West Bengal Travel Guide
eastern Indian state of West Bengal is regarded as a land of great
diversity. This diversity is not confined to her geographical features
alone. It stretches to her demographic pattern and culture also. A canvas of
many shades, tourists could have a glimpse of the serene rural landscape,
the skyscrapers of big cities, the picturesque hill stations of the north
and scenic beaches down West Bengal's south. And when it comes to festivals,
West Bengal celebrates them in a way unmatched by any other state of India.
Bengalis are also expert in making delicious sweets.
Known in earlier times as Vanga, West Bengal has a rich history. Many
dynasties ruled and vanished in the soil of Bengal. The 13th century saw
Bengal coming under Islamic rule and later developing into a prominent place
of trade and commerce under the Mughals. Bengal is also regarded as the
first region of India to come under British rule. It is from Bengal that
British extended their rule to the rest of India and made Kolkata (Calcutta)
the initial capital of India. West Bengal is also the birth place of Nobel
prize winner Rabindra Nath Tagore and world famous film director Satyajit
Ray. Mother Teresa adopted Bengal as her home.
Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal is one of India's four metropolitan
cities. The city has many beautiful monuments dating back to the British
period. The Victoria Memorial, Birla Planetarium and Howrah bridge of
Kolkata are among its best attractions. Shantiniketan is a famous university
town in West Bengal having gained popularity for its association with
Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore. From the plains, tourists can go to higher
altitudes where the snow clad mountains of the picturesque hill station of
Darjeeling awaits them. The beauty of the hill station enthralls all who
visit the place. In close proximity are a few other hill stations namely
Kalimpong, Kurseong and Mirik.
The Sunderbans Delta in West Bengal's south is home to the Royal Bengal
Tiger. The fact that Sunderbans can only be seen through the river route
travelling by boat further adds to the thrill of visiting the place. A state
with a long coastline, West Bengal also has some scenic beaches like Falta,
Shankarpur, Digha and Sagar Islands.
West Bengal adorns a new look during the Durga Puja celebrations in the
month of October. The festival, celebrated with pomp and gaiety, attracts
tourists from all parts of India and even abroad. Bengal is particularly
famous for sweets and fish delicacies.
West Bengal is bound by the states of Sikkim, Assam, Orissa, Bihar and
Jharkhand. West Bengal also shares international boundary with Bhutan and
Bangladesh. The state also has a long coast washed by the waters of Bay of
Bengal. The vast majority of the people in the state are Bengalis. Sherpas,
Gorkhas and Paharis reside mostly in the hilly areas of the north.
West Bengal is one Indian state where tourists cannot complain of monotony.
Her attractions are diverse and mesmerizing.