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Baguran Jalpai - A Serene and Unexplored Beach on the Bay of Bengal

If you are a beach lover like me living in West Bengal and a beach destination is on the top of your mind, and also looking for options beyond the popular choices (of Digha, Mandarmoni, Tajpur and Shankarpur), then Baguran Jalpai is the perfect option for your next weekend getaway. The place is very close to Kolkata and is along the same stretch as the beaches mentioned above.

Baguran Jalpai, an uncharted and a tranquil beach destination on the Bay of Bengal, is just 165 km away from Kolkata, completely secluded and peaceful, away from the cacophony of the city life. The entire length of the beach is bordered with dense forest of casuarina trees and is completely devoid of tourists. One of the reasons for that could be that the place is relatively new in the tourism map of West Bengal, hence not many people are aware of the beauty it offers. While it is true that you can barely find a human soul on the seashore, millions of red crabs inhabit the place and as a result the beach turns r…

Gangani Road Trip via Kamarpukur and Jairambati - Part 2

By the time we reached Gangani, it was 3.00 p.m. Though the rains had stayed away for almost the entire day now, the sky was still gloomy and there was no sign of the sun yet. The moment we entered Gangani, the landscape that welcomed us was unbelievable. It’s hard to believe that something so interesting, beautiful and different, in terms of topography, could exist in this part of the state.

Gangani, (pronounced 'Gongoni'), located in Garhbeta, a small town in West Medinipur district, West Bengal, is one of nature’s amazing anomalies. The plain land that marks the area is interrupted by tall gorges formed over many, many years of soil erosion and movement of the Silabati River. Locally, the wide red soil gorge is known as 'Gongoni Danga' or 'Gongoni Khola'. The beautiful gorge has stunning similarity with the Grand Canyon of Arizona, USA. That’s why it’s called the Grand Canyon of Bengal. It’s a place that showcases an amazing combination of sandstone hills, th…

Gangani Road Trip via Kamarpukur and Jairambati - Part 1

When we started our journey for Gangani on a cool, rainy morning on a Sunday, we were a little apprehensive about the idea of hitting the road on such a gloomy day. We had planned Gangani as a road journey, so that we could stop on the way to explore and take pictures of the local people the beautiful landscape of rural Bengal. As we were to drive from Kolkata via Santragachi, Arambagh, Goghat, Kamarpukur and Jairambati to reach Garhbeta, we thought to drop by at Kamarpukur and Jairambati (two very popular pilgrimage spots in West Bengal), before reaching Gangani. 
Starting early in the morning, we reached Kamarpukur around 11.00 a.m. By now, it had stopped raining; however, the sun was not out yet and dark clouds were still hovering in the sky.
Kamarpukur, a beautiful hamlet in Hooghly (West Bengal) adored with lush green paddy fields and large ponds, is the birthplace of Sri Gadadhar Chattopadhyaya who, in later years, became famous as Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa. Born in the year 18…

In the lap of Himalayas

My friend and I decided to trek the Hampta Pass in August. Monsoon in the mountains is a stunning sight. And the Himalayas hold a special appeal for trekkers. The thrill of the Hampta Pass trek is not just about reaching the top; it is also in the journey. It takes around four days, through the picturesque valleys of Kullu and Manali to the arid landscape of Spiti and Lahual. On day one, we started from the Rumsu base camp, where we had spent the previous night acclimatizing and loosening our muscles, at around 7 am. We had to reach the Hampta Dam by 8 am. The dam is an hour's drive from the base camp and involves crossing several hairpin bends along the way.

The Hampta Dam trail is pretty easy with a mild gradient. We soon crossed the beautiful River Rani to reach a grass-covered flat terrain - Chikka, about 10,200 feet above sea level. From there, you can get amazing views of Indrasen and DeoTibba, two popular mountains in Himachal Pradesh. Chikka's night sky also offers the pe…

Manali - By the River Beas

It has been a few weeks since I returned from Manali, but the memories of the trip is still fresh  and will remain deeply etched in my mind for my entire life. It was a short trip, but a very effective one. From exploring beautiful places, to travelling along the hilly roads, to meeting new people and trying local food, it was an experience to remember.

Kullu and Manali are two very stunning places in the snow-clad ranges of the majestic Himalayas in the state of Himachal Pradesh. While the serene Kullu valley is home to scores of magnificent temples and castles, Manali, located to the northern end of the Kullu Valley, at an altitude of 2,050 meters in the Beas River Valley, is a stunning hilltop with wading water streams, rivers and lofty mountains.

As you enter the breathtaking Kullu valley, the first sight that greets you is the umpteen number of apple orchards laden with ripe fruits on both sides of the road. It is often said that the apple trees along with trout (a type of fish), w…

Tajpur Beach - Refreshing Experience

When it comes to planning a beach holiday, Bengalis largely prefer Digha mainly because of accessibility (it's well connected to Kolkata by road/rails). Tourists from across the state throng to the beach to spend some quality time with their family and friends. As a result, Digha is now one of the congested beaches in West Bengal, and it remains so throughout the year.
Why Tajpur?
I always prefer a peaceful place for my holidays which offer serenity and calmness. 
Since Digha no longer fit into that category, I chose Tajpur, located in East Medinipur district, between Mandarmani and Shankarpur, for my weekend trip. I have been there couple of times in the past, and I love going there because of the beach, the sand and the red crabs. The hundreds of red crabs crawling and playing hide and seek on the sand is a special attraction. In addition, the beauty of the casuarina trees that surround the sea shore truly offers great visual pleasures.

Tajpur, on the shore of Bay of Bengal, is 17…

The Untold Secrets Of The Sea

Sea lovers of the world unite!

The essence of sea—its beauty and charm—can only be felt by people who love visiting the beaches and dreams of building a farmhouse, maybe someday, near a seaside so that they can absorb the awesomeness of early morning sunrise over a cup of tea looking at the waves, enjoy the soothing evening breeze after the sunset, or relish the sumptuous seafood.

Yes, there are such people who long to spend their lives on a beach island. If you ask them what’s so special about the sea, they will tell you there's something which is beyond explanation—there is something that attracts them—is it the waves, the beach-sand, the seashells, the sound of waves hitting the shores... they don’t know. Sometimes it is any one of these factors, sometimes it is a combination of all the factors. Simply put, you have to be there, right in front of the sea, embracing the breeze, and welcoming the waves as if they were your own, in order to know what exactly makes people fall f…