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SUNDERBAN

Sunderban

Sunderbans, listed as a “UNESCO World Heritage Site”, is the world’s largest estuarine forest and delta, covered by mangrove forests and vast saline mud flats. This is situated at the lower end of the Ganges in West Bengal. A land of 54 tiny islands, crisscrossed by innumerable tributaries of the Ganges that was once infested by pirates, Sundarbans is now the abode of varied flora and fauna population.

Sundarbans was declared a wildlife sanctuary way back in 1977, but the status of “national park” was bestowed on it in 1984. Royal Bengal Tigers always roamed here and this prompted government to declare it as a Tiger Reserve in 1973. Its uniqueness as a biosphere reserve and mangrove area prompted UNESCO to include it in the list of world heritages in 1985.

Not just the tiger, Sunderbans is the breeding ground of immense variety of birds like Heron, Egret, Cormorant, Fishing Engle, White Bellied Sea Eagle, Seagul, Tern, Kingfisher as well as migratory birds like Whimprel, Black-tailed Godwit, Little Stint, Eastern Knot, Curlew, Sandpiper, Golden Plover, Pintail, White-eyed Pochard and also Whistling teal.

Sunderban is characterized by the sundari trees that give the mangrove their name. These trees hold together the small islands of mud, on which they grow, with their roots. Sunderbans also consist of a large flora population like genwa, dhundal, passur, garjan and kankra.

Sundarbans is probably the only place where one can find both Hindus and Muslims praying to the same Gods, such as Bonobibi, Monosha and Gazi Pir. There is a substantial Christian community, but it too dwells in communal harmony. This bonding among the people, irrespective of religion is the setting of a beautiful example for all to follow.

Importance of Sunderban Ecosystem

Sunderban has extremely rich diversity of aquatic and terrestrial flora and fauna. Sunderban’s highly productive ecosystem acts as a natural fish nursery. Sunderban mangrove reduces the fury of cyclonic storm and prevents erosion due to tidal action. Finally, millions of people depend on Sunderban ecosystem for their livelihood and sustenance through fishing, collection of honey and fuelwood.

Getting Around

Sundarbans have rightly become a centre of attraction for tourists from India and world over. The tourist areas in Sundarbans can broadly be categorized into a few zones. These are:

Sajnekhali : – Here lies the mangrove interpretation centre and a watch tower for tourists. One can also get permission to visit core area of jungle from here.

Sudhanyakhali : – A popular watch tower for wildlife sighting.

Dobanke: – Canopy walk to the watch tower whilst visiting the spotted deer rehabilitation centre.

Netidopani : – Has the remains of a 300 year old temple, worshipped by people of all religions and a watch tower for a bird’s eye view of the surrounding forest.

Burirdabri : – Visit the Bangladesh side of Indian Sunderbans, where the flora and fauna is very different. Also, experience the caged and mud walk leading to the Raimangal view point (view of Bangladesh).

Bonie Camp Watch Tower :

Bonnie Camp, is one of the most beautiful watchtowers in the Sundarbans. This watchtower, 50 feet high, is the highest watchtower in the Sundarbans. It is quite close to the Bay of Bengal. Like all other watchtowers of Sundarbans, there is a sweet-water pond and chances are there to observe the wildlife.

Bhagabatpur Crocodile Sanctuary

The Bhagabatpur Crocodile Project in the Sundarban is another important tourist
destination of the Sundarbans. This is the only crocodile project in West Bengal and is located near Lothian Island and on the bank of the Saptamukhi Estuary. The dense mangrove forest at the confluence of Saptamukhi river system has immense natural beauty to attract tourist all throughout the year.

Kalashdeep

Kalashdeep is a part of Sundarbans National Park that lies at the estuary of the River Matla. During winters, it is the breeding ground of the Olive Ridley Turtles that arrive in great numbers on this beach for nesting. Kalash Island is also the home to many varieties of coastal birds .

How to Reach:

Kolkata is the nearest airport to go to Sunderbans. It is accessible by rail and road from Kolkata. Entire Sundarbans is surrounded by a network of rivers and hence one need to take boat ride to visit the remote areas of the park. Boat is the best bet to explore the park extensively.

Nearest Airport: Kolkata Airport, 112 km.

Railways: Canning is nearest railhead (48 km).

Road: Road transportation is available from Kolkata for Namkhana (105km), Sonakhali (100km), Raidighi (76km), Canning (64km), and Najat (92km), which are all near the Sunderbans and have access to the riverine waterways.

Water: Sunderbans are approachable only by riverine waterways. Motor launch facilities are available from Namkhana – Bhagabatpur Crocodile Project- Sagar Island -Jambudwip; from Sajnekhali – Sudhanyakhali-Buridabri- Netidhopan-Haliday Island; from Sonakhali – Gosaba; from Raidighi – Kalas.

When to Visit:

Annual rainfall in Sundarbans is anything between 1500 to 2500mm. The mean maximum and minimum temperature is around 34 degree Centigrade and 20 degree Centigrade respectively. This makes the whole region highly humid. Therefore, the best time to visit the Sunderbans is between September and February. However, tourism has increased even in April and May.

Entry Formalities:

One can get a permit from Sajnekhali, after payment of Entry Fees, Camera & Guide charges and by producing of following documents before visiting the core area by boat.

For Indians – Original Photo ID cum Address Proof(such as Voter ID/Driving License/ Indian Passport etc.) along with photocopy is a must.

For Foreigners: – A copy of passport and visa is submitted at the time of entry. But originals have to be shown at the time of taking permit.

DO’s in the Forest
  • Obtain entry permit before entering into the park.
  • Carry Walking shoes, hat/ear guard, sunglass, mosquito repellant, personal medication, woolen garments in winter(October-February) & light cotton garments in summer(March-September)
  • Observe perfect silence while moving in the Sanctuary.
  • Keep your eyes and ears open to observe nature at its best.
  • Use biodegradable containers to carry your eatables. Do not throw the leftover in the rivers ever. Ask the boatmen and they will help you dispose them.
  • Carry sufficient drinking water always
  • If possible, carry a binocular to observe birds and other small animals.
  • Obey the rules and regulations of the park. Violation of these can lead to prosecution or fines or both
DON’T’s
  • Do not feed animals in the forest or at breeding centre. You can be prosecuted or fined for this or both.
  • Do not go to the forest getting drunk. Do not drink intoxicating materials on boat also. This can prove dangerous to your life.
  • Do not tease animals. It keeps animals under stress and they may turn aggressive.
  • Do not use blaring musical appliances. It disturbs the animals and against rules
  • Do not venture out at night. It might be dangerous.
  • Do not cook food inside the park. It is punishable and it may lead to forest fires
  • Do not go too close to the water in any case. There might be a lurking Crocodile and your life can be in danger
  • Do not carry firearms and explosives – It is punishable.
  • Do not carry meat and meat products. It is prohibited.
  • Do not pluck flowers, fruits or any other plant parts.

Above all, do not use plastic and plastic derivative containers – it may cause health hazard to animals. Be responsible tourists.

Sunderban Village Resort

Sunderban Village Resort is a mirror of Bengal beauty, simplicity, and honest hospitality. Located between river and green paddy fields in the Southern Deltaic region of West Bengal at Pakhiralaya adjacent to Dayapur Jetty Ghat The Resort represents the finest eco-system of the Sunderbans and exclusively run to serve the livelihoods of local poor people.

Our Resort has seven luxurious cottages with one king sized and one queen sized bed in each room. One is a specially designed honeymoon cottage adding to the grandeur of the natural environment. There are two dormitories and all our accommodation have attached western type washrooms and provide basic amenities such as running water. Electricity ( solar & soundless generator), cleanliness and comfort. Hot water can also be provided as per the requirement of the guests. The cottages are scattered around a beautified pond full of lotuses.

