Sunday, 22 May 2016

PLACES OF INTEREST OF BURDWAN AND BIRBHUM

Bakreshwar (Birbhum- 230 km. from kolkata)

Bakreshwar is a town in the Suri Sadar subdivision of Birbhum district in the Indian state of West Bengal. Bakreshwar Thermal Power Station of West Bengal Power Development Corporation Limited is located some distance away from the town.

Shrouded with sheer serenity, the main attraction of this place is the famous hot spring, which is a must visit for all. You can find a number of hot springs in the region, the temperature of which varies from 42 degree to 65 degree. Each hot spring is bestowed with individual names. You will also find a temple of Lord Shiva, located just beside the hot spring. You can locate some other temples as well in the area.

Nearby attractions: You can also visit Massanjore if you can afford some extra time, as the distance between Shiuri and Massanjore is 40 km. Bus services and rented cars are also available to facilitate the tourist in reaching Massanjore and Bakreshwar Dam.

Best visit time: Though Bakreshwar invites tourists all through the year, but the ideal seasons for visiting the place are monsoon, winter and spring.

Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary (Birbhum- 172 km. from kolkata) 

Ballabhpur Wildlife Sanctuary (popular as Deer Park) was established in 1977. This wooded area is located near Santiniketan in Bolpur subdivision of Birbhum District in the Indian state of West Bengal.

Birdwatching and wildlife watching is the major activity at Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary. You can take long walks in the well laid out jungle paths and watch the blackbucks and spotted deer in their natural habitat. You can spend some time in the early hours of the day in the watch towers near the tanks (Jheels) and enjoy birdwatching. The Sanctuary is a great place to take a nature walk. There are few tribal villages in the eastern fringes of the sanctuary where you can explore village life. Sightseeing in other popular destinations around Bolpur like Shantiniketan, Kopai, Khowai, Sonajhuri and Kankalitala can also be enjoyed.

Nearby attractions:The main attractions of this sanctuary are the blackbuck deer and spotted deer. There is also a huge tract of wetland created by the three water bodies (Jheel) which hosts thousands of migratory birds in winter like Lesser Whistlings, Pintails, Teals, etc. The sanctuary is also home to a healthy population of resident birds like Black Hooded Orioles, White Bellied Treepies, Commorants, Hoppoes, Egrets and others.

Best visit time: The whole sanctuary is drenched in greenery during the rainy season when the new leaves come out from every branch. The deer seem to enjoy the rains most and spend their days soaking. The winter sees thousands of migratory birds nesting in the water bodies and marshlands of the Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary.

Beloon Eco Village (Burdwan- 175 km. from kolkata)

Beloon Eco Village is located in Bardhaman District just 175 kms from Kolkata.

While in Beloon Eco Village, you can take a walk on the lush grasslands, alongside River Shibai and watch migratory and local birds frolicking the whole day. You can take a bullock cart ride to roam around the entire village and pluck some garden fresh vegetables and fruits from the farm and enjoy them. But the best thing to do in Beloon Eco Village is to sit idle and watch the boats crossing the Shibai River.

Nearby attractions:Beloon Eco Village is very near to Choto Pukur, which is a wetland, where animals and migratory birds like White-throated Kingfisher, Bramhiny Duck, Ruddy Shelduck and Wooly-necked stork frequent in thousands every year. Just 15 km from Beloon Eco Village is Attahas which is famous for being one of the "Satipith" pilgrimages of Hindus.

Nayachar, some 20 km from Beloon Eco Village, is an island on the River Ganges, where many wildlife species and migratory birds inhabit. There is a village named Musharu, which is popular for being the home of the venomous cobras, who are worshipped here as deities. Hence this village is also called Snake Village.

Best visit time:
Depending on the activities that the tourists are interested in, Beloon can be visited all throughout the year.


Bhalki Machan (Burdwan- 135 km. from kolkata)

 The main attraction of Bhalki Machan is a huge man made lake amidst dense vegetation. While visiting the place you will feel excited to learn that the very site was the game reserve of the erstwhile Zamindars. They used to build watchtowers (machan) at one side of the water body and hunted wild animals using bows, arrows and guns. This has given the place its name Bhalki Machan.

