If you are wondering about the best places to visit in Andaman for your upcoming Andaman tour, you are on the right page. Here we talk about the top 20 places that you should try to keep in ur plan. Even if you cannot cover everything, this will give you an all-inclusive list of places to visit from which you can pick and choose. So, let’s start.
Andaman as a Tourist Destination
Andaman, the island and union territory in the Bay of Bengal is a popular tourist destination. The tourists from and outside of the country flock to this place. When you visit in Andaman, the verdure landscape and pristine beaches bordered by an azure sea will enchant you.
The weather is welcoming throughout the year, and the local people are friendly. You can enjoy various outdoor activities under the sunny sky and enjoy the delicious seafood.
There are a number of tourist spots, scattered across the islands of Andaman. Some of them have a very important place in the history of the freedom movement in India while others can offer unparalleled and magnificent natural beauty.
Relax under the sun, create sandcastles on the beach or enjoy water sports like scuba diving and snorkeling. You can create the memory of a lifetime in a well-planned trip to the Andaman. Here is our list of the top 20 places to visit in Andaman to make your trip no less than perfect.
Top 20 Places to Visit in Andaman That Cannot be Missed
We list down the top 20 places to visit in Andaman from here on. The places are not in any particular order and obviously this is our list and you may differ in your opinion. None the less without wasting any more time, let’s go through them one by one.
Museum and Complexes to Visit in Andaman
There are several historical and newly made museums and complexes scattered around Andaman that are worth a visit. We list down a few prominent ones here.
# 1 Cellular Jail National Memorial, Andaman:
The Andaman Cellular Jail is a former colonial prison and a part of the dark days of India under British rule. Today, it stands as a shrine to the brave patriots who have dedicated their life and soul to earn the independence of the country.
The political prisoners and dissidents who dared to speak against the crown were sent here. Physical and mental torture to break the spirit of the freedom fighters was the main goal.
The symbol and examples of the horrifying past are spread all around here. The museum and the photographs bear witness to the dark days. The notable dissidents like Batukeshwar Dutt, Veer Savarkar, Barindra Kumar Ghosh, Babarao Savarkar, Jatish Chandra Pal, Fazl-e-Haq Khairabadi were sent to Cellular Jail.
Enter the jail and see the instruments which were used for slave labor and torture, the chains and the gallows. Look into the small cells, where a prisoner could communicate with none. In the evening, go for the light and sound show.
The narrator is a peepul tree in the campus, voiced by Om puri. It tells the tale of the self-sacrifice and extreme love of the patriots who laid down their lives for the country.
The Cellular Jail is located at Atlanta Point, Port Blair. It is easily accessible from all the points in Port Blair by walking or a car. Do not miss this place, if you are interested in History and India’s freedom struggle inspires you, this is your go-to place among all places to visit in Andaman
# 2 Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex, Andaman
Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex is a major and popular destination for tourists and locals alike. The place is located in a central position in Port Blair. It offers safe and adventurous water sports activities in the bay area.
The place also has historical importance, as this was the place where the battle of Aberdeen took place in 1859. The rides offered here include paddle boat, banana boat rides, parasailing, jet-skiing, speed boat rides, etc.
Take at least half a day when you plan to visit the place. Enjoy the rides for the day, and in the evening, see the reflected lines along the shore while drinking coffee in the cafe here.
The place is well known to all the drivers and locals in Port Blair. You may walk or take an auto here easily.
# 3 Samudrika Marine Museum:
The Samudrika Marine museum, under the Indian Navy, is an amazing place to learn about the natural history of the place. It also provides deep insight into the history, culture of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The marine museum provides comprehensive coverage of the aquatic life in the bay around the island chain.
The museum has five sections that cover the history of the islands, the geographical information, the people of Andaman, the archaeology and the top attraction -the marine life.
When you are entering, an enormous skeleton of a juvenile blue whale will welcome you. It was actually recovered from the Nicobar Island. The aquarium is the next attraction, where you can see rare deep-water marine fishes, sea-shells and varieties of coral. The place also has a souvenir shop with a good collection
The Samudrika Marine Museum is on the opposite side of the Andaman Teal House, Delanipur, Port Blair. As it is one of the most well-known landmarks, you can walk by the sea-shore road or take an auto to reach here.
# 4 Forest Museum, Andaman:
The forest museum is one of the places which can keep the young minds engaged and inform everyone about the rich biodiversity of Andaman. The flora and fauna, and the other things associated with forests are showcased here, along with photos in the natural habitat.