Dining:

We have the dining hall in the open natural environment connected by pathways and bamboo bridges with the cottages Sunderban Village Resort offers all those facilities that is expected from a resort-and more. Guests can please their taste buds with the buffet style “carte du jour” prepared by our local chef who offers delicious home cooked meals, be it local Bengali cuisine, Chinese or continental.
Or one may go for the “al-a-carte” menu, which offers a special seafood section comprising local fishes (Bhetki, Pomfret, hilsa, parse); crabs and prawns that have been specifically harvested for consumption, without affecting the ecological balance..

Activities:

To maintain the noise free, pollution free and echo-friendly atmosphere, Biking is a wonderful option to take a tour around the village and meet local inhabitators. Bicycles are available on hire at the resorts. Please contact the resort Coordinator or our staff if you wish to hire a bike . But, one should be prepared for a bumpy ride as the roads are not paved, and always carry a map of the village. If guests want to buy any souvenir, packed or packaged local items or produces, please contact the person in charge at the resort. Please ask for the pricelist before making any payment.

The people at the Resort:

Excepting the Project Coordinator and the Specialist Guide, all the guides and staffs at the Resorts and boats are from Pakhiralaya and its adjoining villages. They are permanently employed and have received training in Village Hospitality basics.

Our constant Endeavour is to upgrade the standard of tribal life within their own environment of the nature, and help them to survive and grow with the parallel growth of the wild life as well as forestry, perfectly complementing each other, with the help of innovative ideas and interactive habitation.

Here are a few Do’s & Don’ts to make your stay more pleasant:
  • Do not consume alcohol in open lawns.
  • Do not indulge in illegal hunting.
  • Do not pollute rivers.
  • Don’t create noise or play loud music.
  • Do not buy product made from wild animals or exotic woods.
  • Do not buy live animals taken from the wild.
  • Share what you know about the environment and what can be done to save endangered species.
  • Help biodiversity conservation.
  • Do not intentionally or recklessly disturb or destroy plants, eggs, birds, other animals or geological feature.
  • Do not linger if it is clear that your presence is causing significant disturbance to a bird or other wild animal.
  • Follow any agreed information aimed at preventing significant disturbance to protect plants, birds or other animals, or at preventing the spread of erosion in more sensitive areas.
  • Take extra care to avoid disturbing more sensitive birds and animals, particularly during their breeding season.
  • Take all litter away with you.
  • Take all necessary measures to prevent the risk of fire.
  • Make efforts to use wildlife operators who follow a code of conduct.
Currency

The Sunderbans is a remote area of India and there is no ATM and money changing facility. So it is advisable to all tourists , foreigners, NRI’s and Indians to carry enough INR for personal expenditure and local purchase.

Nearby Attractions

If you are coming for a visit to Sundarbans, there are places which can definitely be included as part of itinerary, for these can be clubbed together with a Sundarbans trip. Such places include Kolkata, Shantiniketan, Mandarmoni, Digha etc.

Kolkata: Kolkata, one of the metros of India, is the capital of West Bengal. Job Charnock, an administrator with the British East India Company has traditionally been credited as the founder of Kolkata. The city prospered into the headquarters for the British East India Company and remained so till the first decade of the 20th Century.

With its rich British legacy and its own culture, Kolkata has a lot to offer to tourists. Some find Kolkata an amusing mixture of tradition and modernity. Some of the prominent places one should see on a sightseeing trip in Kolkata are:

Dalhousie Square: Present name is BBD Bag, but it is still more commonly referred to as by it old name of Dalhousie Square, named after Lord Dalhousie, who served as Governor General of India from 1847 to 1856 . It is the seat of power of the state government, as well as the central business district in Kolkata, where important government buildings and business offices and banks are located. BBD of the name BBD Bag stands for Binoy, Badal, Dinesh, the freedom fighters who killed Inspector General of Prisons, N.S. Simpson, in the balconies of Writers’ building.

The square is famous for the cheap food vendors that sell ready foods throughout the day to all the clerks and officers that work in the offices. However, in the night, the place becomes eerily silent as there are hardly any residential buildings in the district.

Writer’s Building: The Writers’ Building is the secretariat building of the State Government of West Bengal in India. This originally served as the office for writers of the British East India Company, hence the name. Designed by Thomas Lyon in 1780, it received its impressive Corinthian façade, an example of the Neo-Renaissance style, in 1889.

Royal Exchange: A one-time residence of Robert Clive and now the office of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

General Post Office (GPO): This is in a heritage building right in the heart of Dalhousie Square. This two-storied Victorian style building with an impressive dome is a key landmark for Kolkata. Earlier Fort William was situated here. A long strip of brass on the eastern staircase of GPO is the reminiscent of initial Fort William of Kolkata. Telephone Bhawan, St. John’s Church are all situated around the square. The place is locally known as the Office Para – meaning the locality of offices.

College Street: Home to some of Kolkata’s, rather, India’s oldest and most prestigious educational institutions, College Street epitomize the quintessential culture-escape of a stereotypical Bengalis. Presidency College, Hindu School, University of Calcutta and Kolkata Medical College are some of the prominent names on this street. College Street is also the ‘book district’ of the city. The entire street is lined with shops of varying sizes selling books. Most of the Bengali book publishers have their offices in College Street.

College Square or Vidyasagar Tank is one of the most popular landmarks here. The tank is divided into sectors, each dedicated to a particular water-sport like swimming, diving and waterpolo. Renowned Indologist and educator David Hare’s (1775-1842) grave is located to the south of this tank.

Kalighat: Kalighat is regarded as one of the 52 Shakti Peethams of India, where the various parts of Sati’s body are said to have fallen, in the course of Shiva’s Rudra Tandava. Kalighat represents the site where the toes of the right foot of Shakti or sati fell. It is obviously a very famous place and a pilgrimage centre for the followers of Shakta or Shakti The image of the main deity is incomplete. Only the face of the deity was made first. The hands – made of gold and silver – the tongue, the Shiva statue and all jewels were added over the years. On auspicious occasions like Kali Puja, Durga Puja, Poila Boishakh – the Bengali New Year Day – and sankranti large number of devotees throng the place with offerings.

The present temple was erected under the patronage of the Sabarna Roy Chowdhury family of Banisha in 1809, though the place can be traced back to at least in 15th century.

Mother House: The erstwhile residence of one of the most iconic women of India, Mother Teresa, Mother House figures in the must visit place list of almost all tourists in Kolkata. The simplicity of this place is so heartwarming, in its own quiet way, that it makes its way straight to your soul. Spend some time interacting with the sisters of Missionaries of Charity, or see them work tirelessly for the upliftment of the ill and underprivileged.

Esplanade: To the east of Raj Bhavan is the area popularly referred as Esplanade, which once stretched from Dharmatola Street to Chandpal Ghat. Today, it is loosely bounded by Esplanade Row East to the north, Red Road to the West, Rani Rashmoni Avenue to the South and Chowringee to the east.

Princep Ghat: The Princep Ghat was built in the everlasting memory of James Princep who was an extraordinarily brilliant research and at one point of time served as the honourable Secretary of the hallowed Asiatic Society.

Kumartuli: Kumartuli is a quaint neighbourhood within Kolkata. It is home to several talented potters who toil tirelessly to create idols out of clay. These clay images are very popular and much sought after during the Hindu festive season.

Indian Museum: One of the oldest museums in Asia, the Indian Museum was founded in 1814. One need an entire day to go around this museum. It has rich collections of fossils, coins, stones, art pieces, and much more. There is a 4,000-year-old mummy kept here and also the remains from one of the meteorites that hit the earth. Also on display is an urn said to contain the Buddha’s ashes. The museum remains closed on Monday.