While walking through the forest path, you will also find the remains of an age old watchtower, which is believed to be build by the ancient Zamindars. It is also said that there was a far-reaching tunnel built beneath this watchtower. It may be true for you can locate a partly filled hole at the site, though nothing can be concluded firmly. However, it can be said that these enchanting stories will surely enrich your holiday experience in Bhalki Machan.



Nearby attractions:Shantiniketan, Bolpur, Deul, Durgapur and Bardhaman are the nearby attractions of Bhalki Machan.

Best visit time: The site invites the tourist throughout the year.








Bubahat Neelkuthi (Birbhum- 290 km. from kolkata) 

Bubahat Neelkuthi, Birbhum DistrictBubahat Neelkuthi is the mystic and picturesque parish resort amidst the serene landscape what would have tempted W. B. Yeats to confer the term, "Land of Hearts Desire" in the village core that is the archetypal site to indulge in a mirthful exploitation of holidays. The rustic ambience of this village resort has a tattooed lure of alluring unconventional beauty of its own and thereby offers an ideal weekend escape for the tourists from the existential crisis of the mundane mortal life.

Amazement only becomes an epithet as the door to the other is opened and a breathtaking compilation of wide array of budding flowers and orchid is observed along the area. The nearby rustic streets which pave the way to village alleys and unheard of, unidentified destinations are only a minute's walk. Even the sunrise and sunset is an image to behold before the eyes especially on the side of Ajoy River and the popular Lakshmi Shayar Lake.


Nearby attractions: Bolpur, Shantiniketan, Durgapur, Deul and Bhalki Machan are some of the nearby attractions which you can visit within a couple of hours driving.

Best visit time:This village resort at Bubahat Neelkuthi welcomes tourist throughout the year. 





Deul Park (Burdwan - 165 km. from kolkata)

Nestled in the bank of River Ajoy, the Deul Park is highly famed as the treasured asset of the famous Gopraj Ishwar Ghosh, locally called Ichai Ghosh. The site boasts of its scenic landscape, offering the perfect ambience for enjoying a weekend tour beside Ajoy River.

The thick Garh forest in Durgapur presents a perfect backdrop for the winding Ajoy River, offering a visual splendor to the tourists. The area is also frequented by herds of elephants from Birbhum located nearby. The site of Kenduli Mela where hundreds of Bauls visit during the fair is situated on the opposite side of the river. Kenduli is the birthplace of the famous poet Jaidev and home to a number of age-old terracotta temples of Radha Madhav. You can also explore the Garh jungle and the historical site, where Icchai Ghosh was defeated in a war by Lausen. A visit to a huge tower made from bricks and a dilapidated temple will add a hint of adventure to your trip.

From Deul Park, you can visit the nearby Maa Shyamarupa mandir 4 km from Deul Park and 3.5 km from Muchipara-Shibpur Road. This terracotta temple houses 10 armed idol of Shyamarupa made of Marble stone, and was built more than 1000 years ago. 



Nearby attractions: You can also visit Shantiniketan, Bhalki Machan, Bolpur within a couple of hours from Deul Park by car.

Best visit time: Deul Park is suitable to visit all the year round, though it is better to avoid the monsoon. 






Purbasthali (Burdwan - 120 km. from kolkata)

Purbasthali is a village with a police station in Kalna subdivision of Bardhaman district. It is located 120 km north from Kolkata. Also known as Chupi Char, it lies on the banks of a large oxbow lake created by the Ganges river and is only 8 km from the old and holy town of Nabadwip. The 2–3 km long lake attracts migrants and water birds. The Purbasthali area has a fairly high level of arsenic in the ground water.

urbasthali lies close on the Tropic of Cancer. Purbasthali is a large block with a number of villages adjoining a large oxbow lake, created by the river Ganga, on its Western bank, in Burdwan district of West Bengal. It is 120 km north from Calcutta. On the Eastern bank of the river lies the old and holy town of Nabadwip. The entire Gangetic Isle complex of Purbasthali extends between the geographical coordinates from 88* 19' 45" to 88* 22' E longitude 23* 26' to 23* 26'45" N latitude.
 


Nearby attractions: There are some places of attractions like Nabadwip, Krishnanagar and Mayapur located nearby.

Best visit time:
The best time to visit the place is during the winter months of October to February.






