West Bengal Information and Tourist Places
Bengal has rich cultural heritage and a glorious past dates back to 3rd century BC. The region has been ruled by Mauryas, Guptas, Palas, the Muslims and finally the British. Bengal is the birth place of many great personalities, philosophers, scientists, patriots, and home to five Nobel laureates – Ronald Ross, Sir C.V. Raman, Rabindranath Tagore, Mother Teresa and Amartya Sen. During British imperialism, this region was divided into two provinces of West Bengal and East Bengal followed the policy of “divide and rule” to curb the rising of national movement in India. Present Bangladesh is the region of East Bengal and West Bengal is one of the 28th states of Indian Union.
West Bengal is bordered by Nepal and Bangladesh and the states of Orissa, Jharkhand, Bihar, Sikkim, Assam, and Meghalaya in different directions. From north to south, it stretches from Himalayan Mountain to the Gangetic plain and the Bay of Bengal. The land is mostly plain except the northern region, which comes under the Himalayan mountain range. On the basis of landforms, the state can be divided into the following regions: Darjeeling Himalayan hill region, Terai region, North Bengal plains, Rarh region, Coastal plain, Sunderbans, Western plateau and high lands and Ganges delta.
West Bengal is a state in eastern India. Kolkatta is the capital city of west Bengal. The region that is now West Bengal was part of a number of empires and kingdoms during the past two millennia. West Bengal is the most densely populated state in India.
West Bengal has been ruled by the CPI-led Left Front for three decades, making it the world’s longest-running democratically elected communist government. Tea, Steel, Jute, Sugar, Chemical, Fertilizers, Medicines and Pharmaceuticals are some of the important industries in the state.
Bengalis are fond of Bhaat (rice) and Machher jhol (fish curry). There is a wide range of dishes and cuisines with variety of tastes. Most of the typical Bengali sweets have their origin in traditional household kitchens. The most famous of all Bengali sweet is the rasogolla (a kind of sweet) which is best eaten chilled.
There are a large number of hotels in West Bengal. Hotels in West Bengal that boast of the best of accommodation facilities and services.The Hotels in West Bengal provide ample accommodation options for the numerous tourists seeking accommodation there. There are various categories of Hotels in West Bengal – ranging from luxurious Five Star and cheap Budget Hotels. Travelers would find a range of hotels that offer good value for money. Most of the hotels exhibit a curious blend of the rich culture and contempoary luxury.
Tourist places in West Bengal:
Calcutta is the largest metropolis in India. Calcutta’s role in the national economy is of crucial importance as the Gateway to Eastern India. Ships were the beginning of Calcutta’s history & the river Hoogly was the key to the city’s fortunes. Belur Math is a modern temple within the grounds of the Ramakrishna Mission. Dakshineshwar Temple, dedicated to Kali is built in the architectural style of Bengal.
The biggest colony of the Royal Bengal Tigers- the Sundarbans. These evergreen mangrove forests pulsate with a myriad forms of life. The land is split by numerous rivers and water channels all emptying into the Bay of Bengal. It is believed that Bonbibi, the goddess of the forest, protects the wood-cutters, honey-collectors and fishermen on their hazardous missions.
Darjeeling is located in West Bengal. It is a small town situated in the northern part of the state of West Bengal, provides the perfect ambience of a hill resort with its mild climate and laid back charm. Its verdant hills and valleys are steeped in colour, and are interspersed with vast stretches of lush green tea gardens. The numerous Buddhist Monasteries and Temples make the place, very unique as a hill station. Darjeeling is a popular hill station of India which is known as the queen of hill stations. It attracts tourists, holidaymakers and honeymooners from across the world. It is steeped in sheer natural beauty. The Darjeeling toy train is its fabulous attraction which is a World Heritage Site. The toy train takes you to the mesmerizing locations. The other attractions in Darjeeling are Kalimpong, botanical garden, tea gardens and waterfalls.
This small hill station is scattered over an area of 10.6 sq. km. Nestling in the lush green mid ranges of the Himalayas. It has an incredible stunning backdrop of towering snow capped peaks. This exotic town of beautiful people, mystical and enchanting, with a rare ethnic blend of hill people, has a tradition of hospitality from the days of the mule caravans of old.