The place is under the forest department, Andaman and Nicobar Island. It has a huge collection of various artifacts and items made out of timber, oak, satinwood, etc. The place is located near the Chatham Saw Mill, so you can visit it on the way back. There is a small zoo in the compound too, which adds to the tourists’ interest.
The place is inside the Chatham Saw Mill complex. So, you can take an auto to the place easily. It stays open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day, except Sundays.
Islands to Visit Near Andaman
There are a lot of islands scattered across Andaman. some of them have local inhabitants and some of them are completely empty and filled with nature. They are not too far away from Andaman and they should be given great importance when it comes to the best places to visit near Andaman. Here we go with the best ones.
# 5 Parrot Island, Andaman:
The southern part of Andaman houses an uninhabited island, which is picturesque and has its own ethereal beauty. As the name suggests, the place is an abode of thousands of parrots and parakeets. It is truly a birdwatcher’s paradise.
The island has its other charms too. The mangrove forest and the view of the sea on the way to here by a ferry looks picture-perfect. For the best experience, visit the place around sunset.
You can see thousands of parrots flying back to their nests in the red dusk sky. The water around the island has an infestation of salt-water crocodiles, so keep your hands inside the boat when you reach the island.
To reach Parrot Island, you need to take a boat from Baratang Island. From the jetty, it takes around 30 minutes to reach here. Some tour operators are now offering an all-inclusive tour by boat from Port Blair itself, which covers Parrot Island.
# 6 Ross Island, Andaman
The Island is a portal to the past days of Andaman. The British top brass used to live here, away from the Cellular jail, in relative safety. With the high level of comfort, scenic beauty, and beautiful architecture, they used to call this place fondly as the Paris of the East.
But the glory faded after two consequent incidents here. The earthquake of 1941 shook the grounds and it was followed by the Japanese invasion during WW-II. The place now lies in ruins, with remnants and pieces of the English architecture.
Visit the place in the late afternoon, after the fun in North Bay or Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports complex. Go into the Japanese bunkers and the ruins, the small church, and the museum.
You can take a battery-operated car to the top of the hills. See the sea with the surrounding haunting beauty, feed the deer and gaze at the peacocks from close proximity. In the evening, Ross island hosts a light and sound show too, which is lesser-known but majestic.
Without any traffic noise, the crashing sea waves on the beach and shrill cry of the peacocks from the dark jungles give the commentary an ethereal level. It tells the tale of people settling in Andaman, the freedom movements and of course, of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
The place is in south Andaman, and it is a ferry away from the Port Blair Jetty. The ride takes around 10-15 minutes if the water is calm.
# 7 Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park and Jolly Buoy Island
Andaman is a biodiversity hotspot. Here, you will find many national parks spread across the islands. Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park is one of the most important and most visited of them. The total area of the national park is around 280 square kilometers.
It consists of 15 islands and the surrounding seabed. The diversity of vegetation is mind-boggling. From tropical rain forest to creeks bordered by mangroves, the marine national park has it all. I
n the reefs is there are more than fifty species of coral. The coral reefs house a plethora of marine life. You can watch all of these closely by snorkeling or scuba diving. If you do not wish to get wet, opt for the glass-bottom boat ride to the underwater world.
The place is an eco-tourism spot and a plastic-free zone. When you get on the boat to the marine national park, you cannot carry any single-use plastic bottle, food in a plastic wrapper, etc. All of these restrictions result in a pristine beach and pollution-free weather.
The tour package to the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park takes you to Jolly Buoy Island. Here, you can get off the boat and take an add-on glass-bottom boat ride by paying a certain amount. Relax on the beaches which will surely remind you of the majestic beaches from The Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
The only way to reach Jolly Buoy and the marine national park is by chartered cruise which starts from Wandoor beach. Reach the place by 9 a.m. and deposit all plastic items. Start early to enjoy the virgin beaches without a heavy crowd.
# 8 Barren Island Volcano, Andaman:
However, you might not be completely satisfied with the mud volcano, you are in for some luck. There is an active volcano is the Andaman- Barren Island. You can visit the place, but with proper safety measures and permission from the authorities.
The island lies at a distance of one hundred and thirty-five kilometers from Port Blair. Besides the chance to see the volcano, it is a gold-spot for scuba diving too.
When you are planning to visit, you can avail of either a ferry or a seaplane. While the former is cheaper, it takes around five hours to reach here. The seaplane cost is steeper, but it takes less time and you can see the aerial view of the volcano.
# 9 Ross and Smith Island, Andaman:
Do not confuse this one with the Ross Island near Port Blair. This pristine twin island is at the extreme north, near Diglipur. Ross and Smith- these two islands are joined by a raised sandbar bridge, which goes under with high tide.