National library: This is the largest library in India. It is under the Department of Culture, Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Government of India. The library is designated to collect, disseminate and preserve printed materials produced in India. The Library is the largest in India, with a collection of over 2.2 million books.

Pread over 130 acres, the campus, which houses the Library, served as the official residence of Lieutenant Governor of Bengal before Independence. It is one of the heritage buildings of Kolkata.

The library has separate Indian language division for English, Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu Languages. Sanskrit language division also collects and process Pali and Prakrit books.

At present, the National Library is the 2nd largest public library in Asia for which several notable persons have donated their valuable collections at different times.

Jorashanko Thakurbari: The rambling Thakurbari was built in the 18th century by Dwarkanath Tagore, the grandfather of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore. This is also the place where Rabindranath was born and passed away. The Thakurbari has mostly been converted into a museum now. The Rabindra Bharati University is also situated inside this complex

Marble Palace: Situated in Chorbagan, in an artistically laid-out garden, the place is full of rare collection of antiques of immense artistic and historical value. Wonderful curios, China and a couple of paintings by Rubens are only a few to mention of the spectrum of attractions of the palace. This is a must see for all visitors. The house is basically Neoclassical in style, while the plan with its open courtyards is largely traditional Bengali. Adjacent to the court-yard, there is a thakur-dalan, or place of worship for members of the family. The three-storey building has tall fluted Corinthian pillars and ornamented verandas with fretwork and sloping roofs, built in the style of a Chinese pavilion. The house contains large quantities of Western sculpture and Victorian furniture, and paintings by European and Indian artists.

Shovabazar Rajbari: No visit to Calcutta is complete without experiencing the Durga Puja at the Shovabazar Rajbari. The Rajbari’s tradition of publicly celebrating the festival goes back to 1757, to the time of Raja Nobokishan Deb. The first puja was held to celebrate the victory of Lord Robert Clive in the Battle of Plassey.

Town Hall: This historical hall had been the venue of public meetings and social gatherings. The construction of the hall was completed in 1814 in Doric style of architecture at a cost of Rs. 7lakhs by means of public lotteries. Like many other heritage buildings, the Town Hall has recently been restored to its original form.

Victoria Memorial: Built in Italian Renaissance cum Sarace nic style, Victoria Memorial was planned by Lord Curzon and opened by the Prince of Wales in 1921. This is dedicated to Queen Victoria and houses a fantastic collection of rare memorabilia from Colonial days. A light and sound show recreates history every evening.

Belur Math: Originally conceived by Swami Vivekananda, this temple (16 Km from Kolkata) enshrines the sacred relics of Sri Ramakrishna. Architecturally, this temple has an important place among the modern temples of India. It incorporates the motifs of various religions, thus symbolizing the harmony of religions taught by Sri Ramakrishna. Belur Math serves as the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Mission.

Dakshineswar: The majestic Dakshineswar temple is dedicated to mother Goddess Kali. The very name of the temple of Dakshineswar conjures the image of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa who attained nirvana at this holy temple on the banks of the Ganges.

Pareshnath Jain Temple: Pareshnath Jain temple is a very famous temple of Calcutta that was built by an art connoisseur named Ray Badridas Bahadur in 1867. Located in the northeast side of the city Pareshnath Jain temple is a mind-blowing place of worship, the beauty of which is enhanced by mirrors and colored stones.

St.Paul’s Cathedral: St.Paul’s Cathedral, built between 1839 and 1847, is one of India’s most important churches. The steeple fell during an earthquake in 1897 and was redesigned and rebuilt. Inside there’s some interesting memorials and stained glass, including the west window by Sir Edward Burne-Jones.

New Market: Kolkata boasts of numerous Raj-era monuments that dot its landscape. The New Market façade is no exception. One look at the top of the tower and you will come across the magnificent Gothic clock which bears testimony to its British past. Previously referred to as Sir Stuart Hogg Market or simply Hogg Market, it has sprawling maze of stalls offering almost everything imaginable. It can be crowded and chaotic, but if you are after a bargain, or even just an incredible experience, this market cannot be missed.

Flower Market: Beneath the east end of Howrah Bridge, Mullik Ghat Kolkata Flower Market is eastern India’s largest flower market with hundreds of stalls and people sitting on the ground. Around 2,000 flower growers from the surrounding areas come to sell their flowers and garlands and during the wedding and festive season probably double that number. One can spend hours watching the hustle and the beautiful colours from the bridge.

Chandannagar

Chandannagar, formerly known as Chandernagore, is a small town located 30 kilometre north of Kolkata. Former French colony, Chandannagar, situated on the banks of Hooghly River, now serves as the head quarters of a subdivision in Hooghly District. The town, despite its closeness to Kolkata, has been able to maintain a separate identity of its own.

This small town, with a history of over a period of 300 years, has a unique blend of culture and heritage. Chandannagar is well connected to Kolkata by railways, roadways and river and it takes about an hour to reach the place.

Serampore

Located about 25km North of Kolkata, Serampore is one of the few places in India that was colonised by Denmark from 1756 to 1845. The town has witnessed both the growth and decline of the feudal system, the coming of the Danes and their settlement and then a cultural renaissance (known as the Bengal Renaissance) initiated by the British following the construction of the east Indian railway, along with subsequent industrial development.

The town shot into fame with the educational activities of the English Missionaries like William Carey, Joshua Marshman and William Ward. Serampore College was founded by Carey, when the first Bengali newspaper ‘Samachar Darpan” was published. On the display section of the museum attached to the College are copies of various bibles and Bengali books translated by Carey and printed here. One can also see on the display the Royal Charter from Denmark of 1827 that granted university status to the College long before the University of Calcutta was established.

This place is on the west bank of the river Hoogly and well connected with Kolkata by rail and road. It has developed into a major business and trade centre in the Hoogly district.

Chinsura

Located 35 km north of Kolkata, Hugli-Chinsura or Chuchura town is situated on the banks of Hooghly River. Located in the district of Hoogly, the town of Hooghly-Chuchura was founded by the Portuguese in 1579, and later ruled by the Dutch also. But, the district has thousands of years of rich heritage in the form of the great kingdom of Bhurshut.

The city flourished as a trading port and some religious structures were built. One such structure is a Church dedicated to a Charismatic statue of the Mother Mary brought by the Portugese. The church was renovated in 1980s and has been declared as a basilica by the authority of Rome.

The Dutch Cemetery: The cemetery is located 800 meters west of the Old Dutch fort. The southern part contains the 22 remaining Dutch tombs. The cemetery is now a protected monument and is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India.

The Dutch Villa: The Dutch villa is a court building possibly dating from the 18th century. Both Chinsurah and Hooghly played an active role in the Bengal renaissance and the Indian independence movement. “Vande Mataram”, India’s national song, was composed by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhay at Joraghat in Chinsurah.

In modern days Chinsurah is referred to as Chuchura or Chunchro. It is a historic station on the Howrah-Burdwan main line of the Eastern Railway. Chinsurah is regarded as one of the most beautiful towns in Hooghly district.

Digha

Digha is West Bengal’s most popular sea resort. It is located 187km south west of Kolkata. Digha has a low gradient with a shallow sand beach with gentle waves extending up to 7km in length. The scenic beauty of this place is charming and alluring. The beach is girdled with Casuarinas plantations along the coast, enhancing its beauty. These trees, apart from beautifying, also aid in reducing coastal erosion. One can view both sunrise and sunset at the Digha sea beach. The sunset and sunrise reflecting the salty waters of the Bay of Bengal is something straight off an artist’s canvas. The sea at Digha is calm and shallow for about a mile from the beach making it quite safe for swimming.

