Posts Tagged ‘Weekend trip Kolkata’

Moghalmari, Buddhist Archaeological Site, West Midnapore

August 19, 2020 5 comments

Moghalmari, Buddhist Archaeological Site

West Midnapore

Also see: Weekend Family tour of West Midnapore

Moghalmari is located on the left bank of Subarnarekha River in the district of West Medinipur, 3.2 miles north of Dantan. Since the turn of the millennium an extensive excavation have reveled the remains of an ancient Budhhist Monastery.

Mughalmari 1

Moghalmari excavation site

The name Moghalmari probably originated from a pitch battle of 16th century between the Mughal and the local king. Although the Mughal army emerged victorious but a large number of Mughal soldiers were killed and hence the name.

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Kurumbera, A fortified Temple Complex

May 20, 2020 5 comments


A fortified Temple Complex

Also see: Weekend Family tour of West Midnapore

The  fortified temple complex of Kurumbera lies in the village of Gaganeshwar, which is 4 km from Keshiari and 30 km from Kharagpur. The structure resembles the medieval architecture of Odisha, while also incorporating elements of later Mughal architecture.

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Fortified complex of Kurumbera, West Midnapore

Kurumbera means stone wall (kurum = stone, bera = fence) and refers to the 12 feet high wall enclosing the complex. The wall complex measured 253 feet by 173 feet and has a gateway on the northern side.

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Gangani, a scaled down version of the Grand Canyon

April 29, 2020 3 comments


A scaled down version of the Grand Canyon

See also: Kurumbera, Moghalmari, Gangani and Pathra, Weekend Family Tour

The wind and water have carved and chiselled the landscape for millions of years creating a unique landscape. The layers of colourful mud and rocks exposes a records of millions of years.

Gongani 1

Gangani Canyon

It is not the Grand Canyon but a scale down version of it is located just four hours drive from Kolkata. Gangani or Gongoni, located in the outskirts of the Garhbeta town in West Medinipur district of West Bengal, houses a canyon loving known as the Grand Canyon of West Bengal.

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Kurumbera, Moghalmari, Gangani and Pathra, Weekend Family Tour

March 25, 2020 6 comments

Kurumbera, Moghalmari, Gangani and Pathra

Weekend Family Tour from Salboni, West Midnapore

Also see: Weekend Family tour of West Midnapore

A fortified temple complex, an excavated Buddhist Vihar, a canyon not as grand as the Grand Canyon and finally a village of brick built temples and all this in a single weekend tour from Kolkata

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Weekend tour of West Midnapore. Clockwise from top left: Kurumbera (fortified temple complex), Moghalmari (an excavated Buddhist Vihar), Gangani (canyon) and Pathra (temple village)

Dol and Holi 9 March (Monday) and 10 March (Tuesday) 2020 provided a extended weekend and an excellent opportunity for a weekend tour to explore the hidden natural and historical treasures of West Midnapore.

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Balakhana Heritage Home Stay, Maheshganj Estate

January 26, 2018 6 comments

Balakhana Heritage Home Stay

Maheshganj Estate, Nadia, West Bengal

Heritage hotels and homestays are an integral part of Indian tourism industry. Although late, West Bengal has also joined the trend. In the last couple of years The Rajbari BawaliBaithakkhana Amadpur, Bari Kothi Azimganj, Rasbari Garden House Belur and Itachuna Rajbari have come up with some amazing heritage properties.

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Balakhana Heritage Home Stay, Maheshganj Estate, Nadia, West Bengal

Balakhana, Maheshganj Estate, an indigo planter’s bungalow, converted into a heritage home stay  is also in the list. The Balakhana Heritage Home Stay, Maheshganj is Italian in origin, French in style and has a rich Bengali legacy.

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Bawali and Achipur, A long awaited family tour

January 17, 2018 4 comments

Bawali and Achipur

A long awaited family tour

It has been almost two years since our last vacation in Boronti, a weekend destination in Purulia, and my wife and eight year old daughter were desperate for a holiday.

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With my wife (Debjani) and daughter (Rupsha) at the banks of River Hooghly, near Achipur Barood Ghar

We decided to visit Bawali in South 24 Parganas and my wife took the initiative of booking the Bawali Farmhouse.

