A short write up on exploring some of the lesser-known Points of Interest which are in close proximity of Kolkata.
I have made this resolution to explore as much as possible about the various points of interest in West Bengal. The state has so much to offer by way of mesmerizing landscapes, Snow clad mountains. Then there are flat beaches, tea gardens, enticing deltas, lush green forests bustling with wildlife, ancient temples and fantastic architecture. The crowning jewel is art, culture and heritage which the state boasts of, in sync with its existence and history.
Having said this, to explore this state is indeed a daunting task but then as they say “One step at a time”. So when I was asked to accompany few like-minded individuals to the shores of a unique Ox-Bow Lake in the sleepy rural village of Purbasthali, I was all up for it.
The village of Purbasthali, located in East Bardhaman district is well on its way to becoming a most sought after Weekend destination. This is primarily due to the presence of migratory birds which arrive here in winters. The Ox-Bow Lake that I was mentioning previously, formed from the waters of the Ganges swirls past the villages of Chupi and Kasthashali. So on this lake, amid the vegetation, surrounding fields and marshy lands arrive more than 70 species of birds in the winter months.
Bird watching is the major attraction out here; however, that is not the only activity that one gets to do. A leisurely canoe ride on the lake settles the frayed city nerves for almost all especially in the warmth of the winter sun.
Village walks. One can also go for a walk through the village market and be a part of the local frame. There is generous vitality visible when one takes a step through the village as well as the fields. We saw flower fields just on the outskirts, and a walk through them was highly rewarding. Flowers do get the best out of everyone.
Nearby. Besides, one can also visit the nearby historic town of Mayapur as well as Nabadwip. These towns are steeped in history and tradition and are vital centers of worship for the Vaishnav sect.
I went to Purbasthali by road; hence it was a delightful experience to witness rural BENGAL early in the morning. This kind of experience, specifically in winters is a visual treat for the eyes as well as the soul.The stillness of the morning with the fog making the vistas to get subdued yet present a glimpse of their presence is definitely soul soothing.
|Route|| Kolkata is 120 kms away. Use the AH2 , cross Dankuni toll and thereafter continue till Jaugram, connect up with Kalna and then proceed straight to destination.|
Train route from Kolkata to Purbasthali Railway station is also an alternative. ( check erail.in)
|Stay||Chupi Kasthashali Pakhiralay ( 9073565723) . Limited rooms|
|Surroundings||Rural countryside , expect narrow roads and basic infrastructure|
|Birding||Suggest begin around 7 in morning. Carry water bottle as well as some light snacks and warm clothing.|
|Clothing||Warm clothing in layers.|
|Activities||Generally it is Birding and exploring in the day. For the night take some card/board games to fill in the hours with a campfire thrown in.|
|When to Visit||For Birding : Dec-Feb |
As a weekend destination : All year round, avoid summers