Mandarmani

Mandarmani is a small virgin beach on Bay of Bengal, only a few kilometers from Digha. It is also a small fishing harbour and a fast developing tourist destination. Mandarmani is an obvious choice if someone wants to visit an unexplored sea beach far from the hustle and bustle of the city.
It is close to Digha and yet distinctly different from it. Mandarmani will be cherished for its serenity and its beautiful beach resorts.

Tajpur

Tajpur, with its pristine sea beach and a dense forest of tamarisk trees, is one of the newest destinations on tourist map in Bengal. The beach is infested with infinite number of red crabs which play hide and seek in the sand. Their presence makes the beach look crimson. Tajpur, just 170km from Kolkata, has a lagoon just one kilometer from its beach. One can visit the fisherman’s village too, situated in the vicinity. Winter is good time to visit Tajpur. Tajpur offers various adventure sports options like paragliding, rafting, rock climbing and other activities.

Shantiniketan

Shantiniketan, a small town near Bolpur in the Birbhum District, is about 212 kilometer north of Kolkata. It is a University town – home to Visva-Bharati University – vision of the famous Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore.

The place, which now attracts thousands of visitors every year, was earlier called Bhubandanga (named after Bhuban Dakat, a local Dacoit), and was owned by the Tagore family. In 1862, Maharishi Devendranath Tagore, the poet’s father, while on a boat journey to Raipur, came across a landscape with red soil and lush green paddy fields. He decided to plant more saplings and built a small house. He called his home Shantiniketan. He founded an ashram here in 1863 and became the initiator of the Bramho Samaj. In 1901, Rabindranath started a school at Shantiniketan named Bramhachari Ashram that was modeled on the lines of the ancient Gurukul system that later came to be known as the Patha Bhavan.

With the financial backing of the Maharajah of Tripura, the Visva-Bharati Society was established in 1921. Tagore envisioned a center of learning which would have the best of both the East and the West. Nobel Prize (1913) won by Rabindranath Tagore, not only the enhanced the pride of India but also the prestige of Shantiniketan. The school was expanded into a University. It was named Visva-Bharati, which was described by Tagore as ‘Where the world makes a home in a nest.”

The Open-air education as opposed to being cloistered in the four walls of a classroom became a reality here. Eminent people from all over the world came to Visva-Bharati during its peak period. Visva-Bharati became a Central University in 1951.

Leaves of the Chhatim (Saptaparni – or 7-leaf sprigs) trees are given to graduating students at the annual convocation. Many world famous teachers have become associated with it over the years. Indira Gandhi, Satyajit Ray, and Amartya Sen (the 1998 Nobel Prize winner in Economics) are among its illustrious students.

The Prime Minister of India is the Chancellor of the University. Kala Bhavana, the art college of Shantiniketan, is still considered one of the best art colleges in the world. Other institutions here include Vidya Bhavana: the Institute of Humanities, Shiksha Bhavana: the Institute of Science, Sangit Bhavana: Institute of Dance, Drama and Music, Vinaya Bhavana: Institute of Education, Rabindra Bhavana, Institute of Tagore Studies and Research, Palli-Samgathana Vibhaga: Institute of Rural Reconstruction, and Palli Shiksha Bhavana: Institute of Agricultural Sciences.

Shantiniketan is adorned by splendid sculptures, frescoes, murals and paintings of Rabindranath, Nandalal Bose, Ramkinkar, Binod Bihari Mukhopadhaya and others. Shantiniketan is also famous for its fairs and festivals like Poush Mela (December), Joydev Mela (January), Basanta Utsav (March) and the famous Mystic Baul Singers.

Gangasagar

Gangasagar, also known as Sagardwip, is a charming tourist destination, which attracts both pilgrims and adventure lovers. Located on an island in the Sunderbans, Sagardwip offers the charms of an un-spoilt beach on the estuary of the river Ganges.

Gangasagar, still unexplored and unexploited from tourism point of view, offers acres of silver sand and clear blue sky, and the calm sea for visitors who would like to spend their weekend in tranquility.

The island of Sagardwip is one of the most famous Hindu pilgrimage centres in India. Every year on Makar Sankranti (mid-January), pilgrims from all over India, gather at Sagardwip for a holy dip at the confluence of the river Ganga and the Bay of Bengal. After the holy dip, the pilgrims worship at the Kapil Muni Temple. On the occasion of Makar Sankranti, Gangasagar Mela is organized on this island, which is one of the biggest fairs in West Bengal.

Sagardwip finds mention in many tales of Hindu mythology and in ancient Indian literature like the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, a novel of Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay, a poem of Rabindranath Tagore.The lighthouse at Sagardwip offers a panoramic view of this spectacular beach, from where you can enjoy sunrise and sunset. During sunset, the sky turns golden with a patch of red on the horizon and the silver sand reflects the last rays of the sun.

Payments

You can deposit money by cash, cheque, and draft or online into any company account as per your convenience. Foreigners (or Indians) can also send money into one of the company accounts through money exchanges like Western Union or Express Money. One can deposit money into our accounts through Credit cards or Debit Cards also using Paypal. Our account details are verified one by Paypal.

After depositing or transferring the prerequisite money into one of our accounts, please do intimate us of the same through e-mail, sms or phone call. Once we receive the amount in our account we will confirm your booking and send an intimation of the same with a voucher.

Bank Details:

ICICI Bank (verified by Paypal. You can deposit money into this account through Credit Card & Debit card also)

Branch : Sector 11, Rohini, New Delhi

Account Holder : Apass India Leisure Solutions Pvt. Ltd

Account number : 036705001965

Branch Code: 0367

IFSC Code: ICIC0000367

Swift Code: ICICINBBCTS

MICR Code: 110229054

Karur Vyasya Bank (verified by Paypal. You can deposit money into this account through Credit Card & Debit card also)

Branch: Bhubaneswar Branch, Orissa

Account Holder: Apass India Leisure Solutions Pvt. Ltd

Account Number: 3201 135 00000 1008

Swift Code: KVBLINBBIND

Branch Code: 3201

IFSC Code: KVBL0003201

MICR Code: 751053002

Contact Us
Kolkata Address

Central Business Services, Room No. 5, 26 Chittaranjan Avenue,3rd Floor, Kolkata – 700012 (Landmark:- Next to Khadi Gramodyog)

Phone: 91-9163580464

Email: info@villageresort.in / sales@villageresort.in

Corporate Office

Apass India Leisure Solutions (P) Ltd.

B-5/399; 1st Floor; Sector-11,Rohini, Delhi – 110085, INDIA

Phone: +91-9810578109 / 9958343983 / 7751871395 / +91-11- 40532821

Email: sales@villageresort.in

  • Sunderban
    • Sunderban

      Sunderbans, listed as a “UNESCO World Heritage Site”, is the world’s largest estuarine forest and delta, covered by mangrove forests and vast saline mud flats. This is situated at the lower end of the Ganges in West Bengal. A land of 54 tiny islands, crisscrossed by innumerable tributaries of the Ganges that was once infested by pirates, Sundarbans is now the abode of varied flora and fauna population.

      Sundarbans was declared a wildlife sanctuary way back in 1977, but the status of “national park” was bestowed on it in 1984. Royal Bengal Tigers always roamed here and this prompted government to declare it as a Tiger Reserve in 1973. Its uniqueness as a biosphere reserve and mangrove area prompted UNESCO to include it in the list of world heritages in 1985.

      Not just the tiger, Sunderbans is the breeding ground of immense variety of birds like Heron, Egret, Cormorant, Fishing Engle, White Bellied Sea Eagle, Seagul, Tern, Kingfisher as well as migratory birds like Whimprel, Black-tailed Godwit, Little Stint, Eastern Knot, Curlew, Sandpiper, Golden Plover, Pintail, White-eyed Pochard and also Whistling teal.

