West Bengal is a unique state which has the sea, the river and the mighty Himalayas! Its varied topography is unique and gives various places to escape for a traveller looking for a change. These places are offbeat and underrated and thus you can expect to be away from the hustle, into the wild.
Garh Panchkot- Located in the Purulia district, Garh Panchkot is an archaeological site where lies a ruined fort with a rich history. It lies right beside the Panchet Lake along with the Panchet Hill which is covered with dense forests. The fort was destroyed and ransacked in the 18th Century Bagri attack and now only its ruins were left. Accommodation here is limited but The West Bengal Forest Development Corporation Limited has a tourist bungalow here which houses visiting tourists.
Chitrey- Enroute Sandakphu, this small village of Chitrey has barely ten to fifteen houses. Located near the India Nepal Border, Chitrey is a gem of a place when you need to hide from the world and get lost in the wild. A one day’s hike from Manebhanjan, Chitrey has many homestays which host guests on the way to Sandakphu. It is primarily a stopover place for trekkers but it is also an amazing place to get lost when you just need that.
Duarshini- A place near Purulia District, Duarshini is famous for its forests of Ahal and Palash trees. There are a lot of tribal villages nearby as well as the beautiful River Satgurang that flows through Duarshini. The jungle is home to a wide number of animals like Bears, Elephants, Hyenas, and Wolves. Duarsini is 178 km away from Kolkata. Accommodation facilities are less here but tourists can stay at the Government Forest Bungalow.
Gurdum- Situated on the trek route of Sandakphu, Gurdum is a 1-hour hike from Srikhola. Gurdum has lush green mountains and beautiful flowers, inhabited mostly by Nepalis and Lepchas, Gurdum is a travellers paradise. It is an amazing place to escape the city and get lost amongst nature. It is a very small village, and most of the accommodation here is homestays so you can stay with a local family and live the local life with them.
Tajpur is a recently discovered beach site that is 170 km away from Kolkata. The location is not too far from Digha but much less crowded with cleaner beaches. Tajpur is famous for the forest of tamarisk trees, wild Gangetic dolphins, Oliver Ridley turtles and a wide variety of birds and cranes. Tajpur has a lot of staying options, being close to Digha it’s popularity is slowly growing and a lot of hotels have popped up in recent times.
Bakkhali- A village on the beach near Namkhana, Bakkhali is an underrated hidden beauty of West Bengal. The beaches are tranquil and sparsely populated, Bakkhali beach is on the Ganges Delta and there are various small islands located nearby. The population here is mainly rural and fishing is their main source of income. Though Bakkhali is underrated as a tourist destination, a lot of Hotels, guest houses, resorts and Bungalows provide accommodation for travellers.
Shankarpur- A unique beach village, Shankarpur is located 14 km east of Digha. It is a regular fishing harbour and has the best fish markets. Only recently tourism has been started in these areas so the beach is free of the crowd that Digha has and full of natural beauty, flora and fauna. Shankarpur also has a number of temples that one can visit while their stay.