Rasulpur (Burdwan - 96 km. from kolkata)

Rasulpur Park is only 90 minutes by car from Kolkata. Here nature-loving travellers can spend their weekends in one of the six cottages or deluxe rooms amidst greenery overlooking the largest lake of the park. The Nature Park itself is the main attraction of the area. It has seven lakes scattered all around. It has gardens, picnic zones, food courts, cultural performance area and children's park.





Nearby attractions: The most popular nearby attraction is Amadhpur. It is renowned for the fabulous Zamindar House, its adjacent lake (Dighi), the Thakur Dalan where Durga Puja is held every year, the terracotta temples, few ashrams with 300-year old Banyan trees.

Best visit time: You can visit the place at any time of the year. 


   

Sabuj Bon (Birbhum - 220 km. from kolkata)

Sabuj Bon is not located very close to Vishwa Bharati. You need to travel from Bolpur (Shantiniketan) station towards Vishwa Bharati by car. Take the first right turn and after crossing the railway track, drive for 12.5 kilometers to locate Sabuj Bon.

The Ajoy river offers a delightful backdrop to this Sabuj Bon, admired with amazing greeneries. You can explore this whole region of undulating landscape. Try to recognize the huge varieties of trees and flower in the region. Some notable trees are Nolinas, Cycus, Edenium, Mili, Obesum, Bogenvelia and Panthapadap.


Nearby attractions: If you have some extra time, pay a visit to Shantiniketan to enrich your travel experience.

Best visit time:
The best time to visit is the rainy season.  







  Shantiniketan (Birbhum - 212 km. from kolkata)

Shantiniketan is a small town near Bolpur in the Birbhum district of West Bengal, India, approximately 160 kilometres north of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta).

Shantiniketan was earlier called Bhubandanga (named after Bhuban Dakat, a local dacoit), and was owned by the Tagore family. In 1862, Maharshi Devendranath Tagore, while on a boat journey to Raipur, came across a landscape with red soil and meadows of lush green paddy fields. Rows of chhatim trees and date palms charmed him. He stopped to look, decided to plant more saplings and built a small house. He called his home Shantiniketan (abode of peace). Shantiniketan became a spiritual centre where people from all religions were invited to join for meditation and prayers. He founded an 'Ashram' here in 1863 and became the initiator of the Brahmo Samaj.

Here Rabindranath Tagore started Patha Bhavana, the school of his ideals, whose central premise was that learning in a natural environment would be more enjoyable and fruitful. After he received the Nobel Prize (1913), the school was expanded into a university in 1921. By 1951, it had become one of India's central universities.  



Nearby attractions: Kankalitala, just 9 km from Santiniketan is a temple popular as a Satipeeth. Surul, located near Sriniketan, features temples decorated with terracotta carvings. You can also visit another Satipeeth at Labhpur-Fullara, just 30 km. from Santiniketan. Tourists also visit Nanoor, famous as the birthplace of the Sanskrit poet of the 14th century – Chandidas. Kendubillo is another destination, popular as the hometown of another renowned Sanskrit poet, Jaidev.

Best visit time:
You can visit Santiniketan at any time of the year.


Sonajhuri (Birbhum, santiniketan - 165 km. from kolkata)

The area is between the Shyambati Canal and the Sonajhuri jungle. With plenty of greenery along with Santhali settlements, and the famous Khoai region (canyon created by water and wind erosion) this is an idle place to look out for peace that you otherwise miss in the busy city life.

The main attraction here is the Sonajhuri jungle that offers a serene atmosphere and is the perfect place to take a leisure walk. This is probably the cleanest forest area on earth. You can even let your kids stroll around safely. The Khowai region – canyons created by wind and water is worth experiencing here. The hanging trees and the view of the roots at the edges of these rifts within the forest area will make you fall in love with the region.



Nearby attractions: Shantiniketan – Rabindranath Tagore's "Abode of Peace" is just a kilometer from here where you can indulge in a whole lot of sightseeing options. Some of the places you shouldn't miss out during your trip are the University campus of Vishwa Bharati, Kala Bhawan, Uttarayan, Geetanjali Theatre, Chatimtala, Shantiniketan House, Bichitra Bhawan or Rabindra Museum and others. There is also the Ballavpur Abhayaranya or the Deer Park set on a total area of 700 acres with a variety of trees, animals and birds. You will also find a watch tower here to view the surrounding landscape from top of it. Located some 3 kms from Shantiniketan is the Vishwa Bharti's Rural Art Centre, which is a great place to collect some local artifacts. You can also visit Sriniketan if you want to buy handicrafts. There is also a brick kiln of 7 lakh bricks nearby.