      Sunderban is characterized by the sundari trees that give the mangrove their name. These trees hold together the small islands of mud, on which they grow, with their roots. Sunderbans also consist of a large flora population like genwa, dhundal, passur, garjan and kankra.

      Sundarbans is probably the only place where one can find both Hindus and Muslims praying to the same Gods, such as Bonobibi, Monosha and Gazi Pir. There is a substantial Christian community, but it too dwells in communal harmony. This bonding among the people, irrespective of religion is the setting of a beautiful example for all to follow.

      Importance of Sunderban Ecosystem

      Sunderban has extremely rich diversity of aquatic and terrestrial flora and fauna. Sunderban’s highly productive ecosystem acts as a natural fish nursery. Sunderban mangrove reduces the fury of cyclonic storm and prevents erosion due to tidal action. Finally, millions of people depend on Sunderban ecosystem for their livelihood and sustenance through fishing, collection of honey and fuelwood.

      Getting Around

      Sundarbans have rightly become a centre of attraction for tourists from India and world over. The tourist areas in Sundarbans can broadly be categorized into a few zones. These are:

      Sajnekhali : – Here lies the mangrove interpretation centre and a watch tower for tourists. One can also get permission to visit core area of jungle from here.

      Sudhanyakhali : – A popular watch tower for wildlife sighting.

      Dobanke: – Canopy walk to the watch tower whilst visiting the spotted deer rehabilitation centre.

      Netidopani : – Has the remains of a 300 year old temple, worshipped by people of all religions and a watch tower for a bird’s eye view of the surrounding forest.

      Burirdabri : – Visit the Bangladesh side of Indian Sunderbans, where the flora and fauna is very different. Also, experience the caged and mud walk leading to the Raimangal view point (view of Bangladesh).

      Bonie Camp Watch Tower :

      Bonnie Camp, is one of the most beautiful watchtowers in the Sundarbans. This watchtower, 50 feet high, is the highest watchtower in the Sundarbans. It is quite close to the Bay of Bengal. Like all other watchtowers of Sundarbans, there is a sweet-water pond and chances are there to observe the wildlife.

      Bhagabatpur Crocodile Sanctuary

      The Bhagabatpur Crocodile Project in the Sundarban is another important tourist
      destination of the Sundarbans. This is the only crocodile project in West Bengal and is located near Lothian Island and on the bank of the Saptamukhi Estuary. The dense mangrove forest at the confluence of Saptamukhi river system has immense natural beauty to attract tourist all throughout the year.

      Kalashdeep

      Kalashdeep is a part of Sundarbans National Park that lies at the estuary of the River Matla. During winters, it is the breeding ground of the Olive Ridley Turtles that arrive in great numbers on this beach for nesting. Kalash Island is also the home to many varieties of coastal birds .

      How to Reach:

      Kolkata is the nearest airport to go to Sunderbans. It is accessible by rail and road from Kolkata. Entire Sundarbans is surrounded by a network of rivers and hence one need to take boat ride to visit the remote areas of the park. Boat is the best bet to explore the park extensively.

      Nearest Airport: Kolkata Airport, 112 km.

      Railways: Canning is nearest railhead (48 km).

      Road: Road transportation is available from Kolkata for Namkhana (105km), Sonakhali (100km), Raidighi (76km), Canning (64km), and Najat (92km), which are all near the Sunderbans and have access to the riverine waterways.

      Water: Sunderbans are approachable only by riverine waterways. Motor launch facilities are available from Namkhana – Bhagabatpur Crocodile Project- Sagar Island -Jambudwip; from Sajnekhali – Sudhanyakhali-Buridabri- Netidhopan-Haliday Island; from Sonakhali – Gosaba; from Raidighi – Kalas.

      When to Visit:

      Annual rainfall in Sundarbans is anything between 1500 to 2500mm. The mean maximum and minimum temperature is around 34 degree Centigrade and 20 degree Centigrade respectively. This makes the whole region highly humid. Therefore, the best time to visit the Sunderbans is between September and February. However, tourism has increased even in April and May.

      Entry Formalities:

      One can get a permit from Sajnekhali, after payment of Entry Fees, Camera & Guide charges and by producing of following documents before visiting the core area by boat.

      For Indians – Original Photo ID cum Address Proof(such as Voter ID/Driving License/ Indian Passport etc.) along with photocopy is a must.

      For Foreigners: – A copy of passport and visa is submitted at the time of entry. But originals have to be shown at the time of taking permit.

      DO’s in the Forest
      • Obtain entry permit before entering into the park.
      • Carry Walking shoes, hat/ear guard, sunglass, mosquito repellant, personal medication, woolen garments in winter(October-February) & light cotton garments in summer(March-September)
      • Observe perfect silence while moving in the Sanctuary.
      • Keep your eyes and ears open to observe nature at its best.
      • Use biodegradable containers to carry your eatables. Do not throw the leftover in the rivers ever. Ask the boatmen and they will help you dispose them.
      • Carry sufficient drinking water always
      • If possible, carry a binocular to observe birds and other small animals.
      • Obey the rules and regulations of the park. Violation of these can lead to prosecution or fines or both
      DON’T’s
      • Do not feed animals in the forest or at breeding centre. You can be prosecuted or fined for this or both.
      • Do not go to the forest getting drunk. Do not drink intoxicating materials on boat also. This can prove dangerous to your life.
      • Do not tease animals. It keeps animals under stress and they may turn aggressive.
      • Do not use blaring musical appliances. It disturbs the animals and against rules
      • Do not venture out at night. It might be dangerous.
      • Do not cook food inside the park. It is punishable and it may lead to forest fires
      • Do not go too close to the water in any case. There might be a lurking Crocodile and your life can be in danger
      • Do not carry firearms and explosives – It is punishable.
      • Do not carry meat and meat products. It is prohibited.
      • Do not pluck flowers, fruits or any other plant parts.

      Above all, do not use plastic and plastic derivative containers – it may cause health hazard to animals. Be responsible tourists.

  • Accommodation
    • Sunderban Village Resort

      Sunderban Village Resort is a mirror of Bengal beauty, simplicity, and honest hospitality. Located between river and green paddy fields in the Southern Deltaic region of West Bengal at Pakhiralaya adjacent to Dayapur Jetty Ghat The Resort represents the finest eco-system of the Sunderbans and exclusively run to serve the livelihoods of local poor people.

      Our Resort has seven luxurious cottages with one king sized and one queen sized bed in each room. One is a specially designed honeymoon cottage adding to the grandeur of the natural environment. There are two dormitories and all our accommodation have attached western type washrooms and provide basic amenities such as running water. Electricity ( solar & soundless generator), cleanliness and comfort. Hot water can also be provided as per the requirement of the guests. The cottages are scattered around a beautified pond full of lotuses.

      Dining:

      We have the dining hall in the open natural environment connected by pathways and bamboo bridges with the cottages Sunderban Village Resort offers all those facilities that is expected from a resort-and more. Guests can please their taste buds with the buffet style “carte du jour” prepared by our local chef who offers delicious home cooked meals, be it local Bengali cuisine, Chinese or continental.
      Or one may go for the “al-a-carte” menu, which offers a special seafood section comprising local fishes (Bhetki, Pomfret, hilsa, parse); crabs and prawns that have been specifically harvested for consumption, without affecting the ecological balance..

      Activities:

      To maintain the noise free, pollution free and echo-friendly atmosphere, Biking is a wonderful option to take a tour around the village and meet local inhabitators. Bicycles are available on hire at the resorts. Please contact the resort Coordinator or our staff if you wish to hire a bike . But, one should be prepared for a bumpy ride as the roads are not paved, and always carry a map of the village. If guests want to buy any souvenir, packed or packaged local items or produces, please contact the person in charge at the resort. Please ask for the pricelist before making any payment.