The virgin beach is a plastic-free zone and under strict supervision, so you will have to deposit all the plastic water bottles and take water carriers from the ticket counter.
The journey to the islands on a speedboat is an adventurous experience itself. If the water level is low, you will have to get down in knee-deep water and wade through it to the beach. The water is so clear you can see the white sand beach through it, and the marine life too, which passes by.
The shades of blue of the sea will entice you in here. With the vast stretches of sea-beach without any visual barrier, coconut tree jungles, and other mangrove plantations, this is the perfect place to come and relax. Sit here in the benches or easy-chairs for hours and listen to the song of silence.
The only sound here is of the waves and birds, and the only refreshment is tea or coffee if a seller is present on that day. Walk to the twin-island by the sandbar and enjoy the outing.
The only way to reach the place is by a speedboat from Diglipur jetty. It is in the extreme north of Andaman, so you will have to reserve a car here.
Mesmerizing Beaches to Visit in Andaman
There is no dearth of great beaches in and around Andaman and if you just go a little further to Havelock Island you get Mauritius like blue water beaches and they are absolutely worth the visit. Here are a few great beaches that you should visit in your Andaman Trip.
# 10 North Bay Beach, Andaman:
In the north of Port Blair, The North Bay beach is one of the best for sea walking in Asia. It also offers snorkeling options by the coral reefs. Here, the other activities include a speed boat cruise, scuba diving, trekking, etc.
Walk across the sea bed and visit the ‘Octopus’s Garden’ here, along with the colorful school of fishes, corals and other marine fauna from close proximity.
For sea walking, you don’t have to know how to swim even, as you can breathe safely inside a glass helmet. Capture the moments under the water in an action camera, which is included in the package.
The location is secured with nets so that predators like sharks cannot attack. The depth is not too much here, hence the air pressure does not bother you too. There is one other notable spot i.e. the lighthouse of North Bay. Check the back of a 20 Rupee Indian note- you can match it with here as this was the model for the image.
As North Bay is a small island, you will have to reach by ferry from the jetty. It runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day. You can opt for a package covering all water sports.
# 11 Radhanagar Beach, Havelok
One of the most famous beaches in the Andaman area, Radhanagar has its fame at an international level. Almost a decade ago, the place was crowned as ‘Asia’s Best Beach’ by TIME magazine.
When you visit the place, you can see that the title is really justified. The white sand beach bordered by turquoise blue water will mesmerize you.
Reach the place around late afternoon and stay till the evening to enjoy the greatest sunset view in the Indian subcontinent, arguably. October to February is the best time to visit the place when the temperature is bearable.
Go for a swim across the white sand beach, or bask in the setting sun rays sitting on a beach chair while sipping a king coconut. The place is actually considered to be among the top seven of the best beaches in the world. Hence, do not miss the chance to take a ton of selfies against the beautiful backdrop.
The beach is in the Havelock Island of Andaman. To reach here, you need to take a ferry from Port Blair. After that, you can reserve a car to see the beach and the surrounding sightseeing. Don’t miss this place, if you someone asks us to put finger on one of the must-go places to visit in Andaman.
# 12 Chidiya Tapu, Andaman
‘Chidiya’ is the Hindi word of birds and ‘Tapu’ means a small hillock. As the name suggests, this is one of the best places for bird watching.
A number of species of birds, like Sea eagles, Parakeets, Serpent Eagle, Hawk-owl, Andaman woodpecker, Fairy-bluebird etc. prefer this place to nest. The tranquil hill is the perfect place for birdwatching in the lap of nature.
Hike to the top in the early morning or late afternoon for the best sighting chances. The sunset view from here is amazing, so if you come in the late afternoon, stay for a bit for the magical experience.
The place is around 20 km away from Port Blair city center. You will have to take a car and then hike the rest of the way to the top.
# 13 Kala Pathar Beach:
One of the small, yet widely popular beaches in the Havelock Island of Andaman is the Kala Pathar Beach. The secluded beach is bordered by big black rocks by the blue sea, which gave rise to the name of the place. In a backdrop of a dense forest canopy, Kala Pathar beach is a tranquil place with a white sand beach.
The place often stays crowded, especially in high season. You may have to walk a bit south to enjoy the beauty of the place to the full.
The beach has a number of coral growth in the adjacent area along with the black rocks. Hence, it is not a good place for swimming. Relax in the wooden chairs under the umbrellas here, and sip the coconut water and mango juice, sold by local sellers.
The place is on Havelock Island, so you have to board a government/private cruise to get here. From the jetty/your hotel, you can take an auto to come here.
