Despite February being the shortest month in the year, you can make every weekend count when it comes to your travel goals. This month, we’re recommending gorgeous getaways a few hours’ drive from your city. This means you can have a mini vacation and head back to the city within a day! Think time constraints are throwing in the spanner for your travel plans? Think again! If you’re in Kolkata, rent a car and revel in the literary history of Santiniketan, take a trip down to the bay at Gangasagar, visit the Krishna temple in Mayapur and explore wildlife in the Sunderbans.
Santiniketan is the erstwhile home of Tagore which in later years was transformed into a thriving centre of education, art, and, internationalism. It was Rabindranath Tagore’s father, Debendranath Tagore who started Santiniketan as a spiritual centre in 1863 and everyone cutting across caste, creed, and religion were welcome to Santiniketan for meditation.
Steeped in the legacy of Rabindranath Tagore and his father Maharshi Devendranath Tagore, Santiniketan is a confluence of culture and art. Santiniketan is famous for its many events, including festivals celebrating the seasons like the Basanta Utsav and BarshaMangal. The PoushMela is one of the main events in Santiniketan, it is a three-day festival that features the traditional arts and crafts, and of course the famous Baul music performances. The deer park at Santiniketan is one of the most tranquil spots in the area, a perfect place to unwind over a weekend visit.
Located on the banks of the Ganges, Mayapur is a holy town in West Bengal, the birthplace of the Hindu saint Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. It is believed that Mayapur attracts more than a million visitors each year, due to its importance as a sacred site. One of the main attractions of Mayapur is the Pushpa Samadhi Mandir. The temple is also famous for its museum, which showcases events from the life of Srila Prabhupada, the founder of ISKCON and the globally significant “Hare Krishna” movement. Other famous landmarks include the Chandrodaya Mandir with its three different altars. The distance between Kolkata and Mayapur is around 130 kms, involving a scenic drive through Bengal’s countryside. Book a Kolkata to Mayapur car rental and enjoy a memorable trip.
West Bengal’s most famous landmark is undoubtedly the Sunderbans, which is located at the South Eastern tip of the 24 Parganas. It is a part of the world’s largest delta formed by the rivers of Ganga, Brahmaputra and Meghna. Of the entire delta, 4,262 sq kilometres of the Sunderbans is situated in India, while another larger portion is a part of Bangladesh. 2,585 sq kilometres of the Indian side of the Sunderbans is dedicated to India’s largest tiger reserve, the Sunderbans National Park. The most famous and popular inhabitant of the Sunderbans is the Tiger and there are over 100 of these magnificent cats roaming the dense forests of this delta and even swimming through the network of channels and mangroves. It is an exciting adventure as you cruise through the world’s largest mangrove sanctuary and its waterways, all the while relishing the breath-taking sights. You can use one of the reliable outstation taxi services in Kolkata that will transport you to the Sunderbans quickly and safely.
Gangasagar over the years has been hosting both pilgrims as well as people who are into adventure sports. This place is situated near the Sunderbans and one shall get enchanted with the beauty of this place as soon as he enters. The beach alongside the calm waves of the sea is a perfect weekend gateway for anyone wanting to take a break from the city life. Gangasagar’s island is also very reputed among the pilgrims following Hindu religion. It is not as widely known, and is still away from the crowd and still has managed to keep intact its raw charm.