Vaccinated with nowhere to go? These destinations are a stone's throw away from Kolkata
Are you vaccinated and have a weekend to spare? Start your engine and drive to these nearby tourist destinations
Convenient weekend getaways are a thing again, so vaccinated travellers can close their laptops and travel to any number of neighbouring destinations by car while maintaining the health guidelines. There are certain checkpoints and protocols to be followed but ID and vaccination certificates (digital or print copies) are pretty much all you need to head to a mini-retreat, besides masks, sanitisers, disinfectants, of course.
Here are all the nearby destinations you can explore if you’ve been jabbed and are raring to travel
The town was developed by the Tagore’s as a hub of experimental conscious learning and offers a vivid look into the legacy of the inimitable family. Spend a tranquil morning in Debendranath Tagore’s Upasana Griha, marvel at the black clay wonders of Kalo Bari or Kala Bhavan, pick up some authentic weaves from the weekly Sonajhuri haat or stock up on farm-grown, organic produce from the local farmhouses.
An eco-stay is the best way to engage with the rusticity of the historic town, they offer a quaint retreat while allowing travellers a look into the real Santhal culture.
Distance from Kolkata: 162.9 km
Travel time by road: 4 hours
Best places to stay: The Garden Bungalow, Madol Eco Stay, Shantiniketan Eco Hut
A weekend for two can cost you: Rs 10K-12K
Bishnupur offers one of the most scenic temple trails in the country, dotted with immaculate terracotta artistry. September-October is the best time to visit the otherwise humid city, and the Kolkata-Bardhaman-Bishnupur route offers a smooth, idyllic road trip.
The daunting Rasmancha is a Malla Dynasty marvel featuring immaculate Vaishnava architecture and is also a protected monument by the Archaeological Survey of India. There’s also Shyam Rai’s Pancha Ratna Temple, the single spire Radha Madhab temple and the brooding Hawa Mahal. Also, splurge on some hand-woven Baluchari and the sought-after ‘mecha sandesh’
Distance from Kolkata: 139 km
Travel time by road: 4 hours (approx)
Best places to stay: Banalata Resort, Hotel Annapurna
A weekend for two can cost you: Rs 10K-15K
The coastal town offers the most convenient, economic and fuss-free getaway in West Bengal that can be reached by bus, train or car. You can reach Digha in four hours even if you are bit by the travel bug one Saturday afternoon. Wile away some hours at the beach sipping on coconut water or hit a shanty for some steaming fried pomfret. The Shankarpur and Udaipur beaches are a stone’s throw away from the New Digha beach, so you can spend a perfectly sunny weekend on very short notice and still be on time for your Monday Zoom.
Distance from Kolkata: 181 km
Travel time by road: 4 hours 30 mins (approx)
Best places to stay: Hotel Blue Waves, Cygnett Inn Sea View, Le Roi Digha
A weekend for two: Rs 10K approx
Situated on the banks of the river Jalangi, Krishnanagar houses the majestic Rajbari, or the Krishnagar Palace, replete with gigantic ‘thakur dalan’ and exotic Persian jhumars from the time of Raja Krishnachandra Roy. Krishnanagar’s clay figurines are world-renowned for their minute anatomical details. There’s also the Bethuadahari forest that offers a jungle safari experience, and the Ghurni neighbourhood where one can find the studios of the clay potters.
Distance from Kolkata: 106 km
Travel time by road: 4 hour
Best places to stay: Hotel Haveli, Hotel Nilachal
A weekend for two can cost you: Rs 8K-9K
If you find the bustling Digha a bit too busy, head to this seaside resort village for a luxury retreat. Mandarmani has one of the longest driveable beaches in the country, so make the most of the sandy stretches by engaging in fun water activities.
You can also score the freshest seafood from lip-smacking lobsters to kingfish. The Chandaneshwar temple and Amarabati Park is only a couple of hours away, and if you’re looking for some quiet downtime, just set up a sunshade by the beach.
Distance from Kolkata: 170 kms
Travel time by road: 4 hours
Best places to stay: Bombay Beach Resort, Viceroy Beach and Spa, The Sana Beach Resort
A weekend for two can cost you: Rs 20,000 approx
Once the state capital of pre-British Bengal and has experienced some of the most tumultuous events in the history of colonial Bengal. Located on the banks of River Bhagirathi, Murshidabad was a silk trade hub and to date, the three-shuttle mulberry silk sarees of Bishnupur are coveted across the world.
The village of Plassey where the infamous battle took place between the British East India Company and the Nawab of Bengal, is only 1:30 hours away from Murshidabad. The Hazarduari Palace boasts stunning Italianate architecture and still houses some of Siraj-Ud-Daula’s swords is a noteworthy attraction. The Katra Masjid is the tomb of Murshid Quli Khan, the first Nawab of Bengal. Another noteworthy attraction is the Bacchawali Tope, a cannon that lies in the Nizamat Fort Campus that was made between the 12th and 14th century, probably by the Mohammedan rulers of Gaur and was used to protect the city of Murshidabad from north-western attacks
Distance from Kolkata: 228.3 Km
Travel time by road: 6 hours
Best places to stay: Jalchhabi Hotel and Resort, Cossimbazar Palace
A weekend for two can cost you: Rs 25,000 approx