Kolkata in the monsoon is a very different city. The rains add a new dimension to the City of Joy, but for those who live in the city, there would be nothing here but rain-washed roads, soaked city streets and traffic. If you are in Kolkata, you might find joy in the new moments of peace that you find under the cover of rain, as the city slows down in the monsoon. But in the end, you can find the charm of the monsoon in several other places around Kolkata. Some of your favorite weekend getaways, and new lesser-explored destinations, become even more beautiful when blessed with the monsoon rains. Here are ten of the best weekend destinations near Kolkata that you can visit in the monsoon. ALSO READ: Kolkatas best street foods (and where to have them)! Also Read - West Bengal News: Week After Cyclone Amphan, Kolkata Hit by Gusty Winds, Downpour
Natural view of Mukutmanipur dam
Located around 270 km and a five-hour drive away from the city, Mukutmanipur is a relatively popular destination for residents of Kolkata who prefer to relax in a lazy hamlet over the weekend. This place, located in Bankura district, lies at a the confluence of the Kansabati and Kumari rivers, and the forests and grasslands of this small hamlet turn lush green in the monsoon. Watching the hills around this place through the rains is a great way to enjoy the season, and you can also go trekking up the Parshwanath Hills, spot birds and deer at the deer park, and go on a boat ride along the rivers. Also Read - West Bengal: Cyclone Amphan Damages World's Largest Banyan Tree in Howrah Botanical Garden
For those who prefer a beach destination in the rains, Mandarmani lies around 170 km and four hours from the city and is home to one of the longest stretches of beach in the country. The beauty of this beach town is very different in the monsoon, and the sound of the rains and the waters of the bay mingling with the sands is something that cannot be put into words. While there are very few adventure activities as such to do here, Mandarmani is certainly a good destination if your sole aim is to chill out and escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Also Read - Cyclone Amphan: Anushka Sharma, Arjun Kapoor, Shabana Azmi, Bhumi Pednekar, Others Extend Prayers For Victims
Located in Odisha, Balasore lies a little less than 250 km or six hours from Kolkata and is famed for its serene and beautiful beaches. The temples here also make Balasore a popular pilgrimage destination. During the monsoon, the beach destination gets plenty of rain and becomes even more beautiful. Well-connected by road and with plenty of places to explore, Balasore makes for a nice weekend destination from Kolkata for the spiritually inclined.
The popular pilgrimage destination of Bakreshwar lies around 213 km or a little over four hours away from Kolkata by road, and monsoon is considered one of the best times to visit this place. Famed for the several therapeutic hot water springs, Bakreshwar is also home to several temples worth visiting. The hot water springs should definitely be experience, but Bakreshwar is also close to the famed town of Shantiniketan, where you can visit the museum at Visva Bharti Vidyapeeth. Massanjore in Jharkhand also lies around 40 km away from Bakreshwar, where you can visit the dam.
Situated among the deltaic islands at the southern end of the state, Baikkhali or Bakkhali lies around 127 km or four hours from Kolkata. The island looks southwards into the Bay of Bengal, and is one of the rare beaches in the world that offer incredible views of the sunset as well as sunrise. The beach stretches 8 km to Frasergunj, and it remains relatively uncrowded even in the peak seasons and holidays. The nearby lighted hard beach has been built up for driving and cycling, but you can also walk the length of the main beach, coconut in hand, watching the waters of the bay.
Lying among the Thakurani hills in Mayurbhanj, Odisha, Bangriposi is 220 km or 4.5 hours away from Kolkata. The monsoon makes this small hamlet even more beautiful. Perfect for a weekend of relaxation and quiet meditation, Bangriposi offers a taste of the simple village life, a far cry from the chaos of the city. You can walk to the Buribalam waterfall or visit the Kanak Devi shrine in the nearby hills. Kuliana village a little ways away from the town is a great place to find artifacts of Dhokra, a millennia-old folk art of metal casting. ALSO READ: Places to visit near Kolkata for one day
The sunset in Tajpur Beach, Photograph Courtesy: 123sarangi/Wikimedia Commons
Tajpur lies a little over 170 km from Kolkata, nearly four hours away by road and fairly well-connected by train as well, though you do need to get down at Digha first and catch a vehicle from there. If you plan on going by bus, you can also stop at Balisai More and catch a local van from there. Tajpur is another beach paradise, with several secluded and untouched beaches far from the crowded ones at Digha. It makes for a more isolated alternative to Mandarmani. When the rains strike, you can just sit back under cover and watch the show. The virgin beaches and cozy settings make this a great place for couples.
Lying just 32 km from Kolkata, Barrackpore is everything that Tajpur is not. It is extremely popular among city residents who prefer not to travel too much but still see everything. The place lies just an hour away from the city, and so makes for a good destination for a one-day drive if you don’t like going out in the rain too much. Here, you can get great views of the Ghats, explore ancient ruins, visit the parks and museums, and offer your prayers at the temples. If you don’t mind the crowds and just want a quick break for you and your family, this is a good place to go to.
Gadiara lies around 80 km or 2.5 hours from Kolkata, and is great destination for a quick but relaxing weekend getaway. The journey is not too tiring, and Gadiara lies at the merging point of the rivers Hooghly, Rupnarayan and Damodar, resulting in some unique vistas especially in the monsoon. You can cross the river and visit Geonkhali and Garchumuk, and Haldia and Nupur also lie on the river banks. Enjoy the cool river breeze and gobble up the delicious food while watching the sun rise and set over the rivers. Boat rides are also available along the rivers.
Chandipur lies around 260 km or nearly five hours away from Kolkata, in Baleswar, Odisha. The town’s beach is famous for its ebb tide, which happens two times a day and exposes a wide stretch of fine silvery sand. The sight is incredible, and the seaside retreat is relatively less crowded than other nearby attractions. You can spend a day at this beach and the next day at Balaramgadhi, a nearby region where you can see the Buribalam or Budhabalang river merge with the sea. NOW READ: 10 photos that capture everyday life in Kolkata
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