Travel Bucket List: India – West Bengal Part 3

Shantiniketan
Known as Rabindranath Tagore’s home and now a university, Santiniketan is a small town which comprises mainly of the Visva Bharati University. Set up by Rabindranath Tagore’s father and later popularised by Tagore to radically change the concept of education in India, today, this small and beautifully laid out university town is a unique destination. Santiniketan comprises many academic blocks, each dedicated to a separate branch of study. The China Bhavan, as per its name, focuses on studying of Chinese Culture, traditions and language. As it’s name suggests, Kala Bhavan promotes art among the students and focuses on developing the artistic bent among its patrons and very aptly also has the most beautifully done block. The Sangeet Bhavan is the block that fosters music and dance with regular practices held here. The Nippon Bhavan, just like the China Bhavan, aims to foster Japanese- India relations. The centre, though located in the main campus is an autonomous body and not controlled by the university. It also conducts many exchange programs to and from Japan. Chattimtala was the meditation spot of Tagore’s father, Maharshi Debendranath Tagore. A scholar himself, he advocated meditation and introspection as the keys to success and world progress. Every student is very deeply connected to this place as graduates are honored with a branch of Saptaparni tree seen in Chhatimtala.The prayer hall, one of the prettiest places in Santiniketan is located in close vicinity. The site is considered to be very sacred and highly revered. The Uttrayan complex takes you down Tagore’s memory lane and particularly worth seeing is Udayan, where Tagore lived. The beautiful heritage building is very well maintained. Other places to see are Konark, Shyamali, which is a mud hut, Punascha and Udichi. The complex has beautiful gardens and the Rabindra Bhaban Museum in close vicinity. Combined entry fee for the two is Rs 5. Cameras and hand bags not allowed. The complex remains shut on Wednesdays. Located in close vicinity of the university, Amar Kutir showcases a number of locally made handicrafts, including leather printed bags, printed cloth etc. The Rabindra Bhaban Museum is perhaps the most satisfying place for historical inquisitiveness. Built in 1961, it houses some of Tagore’s original manuscripts, letters, documents, paintings, certificates and photographs. It also includes the Nobel Prize Medallion he received and is a must-visit for everyone who comes to Santiniketan. The small rural town of Kankalitala is located about 7 km from Santiniketan and the drive, or the walk, if one prefers, takes one through the beautiful landscape of semi urban India. There is also a small temple that is considered to be highly sacred.

Durgapur
Known as the Steel Capital of West Bengal and the fourth largest urban agglomeration after Kolkata, Asansol and Siliguri, Durgapur is the only city in eastern India to have an operational dry dock. Durgapur was planned by two American architects, Joseph Allen Stein and Benjamin Polk in 1955 on the bank of the Damodar river. The Durgapur Steel Plant comes under the Steel Authority of India (SAIL) with the massive complex an engineer’s delight. A number of large-scale operations and equipment are housed in the premises and is a great learning experience, but the plant is not open to the general public and one needs connections to be able to make a visit to the plant. The Durgapur Barrage which was built to control the overflowing Damodar river in the monsoons and also connects Durgapur with Bankura and is one the prime attractions of the town. This structure keeps the flow of Damodar river, notorious as the Sorrow of Bengal in check with the structure and the adjoining bridge offering a breathtaking view. Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay in his novels, Devi Chaudhurani and Durgesh Nandini mentions the maze of tunnels of Bhabani Pathak’s Tilla. Today a protected monument, it opens in the city center and goes up to the Damodar river. This well preserved place is must visit but one should not venture into uncertain places as they may get lost. The Troinka Park offers a complete leisure time for the entire family with rides, water sports and boating. A charming little hamlet in Durgapur’s suburbs beside the river Ajay, Deul Park is was formerly a lightly wooded forest area rich with the legacies and legends of Ichai Ghosh and is now a popular tourist spot. Deul is as rich in nature as it is in historical significance.

