The City of Kolkata was at one time the capital of India and it has held a position of distinction throughout the ages of the history of the country. It has been acclaimed as the seat of culture and artistic excellence and is home to many an example of its illustrious past.
Staying at Kolkata also offers you the advantage of making short trips into states other than West Bengal, like Odisha and Jharkhand to visit the places of importance in these states. Let’s take a look at some of these places, which a tourist can visit within 300 kilometres of Kolkata.
Short Trip from Kolkata: Under 100 kilometres
The Fort at Raichak was formerly known as Radisson Fort. Today, it is a 5-star hotel known as Raichak in Ganges. Numerous other forts and the Hooghly river add to the beauty of Raichak, making it a great destination for a break from the bustle of the city.
Distance from Kolkata: 54 kilometres
Short Trip from Kolkata: Under 100 – 200 kilometres
2. Bardhaman/ Burdwan
Lovers of history would be totally taken with Bardhaman, which has a known history dating back to the Mesolithic age. Its name is ascribed to Mahavira or Vardhman Swami, the 24th Tirthankara of Jainism. The town offers a lot of natural and man-made attractions and like the Hawa Mahal, Curzon Gate, Rani Mahal, Nawab bari and the Shiva Mandir, and wildlife sanctuaries and parks.
Distance from Kolkata: 102 kilometres
Situated on the banks of the river Bhagirathi, Nabadwip is held holy for being the birthplace of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, a social reformer whose Bhakti movement set a new direction in the worship of Lord Krishna. Acclaimed as a centre of learning and philosophy in medieval India, Nabadwip is home to traditional schools which teach Sanskrit. The temple here is beautiful and celebrates many auspicious festivals.
Distance from Kolkata: 124 kilometres
This holy city on the banks of the Ganges river is a religious centre where you will find the headquarters of the International Society of Krishna Consciousness, and houses the Samadhi of the society’s founder, Srila Prabhupada. Visited by over a million people every year, this place is of special significance to Gaudiya Vaishanvism as the birthplace of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Distance from Kolkata: 130 kilometres
This industrial township is home to a steel plant which is named after it, many power plants as well as chemical, metallurgical and engineering industries. A well-designed urban space, Durgapur is worthy of a visit for its booming entertainment and shopping centres and food joints which offer great food at low prices. Don’t miss the maze named Bhabani Pathak’s Tilla and Deul Park. Visit the ancient Garh jungle and the beautiful Kumaramangalam Park. Children love the Troika Park.
Distance from Kolkata: 172 kilometres
Bankura is historically significant as the centre of the Malla Kingdom, with Vaishnavism as state religion. The outstandingly designed terracotta temples, using the local red soil, of Bishnupur earn Bankura the title of Temple City in Bengal. Other attractions are the Susunia and Biharinath Hills for nature lovers and Mukutmanipur for its earthen dam.
Distance from Kolkata: 197 kilometres
Short Trip from Kolkata: 200 – 300 kilometres
Famed for its silks, this last capital of Independent Bengal on the banks of Bhagirathi, has many splendorous buildings and monuments which have stood the test of time. Foremost among them is the Hazarduari palace, its miniature version Nasipur Palace, the Nizamat Imambara famed for its size, the cemeteries at Kosh Bagh and Jafarganj, the Jahan Kosha Cannon at Tope Khana, and the Katra masjid.
Distance from Kolkata: 210 kilometres
One of the important Shakti Peethas, Tarapith is a temple. The Legend of Sati, the wife of Shiva, is said to have ended with her immolated remains being taken away by Shiva. The pieces of her body landed in separate places across India where temples are dedicated to her. The Tarapeeth temple was reconstructed in 1225, and on the gate, a carving depicts the goddess with her family, and the image is flanked by recreations of scenes from the Mahabharat and Ramayan.
Distance from Kolkata: 223 kilometres
The town of Mukutmanipur in the Bankura District is reminiscent of a documentary from Discovery Channel of the beauty of nature, with green forests and hills, combined with an abiding sense of peace and quiet. Along the border of Jharkhand, this town attracts tourists for its peace and for the rivers of Kumari and Kangsabati that meet here. The dam here is said to be the second-largest across India.
Distance from Kolkata: 250 kilometres
Short Trip from Kolkata: 300 – 400 kilometres
10. Bokaro Steel City
One of the largest steel mills in the country, this plant is a great attraction with the planned city and the beautiful surroundings of the Garga dam closeby. The town boasts of a well-stocked library, beautiful temples to Ayyappan, Kalika Devi, Ram as well as Jagannath and a major shopping centre. Do visit the Biological park, with its diverse fauna, boating facilities and toy train.
Distance from Kolkata: 316 kilometres
Deogarh literally means Home of Gods, and Gods tend to pick beautiful places to reside in, so it is also a beautiful holiday destination, with great views of the Lalitpur Hills in Jharkhand. You will find the ruins of Buddhist monasteries here and 22 temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and 31 Jain temples. Most famous places to visit are the Baidyanath temple and the Chandrakoop, a well said to have been sanctified by Ravana with the waters of many theerthams.
Distance from Kolkata: 324 kilometres
Most famous for its products like mangoes, Malda was also once the capital of Bengal. Visit the confluence of the rivers Kalindi and Mahananda and the historical Jame Masjid and Nimasarai Tower, when here. This really ancient city originally finds mention in the writings of Panini, the grammarian, as Gourpura as also some Puranic texts.
Ruled by Mauryas, Guptas, Palas and Sens before passing under Muslim rule, this city lost its position to Dhaka, but retained the title of Jannatabad and retains many monuments of the times like the Firoz Minar, Adina Mosque, Kotwali Gate.
Distance from Kolkata: 361 kilometres
Short Trip from Kolkata: Over 400 kilometres
The places to see in Ranchi are vast and many. The dams, the rock garden, Tagore Hill, Ranchi Lake, Deer Lake, the Zoological Park, Pahari Mandir, Rukka Dam,
The Durga Pooja available across all temples in the region is known to be a wonderful experience. Another place to visit is the Science City, good for children, where education and entertainment collide.
Distance from Kolkata: 420 kilometres
14. Ganga Sagar
A stunning island just off the coast, Ganga Sagar is a place of great beauty and religious importance. Home to some spellbinding beaches, it is famous for hosting the Sagar Mela which sees millions of devotees flock to its beaches every year. The island is stunning in the beauteousness of its surroundings. Besides being a place for religion, Gangasagar is also a place for relaxation and rejuvenation amidst the sun and sand.
Distance from Kolkata: 510 kilometres
Close to Rourkela, lie many scenic places including Khandadhar waterfall, which boasts to be the highest waterfall of its kind in the whole of eastern India. Apart from that Vedavyas, the confluence of two rivers Shankh and Koel, is only few miles from the main city, which is believed to be the abode of Vedavyasa, the great poet, who created the grandeur epic Mahabharat. Hanuman Vatika, Vedvyas Temple and Vaishno Devi temple
Distance from Kolkata: 502 kilometres
Visit one or more of these places around Kolkata to absorb their religious and historical significance. Or be inspired by the beauty of its planned industrial cities and enjoy the pristine surroundings nature’s lap and the flora and fauna.