      The people at the Resort:

      Excepting the Project Coordinator and the Specialist Guide, all the guides and staffs at the Resorts and boats are from Pakhiralaya and its adjoining villages. They are permanently employed and have received training in Village Hospitality basics.

      Our constant Endeavour is to upgrade the standard of tribal life within their own environment of the nature, and help them to survive and grow with the parallel growth of the wild life as well as forestry, perfectly complementing each other, with the help of innovative ideas and interactive habitation.

      Here are a few Do’s & Don’ts to make your stay more pleasant:
      • Do not consume alcohol in open lawns.
      • Do not indulge in illegal hunting.
      • Do not pollute rivers.
      • Don’t create noise or play loud music.
      • Do not buy product made from wild animals or exotic woods.
      • Do not buy live animals taken from the wild.
      • Share what you know about the environment and what can be done to save endangered species.
      • Help biodiversity conservation.
      • Do not intentionally or recklessly disturb or destroy plants, eggs, birds, other animals or geological feature.
      • Do not linger if it is clear that your presence is causing significant disturbance to a bird or other wild animal.
      • Follow any agreed information aimed at preventing significant disturbance to protect plants, birds or other animals, or at preventing the spread of erosion in more sensitive areas.
      • Take extra care to avoid disturbing more sensitive birds and animals, particularly during their breeding season.
      • Take all litter away with you.
      • Take all necessary measures to prevent the risk of fire.
      • Make efforts to use wildlife operators who follow a code of conduct.
      Currency

      The Sunderbans is a remote area of India and there is no ATM and money changing facility. So it is advisable to all tourists , foreigners, NRI’s and Indians to carry enough INR for personal expenditure and local purchase.

  • Nearby Attractions
    • Nearby Attractions

      If you are coming for a visit to Sundarbans, there are places which can definitely be included as part of itinerary, for these can be clubbed together with a Sundarbans trip. Such places include Kolkata, Shantiniketan, Mandarmoni, Digha etc.

      Kolkata: Kolkata, one of the metros of India, is the capital of West Bengal. Job Charnock, an administrator with the British East India Company has traditionally been credited as the founder of Kolkata. The city prospered into the headquarters for the British East India Company and remained so till the first decade of the 20th Century.

      With its rich British legacy and its own culture, Kolkata has a lot to offer to tourists. Some find Kolkata an amusing mixture of tradition and modernity. Some of the prominent places one should see on a sightseeing trip in Kolkata are:

      Dalhousie Square: Present name is BBD Bag, but it is still more commonly referred to as by it old name of Dalhousie Square, named after Lord Dalhousie, who served as Governor General of India from 1847 to 1856 . It is the seat of power of the state government, as well as the central business district in Kolkata, where important government buildings and business offices and banks are located. BBD of the name BBD Bag stands for Binoy, Badal, Dinesh, the freedom fighters who killed Inspector General of Prisons, N.S. Simpson, in the balconies of Writers’ building.

      The square is famous for the cheap food vendors that sell ready foods throughout the day to all the clerks and officers that work in the offices. However, in the night, the place becomes eerily silent as there are hardly any residential buildings in the district.

      Writer’s Building: The Writers’ Building is the secretariat building of the State Government of West Bengal in India. This originally served as the office for writers of the British East India Company, hence the name. Designed by Thomas Lyon in 1780, it received its impressive Corinthian façade, an example of the Neo-Renaissance style, in 1889.

      Royal Exchange: A one-time residence of Robert Clive and now the office of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

      General Post Office (GPO): This is in a heritage building right in the heart of Dalhousie Square. This two-storied Victorian style building with an impressive dome is a key landmark for Kolkata. Earlier Fort William was situated here. A long strip of brass on the eastern staircase of GPO is the reminiscent of initial Fort William of Kolkata. Telephone Bhawan, St. John’s Church are all situated around the square. The place is locally known as the Office Para – meaning the locality of offices.

      College Street: Home to some of Kolkata’s, rather, India’s oldest and most prestigious educational institutions, College Street epitomize the quintessential culture-escape of a stereotypical Bengalis. Presidency College, Hindu School, University of Calcutta and Kolkata Medical College are some of the prominent names on this street. College Street is also the ‘book district’ of the city. The entire street is lined with shops of varying sizes selling books. Most of the Bengali book publishers have their offices in College Street.

      College Square or Vidyasagar Tank is one of the most popular landmarks here. The tank is divided into sectors, each dedicated to a particular water-sport like swimming, diving and waterpolo. Renowned Indologist and educator David Hare’s (1775-1842) grave is located to the south of this tank.

      Kalighat: Kalighat is regarded as one of the 52 Shakti Peethams of India, where the various parts of Sati’s body are said to have fallen, in the course of Shiva’s Rudra Tandava. Kalighat represents the site where the toes of the right foot of Shakti or sati fell. It is obviously a very famous place and a pilgrimage centre for the followers of Shakta or Shakti The image of the main deity is incomplete. Only the face of the deity was made first. The hands – made of gold and silver – the tongue, the Shiva statue and all jewels were added over the years. On auspicious occasions like Kali Puja, Durga Puja, Poila Boishakh – the Bengali New Year Day – and sankranti large number of devotees throng the place with offerings.

      The present temple was erected under the patronage of the Sabarna Roy Chowdhury family of Banisha in 1809, though the place can be traced back to at least in 15th century.

      Mother House: The erstwhile residence of one of the most iconic women of India, Mother Teresa, Mother House figures in the must visit place list of almost all tourists in Kolkata. The simplicity of this place is so heartwarming, in its own quiet way, that it makes its way straight to your soul. Spend some time interacting with the sisters of Missionaries of Charity, or see them work tirelessly for the upliftment of the ill and underprivileged.

      Esplanade: To the east of Raj Bhavan is the area popularly referred as Esplanade, which once stretched from Dharmatola Street to Chandpal Ghat. Today, it is loosely bounded by Esplanade Row East to the north, Red Road to the West, Rani Rashmoni Avenue to the South and Chowringee to the east.

      Princep Ghat: The Princep Ghat was built in the everlasting memory of James Princep who was an extraordinarily brilliant research and at one point of time served as the honourable Secretary of the hallowed Asiatic Society.

      Kumartuli: Kumartuli is a quaint neighbourhood within Kolkata. It is home to several talented potters who toil tirelessly to create idols out of clay. These clay images are very popular and much sought after during the Hindu festive season.

      Indian Museum: One of the oldest museums in Asia, the Indian Museum was founded in 1814. One need an entire day to go around this museum. It has rich collections of fossils, coins, stones, art pieces, and much more. There is a 4,000-year-old mummy kept here and also the remains from one of the meteorites that hit the earth. Also on display is an urn said to contain the Buddha’s ashes. The museum remains closed on Monday.

      National library: This is the largest library in India. It is under the Department of Culture, Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Government of India. The library is designated to collect, disseminate and preserve printed materials produced in India. The Library is the largest in India, with a collection of over 2.2 million books.

      Pread over 130 acres, the campus, which houses the Library, served as the official residence of Lieutenant Governor of Bengal before Independence. It is one of the heritage buildings of Kolkata.

      The library has separate Indian language division for English, Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu Languages. Sanskrit language division also collects and process Pali and Prakrit books.

      At present, the National Library is the 2nd largest public library in Asia for which several notable persons have donated their valuable collections at different times.

