BETHUADAHARI WILDLIFE SANCTUARY: Bethuadahari is a manmade forest located beside NH 34 in the Nadia district of West Bengal. This wildlife sanctuary can be reached by travelling 137 km from Kolkata.
This sanctuary accommodates a variety of species in nearly a 500 bigha biodiverse region. Birds, deer, jackals, Bengal fox, porcupines, lizards, pythons and other animals can be spotted here along with some very precious trees and shrubs. The sanctuary blooms in colour and sound during the summer months.
Several guest houses and lodges offer affordable food and accommodation. Cottages in the premises of the forest can also be booked in advance by contacting the Forest Department.
Time to reach by road from Howrah Railway Station: About 4 hours.
Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary is about 130 km away from the city of Kolkata, at the confluence of Malta River and Gumdi River. Apart from being home to the Bengal Tiger, Sajnekhali also hosts a variety of birds species. You can get a scenic view of the lush green Sundarban mangroves from the watch tower and spot deer, tigers, and other animals. The Nature Interpretation Centre should be visited for more insights into the lives of the inhabitants of the river delta. Amongst the other must visit spots to experience the fauna up close are the turtle farm, the crocodile farm and the shark inhabited pond.
Spend some time watching the boats sail leisurely in the river or read a book on the deck. If you are lucky you might even spot the rare fishing cat or a wild boar. Macaques, flying fox, chital, pangolin and other animals also inhabit the forest.
It is a perfect place for bird watching too. You can spot many exotic birds like the Spotted Billed Pelican, Fish Eagle, Osprey Herring Gull, Open Billed Stork, different kinds of Heron, Kingfisher, Paradise Flycatcher to name a few.
Interact with the locals from the nearby village communities for an indigenous feel of the place. Though the best time to visit Sajnekhali is between September and March for the favourable weather, the summer rain also attracts a number of travellers for the frenzy forestry feel.
Time to reach by road from Howrah Railway Station: 5 hours.
Henry Island is located in Bakkhali, which is around 130 km from Kolkata. Being an isolated island, it is often referred to as a virgin beach. The path leading to the secluded beach is covered by a canopy of lush green trees. It really is like being in one of those marvellous looking wallpapers.
The natural concave arch of leaves and vines at the end of the trail makes it all the more breathtaking. The beach stretches along the glorious Bay of Bengal. With its sparkling sand and blue-green water, it is nothing less than a VFX scene from an American movie.
Stay at one of the many hotels in Bakkhali, visit the other beaches nearby, try loads of seafood, hire a cycle and enjoy the tranquillity of nature. You will surely lose your heart to the beautiful sunset!
Time to reach by road from Howrah Railway Station: 5 hours if you start early.
Jambu dweep is a mangrove island that is situated about 130 km away from Kolkata in the peninsular region of West Bengal. You can reach this region after a boat ride of 30 to 45 minutes from Bakkhali. It is a small and scenic island whose ends can be met within the corners of your eyes. It is mesmerizingly beautiful with almost zero footfall on an average day. You can start your day with a meditation on the beach, play volleyball or football or even have a picnic under the trees. Travellers often spot migratory birds, seabirds and red crabs.
Time to reach by road from Howrah Railway Station: 6 hours.
This article gives information about the summer spots in Kolkata, West Bengal. The eastern part of India is bordered by the Bay of Bengal and has many such precious little pockets of beauty. This article is aimed at educating travellers about those islands and forest reserves to help them plan their next weekend getaway successfully.