Weekend Getaways from BalurghatBalurghat is district headquarters of Dakshin Dinajpur District of West Bengal State. This small town has picturesque landscape and unpolluted ambience and is surrounded by small forest enhancing natural beauty of this place. Tourists keep coming to Balurghat mesmerized by its panoramic natural beauty, temples, various picnic spots and historical places. Apart from visiting various interesting places in and around Balurghat, there are many other places that could be reached from Balurghat especially many places of north Bengal. Balurghat can be easily reached through rail, road and air from major cities of West Bengal.
Weekend Destinations from Balurghat
RaiganjAn important place of North Dinajpur, Raiganj is famous for its Kulik Bird sanctuary. Spread over an area of 35 acres, this wildlife sanctuary is a perfect retreat for the nature lovers especially the bird watchers. The sanctuary has a river named Kulik flowing through it. The forest, huge water bodies and the river attract many migratory birds like little cormorant, Egrets, Open Bill Stork, etc in this sanctuary. Local birds like Sparrow, King Fisher, Owl, Duck, Cuckoo, Bulbul and Dove are also found plenty in numbers.
Raiganj is about 110 km away from Balurghat. It takes about 2 and half hours to reach Raiganj from Balurghat by road.
Siliguri has many important places as well. These are:
- Sevoke Coronation Bridge,
- Science City,
- Madhuban Park,
- Surya Sen Park,
- Mahananda Weir Wildlife Santuary,
- Umrao Singh Boat Club,
- ISKCON Temple,
- Salugara Monastery, and
- Kali Temple.
A beautiful scenic place, Savin Kingdom near Siliguri is also a famous tourist spot.
The distance between Siliguri to Balurghat is 288 KM and it takes about 6 hours to reach by road. There are direct trains between Balurghat and NGP Junction Stations. NGP is only 4 KM away from Siliguri Station. There are trains like NGP-Balurghat Intercity Express and NGP-Balurghat DEMU to travel between Siliguri and Balurghat. Siliguri is en-route for the tourists who travel to Sikkim, Darjeeling, Mirik and Kurseong.
Patiram Thakur EstatePatiram Thakur Estate is located on the banks of Atrai River on the Balurghat-Malda Highway. The place was once the estate of famous Tagore Family and still has many old buildings of that time. Visitors who come here will also find the “Bolla Kali Temple” worth visiting. This temple is about 20 km away from Patiram Thakur Estate.
Tourists can take buses or use their private vehicles to visit Patiram Thakur Estate and the places around.
MaldaMalda has many historical places for the tourists. Gour is one of the most important historical places of Bengal dating back to 14th and 15th century. Gour is located about 12 km south of Malda. Dakhil Darwaza, Bara Sona Mosque, Lattan Mosque and Qadam Rasul mosque are important places to visit. Tourists would also like Gomti Gate and Firoz Minar. Pandua is another important tourist spot located about 18 KM away from Malda. Adina mosque is famous for its architectural marvel and is one of the largest mosques having 378 small domes. Eklakhi Mausoleum is also very important tourist spot of Malda.
The distance between Malda and Balurghat is about 106 km by road and the distance to travel between these two places is 2 and half hours. There are buses running between Malda and Balurghat and two direct trains are also there. These are Gour Express and Koaa-Balurghat Express, Malda Town-Balurghat passenger. Balurghat has rail connection with Eklakhi Juction of Malda.
Located in the Tapan Block of Dakshin Dinajpur, Tapan Dighi is huge lake spread over an area of 86 acres The lake is located about 35 km from the Balurghat town in Tapan Village. There is a legend associated with this lake. This lake was dug during the time of King Laxman Sen so that he could offer “Tarpana” to his ancestors. The lake is about 2 km in length and about 1 km in breadth. Apart from enjoying the scenic beauty surrounding the lake and the placid lake water, visitors can also see a destroyed mound that dates back to the era Buddha. Manohali is another important village in this place where numerous icons are still seen scattered here and there. Buses, both private and public as well as private vehicles and taxis can be used to reach Tapan Dighi.
