Cooch Behar is a district in north east West Bengal with a royal heritage. It is bound by Jalpaiguri to its north, by Assam to its east and by Bangladesh to its south. It used to be ruled by the Koch dynasty and therefore this name. Cooch Behar became a district in West Bengal in 1950 and is the only planned district in north Bengal on the Himalayan foothills. Since the Cooch Behar Palace still holds significance in the development of the district, it has been declared as a heritage town. Cooch Behar also happens to be the maternal home of Maharani Gayatri Devi. The residents enjoy a lovely climate and the best time to visit is during November through February when the temperature is between 10 and 24 degree Centigrade.

How to reach Cooch Behar


Sagar Dighi at cooch behar in west bengal

Sagar Dighi

Cooch Behar is very well connected with other parts of the country through rail, road and air. Cooch Behar railway station is well connected to the rails of all the metro cities and all the superfast and express trains halt at Cooch Behar railway station. The North Bengal State Transport Corporation runs buses to and from West Bengal, Assam and Bihar to reach Cooch Behar. Private buses also ply to Cooch Behar and the bus terminus is near the palace. Taxis can be found near Transport Chowpathi and rickshaws have become a major mode of transport within the town. People traveling in aircraft can either arrive at Cooch Behar Airport or Bagdogra Airport located in Siliguri. Bagdogra airport is 160 kilometers from Cooch Behar.

Accommodation in Cooch Behar


Cooch behar stadium

Cooch behar stadium

There are several hotels in Cooch Behar for visiting tourists. They range from budget accommodation to luxury and deluxe ones with room rents ranging from as low as 225 INR to as high as 3000 INR per night. You will get standard rooms as well as suites according to your taste. Facilities vary depending on the type of hotel you choose to stay. Most of the hotels are located either near bus stands or near railway station making them easily accessible by tourists. In Cooch Behar mostly local delicacies are served in the restaurants. However, the luxury hotels with their restaurant facility serve multi-cuisine preparations.

Attractions in Cooch Behar


Madan Mohan Temple at Cooch Behar in west bengal

Madan Mohan Temple at Cooch Behar

Cooch Behar is a city of royal heritage and it still proudly presents the Cooch Behar Palace in its full glory to the tourists. The Rajbari as it is locally known is an imposing building built in Italian Renaissance style. Constructed by the great Maharaja Nripendra Narayan in 1887, this magnificent structure is 1.5 meters in height covering an area of 4768 square meters. When you step inside the palace you will notice the royal insignia everywhere and the floor is marble. The palace has more than 5 rooms and halls including the Durbar Hall, library, kitchen, bedrooms, billiard rooms, dressing room, dining, ladies gallery and many more.

Next in importance is the Madan Mohan Temple. Constructed during 1880s by Raja Nripendra Narayan, it is dedicated to Lord Madan Mohan along with shrines of Bhvani, Tara and Kali. The Raash Mela during Raash Purnima is an important festival when the temple is illuminated and becomes crowded with hundreds of worshippers. Other tourist attractions include Sagar Dighi, Moti Mahal, Laal Bagh, Ananda Ashram, MNJ Club, Rani Bagan, Patton Tank, and Hiranyagarbha Shiva Temple.

Photo Courtesy: mapio.net, coochbehar.nic.in, touristguide24.com

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Tarakeswar is a holy place for Hindu pilgrims. Tarakeswar is a small town in Hooghly district in West Bengal. Principal attraction of this town is the temple of Taraknath where in Lord Siva is worshiped. This temple is founded by Mukunda Ghosh in 1729. Not only devotees from West Bangal visit this place, it attracts people from all over India.

Attraction


  • Taraknath Temple: Tourists visit the temple throughout the year. Sivratri, Gajan and Sravani mela are most famous festivals of the temple.
  • Doodh Pukur: Doodh pukur is a sacred pond at temple area. The state government have taken appropriate antipollution measures to make the water of the pond useable by the pilgrims for the people of taking bath and puja.
  • Rajbari: Tourists may visit the rajbari beside the Doodh pukur. Jamindar of this place used to stay in this palace.
  • Shravani Mela: shravani mela is a popular fair which held during the bengali month of shravn (mid-July to mid-August).This time is auspicious to Hindus. Devotees come through out India to join this festival.
  • Buddha Temple

How To Reach


Tarakeswar is just 58 km. away from Kolkata and is within easy reach. It is possible to visit the temple and return to Kolkata within a few hour.

Train

  • There are 24 pair local train from Howrah throughout the day. 58 Km Distance from Howrah to Tarakeswar.
  • Trains are available from Saorafuly junction.
  • Take train from Kamarkundu station (Howrah-Burdwan chord line).
  • Easily accessible from Arambag station. Then take buses  for Tarakeswar via Joyrambati – Kamarpukhur.
  • Also it is accessible from Bishnupur station  also.

Road

Bus stand is situated on the north side of the rail station. CSTC buses are available from Sahid Miner at Kolkata maidan. Tarakeswar is connected by different bus routs: Tarakeswar – Chinsura, Tarakeswar – arambag, Tarakeswar -Burdwan etc.

Passenger cars (treker) are also available to travel from different parts of the district.

There are numerous option for car rental as well.

Accommodation


Tarakeswar offers all kinds of accommodation, suitable for every budget. Many private hotels and guest houses are available.