# 14 Corbyn’s Cove Beach, Andaman:
One of the most prominent sightseeing points, Corbyn’s Cove is the only proper and beautiful beach in Port Blair. The beach welcomes you with blue water and green coconut tree borders. It is a great place to swim or sunbathe. There are also provisions of several water sports and activities, like scuba diving, snorkeling, surfing, etc.
You can relax and take a walk on the beach, or try adventure sports like speed boating and Jet Ski. There are a few Japanese bunkers nearby. You can also hire a motorboat for a short trip to the snake island from here.
The place is just 7 Km from the main town of Port Blair, so you can easily take a car/auto to the place. If you are planning to chill out in an afternoon this is one of the most relaxing places to visit in Andaman.
# 15 Laxmanpur Beach
A well-preserved beach in Neil Island, Laxmanpur beach is a gem. It offers a complete package with shades of blue water, forest, a unique landscape and an insight into the marine world.
When you reach the place, you have to walk carefully over the stony beach for a while. Near the edge of the water, you will find many small water pools.
During low tide, the marine fauna gets stuck in here without any discomfort. You can walk up to them and see the beautiful corals, sea anemones, sea cucumbers, starfishes, octopus, etc.
The natural rock formation here created a natural bridge, which the locals refer fondly as the Howrah Bridge, after the hanging bridge in Kolkata.
You will have to take a ferry to Neil Island, and then take an auto/car to the beach.
Other Interesting Places to Visit in Andaman
Here we list down a few other interesting places to visit in Andaman, which we could not put to any broad category as above.
# 16 Mount Harriet and Madhuban, Andaman
The third highest peak in the Andaman Island, there is a national park around Mount Harriet in Port Blair. The place offers a great view of the surroundings from the height. Abundant flora and fauna, a nice trekking route amidst nature is a major attraction here.
The sixteen-kilometer trekking route from Mount Harriet to Madhuban is a perfect place for birdwatching. You need to take proper preparation, hydrate and wear a comfortable pair of shoes with a good grip. Do take a guide so that you can get the lay of the land and see all the major points as well as wildlife on the way.
The place is near Port Blair, so you can take a car to the place. It is located in the Ferargunj Tehsil of Port Blair. You will have to go via bamboo transport, known as “Dunghi” locally. For another perspective, you can try the elephant safari to explore the forest of Mount Harriet too.
# 17 Limestone Caves, Andaman
A naturally occurring limestone cave is a marvel of nature. You can find one such place in Andaman in the Baratang region. The place is formed by constant erosion and sedimentation of water mixed with carbon-di-oxide.
Here, you can see both stalactite and stalagmite, i.e. the rock formation that hangs from the roof and that rises up from the floor, respectively.
Here, you need to wear a good pair of shoes to prevent slipping. Walk inside the cave carefully, preferably with a guide. The inside is a bit dark, under a spotlight, the natural designs will enchant you.
The formations take the shape of famous people, monuments or mythological characters with the narration of the guides.
The place is on Baratang Island. To reach the place, you need to take a car from Port Blair to Baratang Jetty which takes around 3 hours. After that, you will have to book a speedboat to the island, and then walk the rest of the way.
This limestone cave will surprise you and this is truly one of the most astonishing places to visit in Andaman.
# 18 Mud Volcanoes in Andaman
One of the most unique natural wonders is the Mud Volcano in Diglipur. Actually, this is the only known mud-volcano in the south-east Asia region. When you think about a volcano, the first thing that comes to your mind is lava and fire. Here, it emits bubbles of mud and gases, continuously
Andaman has high seismic activity, and this place is a result of it. Here, you will find a constant drizzle of geo-excreted natural gas and other liquid.
When you walk up to the stairs, you will find a field, at whose center lies this gooey volcano. The open mouths of this volcano spew out methane generally, but it also contains nitrogen, carbon dioxide, etc.
To reach the place, you have to take a car from Port Blair. When you are coming to Diglipur, you can see it on the way. This is surely one of the most interesting places to visit in Andaman.
# 19 Chatham Saw Mill in Andaman
Chatham Island and the Chatham Saw Mill is among one the original constructs from the British period that is still standing and active, to this day. It was established in the year 1883.
Back then the elephants used to pull the logs cut from the jungle into the wood processing unit. At present, it is Asia’s oldest and largest functioning sawmill.
You will have to cross a wooden bridge to get into the mill. Enter the premises after buying the ticket, and experience the manufacturing process inside the mill.
Here, you will see how the huge logs are converted into smaller, usable pieces of wood. Do stay aware of the machinery to avert any accident. Take a guide who can explain the history and manufacturing process so that you can enjoy the place more.