Jhargram
A small town with a rich historical and cultural past, Jhargram is surrounded by dense forests and is the perfect place to spend time mesmerised by its picturesque beauty. Founded by Sarveshwar Singh of the Chauhan clan of Rajputs from Fatehpur Sikri in Rajputana, Jhargram, which means a forest village surrounded by by canals and walls with the locals calling it Ugal. Jhargram is filled with beautiful and thick trees and medicinal plants and a number of birds including rare and migratory birds. The Chilkigarh Kanak Durga temple lies 15 km from Jhargram and is an ancient temple believed to be built in 1348 and later reconstructed. The Sabitri Mandir is at a distance of 3 km from Jhargram and was built around 350 year ago with intricate carvings and beautiful architecture. Kendua which is 10 km from Jhargram is a quaint village and famous for bird watching. The village is replete with lush green trees amongst which birds live as well as many migratory birds. The Medicinal Plant Garden also known as Amlachoti Medicinal Plant Garden by locals is filled with a number of plants used as medicines. Ketki Falls is a beautiful waterfall that is full of water. The Tribal Museum in Jhargram is a must visit place to learn about the tribals with the rich history and culture of the area that can be seen through artefacts. Jhargram Palace used to be the home of the king of Jhargram and is grand palace with 10 rooms and 3 dormitories. The Jhargram Mini Zoo is spread over a vast area with an entire section dedicated to deers calling it Deer Park. The Chilkigarh Raj Palace lies in ruins today but was an affluent palace once upon a time and houses two temples. The Dulung river flows through Jhargram and is sacred to the tribals. The beauty of Jhargram is at its peak during the winter season with the weather is pleasant and windy.

Asansol
Known as the Land of Black Diamond and the City of Brotherhood, Asansol is the second largest and most populated city of West Bengal and the 39th largest urban agglomeration in India. Located on the banks of the Damodar river, Asansol’s economy is primarily dependent on its steel and coal industries, railways, and its trade and commerce. It’s name is derived from a combination of Asan which is a species of tree which generally grows thirty meters tall and is found on the banks of the Damodar river and sol which refers to land. Historically the city was anglicised as Assensole during the British colonial era but the name everted to Asansol after independence. The region is believed to have been a part of the kingdom of Vishnupur where the Malla dynasty ruled for approximately thousand years till the British came into the picture. Dravidian people constituted the initial settlement in this area and the prevalent Jain temples serve as proof of Jain activities that happened over two thousand five hundred years back. It is believed that the last Jain Tirthankara, Mahavira Vardhamana, used to live here. Popular places of attraction include the Rabindra Bhawan, Nazrul Academy, the Kalyaneshwari Temple, Burnpur Riverside and the Jagannath temple. The Kalyaneshwari Temple is situated on the boundary that divides West Bengal and Jharkhand and easily accessible while the Ghagar Buri Chandi Temple is built in beautiful shades of orange and white and is surrounded by water bodies. Nehru Park’s beautiful greenery and picturesque locale alongside the Damodar river makes it a must-visit spot. Satabdi Park is a famous recreational zone frequently visited by locals and has plenty of entertainment facilities and amusement park rides that are a hit.

Murshidabad
Located on the eastern bank of the Hooghly river, Murshidabad was the capital of the Bengal Subah of the Mughal empire in the 18th century and the seat of the hereditary Nawab of Bengal and the richest Mughal province. Silk was a major product of Murshidabad and the city was also a centre of art and culture, including the Murshidabad style of Mughal painting. The city’s decline began with the defeat of the last independent Nawab of Bengal Siraj-ud-Daulah at the Battle of Plassey in 1757. Murshidabad was named after its founder, Nawab Murshid Quli Khan and was part of the Gauda and Vanga Kingdoms in ancient Bengal. During the 17th century, the area was well known for sericulture.

