The hills are the perfect retreat for all those desperately seeking to escape from the scorching summer heat. But, make a change in your plan and instead head to Kolkata. Though it is an unlikely destination as the city is quite hot at this time of the year, there are quite a few places to visit near Kolkata in summer that provide tourists with marvellous summer getaway experiences. Surely these fantastical destinations will make you forget that uncomfortable summer heat.
The quiet town of Bolpur would appeal to almost everybody from those looking for a quiet weekend away from the busy city to the ones who have a keen interest in the history and culture of Bengal. Located close by is the Visva-Bharati Vidyalaya, an international university set up by Rabindranath Tagore. But apart from its great intellectual importance, the town is full of pristine beauty which is reflected in its green forests, the amazing banks of river Kopai and the fascinating red soil. An abundance of fresh air would make your visit even more memorable.
Composing an abundance of natural beauty, Raichak is as charming as many of the fabulous hill stations. The town is just 50 kilometres away from Kolkata but is calm and serene. There is a lot you can do and see at Raichak. You can start with a visit to the Raichak fort. Built during colonial times, the fort fell a victim to neglect post-independence. Restored back to its original beauty and converted into a hotel, the fort is definitely a must see. Another fort worth visiting is Chingrihkali Fort, which was built by the Portuguese. Though in ruins today, the fort still exudes the splendour and aura of the bygone days. The adventure seekers can take a ferry ride from the Nurpur jetty.
Bengal has a few hidden gems and one of these is Tajpur. Located in Purba Medinipur district, Tapur is famous for its beach, which is among the very few unspoilt beaches in India. Green patches of forests and the the tamarisk trees further enhance the beauty of the beach. Don’t be surprised if you come across crabs and seagulls as there are plenty of these species here. From taking a swim in the clear waters or just relaxing under the cool shade of the palm trees, there is much that Tajpur offers. The beach is becoming a tourist hotspot of the state and is frequented by both domestic and international tourists.
Sunderbans is like heaven for wildlife enthusiasts. Stretching into Bangladesh, this UNESCO World Heritage Site encompasses an area of 10,000 square kilometres. Within its precincts are some of the world’s rare flora and fauna and exotic animals. If you are lucky, you might come across the Royal Bengal Tiger roaming majestically within the forest. A fantastic place to spend a day with your family or friends.
Where to stay
Kolkata is teeming with hotels, but none can match the beauty and grandeur of The LaLiT Great Eastern Kolkata. Built in 1841, the hotel was renovated in 2006 and its architecture is a blend of the Victorian, Edwardian and contemporary styles. The hotel comprises 251 rooms which are aesthetically designed and are replete with all the amenities. A courteous hospitality staff and amenities like in-room dining, personal butler service, express laundry service, 24-hour room and concierge services, spa, saloon, gym and best of restaurants serving scrumptious cuisine would truly make your summer getaway experience a memorable one.