West Bengal is grossly overlooked when it comes to rural travel. There are some unique destinations that the state has to offer, full of folk tales, history, and culture. From quaint little villages, to the shore of the Bay of Bengal, you have numerous tiny villages dotted all across the state. Venture deep into the womb of Bengal where stories of the wandering Bauls bring you to a whole different world, and folk art brings you to the altar of an ancient tradition.
The abode of Rabindranath Tagore, Shantiniketan is a town that needs no introduction. However, if you venture to its outskirts, you will find dazzling greenery, acres of land, and a rural wonderland. Shantiniketan is also very popular for the Poush Mela, a fair that defines the cultural heritage of West Bengal. You might bump into baul singers who wander the countryside.
On the banks of River Ichamati lies this rural wonder. Taki is a quick getaway for the weekend, and takes only about 2 hours to reach from Kolkata. Sail through the river, visit the Machranga island, and visit the ruins of the once palatial homes in this area. The river is especially interesting as Durga idol immersions take place here with great fanfare, witnessed by people from both West Bengal, and Bangladesh.
Not just for the elusive Bengal Tiger, Sundarban must also be visited to immerse yourself in a cultural phenomenon that is undisputed. Villages in Sunderban are replete with stories of Bonbibi, the Goddess of the jungle. She is the guardian deity of the forests, and protects the place from getting attacked by tigers. It is a wondrous place that will never be forgotten.
At the foothills of the Himalayas, Dooars is all about romancing nature. The place is acclaimed for its tea gardens for sure, but the greenery is incredibly arresting, making it an abode of peace. The rolling hills come together with dense forests giving a mystical touch to the place. An ideal place during the winter months.
The love of the sea brings us to the shore of this quaint village. Bakkhali is famed for its islands, such as the Sagar Island, Henry Island, Frederick Island, and Fraserganj Island. You will find fishermen by the numbers here, as the place is known for its fishing activities. Here, in Bakkhali, walking the shore is an activity that will leave you mesmerized. The best part about this place is that it is still relatively unspoilt.