The Wasif Manzil is a palace built by Nawab Wasif Ali Mirza Khan the then Nawab of Murshidabad. Located at the south end of Hazarduari Palace, it is touted as the new palace because it was built much later. It houses numerous marble statues and used to have an artificial hill and landscape on its side which got destroyed along with most of the palace in the earthquakes of 1867 after which the palace was restored, but the hill was never reconstructed. Located a few kilometers off Murshidabad, the Kath Gola palace complex, built originally to entertain European and Muslim guests during trade visits is a must-visit. The name Kala Gola, which means wood warehouse is from the lumberyard that used to be functional in the area before the palace was built. The palace, endless gardens, ponds, a temple devoted to Adinath and a statue of michealangelo are few of the distinctive features of the palace. Spread over an area of 41 acres, the Hazarduari Palace is second to none with a stunning structure on the Kila Nizamat campus. Located on the eastern banks of the river Bhagirathi within an enclosure known as Kila Nizamat, the palace’s name roughly translates to a thousand doors as this palace is embellished with a thousand ornamental gateways. Out of these, 900 doors are real, and the rest are fake doors built to confuse intruders. The construction style is an amalgam of Italian and Greek architectural styles. The perimeter of the palace also houses the Nizamat Imambara, Wasif Manzil, Bacchawali Tope and the Murshidabad Clock Tower. A museum today, the palace has many antiques which range from Siraj-ud-Daula’s prized swords to the vintage cars owned by the Nawabs. The palace is closed on Fridays and on other days is open from 9 am to 5 pm and has an entry fee of INR 5 for Indians and INR 100 for foreigners. Built by the descendants of Debi Singh, a tax collector in the early days of East India Company, the Nasirpur Palace has a Ramachandra Temple, one of the biggest temples of the district and The Lakshmi-Narayana Temple, famous for its Jhulanjatra celebrations. The Jahan Kosha Cannon is one km off Katra and was built by Janardan Karmakar of Dhaka, a small craftsman at the time. The 7 ton cannon means the destroyer of the world. In addition to the 18 feet tall cannon, close by is the beautiful Kadam Sharif Mosque which contains the replica of the footprint of the prophet Hazrat Mohammad. On the northern side of the palace lies the Nizamat Imambara, built in 1847 AD by Nawab Nazim Mansoor Ali Khan Feradun Jah, son of Humayun Jah. The stunning mosque was built after the Imambara built by Siraj-ud-Doula that burnt down in a fire. The mosque complex is known to be the biggest in Bengal, and maybe even India. Construction of the Footi Mosque was begun by Nawab Sarfaraz Khan and is located towards the east of the Hazarduari Palace, at Kumrapore. The mosque could not be completed and is often rumored to have been built in one night. Madina is a small mosque between the Palace and the Imambara and made to replicate Hazrat Muhammad’s tomb at Madina. The original mosque’s foundation had soil from Mecca, before it got destroyed in a fire and the one constructed later was built with soil from Karbala. The rooms of the mosque can house 700 Quran readers and has two minarets at the two ends of the mosque measuring 70 feet high. The architectural layout of this mosque is rectangular and has been divided into five inlets, each with a curved entrance and the central one is the most noticeable one as it has a lean steeple. The mosque has five domes, each of them used by a solo Namaz reader.

Mukutmanipur
A popular weekend getaway for Kolkata locals, Mukutmanipur is a serene town located at the confluence of the Kangsabati and Kumari rivers close to the Jharkhand border. With lush green forests, clear blue water and green hills in the backdrop, Mukutmanipur is a Jain pilgrim town, especially Ambikanagar which is just 3 km from the town. The Mukutmanipur Dam is said to be the second largest dam in the country while the man-made barrage here which canalises the river water of the Kumari and Kangsabati rivers for irrigation purposes during summers is also the second largest of its kind. Built in 1956 on the Kangsabati river, the Kangsabati Dam is a huge damn with the view in the evening close to sunset, merged with the entire backdrop absolutely breathtaking. The road by the damn can be driven on and is a smooth ride, a very romantic one at that. Named after the 23rd Jain Tirthankara, Parasnath Hills which falls across the border in Jharkhand is a popular Jain pilgrimage centre. It is believed that 20 out of 24 Teerthankars have attained their deliverance here on the highest peak in this range, Sammet Sikhar. There are as many as 20 temples here, some of which were built more than 2000 years ago. Ambikanagar is famous as a Jain pilgrimage and an ancient city situated by the river. It is also known for its tribal population and culture with handicrafts made from bamboo and grass a local speciality.