Tarakeswar Municipality Guest house
Deluxe Room: Rs. 150-600, A/c Deluxe  Room: Rs. 900, Dormitory Bed: Rs. 30 (one mandatory meal with extra charge)
Telephone: (03212) 276330

Tarakeswar Tourist Lodge (WBTDC), Guest house road, Ward-7
Telephone: (03212) 279332
A/c Deluxe Room: Rs. 600/900/1100/1600/2200, Dormitory Bed: Rs. 120
Kolkata Booking, Telephone: 22488271/9051057272

Kanoria Atithi Bhawan, Station road (near rail station)
Room: Rs. 150-225
Telephone: (03212) 276297

Tarakeswar Super Lodge, Near bus stand (opposite of rail station)
Deluxe room: Rs. 350-1000
Telephone: (03212) 276371

Other than these, there are numerous options at Budget Hotels, Hanuman Parisad Dharamshala, Panda’s house etc.

When To Visit


Tarakeswar is popular all through the year. However, it is better to avoid the month of July and August when the place experiences heavy crowd for ‘Shravani mela’.

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Serampore is an old colonial town of West Bengal. Situated just 24 kilometers from Kolkata, it is a bustling crowded place on the right bank of the Hooghly River. While most of the town is under local administration, the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) also covers a part of it. It was the only town to be colonized by the Danish and was known as Frederiksnagore from 1755- 1845. Serampore was famous for its superior education institutions and William Carey founded the Serampore College. It was also the first College University in Bengal. The town is also known for publication of the first Bengali Newspaper, Samachar Darpan.

How to Reach


Serampore is well connected to Kolkata by railways and by road. It takes a little more than 30 minutes to travel to the town by car, while local buses and trains ply at regular intervals from Kolkata.  Mithila Express, Doon Express, and Amritsar Express are some of the long distance trains that travel via Serampore to Kolkata.

The residents of Serampore usually travel to Kolkata for work and education on a daily basis. Both the rail and bus fares are economical and do not exceed Rs 100. Cars for hire and taxis are also available at approximately Rs 200 from Kolkata.

Attractions & Activities


Serampore is currently a satellite town of Kolkata and most people indulge in the normal day-to-day activities while in the town. However, there are quite a few places to visit in the area as a tourist. Some of the most popular ones are:-

Serampore radhaballav jiu temple

Serampore radhaballav jiu temple

Radhaballav Jiu Temple is open to the public; Puja and anjali are performed daily both in the morning and evening. Jhulan Jatra, Janmastami, Nandotsob, Radhastami, Rasjatra and Doljatra are celebrated every year. Radhaballav Jiu Temple is also known as Thakurbari.

Jagannatha Temple had built by Dhrubananda Brahmachari, a devout man of Mahesh at 1397. But this temple is no longer in existence. Present temple in Mahesh was built in 1755 and cost around Rs. 20,000; donated by Nayanchand Mallik of Pathuriaghata at Kolkata.

Mahesh Rath Jatra at Serampore

Mahesh Rath Jatra

Rath Yatra: Mahesh Rath Yatra is Second oldest in India after Puri. Serampore is famous for this and the town receives an unprecedented number of tourists during the occasion.

 

 

 

Serampore Rajbari cross view

Serampore Rajbari

Serampore Rajbari: The Goswamis of Serampore are one of the five Brahmin families whom King of Gaur, Adisur had invited to settle in Bengal, with gifts of land and monies, to grow eternal knowledge. Raghuram; a member of the Goswami family was built a house during the time between 1815 and 1820. Now a days this giant mansion known as “Serampore Rajbari”.

 

 

Danish cemetery: Serampore also houses two Cemeteries dating back to the Danish days. The Baptist Mission Cemetery in Serampore contains the family graves of Carey, Ward and Marshman, while the Danish Cemetery houses several other Danish graves.

 

Serampore College Hooghly District

Serampore College

Serampore College: Since Serampore was a Danish Colony from 1755 to 1845, the Baptist missionaries were given all encouragement to develop their educational enterprise by the Danish Governors, Colonel Bie and his successor Colonel Krefting. Joshua Marshman visited Copenhagen and secured from the King of Denmark, Frederick the Sixth, a Royal Charter, empowering the College to confer degrees in all faculties. In other words, Serampore College was considered the third University, the other two being at Copenhagen and at Kiel. In 1845, when the Danish settlement was purchased by the British, the treaty of purchase included provisions for maintaining the rights and immunities granted to the College by the Royal Charter of 1827.

Serampore Jute Mill: India Jute Mill at Serampore, Hooghly became the company’s second composite mill after acquisition in June, 2007. It has an installed capacity 120 MT per day producing Sacking cloth & Bags and Hessian cloth & Bags.  Located next to the prestigious Serampore College of Textiles, the mill has a rich heritage and background in textile and Jute. This unit employs over 4000 individuals and is known in the industry for its immaculate work culture and ethics.

  • Soshan Kali Temple
  • Taramar Bari
  • Srirampur Mahaprovu Bati
  • Ganga ghat
  • Bot tala-This area features a huge 100-year-old Banyan Tree. It is also a busy bus stop at present.
  • Sheoraphuli Raj Debuttar Estate
  • Chatra Shitalatala – famous for its Shitala Mandir and bazaar
  • Chatra Doltala – Sri Chaitanya Mahapravu is rumored to have visited this place.
  • Satimata Mandir

Accommodation


Tourists usually prefer to stay in Kolkata and while visiting Serampore. However, there are quite a few hotels in the area along with guesthouses and paying guest accommodations.

When to Visit


There is no particular season for visiting Serampore. It is accessible throughout the year. However, first time tourists need to avoid the monsoon season particularly the months of June-September while visiting the town.

Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Deepanjan Ghosh, saptarshi, Sagnik Banerjee Photoscape, Chiradeep Mukhopadhyay, sarbajitchakraborty, serampore.eziassist.com, rangandatta.wordpress.com

Content Courtesy: seramporecollege.org, jute-india.com, rangandatta.wordpress.com

 

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