The place i.e. Chatham island is quite near Port Blair, around 10 km from the city center. You can avail of local transport easily to get in here within half an hour.
# 20 Mayabunder:
A lesser-known beach in the North Andamans, Mayabunder is a majestic place. It harbors beautiful beaches, small hillocks that provide a great view over the bay, gorgeous mangrove forests, coconut plantations, etc.
It takes around a day to cover all the points in Mayabunder. You may start with Karmatang beach, where you can see a turtle nesting, depending on the season. Interview Island has a population of wild elephants and birds.
Ray Hills and Austin X has a great view over beaches and virgin woods. Here, you can see herds of deer coming out without any fear.
To reach Mayabunder, you need to hire a car from Port Blair and drive for around 6 hours. You should start as early as possible to cross the jungle inhabited by Jarwa tribes on the way.
So, we are coming towards the flag end of this long post on places to visit near Andaman on your trip to this place. If you are in a tight schedule and just cannot squeeze out enough time to visit all the places described above, you can pick and choose according to your linkings and inclinations.
If you have any question please feel free to ask that in the comment section. We will be more than happy to answer all your questions.
One of the top tourist spots in the Andaman Islands is Cellular jail. The place is a burning memorial to the black days of British colonial imposition in India. Cellular or central jail was once synonymous to the Andaman and “Kalapani” or ‘the black waters’.
In the present day, the jail is a pilgrimage dedicated to the Indian freedom fighters. If you are a nationalist and take deep pride in the sacrifice of the valiant sons of the soil, this is a must-see place for you.
History of Andaman Cellular Jail:
The history of the place dates back to the late nineteenth century, after the first war of Independence, i.e. the Sepoy Mutiny. The foreign rulers tried to crush the indomitable spirit of the brave freedom fighters by deporting them here across the sea, to cut them off from the mainland completely.
For the first time, two hundred mutineers were sent to the islands with jailer David Barry and Major James Pattison Walker. Seven hundred and thirty-three prisoners from Karachi faced the same fate in April 1868. The prisoners from India and Burma were sent at regular intervals.
The British rulers started the place to deport all the mutineers, members, and sympathizers of Mughal royal family in India, along with everybody who fought in the mutiny against the British crown.
Initially, there was a separate settlement for the prisoners and the Europeans. However, the number of prisoners here grew in a short time. The resident jailers and other Europeans wanted to transform the place into a horrible and more secure void.
Andaman Cellular Jail; Construction and Architecture
The construction of the present structure of cellular jail began in 1896. The cells were built with deep red bricks brought from Burma. After a decade, the jail was completed in 1906.
The jail building had seven wings with one central tower and a conical roof on the top. The central watchtower was the place of the guards. As it was at the intersection of the seven wings like a wheel with spokes, the guards could keep constant vigilance over the prisoners.
There was a large bell in the tower to raise the alarm in case of any escape.
The Cellular jail was a place designed to destroy the body and soul of all those who dared to oppose British rule. Soon, the political prisoners from all over India were sent here too with charges of sedition. The seven wing building all had three stories initially.
It housed a total of 698 cells and no dormitory or common housing. Each cell was 4.5 x 2.7 meters or 15×8 feet with one ventilator. The wings were designed in such a way that one wing faced the back of the next one.
Life of Prisoners Inside the Jail
As a result, there was no communication among the prisoners. It was solitary confinement for all the convicts. This is why the name “Cellular Jail” was used for this establishment, where everyone was in a cell, away from the world.
The only time they could get out was to do slave work under the scorching tropical sun.
The wall around the prison was kept low, to indicate that even if anybody dares to cross them. They will die either by a bullet, by the wild animals in the surrounding jungles, or simply by hunger and thirst. This psychological torture was done with the goal to destroy the spirit of the freedom fighters strategically.
In the time of the Second World War, Japan invaded the Andaman islands in 1942 by carpet bombing from the air and drove the British out. The bombing destroyed two wings of the jail.
The Cellular Jail then housed the British prisoners. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose visited the islands and Cellular jail in 1943 before hoisting the tricolor flag in Port Blair. At the end of World War II, the British resumed control of the island as well as the jail.
What to see In Andaman Cellular Jail?
A highly popular tourist destination is Cellular Jail. A prime example of the extreme hardships faced by the freedom fighters who put their lives on the line to bring the Independence of the country. You must visit the place to fill your heart with pride and patriotism.
The cellular jail is open from 09:00 AM to 12:30 PM, 01:30 PM to 04:45 PM on all days, except national holidays. The entry fee is ₹30/- and charges for a still camera is ₹200/- and for a video camera, it is ₹1000/-. You need to ensure the services of a government-authorized guide at the ticket counter. If you wish to learn the history of the place by the heart.