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Malda
Malda or English Bazar is the sixth largest city in the state on the banks of the Mahananda river. The name English Bazar is derived from Angrezabad or English town, which came about in the 17th century because of the English factory nearby. Located at the confluence of the rivers Mahanadi and Kalindi, about 350 km from Kolkata, the town is popular not only for its mango orchards but also for its rich history and heritage. The folk culture comprising of Gombhira and Kaviyal is another major attraction. Sultan Yusuf Shah built the Chamkati Masjid Chika Mosque in 1475 and the name has a very unique origin. It is called the Chika Mosque because it sheltered a number of Chikas or bats. In addition to beautiful Arabic carvings, which are still partly visible, the mosque also bears Hindu temple architecture, adding to its uniqueness. The Adina Mosque bears a strong resemblance to the Great Mosque of Damascus as it consists of bricks designed with stones. Built by Sikandar Shah in the 14th century, the second sultan of the Ilyas dynasty, the Adina Mosque was the largest mosque in India at the time. It has been damaged by natural calamities over the years, but still stands. It is often said that the mosque was built by the king to commemorate his victory over the then king of Delhi, Firoz Shah Tughluq. The Baroduari Mosque is the largest mosque in Malda and its name means 12 doors, though it has only eleven. The mosque was started by Allauddin Hussein Shah, but he died before its completion and then was completed by his son, Nasiruddin Nusrat Shah. The mosque was the first of its kind, built in Arabic style architecture. The Kadam Rasool Mosque derives its name from the stone tablet, which bears the footprints of Prophet Muhammad and is kept in the mosque. The mosque was built in 1530 by Sultan Nasiruddin Nusrat Shah. A unique element of the mosque are the four black marble towers on its four corners. Opposite the mosque is Fateh Khan’s tomb, who was a commander under Emperor Aurangzeb, though the tomb is made in the Hindu Chala style. Many tales surround the construction of the Lattan Mosque. However, historians believe it was built by Sultan Shamsuddin Yusuf Shah in 1475. The structure was originally built with intricate work of precious stones and colors. It was popularly called the Painted Mosque because of its colourful exterior and has an arched roof, supported by octagonal pillars. The Temple of Jauhra Kali is a famous and beautiful Hindu temple made on a raised platform and surrounded by trees. Devotees believe to have had miraculous results from praying in the temple. The Luko Churi Gate or the Lakhchhipi Darwaza is built on the Southeast corner of the Kadam Rasool Mosque and is believed to have been built by Shah Shuja in 1655 in the Mughal architectural style. The name is derived from the game of hide & seek that the king used to play with his wives or begums. However, who built this structure is unclear with another school of historians claiming that it was built by Allauddin Hussein Shah in 1522 and this double-storeyed Darwaza operated as the main gateway to the palace. The Eklakhi Mausoleum in Pandua, about 18 km from Malda is a tomb that is truly one of a kind. It has an inscription of Lord Ganesh and a converted son of a Hindu Emperor is believed to have been buried here. Located along the banks of the holy river Ganges, Gour is one of the oldest residential colonies existing in the state. In ruins today, it was the capital of ancient Bengal and was believed to have been discovered by Lord Lakshman and was called Lakshmanavati. When muslims conquered the state, its name was changed to Lakhnauti. Dakhil Darwaza is a surviving ruin of an old castle from the 15th century and is a gateway to a fort. In the south-east corner of the fort, a high wall encloses the ruins of an old palace. The gate is also popularly known as Salaami Darwaza as cannons used to be fired from it. The Firoz Minar is located a km from the Dakhil Darwaza. Built during Sultan Saifuddin Feroze Shah’s rule, this five-storey tower is often touted as Malda’s Qutab Minar. The first three storeys of the tower have twelve adjacent faces each, and the uppermost two storeys are circular in shape. It is built in the Tughlaqi style of architecture and is also known as the Pir-Asha-Minar or the Chiragdani. Situated about 35 km from Malda, Jagjivanpur, which is now an important archeological site was long forgotten until the discovery of a copper-plate inscription of the Pala emperor Mahendrapaladeva and the structural remains of a 9th century Buddhist Vihara, Nandadirghika-Udranga Mahavihara. Excavation work have been carried out and old remains of an entire ruined city have been found. About 20 km off Malda is the Adina Deer Park which is governed by the forest department. The most famous deer found here are the Cheetals or Spotted Deer and Nilgai and is also home to numerous migratory birds

Siliguri
Known as the Gateway of Northeast India, Siliguri is the twin city to Jalpaiguri and is popular for three Ts – tea, timber and tourism. Located on the banks of the Mahananda river at the foothills of the Himalayas, Siliguri is the third largest urban agglomeration in West Bengal, after Kolkata and Asansol. Siliguri has great strategic importance in West Bengal as it is located conveniently, connecting four international borders, China, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan. It also connects the North-East with the Indian mainland. Siliguri has its own international airport which serves mainly as a base for tourists to explore the northeast. Siliguri means a stack of pebbles or stones and until the 19th century this region was called as Shilchaguri when there was dense Dolka forest covering the area. Because of its appeal as an agricultural village, the Kingdom of Sikkim captured Siliguri making it the southernmost part of their kingdom until the Kingdom of Nepal interfered and so Kirati and Nepalis came to settle in the region. The Siliguri Corridor was formed when Bengal was divided into West Bengal and East Pakistan which later became Bangladesh in 1947, with Sikkim later merging with India in 1975.