Best visit time:
You can visit Sonajhuri during any time of the year. But if you want to attend the Basanta Utsav and Poush Mela at Shantineketan, then you must visit Sonajhuri during the months of March and December respectively. Poush Mela is from 7th Poush to 10th Poush (according to Bengali Calendar) and Basanta Utsav is held on the day of Holi.


Supur (Birbhum - 191 km. from kolkata)

Supur, located at a distance of 14 km from Bolpur, is an ideal weekend getaway, which upholds the perfect blend of history and art.

Supur can well be termed as a temple town, as you can savor some impressive temple sites. The twin temple of Lalbazar area in Supur is truly noteworthy. These two magnificent temples located inside a walled complex offers visual ecstasy by its exotic architectural style, featuring the 'Rekh deul' style of Architecture belonging to the art school of Orissa. One of the temples is octagonal in shape, while the other is patterned in circlular fashion.

The octagonal shrine, especially features some extraordinary terracotta panels, on all the eight sides. Most of the panels depict some impressive carvings. For example, the most noteworthy carving is found above the main entrance, depicting Radha and Krishna. The panels are designed intricately attracting the visitors' eyesight. One of the panels depict an interesting feature of a man riding a lion. There is also a huge panel of goddess Durga with her family at the rear side of the temple.

You can also visit the ruins of the Suratheshwar Shiva temple, where you can find some ruined deities, pillars and couple of archaeological samples. 


Nearby attractions: You can y organize a tour to Shantiniketan, while making a trip to Supur from Bolpur. Shantiniketan is located at a very close distance from Bolpur. So you can easily hire a car to visit Shantiniketan.

Best visit time: You can visit Supur any time of the year.





 
Tarapith (Birbhum - 294 km. from kolkata)

Tarapith is a small temple town near Rampurhat in Birbhum district of the Indian state of West Bengal, known for its Tantric temple and its adjoining cremation (Maha Smashan) grounds where sādhanā (tantric rituals)are performed. The Tantric Hindu temple is dedicated to the goddess Tara, a fearsome Tantric aspect of the Devi, the chief temples of Shaktism. Tarapith derives its name from its association as the most important centre of Tara worship and her cult.

Tarapith is also famous for Sadhak Bamakhepa, known as the avadhuta or "mad saint", who worshipped in the temple and resided in the cremation grounds as a mendicant and practised and perfected yoga and the tantric arts under the tutelage of another famous saint, the Kailashpathi Baba. Bamakhepa dedicated his entire life to the worship of Tara Maa. His ashram is also located close to the temple.



Nearby attractions: The temple town of Tarapith is surrounded by many ancient shrines of Bengal which are equally significant and prominent for their historical and mythical past like Shaktipith in Nalhati and the birthplace of Byamakhapa in Atla village and nearby Gonpur forest.

Best visit time: The temple can always be visited throughout the year




Tumbani (Birbhum - 260 km. from kolkata)

Tumbani is another great place for spending the weekend, located in the border area of Jharkhand, near Rampurhat. Patalpahari village of Jharkhand and the Kalipahar forest on the other sides. And in the middle is the beautiful small Tumbani.

The perfect ambience of Tumbani located in the middle with the Kalipahar forest, Patalpahari village of Jharkhand and the Narayanpur Brahmani River surrounding it gives you the perfect setting for relaxation. You can also take a stroll along the banks of the river.




Nearby attractions: You can visit the holy place of Moluti, which is although located in a different state, is quite nearby.

Best visit time:
Throughout the year. 









108 Shiv Mandir Kalna (Burdwan)

A major attraction is the Nava Kailash or 108 Shiv Mandirs. Built in 1809, the temples are constructed in two circles. One consists of 74 temples while the other circle has 34. The former has white marble and black stone shivlingas, while the latter has only white marble ones. Due to its ingenious planning, all the shivlingas can be seen from the centre of the temple complex.