Enter the building by the ticket counter and follow the stairs to the museum in the photos and exhibition gallery. Documents and pictorial proofs of the black colonial days bear witness to the hardships of the brave freedom fighters.
Inside of Museum:
Here, you can see a miniature model of the whole cellular jail with the seven wings, out of which three remain standing to this day. The old photographs gallery and a huge library on freedom movement is a researcher’s paradise.
After the museum, come down the stairs into the green lawn, where the light and sound show takes place in the late afternoon early evening. Here you will find the Martyr’s memorial with models of the flogging stand, oil mill that was powered by the prisoners, various instruments of punishment and torture and last but not the least the gallows.
In the functioning days, the gallows were open to demoralize and destroy the spirit of the dissidents. Under the three nooses, there are three trapdoors which connect to a pit, leading to the sea.
Come out of this horror-hole and enter the main prison wing area. Pass by the small cells, which were barely habitable, yet housed the brave sons of the soil for years.
Follow the stairs up and down the compound. Then you will find the names of the freedom fighters, who have spent the bright days of their lives in the darkness of the pit in here.
Key Tourist Attractions of Cellular Jail
The prominent prisoner names who were sent here include Barindra Kumar Ghosh, Batukeshwar Dutt, Babarao Savarkar, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Jatish Chandra Pal, Fazl-e-Haq Khairabadi and Yogendra Shukla, etc.
The jailers took a special interest in Veer Savarkar and tried their best to break his spirit. His cell overlooked the gallows. He had to watch his compatriots die one after another, every day.
If experiencing this monstrosity suffocates you, go up the tower in the wings by a steep set of stairs. It offers a view of the whole prison-yard along with the nearby sea-beach and part of Port-Blair.
After the wings, come down the stairs to the Veer Savarkar Park and find the statues of Political Prisoners who were deported here.
On the way out of Cellular jail, you will see an eternal flame of Freedom – ‘Swatantrya Jyot’. It is lit in memory of all freedom fighters, martyrs and patriots who have dedicated their lives for the country.
Do Not Miss The Light and sound show in Cellular Jail
One of the most memorable and significant parts of the Cellular Jail tour is the light and sound show. It adds another dimension to the guided tour in the daytime and transports you back in the days when the jail was filled with deported dissidents.
The completely immersive show in the life of the captive patriots begin after sunset every day, but the entry is closed around 5 p.m. The ticket price is ₹50/- per person. Try to book the ticket in advance because of the high demand, and reach beforehand so that you can get a good seat at the front.
The seating arrangement is done on the open ground, where the two wings of the jail meet forming a triangle.
The orator of the chronicles in the Cellular jail is an old Peepal tree in the compound. Mr. Om Puri, a late Bollywood actor voiced and brought the story alive in the words of the tree.
The Peepal tree was there from the beginning and saw numerous freedom fighters arrive in prison, most of whom did not leave the place.
The lights on the two wings bring the story and the narration alive while keeping the spectators completely engaged with tears in their eyes. In the end, the three stories of the jail wing lit up with the three colors of the Indian national flag, filling our hearts with love and reverence for the nation.
The language of the light and sound show is generally in Hindi, while one is in English, so select your preference accordingly.
What to expect Inside the Jail as a Tourist?
Cellular Jail offers you a reckoning, an insight in the horrible past of India under colonialism and unwavering love of the freedom fighters for the nation. It will fill your soul with deep dread to see the conditions of the prisoners here.
The descriptions here tells the tale of hunger and torture. The prisoners were fed wormy bread, rice with dust and water with insects. Then they had to partake in soul and body destroying slave work. Going a single step out of the line was rewarded with harsh punishment.
More to see:
You can see the various torture instruments on the compound, like different types of chains to hold the prisoners. They were flogged brutally till the skin came off and they could not move. The gallows were used to torment mentally, showing death come for their friends anytime.
Still, even the fear of death could not stop them from loving the motherland. The Cellular Jail shows us that there were people who didn’t care for themselves and suffered until death. So that we can breathe in the air standing in a free country.
It is one of the darkest chapters of Indian history and it failed to snuff out the light out of the hearts of the freedom fighters. It is our duty to visit this place at least once in our lifetime and pay our respects to the brave heroes of the nation. Try and visit the place in the early morning or in the late afternoon to experience the place to the fullest.
With its great historical value and architectural wonder, the Kaalapaani or Andaman Cellular Jail remains a great attraction for the tourists who are visiting Andaman. This is obviously a must-visit if you are planning to visit Andaman. Also do not miss the awesome light and sound show in the evening. It brings history alive.
