
2. Birds and Wildlife
West Bengal has an enviable flora and fauna setup. High-altitude forests of Singalila National Park is home to the barking deer, red pandas and kalij pheasants.
Dooars, at the foothills of the Himalayas, abound in rhinoceros and elephants. The delta region of the swampy Sundarbans is home to the Royal Bengal Tiger. Crocodiles too pay a visit here every now and then. The many wildlife sanctuaries and zoos too, opens up a little place of Neverland to the animal-lover.
3. Folk Culture
Talking about the folk culture of Bengal, one immediately thinks of the Bauls. The wandering music cult has earned itself a special place in world music. The dust-swirling red-soil roads of the villages of Bengal where many a Baul, robed in saffron and necklace beads, have trudged, shooing away the loneliness of an arid afternoon with his strums on the “ektara”, singing about the many philosophises life has to offer.
Often when we think of masked dances, we tend to think of Kathakali; but for the uninitiated, West Bengal, too professes the art of masked dances. Purulia is famous for its ‘Chhau’ dance culture.
Sundarbans have long continued with it’s tradition of masques or the ‘jatra’ culture and showcasing their “Bono Bibi’r Pala” is still that takes us back to our roots, grounded in the reverence of the Almighty.
4. Confluence Of Cultures
It’s curious how people from almost every noted nationality unanimously decided on West Bengal as some kind of their favourite. Be it the British who adjudged Darjeeling as the Summer Capital of the Country or be it the remains of the Dutch settlements at Chinsurah to the imposing beauty of French architecture prevailing along the riverbank settlements of Chandannagar, this State has it all.
Coming to the City Of Joy, Kolkata – one finds a jamboree of contrasting cultures waltzing with each other. It’s amazing how a Jewish Synagogue like the Magen David Synagogue ,located in the heart of the city is one of the largest in Asia.
The Greek Orthodox Church, too pulls many an inquisitive traveller. One cannot deny the influence of the Chinese colony in Tangra or the Anglo-Indian culture of Tirretta Bazaar and Bow Barracks.
What also catches the eye is the free inter-mingling of religions as Ramkrishna Mission gears up every 25th of December to celebrate the birth of Christ
The State also has British Cemeteries and Dutch Cemeteries tucked away here and there.
5. Trekking-A Beginner’s Paradise
Don’t you feel like curling along the spine of the broken-backed mountain roads? Don’t you feel a little bit of frost overwhelming you now and then, whispering to you about the roads you have not taken? Did you ever not want to climb up so high that one day you would have to watch the Sun rising below you?
The trek through the rocky terrain of the scenic Sandakhpu-Phalut-Singalila, is definitely your cup of tea, then.
The Mulkarkha Lake Trek, through the mystical and charming North Bengal, is another treat for the amateur trekker.
West Bengal is filled with bountiful of surprises at every nook and cranny. It’s for you to rediscover it. It’s for you to find a new meaning. Delve into its past ,dig into its vibrant heritage, ponder over its mystery, let your soul fly with the lilt of Tagore’s music, let it outwit your senses when you watch the Sun set over snow-capped peaks or see it coalesce with the rolling sea, hear the night call of the hyenas and distant roars of the Royal Bengal and shudder in awe of all this beauty.
It’s for you to explore Bengal, in and out.
Let it touch you in ways you haven’t been touched ever before
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