The most attractive temple in Kalna is the 108 Shiva Temple Complex. It was built by Maharaja Teja Chandra Bahadhur in 1809 to celebrate the transfer and ownership of the royal estate of Bishnupur. An architectural marvel, the temple structure is a combination of two concentric circles, each of which has small temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. These represent beads in a rosary and its walls depict episodes of Ramayana and Mahabharata and even hunting scenes.

The outer circle has seventy-four temples and the inner one has thirty-four temples, decided mythologically with auspicious considerations. It is also called the Nava Kailasha temple and each of these 108 temples has a Shiva linga. The lingas in the inner circle are all white (symbolizing good deeds), while half of those in the outer circle are black It is always preached that a human with his faith can connect to the Almighty through his sincere prayers and meditation. To attain solace, one needs to come over all worldly interests and wholly and solely dedicate his life towards the attainment of God. The same concept is being advocated through this, one of its kind, temple structure. The outer circle portrays the world we live in while the inner circle symbolizes the world with pure thoughts, attained by offering prayers to Lord Shiva.


Sarbamangala Mandir (Burdwan)  

The Sarbamangala Temple with Tarakeswar, Rameswar, Kamalaswar, Chandreswar and Mitraswar Shib Temples situated at D.N. Sarkar Road, Burdwan is an old religious institution which has been built by Maharaja Kirtichand in the year 1702 A.D. and since then the temple has become a holy place to the people of Burdwan as well as nearly Districts and States. Be it mentioned that the celebrated temple and the deity has same importance and popularity as like as Kalighat, Dakshineswar and Tarapith. Hundreds of devotees feel pride on taking the blessing of Mata Sarbamangala everyday.

It was Kirtichand Roy who build the main SARBAMANGALA TEMPLE with nine spires (NABARATNAS) sometimes around the first decade of EIGHTEENTH CENTURY. The main temple is nearly 300 years old. The stone idol inside the "NABARATNA TEMPLE" is "MAHIS MARDINI" (Buffello killer) with "EIGHTEEN HANDS" (nine on each side) sited on a lion (SINGHABAHINI) in black granaite stone. As per the local myth, the idol was first observed by lime-makers inside a lime kiln. Having heard its sudden appearance of the idol antique-look the then raja ordered his men to bring the idol from the kiln and place it on a suitable site. Finally the deity was installed on a mound just on the bank of "BANKA RIVER", a tributory of river Damodar. At that time Banka was navigable with large tract of land on both sides. Subsequently the raja build a temple with nine well decorated spires. It is actually a two storied temple with horizontal cornices.Temples with horizontal cornices are not very common. Most temples have arch like bent cornices.First story has four spires and the second story with smaller base area has five spires. The main temple is South facing over-looking the Banka river. As it was a Durga idol with some antique values and revered by the rajas, the common people of Burdwan town and adjoining districts residents of raja the then "RAJBARI" (adjoining the Lakshminarayanji Temple). Within the Sarbamangala complex there are also two large Shiva temples (Chandaneswar and Indreswar) with terracota panel decoration. Raja Chitrasain had no issue, so after his death his two queens actually constructed these two large temple facing the Banka river. One of the temples have a very nice and large size Durga image on terracota panel set just above the entrance to this Shiva temple. As Chitrasain had no issue Trilokchand (the cousin of Kirtichand) became a successor of Chitrasain. A Shiva temple with Orrissan style five pinnacles is known as MITRASWAR and stands just opposite to the main Sarbamangala Temple and facing the idol of Sarbamangala. Mitrasain was the younger brother of Kirtichand. Trilokchand was Mitrasain's son. Two other Shiva temples, just facing the main Sarbamangala Temple was constructed by Tejchand, son of Trilokchand, in the 2nd decade of nineteenth century. It may be noted that Shivlingas are of white marbles as not as usual black stones.Just in front of the main temple of Sarbamangala there stands a specious square shapped "NAT MANDIR" . The main entrance of the temple complex is a two storied long structure with a big arch gateway facing East ward.
 