Shantiniketan is a land of art & literature. A place of cultural pride of Bengal, on a rural setting with a fond memory of Rabindranath Tagore. This place forms a part of Birbhum District of West Bengal. One can see the reminiscence of Rabindranath’s work scattered all over the nooks and corners of Shantiniketan. One will be enthralled to see the various collections of Rabindranath’s used items in the Museum.
Food habits in West Bengal:
The main ingredient of the meals of the native people here is fish, cooked in different varieties. It is steamed, fried or stewed with a variety of different vegetables and also boiled with spices to add a unique flavor to the dish. Mustard oil is the all time favorite medium of cooking in the Bengali cuisine. Panchphoran is a spice that is very common and widely used in this state’s cuisine. Other famous cuisines of the state include Rassagolla, Sondesh, Began Bhaja, Luchi, Machcher Jhol, Doi Machch, Mishti Doi and Kosha Mangsho. Cooking pattern is gradually evolving as modern people of Bengal love to experiment with cooking cultures of other states and countries.
Shopping in West Bengal:
The state offers an excellent opportunity for the shopping in west Bengal. The tradition of making crafts is very rich in West Bengal. The state holds rich culture in fine arts. There are a number of celebrated painters in the state hence; painting is also a remarkable shopping item. The Bulchari saris or Bengali silk saris are the main shopping item for the female travelers. It is a famous for its exquisite design and wonderful weaving techniques. It is mainly produced at Bulachar town of Murshidabad district of West Bengal. The Chikan work, kashida and the zari work are other type of embroidery items for the shopping in west Bengal.
Climate in West Bengal :
West Bengal has a tropical climate. The plains are hot except during the short winter season while the mountainous region in the north is cold. Generally there are six seasons – springs, summer, the rainy, autumn, mild winter and severe winter.
Festivals in West Bengal:
West Bengal, one of the most important states of India, wouldn’t be complete with the festivals of the land. Durga Puja is the most important festival of the state. It’s held over four days usually during September-October. This apart, many other important festivals are held at various times during the year. They are attended by people from all over the country and from abroad as well.
Beaches in West Bengal
The coastal trip of West Bengal extending from the Gangetic delta land to the border of Orissa offers breathtaking and eye-catching beaches of Digha, Shankarpur, Junput, Bakkhali, Frazergunj and Sagardwip.
Howrah bridge: The bridge that runs along the river Hooghly has become a landmark for Kolkata and the whole of west Bengal. It connects the city of Howrah to Kolkata. It is one of the finest cantilever bridges in the world. It is 705m long and 30m wide. When illuminated at night, it looks like a long beautiful necklace. It is the soul of the city of Kolkata. Popularity of this bridge can be seen by the fact that there is a Bollywood movie of same name that was released in late 70’s.
National library: It is the biggest library in India and the country’s library for public records. Prior to independence, it was also the residential quarter of the Lt. Governor of Bengal. With over 2 million books, it caters to everybody’s demands and needs. India is proud of it today for imparting world class library facilities to its users. You can get almost all books here and it is a heaven for bookworms.
Shaheed minar: As the name suggests, the tower is homage to martyrs. Established in the year 1868, it was initially known as Ochterloney monument. The design of this tower is a great mixture of various architectural styles beautifully clubbed together. The unveiling of this tower marked the British victory in Gurkha war. If you are fit enough to negotiate 218 steps to reach to the top of this tower, you will have a beautiful view of the city.
Marble palace: The marble palace is a nineteenth century mansion located in the north of Kolkata, will capture your imagination from the first glimpse itself. A beautiful palace, it was built by one of the richest landlords of Kolkata. The building is a beautiful and wonderful mixture of various architectural styles. Though the architectural form is mainly Gothic, a closer look reveals mixture of other European and oriental styles. The house contains some of the most famous British memorabilia. Equally striking are the gardens surrounding this structure made of about 126 types of marbles.
Botanical Gardens Near Hoogley River The Botanical Gardens near the Hooghly River is another renowned attraction. The huge gardens of 109-hectares area, established in 1786, has lots of rare plants from all over the world, fantastic palm collection, a cactus house and a beautiful lake with grand Giant Amazon Lily. However, the major attraction here is the astonishingly vast and 250 years old ‘Great Banyan Tree’.