      Jorashanko Thakurbari: The rambling Thakurbari was built in the 18th century by Dwarkanath Tagore, the grandfather of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore. This is also the place where Rabindranath was born and passed away. The Thakurbari has mostly been converted into a museum now. The Rabindra Bharati University is also situated inside this complex

      Marble Palace: Situated in Chorbagan, in an artistically laid-out garden, the place is full of rare collection of antiques of immense artistic and historical value. Wonderful curios, China and a couple of paintings by Rubens are only a few to mention of the spectrum of attractions of the palace. This is a must see for all visitors. The house is basically Neoclassical in style, while the plan with its open courtyards is largely traditional Bengali. Adjacent to the court-yard, there is a thakur-dalan, or place of worship for members of the family. The three-storey building has tall fluted Corinthian pillars and ornamented verandas with fretwork and sloping roofs, built in the style of a Chinese pavilion. The house contains large quantities of Western sculpture and Victorian furniture, and paintings by European and Indian artists.

      Shovabazar Rajbari: No visit to Calcutta is complete without experiencing the Durga Puja at the Shovabazar Rajbari. The Rajbari’s tradition of publicly celebrating the festival goes back to 1757, to the time of Raja Nobokishan Deb. The first puja was held to celebrate the victory of Lord Robert Clive in the Battle of Plassey.

      Town Hall: This historical hall had been the venue of public meetings and social gatherings. The construction of the hall was completed in 1814 in Doric style of architecture at a cost of Rs. 7lakhs by means of public lotteries. Like many other heritage buildings, the Town Hall has recently been restored to its original form.

      Victoria Memorial: Built in Italian Renaissance cum Sarace nic style, Victoria Memorial was planned by Lord Curzon and opened by the Prince of Wales in 1921. This is dedicated to Queen Victoria and houses a fantastic collection of rare memorabilia from Colonial days. A light and sound show recreates history every evening.

      Belur Math: Originally conceived by Swami Vivekananda, this temple (16 Km from Kolkata) enshrines the sacred relics of Sri Ramakrishna. Architecturally, this temple has an important place among the modern temples of India. It incorporates the motifs of various religions, thus symbolizing the harmony of religions taught by Sri Ramakrishna. Belur Math serves as the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Mission.

      Dakshineswar: The majestic Dakshineswar temple is dedicated to mother Goddess Kali. The very name of the temple of Dakshineswar conjures the image of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa who attained nirvana at this holy temple on the banks of the Ganges.

      Pareshnath Jain Temple: Pareshnath Jain temple is a very famous temple of Calcutta that was built by an art connoisseur named Ray Badridas Bahadur in 1867. Located in the northeast side of the city Pareshnath Jain temple is a mind-blowing place of worship, the beauty of which is enhanced by mirrors and colored stones.

      St.Paul’s Cathedral: St.Paul’s Cathedral, built between 1839 and 1847, is one of India’s most important churches. The steeple fell during an earthquake in 1897 and was redesigned and rebuilt. Inside there’s some interesting memorials and stained glass, including the west window by Sir Edward Burne-Jones.

      New Market: Kolkata boasts of numerous Raj-era monuments that dot its landscape. The New Market façade is no exception. One look at the top of the tower and you will come across the magnificent Gothic clock which bears testimony to its British past. Previously referred to as Sir Stuart Hogg Market or simply Hogg Market, it has sprawling maze of stalls offering almost everything imaginable. It can be crowded and chaotic, but if you are after a bargain, or even just an incredible experience, this market cannot be missed.

      Flower Market: Beneath the east end of Howrah Bridge, Mullik Ghat Kolkata Flower Market is eastern India’s largest flower market with hundreds of stalls and people sitting on the ground. Around 2,000 flower growers from the surrounding areas come to sell their flowers and garlands and during the wedding and festive season probably double that number. One can spend hours watching the hustle and the beautiful colours from the bridge.

      Chandannagar

      Chandannagar, formerly known as Chandernagore, is a small town located 30 kilometre north of Kolkata. Former French colony, Chandannagar, situated on the banks of Hooghly River, now serves as the head quarters of a subdivision in Hooghly District. The town, despite its closeness to Kolkata, has been able to maintain a separate identity of its own.

      This small town, with a history of over a period of 300 years, has a unique blend of culture and heritage. Chandannagar is well connected to Kolkata by railways, roadways and river and it takes about an hour to reach the place.

      Serampore

      Located about 25km North of Kolkata, Serampore is one of the few places in India that was colonised by Denmark from 1756 to 1845. The town has witnessed both the growth and decline of the feudal system, the coming of the Danes and their settlement and then a cultural renaissance (known as the Bengal Renaissance) initiated by the British following the construction of the east Indian railway, along with subsequent industrial development.

      The town shot into fame with the educational activities of the English Missionaries like William Carey, Joshua Marshman and William Ward. Serampore College was founded by Carey, when the first Bengali newspaper ‘Samachar Darpan” was published. On the display section of the museum attached to the College are copies of various bibles and Bengali books translated by Carey and printed here. One can also see on the display the Royal Charter from Denmark of 1827 that granted university status to the College long before the University of Calcutta was established.

      This place is on the west bank of the river Hoogly and well connected with Kolkata by rail and road. It has developed into a major business and trade centre in the Hoogly district.

      Chinsura

      Located 35 km north of Kolkata, Hugli-Chinsura or Chuchura town is situated on the banks of Hooghly River. Located in the district of Hoogly, the town of Hooghly-Chuchura was founded by the Portuguese in 1579, and later ruled by the Dutch also. But, the district has thousands of years of rich heritage in the form of the great kingdom of Bhurshut.

      The city flourished as a trading port and some religious structures were built. One such structure is a Church dedicated to a Charismatic statue of the Mother Mary brought by the Portugese. The church was renovated in 1980s and has been declared as a basilica by the authority of Rome.

      The Dutch Cemetery: The cemetery is located 800 meters west of the Old Dutch fort. The southern part contains the 22 remaining Dutch tombs. The cemetery is now a protected monument and is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India.

      The Dutch Villa: The Dutch villa is a court building possibly dating from the 18th century. Both Chinsurah and Hooghly played an active role in the Bengal renaissance and the Indian independence movement. “Vande Mataram”, India’s national song, was composed by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhay at Joraghat in Chinsurah.

      In modern days Chinsurah is referred to as Chuchura or Chunchro. It is a historic station on the Howrah-Burdwan main line of the Eastern Railway. Chinsurah is regarded as one of the most beautiful towns in Hooghly district.

      Digha

      Digha is West Bengal’s most popular sea resort. It is located 187km south west of Kolkata. Digha has a low gradient with a shallow sand beach with gentle waves extending up to 7km in length. The scenic beauty of this place is charming and alluring. The beach is girdled with Casuarinas plantations along the coast, enhancing its beauty. These trees, apart from beautifying, also aid in reducing coastal erosion. One can view both sunrise and sunset at the Digha sea beach. The sunset and sunrise reflecting the salty waters of the Bay of Bengal is something straight off an artist’s canvas. The sea at Digha is calm and shallow for about a mile from the beach making it quite safe for swimming.

      Mandarmani

      Mandarmani is a small virgin beach on Bay of Bengal, only a few kilometers from Digha. It is also a small fishing harbour and a fast developing tourist destination. Mandarmani is an obvious choice if someone wants to visit an unexplored sea beach far from the hustle and bustle of the city.
      It is close to Digha and yet distinctly different from it. Mandarmani will be cherished for its serenity and its beautiful beach resorts.

      Tajpur

      Tajpur, with its pristine sea beach and a dense forest of tamarisk trees, is one of the newest destinations on tourist map in Bengal. The beach is infested with infinite number of red crabs which play hide and seek in the sand. Their presence makes the beach look crimson. Tajpur, just 170km from Kolkata, has a lagoon just one kilometer from its beach. One can visit the fisherman’s village too, situated in the vicinity. Winter is good time to visit Tajpur. Tajpur offers various adventure sports options like paragliding, rafting, rock climbing and other activities.