Burdwan University Golapbag Campus (Burdwan)

The Golap Bag, or the Garden of Rose, of Bardhaman, is a favourite tourist haunt. It is the Botanical and Zoological garden eastablished by the King Bijoy Chand Mahatab in 1884. Famous botanist Dalton Hooker came here and listed 128 types of trees. At present there are numerous mango, casuarina, eucalyptus, jaam and shimul trees in the garden. The University of Bardhaman also takes classes in the complex. Distance from railway station is about two and half km. A place of major tourist attraction situated at Golapbag. 
Burdwan Deer Park (Burdwan)

The Deer Park in Burdwan is a forest reserve that is noted for the number of deer housed in the park. Other attractions are tigers and a variety of colourful birds that add to the charm of the place. The end of the reserve forest is also the resting place of King Bijoy Chand Mahatab who founded the Garden of Rose or Golapbag. A guest house within the precincts offers visitors a comfortable overnight stay upon prior arrangement. 


Burdwan Meghanath Saha Planetarium (Burdwan)

The Meghnad Saha Planetarium was constructed by the famous Japanese Goto, an optical manufacturing company. It was built on 5.1 acres of land offered by Burdwan University and with the help of the Government of India and Japan as well as common people. The planetarium displays shows on the revolution of earth, the solar system and others in automatic exhibition. It was opened in 1994. Regular shows are conducted here.

Bardhaman have a planetarium named after India's scientist Meghnad Saha. It is the second planetarium of the state after Kolkata's "Birla planetarium".  


Burdwan Science City (Burdwan)

The Science Center is situated at Golapbag Road near Burdwan University. It has a science museum and a park. It offers insight into the animal kingdom, the environment, etc.

The Science Centre of Burdwan provides a lot of information on science. The game of moving balloons, balls, the magic of chemistry, the secret behind flying objects and others are displayed here.

In addition, discussion sessions and computer trainings are also organised. The Science Centre is a product of the joint effort by the Central Government, Government of West Bengal and the University of Burdwan.  


Krishna Sayar Park Burdwan (Burdwan)

Krishnasayar was built as a big lake in 1691 by the then king of Bardhaman, covering a total area of 33 acres. Earlier, there was a big bank surrounding the lake which is now present in bits and pieces. Krishnasayar has now been developed into a park and is very popular for boating and sightseeing.

The park also hosts a state level dance festival during the time of Holi and a fair that displays local handicrafts, that takes place from 1st January and continues for ten days. During this time only, an art exhibition, flower exhibition, poetry and story reading competition and folk song competition take place. The park also has an aquarium.

Eco Park located in Krishnasayar, Burdwan is one of the most popular parks with the best scenic view. At the centre of the park lies a huge lake that's surrounded by trees which is a charm in itself and the best spot from where one can take in the spectacular vista with the cool breeze from the lake engulfing you. The park which is open from morning till evening entails an entry ticket and is a refreshing place to be for adults and children alike. 


Siddheswar Temple Katwa (Burdwan)

Temple no.5 (Siddheshvara Temple) at Barakar, Burdwan district taken by J.D.Beglar in 1872-73. Beglar wrote, "Barakar…contains several very interesting ancient remains, in excellent preservation". Temple number 5, "...consists of a cell and an antarala, or vestibule. It does not appear to have ever had a mahamandapa in front. The object of worship is a lingam, placed in a great argha, 4 feet 7 inches in diameter. Besides this there are lying, in and out, statues and fragments, among which may be reckoned, Ganeca, a 4-armed female, a 4-armed male holding a sword and a trident in two hands, and some nondescript fragments.

Ichai Ghosh Temple Katwa (Burdwan)

This monument, although called 'The temple of Ichhai Ghosh' or 'Ichhai Ghosher Deul' in local language (Bengali), bears no mark of any deity placed there. This ancient brick built monument was built by the river Ajay in present Bardhaman district of West Bengal, probably during 7th century AD by Ichhai Ghosh, a fierce leader and a real hero of the local milkman community, who even challenged the then king of Gour (Bengal) and defeated him in battle and proclaimed himself as the king of the local area of 'Trishasthi' or 'Dhekur' within the state of Gour. This monument was probably built to commemorate his win over the king of Gour or may be it was built as a temple of the goddess 'Mother Shyamarupa'. Ichhai was dedicated to the deity, though no sign remained afterwards. This is a part of history also described in the 'History of Bengali Literature' epic 'Dharmamangal'.

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