Situated in the eastern part of India, West Bengal is a land of overwhelming natural splendor, rich culture, and culturally inclined people. Stretching from the Himalayas in the north to the Bay of Bengal in the south, West Bengal is one of the foremost destinations in the itinerary of tourists visiting this part of the country. The tourist attractions in West Bengal are as varied and overwhelming as the land itself.
A land where culture and literature reign supreme, West Bengal flaunts a colorful heritage whereby human values are still regarded in high esteem. An important commercial hub and a popular tourist destination as well, West Bengal receives a high influx of tourists all through the year. The tourist attractions in West Bengal are numerous and wide-ranging, from the snow capped East Himalayan peaks to the sandy beaches of the Bay of Bengal, and from an amazing repository of wildlife to calm yet vibrant country life. In short, West Bengal makes for a complete tourist destination.
The variety and richness of the tourist attractions in West Bengal are sure to enchant travelers of every kind. While the historic remains of Malda and the colonial buildings and monuments of Kolkata are evocative of the glorious history of the state, places like the Nawab's city Murshidabad or Rabindranath Tagoreís Shanti Niketan provide wonderful insight into the cultural heritage of West Bengal. The Tiger Reserve at Sunderbans is a nature loverís delight, while hill stations like Siliguri, Darjeeling and Kalimpong allow visitors to enjoy the natural bounty of the hills.
The capital of West Bengal, Kolkata is the City of Joy that bustles with activity and vibrant life forces. Often hailed as the intellectual capital of India, Kolkata is the main business, commercial and financial hub of eastern India. A city with a rich heritage, Kolkata is a popular tourist destination that has wonderfully retained the aura of the bygone era in its intriguing fabric, which has the past interweaved with the present, the intense with the fun-loving.
Another of the must visit tourist places in West Bengal is Shantiniketan, Rabindranath Tagoreís university township. Malda in north Bengal is home to the relics of Muslim culture as is evoked from places like the Bara Sona mosque. Nearby lies Behrampur, also evocative of Bengalís past. Prominent attractions here include the Hazarduari Palace and the Khush Bagh in Murshidabad.
Again, if you wish to experience the sheer brilliance of pristine mountains on your West Bengal Tour, make sure you visit the hill station of Darjeeling, perched 7,000 feet above sea level. You can even embark on short trips to Mirik, the land of oranges, and Kalimpong, renowned for its orchids and curio shops.
Besides these, some other places to see in West Bengal include Digha, Siliguri, Gaur, Pandua, Murshidabad, Bishnupur and Haldia.
Most prominent among the festivals of the Hindu solar calendar celebrated in West Bengal is the Durga Puja, celebrated in autumn (September-October). Being the greatest community festival in West Bengal, Durga Puja is celebrated on a massive scale with puja pandals (marquees) housing deities of Goddess Durga dotting nearly every nook and corner of the cities and towns of the state. This four-day long festival is held to celebrate the defeat of the demon, Mahishasura at the hands of Goddess Durga, the incarnation of Shakti, or Power. The four days of Durga Puja signifies party time for people irrespective of age and caste as they participate wholeheartedly in the revelry.
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