HilliHili houses the check-post of India and Bangaldesh border and is located about 25 km away Balurghat. This block is a perfect weekend getaway with its famous picnic spot Sarongbari. Sarongbari is a small forest where tourists and local people come for picnics and outings. They can stay in a hut located within the forest.
Another tourist place is Matash, a huge water body located near the India-Bangladesh border. During winter hundreds of migratory birds come here. This is a perfect venue for the bird watchers. Matash was created when the king of Dinajpur, Jagadishchandra Roy Bahadur had got this 7 acre area dug so that his subjects could get water. The excavation was done about 150 years back which has now become an important tourist spot.
Hili has a PWD Bungalow to provide accommodation to the tourists.
MurshidabadThere are numerous tourist spots in Murshidabad and most of them are historical places. The Hazaduari Palace, a palace with thousand doors, is the main attraction of Murhsidabad. Other important tourist hot spots are:
- Wasef Manzil,
- The Imambara,
- Katra Mosque,
- Jahankosha Canon,
- Jafarganj Cemetery,
- Khosh Bagh,
- Katgola Palace,
- Nasipur Palace etc
The distance between Murshidabad and Balurghat is 242 km and time taken to travel by road is about 5 hours. Bus services are there between Murshidabad and Balurgaht. Private cars or taxis can also be hired to reach Murshidabad from Balurghat.
GangarampurGangarampur has historical places like Bangarh, lakes like Kal Dighi and Dhal Dighi which all make this block an important weekend getaway from Balurghat.
Bangarh:Bangarh, located in Gangarampur Block of Dakshin Dinajpur is the most important historical place of this District. Most of the archaeological ruins found in this district are from Bangarh. Bangarh is located about 45 km away from Balurghat Town. During Gupta period, the entire north Bengal used be a “Purna Vardhana Bhukti(Pradesh)” and the Pradesh was further divided into districts or Vishayas. During that time, Koti Barsha was one of districts and Bangarh was the capital of that district.
It was known as Debikot during the ancient time. After excavations are done in this area, many archaeological ruins and historical items of are found here. These ruins and historical items belong to a historical period ranging from the Maurya to Muslim Era.
Usha Haran RoadAnother important place to see is the “Usha Haran Road” that has a legend associated with it. It is believed that daughter of King Bana, Usha was kidnapped by Lord Krishna’s grandson, Aniruddha by this road.
Dhal Dighi is another important place to see. There is a huge lake of about 1.5 KM long that dates back to Pal Era. The name of this lake or Dighi gets its name “Dhal” because the color water is Dhala or white. The grave of Atash Fakir, a famous Muslim Saint is on the northern shore of this lake. Visitors can see stone pillars and inscriptions on the walls of this grave.
Dhal Dighi & KaldighiAbout 200 km away Dhaldighi & Taldighi is located. It is also a lake and known by this name because the color of the water is black. Many migratory birds come here during winter and visitors could get to see many exotic species of birds like bronze winged Jacana, Water Hen, Lesser Whistling Ducks, Grey Lag Goose, Moorhen etc. Kids can enjoy the place as there is a children park with all types of modern rides inside the premise of the lake. For staying facilities, tourists can book the tourist lodge in advance that is located within the premise.
According to the legends, King Bana has two wives and one of them of them was of fair complexion and the other one was of dark complexion. King Bana had dug two lakes and named them after his two wives.
The distance between Gangarampur and Balurghat is about 40 KM and time taken by road is about 50 minutes. Buses, taxis and private cars are the most important modes of traveling from Balurghat to Gangarampur. There are trains like Gour Express taking which one can reach Gangarampur from Balurghat and vice versa.
There is Kaldighi Tourist Lodge near Rajibpur in Gangarampur. The tourist lodge is about 4 km away from Gangarampur Railway Station and Kaldighi Bus stop. Auto-rickshaw, Rickshaw and private cars are available at the railway station and the bus station both.