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Cochrane Place, Kurseong

Cochrane Place, Kurseong

A Heritage Resort with a blend of Tea, Train and Tranquility

See also: FAM (Familiarization) Tour of Cochrane Place, Kurseong

Located on the outskirts of the town of Kurseong (near Darjeeling) is Cochrane Place, the restored and recreated residence of Percy John Cochrane, MBE (1866 – 1944), Honorable Magistrate and Barrister of Kurseong Town.

Cochrane Place, Kurseong

Cochrane Place, Kurseong

It was known as “the Hermitage” because of its splendid vista and tranquility. The original structure was dismantled in 2004 and remodeled into Cochrane Place Resort.

Cochrane Place is a heritage resort with an unique blend of tea, trains and tranquility. Restored in stone, log and cast iron splendor, Cocharne Place  is a botique hotel for guests looking for warm and friendly ambiance.

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Bishnupur, Temple Town

July 10, 2013 35 comments


Temple Town

Stone has always been in short supply in the vast flood plains of Bengal. Hence the architects had to restore to other substitute. As clay was easily available the burnt clay bricks soon became a good substitute of stone. This gave rise to a new form of temple architecture and lead to the construction of elaborately decorated terracotta temples.

Scattered Temples of Bishnupur, Bankura, West Bengal

Scattered Temples of Bishnupur, Bankura, West Bengal

Terracotta literally means baked earth in Italian but West Bengal has the distinction of housing some of the finest terracotta art in the world. The terracotta art reached its pinnacle under the patronage of the Malla Kings of Bishnupur during the seventeenth century.

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Gokulchand ~ Stone temple

September 26, 2012 8 comments

Gokulchand Temple, Gokulnagar

~ Fortified Stone Temple ~

Stone has always been in short supply in the vast flood plains of Bengal. Hence the architects had to restore to other substitute. As clay was easily available the burnt clay bricks soon became a good substitute of stone. This gave rise to a new form of temple architecture and lead to the construction of elaborately decorated terracotta temples giving Bengal a place in the world tourist map.

Gokuleswar Temple, Gokulnagar

Gokulchand Temple and natmandir, Gokulnagar

Although numerous brick terracotta temples dot the entire Gangatic West Bengal but they are not the only form of temple architecture. Stone temples do exists in West Bengal and are mainly concentrated in the western region of the state and adds a new dimension to Bengal Temple Architecture.

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Frazerganj, Bakkhali & Henry’s Island ~ Beach by the Mangrove

September 21, 2011 39 comments

Exactly 100 years ago, Lt-Gov. of Bengal Andrew Frazer fell in love with a beach at one end of the Sunderbans. He was so drawn to that stretch of sand that he built a bungalow at Narayanitala, the nearest village.

Bakkhali Beach

Bakkhali Beach

The bungalow by the sea, surrounded by coconut groves, became a talking point among the Englishmen in Calcutta. Frazer, however, could not fulfil his dream of converting Narayanitala, later rechristened Frazerganj, into a health and beach resort. The bungalow, too, was swallowed by the advancing waters. Today, apart from the name, nothing remains of Frazerganj’s colonial past. However, don’t be disheartened, for the beach of Frazerganj, along with those of nearby Henry’s Island and Bakkhali are enchanting enough for a perfect weekend and more.

Located about 130 km from Kolkata, Bakkhali, Frazerganj & Henry’s Island is well connected by road. The highlight of the 5 hours bus journey is the crossing of the Hatania – Doania River. Bus and other vehicles are ferried by a vessel across the narrow but swift flowing river.


Sunrise, Bakkhali Beach

Sunrise, Bakkhali Beach

Bakkhali beach is one of the few beaches in India, which offers a spectacular sunrise and sunset. The sun rises and sets along the edge of the sea turning both the water and sand into a bright shade of crimson. Bakkhali is the most popular of the three resorts and have a number of hotels, including the West Bengal Government Tourist Lodge.

The beach of Bakkhali is safe but is not ideal for swimming as the water is very shallow. There are nearby fishing villages and fresh fishes are sold straight out of the fisher’s man net. There is nothing much to do in Bakkhali expect laze in the beach.

In the evening tea stall lets out plastic chairs @ Rs5 per hour and one can sit for hours munching on endless plates of Bhelpuri, Jhalmuri, Pokaros gulping it down with cups of tea.