So, go there get soaked in the glory of Indian freedom struggle and let that sink in. You are going to end up with a great feeling of gratitude.
Also, see: Andaman Islands: Top 20 Places to Visit
A quaint town near Bolpur, around 212 km from Kolkata, is popularly known as Shantiniketan. The assets of this place are Nobel laureate Rabindra Nath Tagore, Visva Bharati University. Bhubandanga was the earlier name of this place, which comes from the name of popular dacoit named Bhuban. The literal meaning of Shantiniketan is the abode of peace.
In this article, we will talk about various aspects of the place that make it so charming and evergreen for the tourists. We must start with…
Visva Bharati University
Debendranath Tagore, the father of the Nobel laureate. He laid the foundation stone of the ashram or school. After that took the shape of Visva Bharati University.
The name Visva Bharati was not always the same. This educational institution was once started as an ashram. The model of it was more like the ancient Gurukul system.
Then the ashram was known as the Brahmacharya Ashram. After receiving the Nobel prize, the ashram was converted into a university. this place is renamed as Visva Bharati.
The site is a notable heritage ground for literature enthusiasts and artists. Because one can find splendid sculptures, murals, and paintings of Rabindra Nath Tagore, Nandalal Bose, Ramkinkar, Binodbihari Mukherjee in the entire campus. Kala Bhavana offers courses in Painting, Mural, sculptures, graphic art, etc.
The festive glory of Shantiniketan is noticeable. The festivals celebrated here like Poush Mela in December. Joydev Mela held in January. Above all, Basanta Utsav is mostly famous.
Visva Bharati was formed to impart students with the conventional style of teaching with creative techniques. This place is a cultural hot spot for all art-loving people. So, music, language, art, and various dance forms are taught.
In this regard, special mention should go to Cheena Bhavana, Hindi Bhavana, Kala Bhavana, Sangit Bhavana, Bhasa Bhavana, Nippon Bhavana, Bangladesh Bhavana- the different fields of an institution. The school-level structures are known as Patha Bhavana and Siksha Satra.
Sangeet Bhavana offers courses in Rabindra sangeet, Hindustani classical, Vocal, Tabla, and various Dance forms. Bhasa Bhavana offers courses in Persian, Tibetan, Chinese, Arabic, Japanese, Odia, Santhali, etc.
15 Key Tourist Attractions in Shantiniketan
This place has been a major tourist attraction for years now mainly due to the myriad options that it has to offer to the tourists. From festivals to historical places, from culture to shopping this place has developed everything that a tourist might look for in his or her trip. Let us start with the key festivals
Festivals in Shantiniketan that Pulls Tourists
# 1 Rabindra Jayanti
Rabindra Jayanti that is on 25th Baisakh is also a part of a huge celebration on this campus. Since Tagore was a nature lover person. Varshamangal is another festival observed during the rainy season in the months of August and September.
You can visit several places from Shantiniketan like Nalhati, Nanoor, Surul, Tarapith, Labhpur, Bakreshwar, and Durgapur, etc. Relish the flavor of special kind of Morabba found here.
# 2 Basant Utsav:
The celebration of spring or the Basant Utsav is one of the biggest cultural events here.
Held in the month of March. Teachers and students both participate very enthusiastically at this festival. Colors. dance, music and other cultural acts are the main parts of the festival.
# 3 Poush Mela:
Poush Mela is another massive celebration in Shantiniketan happening in winters.
For instance, folk dance, music, food, and culture are an integral part of this festival. Also one can buy local paintings, earthenware and handicraft items from the gathering of local artists in the fair.
# 4 Ashram
Tagore’s ashram can be visited here as well. This place has reserved the literary works, awards, daily items once used by him.
This museum takes INR 40 as an entry fee.
# 5 Amar Kutir
If you are a fan of handicraft items, then Amar Kutir showcases a number of handmade items, clothes, etc.
This place is situated in the vicinity of the university campus.
# 6 Rabindra Bhavan Museum
Rabindra Bhavan Museum is another museum. Here conserving the Nobel laureate’s letters, documents, certificates, and photographs.
# 7 Chattimtala
Chattimtala is another fascinating spot on the university campus.
This place holds spiritual significance. Became popular since Maharshi Debendranath Tagore started meditating here. The great scholar of the Tagore family found salvation at this spot.
# 8 Upasana Griha
One of the integral parts of this Visva Bharati University is the prayer hall or Upasana Griha. The medium of worship of God is here Music.
The hall is an architectural visualization, made from Belgian glass. Alternatively known as Kanch mandir.