      Shantiniketan

      Shantiniketan, a small town near Bolpur in the Birbhum District, is about 212 kilometer north of Kolkata. It is a University town – home to Visva-Bharati University – vision of the famous Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore.

      The place, which now attracts thousands of visitors every year, was earlier called Bhubandanga (named after Bhuban Dakat, a local Dacoit), and was owned by the Tagore family. In 1862, Maharishi Devendranath Tagore, the poet’s father, while on a boat journey to Raipur, came across a landscape with red soil and lush green paddy fields. He decided to plant more saplings and built a small house. He called his home Shantiniketan. He founded an ashram here in 1863 and became the initiator of the Bramho Samaj. In 1901, Rabindranath started a school at Shantiniketan named Bramhachari Ashram that was modeled on the lines of the ancient Gurukul system that later came to be known as the Patha Bhavan.

      With the financial backing of the Maharajah of Tripura, the Visva-Bharati Society was established in 1921. Tagore envisioned a center of learning which would have the best of both the East and the West. Nobel Prize (1913) won by Rabindranath Tagore, not only the enhanced the pride of India but also the prestige of Shantiniketan. The school was expanded into a University. It was named Visva-Bharati, which was described by Tagore as ‘Where the world makes a home in a nest.”

      The Open-air education as opposed to being cloistered in the four walls of a classroom became a reality here. Eminent people from all over the world came to Visva-Bharati during its peak period. Visva-Bharati became a Central University in 1951.

      Leaves of the Chhatim (Saptaparni – or 7-leaf sprigs) trees are given to graduating students at the annual convocation. Many world famous teachers have become associated with it over the years. Indira Gandhi, Satyajit Ray, and Amartya Sen (the 1998 Nobel Prize winner in Economics) are among its illustrious students.

      The Prime Minister of India is the Chancellor of the University. Kala Bhavana, the art college of Shantiniketan, is still considered one of the best art colleges in the world. Other institutions here include Vidya Bhavana: the Institute of Humanities, Shiksha Bhavana: the Institute of Science, Sangit Bhavana: Institute of Dance, Drama and Music, Vinaya Bhavana: Institute of Education, Rabindra Bhavana, Institute of Tagore Studies and Research, Palli-Samgathana Vibhaga: Institute of Rural Reconstruction, and Palli Shiksha Bhavana: Institute of Agricultural Sciences.

      Shantiniketan is adorned by splendid sculptures, frescoes, murals and paintings of Rabindranath, Nandalal Bose, Ramkinkar, Binod Bihari Mukhopadhaya and others. Shantiniketan is also famous for its fairs and festivals like Poush Mela (December), Joydev Mela (January), Basanta Utsav (March) and the famous Mystic Baul Singers.

      Gangasagar

      Gangasagar, also known as Sagardwip, is a charming tourist destination, which attracts both pilgrims and adventure lovers. Located on an island in the Sunderbans, Sagardwip offers the charms of an un-spoilt beach on the estuary of the river Ganges.

      Gangasagar, still unexplored and unexploited from tourism point of view, offers acres of silver sand and clear blue sky, and the calm sea for visitors who would like to spend their weekend in tranquility.

      The island of Sagardwip is one of the most famous Hindu pilgrimage centres in India. Every year on Makar Sankranti (mid-January), pilgrims from all over India, gather at Sagardwip for a holy dip at the confluence of the river Ganga and the Bay of Bengal. After the holy dip, the pilgrims worship at the Kapil Muni Temple. On the occasion of Makar Sankranti, Gangasagar Mela is organized on this island, which is one of the biggest fairs in West Bengal.

      Sagardwip finds mention in many tales of Hindu mythology and in ancient Indian literature like the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, a novel of Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay, a poem of Rabindranath Tagore.The lighthouse at Sagardwip offers a panoramic view of this spectacular beach, from where you can enjoy sunrise and sunset. During sunset, the sky turns golden with a patch of red on the horizon and the silver sand reflects the last rays of the sun.

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    • Photo Gallery
  • Payments
    • Payments

      You can deposit money by cash, cheque, and draft or online into any company account as per your convenience. Foreigners (or Indians) can also send money into one of the company accounts through money exchanges like Western Union or Express Money. One can deposit money into our accounts through Credit cards or Debit Cards also using Paypal. Our account details are verified one by Paypal.

      After depositing or transferring the prerequisite money into one of our accounts, please do intimate us of the same through e-mail, sms or phone call. Once we receive the amount in our account we will confirm your booking and send an intimation of the same with a voucher.

      Bank Details:

      ICICI Bank (verified by Paypal. You can deposit money into this account through Credit Card & Debit card also)

      Branch : Sector 11, Rohini, New Delhi

      Account Holder : Apass India Leisure Solutions Pvt. Ltd

      Account number : 036705001965

      Branch Code: 0367

      IFSC Code: ICIC0000367

      Swift Code: ICICINBBCTS

      MICR Code: 110229054

      Karur Vyasya Bank (verified by Paypal. You can deposit money into this account through Credit Card & Debit card also)

      Branch: Bhubaneswar Branch, Orissa

      Account Holder: Apass India Leisure Solutions Pvt. Ltd

      Account Number: 3201 135 00000 1008

      Swift Code: KVBLINBBIND

      Branch Code: 3201

      IFSC Code: KVBL0003201

      MICR Code: 751053002

  • Contact Us
    • Contact Us
      Kolkata Address

      Central Business Services, Room No. 9, 26 Chittaranjan Avenue,3rd Floor, Kolkata – 700012 (Landmark:- Next to Khadi Gramodyog)

      Phone: 91-9163580464

      Email: info@villageresort.in / sales@villageresort.in

      Corporate Office

      Apass India Leisure Solutions (P) Ltd.

      B-5/399; 1st Floor; Sector-11,Rohini, Delhi – 110085, INDIA

      Phone: +91-9810578109 / 9958343983 / 7751871395 / +91-11- 40532821

      Email: sales@villageresort.in

Testimonials

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    I Bhitarkanika National Park is completely different from other sanctuaries of India. This Is unspoiled, free from vehicles and relatively free from large crowd. Bird species, mammoth salt water crocodiles, wild boars, spotted deer and vast number of large water lizards – you seem to get in sync and become a part of this surrounding, creating a surreal environment. The resort has taken care to preserve the environment. It has all basic amenities – comfortable bed to sleep, clean toilet, good food, and courteous helpful staff.

    SInIkka VIvlo, Sweden
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    A very good weekend retreat. Good ambience

    Ankhi Sen, Bhubaneswar, Odisha
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    Very Beautiful place, quite and comfortable. All the staff are
    polite and sweet. Rooms and services are good. Thanks for all the attention

    Begona Fernandez, Spain
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    Arrangements and services are well maintained. Canteen and sanitary
    cleanliness is taken care of. Behaviour of staff and officials are very nice and cordial

    Santosh Kumar Patra, Cuttack
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    Lovely resort. Very friendly and helpful staff. Attention to
    details very good. Excellent food. We recommend

    Linda Frances, UK
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    Great Food, kind people, fascinating village walk plus excellent
    birding and crocodile sightings

    Elizabeth Light, New Zealand
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    It A nature’s paradise – this is how I can describe Bhitarkanika. Sea. rivers. greenery, and lots of fauna species, and that too all rare ones. Crocs, Olive Ridlays, varieties of kingfisher and birds, python and a lot of reptile varieties – sightseeing on boat and trekking inside forest area – all these make this park unique. Resort Is awesome too with so helpful staff. It is a new resort – still in development stage, but it does provide all basic facilities. A good place to stay overall.

    Eva Stigler, Norway