When it comes to food Bakkhali is a favourite hunt for the fish loving Bengali tourist. Promfret, Bethki, Ilish, Pabda along with prawns and crabs are available at a throw away price at the roadside eateries. These eateries also cooks the freshly caught fish purshased from the sea beach. Do try out the fish and sea food at the Sagar Kanya, a small eatery on the road connecting Bakkhali Bus – stand to the beach.

Fishing Activity, Bakkhali Beach

Fishing Activity, Bakkhali Beach

Bakkhali also houses a Deer & Crocodile Farm. It also doubles up as a crocodile breading centre with crocodiles of different ages kept in different reservoirs. The deer are also kept in large enclosure.  The place is always infested with stray monkeys.

The Bakkhali also houses a small shrine dedicated to the gurdain deity of Sundarban Bonbibi. The easiest way to visit the temple is to take a walk along the beach with the sea on the right. Walk till the last lamppost and take a left turn into the Causarina forest leading up to the small shrine of Bonbibi.


Between Bakkhali and Frazerganj

Between Bakkhali and Frazerganj

Named after Lt-Gov. of Bengal Andrew Frazer, Frazerganj is about 3 km from Bakkhali. It is well connected from Bakkhali by bus and cycle van but the best option is to walk along the beach.

The beach between Bakkhali & Frazerganj is lonely and there are several fishing villages and you are quiet likely to come across fishermen mending their boats and nets, with their children playing in the beach.

The main landmark of the Frazerganj beach are the towering wind mills. Slightly of the Frazerganj beach are several dilapidated houses almost at the verge of collapsing, locals believe them as the remains of Frazer’s famed bunglow, but there are no concrete evidences to justify their belief.

Farazerganj is a hub of fishing activities and houses a large harbour. A short bumpy cycle van ride connects the beach to the harbour. Hundred of fishing boats, of all posible shape and size, line up the harbour. It is a place of fanatic activities with fishes being unloaded and packed with ice. Benfish also runs a auction centre at the harbour.

Boats being worshiped at Frazerganj Harbour

Boats being worshiped at Frazerganj Harbour

It is also a place where boats and nets are mended. Also you can come across new boats are being worshiped before making their maiden voyage.

Frazerganj harbour is also the lunch pad for trips to the uninhabited Jambu Dip, a small island approachable by a short but rough boat ride. Apart from a few temporary fishing huts Jambu Dip has no permanent settlement. It is an ideal place to enjoy the beach all to yourself, but be prepared for rough ride and wadding through knee deep water.


Mangrove Forest on Kiran Beach, Henry's Island

Mangrove Forest on Kiran Beach, Henry's Island

Located on the western edge of the Sundarban, Henry’s Island is fast developing into in West Bengal’s favorite Beach Resort. Named after a British surveyor, who survived the area about a century ago, Henrys Island is one of the numerous island that form the Ganga – Brahmaputra delta, the largest in the world. Crisscrossed by numerous rivers and rivulets Henry’s island offer an interesting mix of beach and mangrove forest. A place, where tourist can laze on the beach and spot wildlife simultaneously.

During 1980s the West Bengal Fisheries Department took the initiative of turning Henry’s Island into a tourist spot. Several ponds were dug and a forestation project taken up. It also led to the construction of the two resorts of Mangrove & Sundari.

Sundari Resort, Henry's Island

Sundari Resort, Henry's Island

A kilometer long narrow Bernard Road connects Henry’s Island to the Kolkata – Bakkhali Highway. The road meanders through agricultural fields and Henry’s Island is reached after crossing a creek, where the beautifully laid garden welcomes you to the Mangrove Resort. The meatled road gives away to a brick laid road and it meanders through dense forest to reach the Sundari Resort, from there a further 10 minute walk takes you to the Kiran Beach.

The Kiran Beach is a mixture of sand and clay and is lined with casuarinas plantation with occasional mangroves. You are quite likely to have the beach all to yourself along with a company of red crabs, turning the beach into a red carpet.

Sundari Tourist Complex houses a watch tower, providing a panoramic view of the surrounding and lucky few can even spot wildlife like deer and wild pigs. Complex also house several large ponds used for fish cultivation. Fresh fish and shrimps straight out the ponds are a must try for the visitors.

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