Founded by the Indian Army, the Madhuban Park is located in the outskirts of Siliguri and serves as an ideal picnic spot. The lush green surroundings of Sukna Forest offers cool climate and serene ambiance. When in Siliguri, one should definitely take a walk down the resplendent tea gardens where one can watch the workers at work, at sowing, reaping or harvesting, depending on the season and also taste the tea at the estate and also purchase some. Situated in Mahakal Pally, Suryasen Park is an urban green park the highlight of which is the bust of the great freedom fighter Surya Sen installed in the heart of the park. The park also holds an exhibition on alternative energy and has the Mahanandi river flowing through it.

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Also known as Sri Sri Radha Madhav Sundar Mandir, this temple was built by ISKCON, which stands for International Society for Krishna Consciousness. With a grand temple, beautiful campus and soothing ambience, this temple is a must visit for everyone. The Sevoke Kali Mandir is an ancient temple on the banks of the Teesta river, close to the Coronation Bridge and is dedicated to Goddess Kali. The Lokenath Baba Mandir is an architectural wonder showcasing artwork in the form of the idols of different deities. The most loved idol here is the split idol of Lokenath Baba and Lord Shiva. Established by Tibetan Buddhist Monks and the followers of Dalai Lama, the Salugara Monastery is famous for the 100 feet stupa founded by the Tibetan Lama, Kalu Rinpoche. This monastery also known as The Great International Tashi Gomang Stupa and is situated just 6 km away from the main town and contains five kinds of Buddhist relics. The Sed-Gyued Monastery is a breathtaking monument which was destroyed by the Chinese army, and then rebuilt. The monastery is home to more than 90 monks of the Gelukpa divison, and is presently used as a research centre. Photographers and experience seekers love to visit this place and meditate there.

Jalpaiguri
Located on the banks of the Teesta river, the second largest river in West Bengal, Jalpaiguri which is on the foothills of the Himalayas, lies 35 km east of its twin city, Siliguri with the merging of the two cities making it the largest metropolis of the region and is bordered by Bhutan to the north and Bangladesh to the south. The name Jalpaiguri comes from the word Jalpai meaning olive and Guri meaning a place. Jalpaiguri’s history goes back to the 1900s due to the rich plantations of olive there. Dotted with tiny rivulets and small hilltops, Jalpaiguri is a tiny tourist town with endless vistas of tea plantations, gushing streams and elaborate rice farms, and is known for its heavy downpour. Primarily a rural district with 80% rural population mostly inhabited in forest villages, the town is popular for its untouched beauty and natural landscapes. Located on the bank of the river Baniya, Mendabari fort, also known as Nalrajagarh is an ancient fort dating to the 5th century. 9 km away from the main town of Jalpaiguri, the Murti river is near the hamlet of Murti in the middle of thick forest where one can often spot wild animals like elephants, rhinos, deer who can often be seen at the riverbank.

