While there’s a lot to see and do in Kolkata, the ‘city of joy,’ there’s no dearth of options for quick weekends getaways either. Wrapped in history, culture, literature, art and aesthetics, there are a number of destinations one can explore in the state of West Bengal. Give your usual Shantiniketan and Sundarbans a miss, and take off to these rather offbeat locales at a driving distance from Kolkata.

Bakkhali

Located 125km/3.5 hours away from Kolkata, Bakkhali is a popular deltaic village in the southern part of the state. Bakkhali is known for its 8km long crescent-shaped beach. It’s a delight to swim, take a stroll, cycle or just catch a cocktail-coloured sunset here. The beach with its rolling waves, and Casuarina trees is a treat to the eyes, even on a sunny day. Other major attractions in the area include Henry Island and Frasergunj Sea Beach.

Boranti

Located 239km/5 hours from northwest Kolkata, Boranti is a small village surrounded by beautiful hills and lakes, located in the Purulia district of Bengal. This is an ideal place for a getaway if you want to relax in the lap of nature. The major attractions here include Muradi Lake, where you can indulge in some fishing; Biharinath Hill, for those interested in trekking and Joychandi Hills for their beauty. One cannot go back without sampling the delicious ilish and pathuri fish preparations in Boranti.

Krishnanagar

Located 106km/3 hours north of Kolkata, Krishnanagar is a historical town in the Nadia district of Bengal. Located on the southern bank of river Jalangi, this city is built aesthetically. The main attraction here is the Krishnanagar Rajbari (Royal Palace); a testimony of the grandeur of the bygone era. It has a temple dedicated to goddess Durga in its courtyard. Another attraction here is the Roman Catholic Church, popular for its wood sculptures created by Italian artists, oil paintings that depict the life of Jesus Christ and overall stunning architecture.