Kurseong, the name in Lepcha means small white orchid and the place is often referred to as the land of the white orchid which grows in abundance throughout the year. Kurseong is located at a distance of 32 kilometers to the south of Darjeeling and is often referred to as the young sister of the Queen of Hills that is Darjeeling. Kurseong stands at an elevation of 1458 meters and experiences a pleasant climate throughout the year. It is also known as the gateway to north Bengal and is surrounded by beautifully trimmed tea estates attracting tourists all the year round.

Attractions in Kurseong


Kurseong is a popular destination where lots of eminent personalities have spent a considerable time of their lives. Among them were Rabindranath Tagore, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Sister Nivedita and also Mark Twain. One of the highlights of Kurseong is the Makaibari Tea Estate. Visitors are allowed to see the organic procedure of processing tea here. Trips are free and mornings are the best time to visit.

The Ambootia and Castleton Tea Estate also welcome visitors to their aromatic factory. There is an old graveyard of St. Andrews as a poignant reminder of the era of tea planters. Walk down to Eagle’s Craig or trek to Deer Park to enjoy your day. From Eagle’s Craig you can witness the golden rays of the sun on the Himalayan range which is a visual treat. Visit the Museum of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and also the Forestry Museum to gather knowledge. On the way there are several religious temples, churches, Buddha gompa and mosques. Do not forget to trek to the Balason River and visit Chimney village which is home to a 100 year old gigantic chimney.

You will be able to enjoy your trip to Kurseong if you visit during March through Mid June and September through December.

How to reach Kurseong


Getting in the little town of Kurseong is easy as it is nicely connected with the rest of north Bengal through railway and road. Shuttle jeeps are available from New Jalpaiguri station to Kurseong which approximately takes 2 hours by Hill Cart Road and 1 hour by Old Army Road or Pankhabari Road. The route through Hill Cart Road is often preferred by tourists because they can relish on the visual treat provided by the Himalayan range. The jeeps normally charge 40 INR for 1.5 hours from Darjeeling. Traveling by the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway’s steam toy train is the best experience you can have enroute to Kurseong. Leaving at 6 in the morning it provides ample opportunity for the tourist to capture the pretty sight while moving up the winding railway track.

Where to stay in Kurseong


Accommodation in Kurseong is aplenty. Right from tourist lodges to hotels are available for the visitors. However, if you want to experience the lifestyle of the residents, then homestay facility is the best option. Many families of the Makaibari tea estate offer this facility which includes rooms, typical Kurseong meals, exploring the tea garden and also taking part in the local development programs. They usually charge 800 INR for rooms and meals.

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Sonamukhi gets its name from the local deity Swarnamukhi Devi and is a busy municipality in Bankura district in West Bengal. It is situated at a distance of 34 kilometers from Bishnupur and falls enroute to Hadal Narayanpur from Bishnupur. Apart from the temples located in Sonamukhi, it is also famous as the birthplace of KusumKumari Devi and Haranath who are deemed to be the reincarnations of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the founder of Vaishnav sect. Sonamukhi is therefore a place of religious and well as historical significance. It also holds lots of interest for the lovers of art and architecture.

Sonamukhi has a glorious history of being one of the leading producers of cotton, silk and indigo during the British rule in India. Therefore, it has been referred to as a weavers’ village in many documents and literary books of the time. However, now the village is popular because of its terracotta temples and witnesses visitors almost throughout the year. The most famous and unique one is the Sridhar temple which has 25 pinnacles. This feature of the temple renders it a unique quality. There are only 5 such temples in Bengal and Sridhar in Sonamukhi constructed by Kanai Rudra, a weaver is one of them. The Archaeology department of the state has shown lot of interest in this temple and it has been preserved beautifully by them.

Attractions


There are 5 Rasmanchas in Sonamukhi scattered in different parts of the town. You can spot them while exploring the town through its lanes, by lanes and markets. The Sridhar Temple is located in the interior and you will have to walk through a by lane to arrive at the destination. However, you will be astounded by the terracotta plaques on the temple walls. Scenes like Lord Shiva’s marriage, exchange of Lord Krishna as a child and Brahma originating from Lord Vishu’s naval are depicted on the walls. The wooden door of the temple has the typical style of temple gates in Bengal.

Around Sonamukhi


Some of the houses nearby are centuries old and you can see the remains of residential architectural specimens on them. At a short distance lies another temple. This is the temple of Sitala Devi. The temple is a flat roofed one with 5 pinnacled structure. Just behind the temple is the Siddeshwar Rasmancha painted in blue making a pretty picture. Nest to the Sitala temple is a Laxminarayan Jiu Temple which has been constructed following the typical duel style architecture. This temple was built in the year 1364 according to Bengali calendar.

The Swarnamukhi Temple is located in Shyambazaar area. Gaja Lakshmi is the shrine here with two elephants. The typical horse and elephant figures of Bankura can be spotted on the interiors especially on the walls. The Gopalbed area of Sonamukhi has the ruins of an ancient temple of which he pillars and the spire remain. The structures on the temple walls are quite impressive. The Giri Gobardhan and the renovated Radha Gobinda temples of Babuapara are beautiful to look at accompanied with Rasmanchas among which one is 17 pinnacled.

How to Reach


Visitors can reach Sonamukhi by road on bus and also by train.

Where to stay at Sonamukhi


In order to book the bungalow you can contact or get in touch with the DFO of the northern Division. Or you could back to Burdwan city which is 60 km form Sonamukhi.

Here are the details:

DFO- North Division,Bankura
PC- 722101

Back to Bankura

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