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Cooch Behar
At the foothills of the eastern Himalayas, Cooch Behar is the only planned city in the North Bengal region with the remnants of a royal heritage. The name Cooch Behar is derived from the name of the Koch or Rajbongshi tribes.The word Behar is derived from Sanskrit word Vihara which means a dwelling. During the British Raj, Cooch Behar was the seat of the princely state of Koch Bihar, ruled by the Koch Kingdom often described as the Shiva Vansha, tracing their origin from the Koch tribe of North-eastern India. Cooch Behar formed part of the Kamarupa kingdom of Assam from the 4th to the 12th centuries and became became a part of the Kamata Kingdom. The Khens were an indigenous tribe, and they ruled till about 1498, when they fell to Alauddin Hussain Shah, the independent Pathan Sultan of Gour. During this time, the Koch tribe became very powerful and proclaimed itself Kamateshwar or Lord of Kamata and established the Koch dynasty. As the early capital of the Koch Kingdom, Koch Behar’s location was not static and became stable only when shifted to Cooch Behar town. In 1661, Mir Jumla, the subedar of Bengal under the Mughal emperor Aurangazeb, attacked Cooch Behar and conquered the territory, meeting almost no resistance and the town of Cooch Behar was named Alamgirnagar, but was reclaimed by the maharaja within a few days. In 1772–1773, the king of Bhutan attacked and captured Cooch Behar and to get rid of the king of Bhutan, the kingdom of Cooch Behar signed a defense treaty with the British East India Company on 5 April 1773 and after expelling the Bhutanese, Cooch Behar again became a princely kingdom under the protection of the British East India company. After India’s independence, Cooch Behar became part of the state of West Bengal. As a geopolitical curiosity, there were 92 Bangladeshi enclaves, with a total area of 47.7 sq km in Cooch-Behar with a similar 106 Indian enclaves inside Bangladesh, with a total area of 69.5 sq km, part of the high stake card or chess games centuries ago between two regional kings, the Raja of Cooch Behar and the Maharaja of Rangpur. Twenty-one of the Bangladeshi enclaves were within Indian enclaves, and three of the Indian enclaves were within Bangladeshi enclaves. The largest Indian enclave was Balapara Khagrabari which surrounded a Bangladeshi enclave, Upanchowki Bhajni, which itself surrounded an Indian enclave called Dahala Khagrabari, of less than one hectare. But all this has ended in the historic India-Bangladesh land agreement in 2015.

The Rajbari or the Cooch Behar Palace is also known as rthe Victor Jubilee Palace and is built after the Indo-Saracenic architecture style. The Rajbari was constructed under the reign of Maharaja Nripendra Narayan in 1887, and the design was inspired by the Buckingham Palace in London. The main entrance resembles St. Peter’s Church in Rome and the rooms have beautiful paintings on the walls and the ceilings. The complex is spread over an area of 51,000 sq ft and is a brick-built structure. The palace has a projected porch that leads to the Durbar Hall with the first floor having a series of beautiful arcaded verandas with alternately arranged piers in double and single rows. The palace houses over 50 rooms including bedrooms, dressing rooms, billiard room, kitchen, dining hall, dancing hall, library, tosha khana and the ladies gallery. The Durbar Hall has a beautiful metal dome with a cylindrical louvre on the top that also acts as a ventilator. The dome is at 124 feet high from the ground level and is built in the traditional Italian Renaissance architecture. The dome also is beautifully carved in step pattern and rests on four arches supported by huge Corinthian columns adorned with a lantern on the top. Several small yet elegant balconies also surround the dome of the Durbar Hall. The palace and the museum are open daily between 10 am and 5 pm, though the museum is closed on Fridays. The is also a Sound and Light Show that takes place between 6 to 8 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. The palace has an entry fee of INR 10 with children below 14 entering free. Sagardihi is a huge tank situated in the heart of the city, excavated by Maharaja Hitendra Narayan. The tank has heritage hotels, Victor House and a War Memorial around it. Built during 1885-1887 by Maharaja Nripendra Narayan, the Madan Mohan temple is a beautifully designed temple and enshrines deities like Madan Mohan, Tara Ma, Kali Ma and Ma Bhawani. On the occasion of Rash Purnima, the temple celebrates the Rash mela and Rash Yatra. Located 10 km from the centre of the city, the Baneswar Siva temple homes a Shivalinga which is 10ft below the plinth level and also has a statue of Lord Arthanarishwar. On the occasion of Madan Chaturdashi and Dol Purnima, the deities are carried to the Madan Mohan Temple in a celebrated procession. The temple premises also has a huge pond which house a large number of tortoises, very old in age and form.

Bagdogra
Part of the greater Siliguri metropolitan area, Bagdogra is a small hill station at the foothills of the Himalayas, famous for its tea estates and an abundance of greenery. During the monsoons, when the clouds hover around the peaks of the mountains, it’s simply mesmerising. The river Teesta flows through the town, making it an excellent spot for river rafting. Bagdogra gained importance for being the entry base for tourists travelling to Darjeeling, Sikkim, Siliguri and neighbouring Bhutan. The best time to visit Bagdogra is from July to February. July to October constitute the monsoon season with the summer season starting in March and going on till the end of May with summer being the peak tourist season. The Himalaya World Museum which was inaugurated recently aims to preserve the cultural heritage of the Himalayan region.

In part 4, we continue to explore the mountains in West Bengal

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