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major cities of West Bengal
| Cities | Historical | Beaches | Hilstations | Adventure | Wildlife


Calcutta, the gateway city to eastern INDIA, is three hundred years old. Calcutta grew to be the capital of the British empire, with grand palaces, buildings, grand hostelries, and shops that traded in some of the finest goods of the world. Calcutta, is in in many ways a literary city too, most easily evinced in its people who are creative, and inclined to political and social debate. It also manifests itself in the lively theatre of the city and the excellent talent in writing, music and dance. Its many museums and libraries are a storehouse of information and archival wealth. Fine arts permeates all levels and sections of society. Calcutta's beautiful buildings have not been eclipsed by the high-rises. There is a hint of the past everywhere, though visitors can never escape the present. It is a physical presence that makes for an amazing and bustling city. Calcutta has a social side too, a tradition of the finest clubs in the country. Leisure hours are spent at the many golf courses, and by the turf where races and polo are regular events. There's a lot to see in Calcutta, but the city also opens up the floodgates to travel opportunities in the east.

124kms from Siliguri via New Teesta Bridge (Jalpaiguri), is a wildlife sanctuary which houses Rhinos, Bisons, Barking deer and wild elephants. With prior booking from Siliguri one can make his/her visit to Jaldapara more comfortable. A drive of about 10kms deep into the sanctuary takes you to the log house where you can spend a night. Fooding being provided by the people incharge of the log house. All the charges inclusive of food and lodging are pre-paid in Siliguri. An early morning ride on elephants deep into the wild life sanctuary is the main attraction of the place. The ride is about 2 hrs on elephant's back which goes deep into the sanctuary crushing the long grass and crossing the big lakes. The luckier tourist will be blessed by the sight of Rhinos which is a treat to watch. Another major attraction is that a person going to the Jaldapara can also visit Bhutan. An early discharge from the sanctuary about 8- 8:30 am. takes approx. one and half hours drive to Bhutan. Tourist can either spend a day in Bhutan or just a few hours - shopping, eating traditional cuisines and enjoying the endless beauty of Bhutan. Entering Bhutan requires no passport (for Indians). A simple clearance at the border gets you inside Bhutan. 4hrs from Bhutan is Siliguri. Tourist can either come back the same day or the next day according to the convenience.

Once situated on the main trade route between INDIA and TIBET for this region, KALIMPONG, today is a medley of diverse mountain people - the NEPALESE, the TIBETANS, the BHUTANESE and LEPCHAS. The panoramic view of the KANCHENJUNGA range from here is one of its significant highlights. KALIMPONG is known for its cool weather throughout the year. It is truly a garden town with numerous shaded walks along forest roads.

Somewhat lesser known destination on the tourist map of India is Kurseong (the place of the white Orchid), on the way from Siliguri to Darjeeling. A serene, small picture postcard pretty town. Kurseong is 51 km from Siliguri on the main road, and is also an important stop on the Toy Train route. The alternate route from Siliguri to Darjeeling, via Pankhabari also joins the main road a little short of Kurseong. It is a town of schools, with a number of over a century old schools providing excellent education to students from other places in West Bengal and other states in India. Kurseong has the rather unusual spectacle of the road, the rail track and the market all 'moving' towards Darjeeling in the most colourful manner. Surrounded by many world famous tea gardens producing some of the finest Darjeeling Tea in the world. It's milder, healthy climate all the year round and tranquil atmosphere had attracted many health-seeking people for restful holidays. Once it was considered quite fashionable for the rich and the famous of Calcutta to have a summer residence at Kurseong. The famous who are said to be associated with Kurseong in the past include Gurudev Rabindra Nath Tagore, Sister Nivedita, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and writer Mark Twain. An ideal holiday spot for long walk in the hills and tea gardens.

Siliguri was always a place one `passed through' on one's way to somewhere else. This `somewhere else' could have been Darjeeling, Kurseong, Mirik, Kalimpong, Gangtok, destinations in Assam and other north eastern states or the neighbouring countries of Bhutan and Nepal. With new areas being developed for tourism around the Teesta Barrage, the Doors and other areas of North Bengal, Siliguri merits a stay, not only as a base for visiting other places in the region, but also for the scenic attraction of its surrounding areas.It is a fast commercially developing township. Popularly known as the Gateway to Eastern India .The town renowned for its cane and jute works, is also a fast growing market of foreign goods imported directly from Nepal. 5kms drive from the main city takes you into a world of dreams. Surrounded by the green hills of Darjeeling and Sikkim, Siliguri is a precious gift of mother nature for tourists world wide.

Darjeeling has been a very popular hill station since British era. It is surrounded by tea plantations on all sides. It is a famous hill resort offering a breath taking sight of the numerous peaks of the majestic Himalayas. The views of Kanchenjunga and Mount Everest are particularly awe Inspiring. The luxuriant vegetation is a plant loverís paradise. The finest blend of tea comes from various tea gardens of this region. The Buddhist Monasteries and the Hindu temples found here are of architectural and cultural importance. And the Himalayan physiography of lofty mountainous terrain and cascading rivers, offers adventure sports like trekking, mountaineering and river rafting.

Vishnupur is famous for its distinct style of music, i.e. the Vishnupur Gharana. Town's another claim to fame is, Jadu Bhatt, the music teacher to Rabindranath Tagore, whose name is remembered with respect to this day. A discerning visitor may find traces of the past splendour and glory thatwas Vishnupur in its superb temples and unique handicrafts.

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