# 9 Deer Park
Deer Park is the forest area near the campus, about 3 km far away and it is famously called Ballavpur forest.
The forest sees the occupancy of naturally bred deer.
# 10 Kankalitala
Kankalitala is a rural landscape located about 7 km from Shantiniketan.
It is also known as the temple town. Here you can relish the village paths, houses, and greenery and also communicate with the locals.
# 11 China Bhavan
Shantiniketan is culturally rich. So you can see separate wings for different subject fields.
One such is China Bhavan. It specializes in studying Chinese culture, traditions and also language.
# 12 Sangeet Bhavan
Another popular academic block is the Sangeet Bhavan.
It nestles great artists under one roof. Students are engaged the whole day either in singing or dancing.
# 13 Labhpur
Labhpur is another serene location near to Bolpur city.
the river Kanuri river flows through making it a desirable spot for spending quality time.
# 14 Srijani Shilpagram
Srijani Shilpagram is the perfect spot for artists, photographers, and artisans.
This area covered with various art galleries, exhibitions, and cultural programs. It also consists of huts that resemble that of the tribal. Which are representing various tribes of India.
# 15 Shanibarer Haat
You can have the pleasure of visiting the famous Saturday Market. As well as it is known as Shanibarer Haat. Which continues for three hours from 3 p.m to 6 p.m.
A lot of handicraft items get displayed here. You will love to purchase your preferred things. The best part of here is the arrangement of Baul programs, which pacify the soul.
How to Reach Shantiniketan
You can reach here in all probable transport options including Air, Rail and by Road.
Nearest Airport is Durgapur Airport, but not many flights are available. In such a case, it is convenient to go through Kolkata airport or Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport.
The distance from Kolkata to this place is approx 169 km. Due to the availability of plenty of cabs; the journey is hectic free. Otherwise, local trains are also present from Sealdah and Howrah stations.
Bolpur is the nearest railhead of Shantiniketan. It takes two to three hours to reach Bolpur.
Some popular trains are Gana Devta Express, Shantiniketan Express, Sahid Rampurhat Express, Saraighat Express, Visva Bharati fast passenger, Jamalpur expresses, Darbhanga passenger train and Malda Intercity-Express from Howrah station.
Kanchenjunga Express from Sealdah station.
The town is well connected by buses as well. Kolkata-Asansol bus or Kolkata-Suri bus are the best options.
If you are on Asansol bound bus, then Panagarh should be your stoppage. If it is a Suri bound bus then Ilambazar should be the stoppage. After that, from both the places you have to avail of buses for Shantiniketan.
Distanced at 212 km, this place is well connected to Kolkata via roads and a 4-lane freeway makes the job easier. From Kolkata, one has to take the Durgapur expressway of NH 19 to reach Dankuni via Saktigarh, Bradhaman, and Panagarh.
After the highway crosses the Ajay river, take the road to the right of Ilambazar and move towards Bolpur. At the Surul point or the Shantiniketan and Sriniketan junction, take the road to left. Apart from this one can also avail NH 2B route.
Best Places to Stay in Shantiniketan
A rural place is an impact on all modern facilities, fresh farms, and cottages. The special feature of this place is Baul music. There are only 2 cottages, making it not chaotic like the other commercial stays.
The costing includes INR 1950+ 5 % GST per day per head including all the meals.
the age limit of little ones between 1-5 years is complimentary, 6-9 years will be charged half price and 10 years onward will be charged fully.
Check-in – 12:00 p.m
Check out – 11:00 a.m.
The property is situated near Prantik railway station. It is the best option if you want your holiday to be spent in luxury.
Comfort in the decorated garden or swimming pool and relish the authentic Bengali cuisines. There are above 50 deluxe rooms and suites, having the capacity to fit almost 100 adults.
The property is away from the hustle and bustle of the city, is a perfect spot for stargazing.
The surrounding forests and nearby water bodies are the perfect spots for bird watching. Therefore, nature enthusiasts will enjoy to see it. One can spot purple swamp, basket robins and kingfishers, etc.
There is an arrangement for Baul song and folk dances as well.
The costing includes INR 2450+ 5% GST per person per day including breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Kids between 1-5 years are complimentary, 6-9 years will be charged half price and 10 years onward will be charged fully.
Check-in: 11:00 am
Check out: 10:00 am
This lovely Eco resort in Bolpur is 180 km from Kolkata. Visitor comes here to seek solitude, peace and share tranquil moments with family and friends.
The accommodation is beautiful, big, spacious and consists of clean rooms.
The sophisticated interiors and use of natural cane furniture signify Bengal’s handcrafts beautifully. There are 11 rooms and it can be consist of 25 adults.
Check-in: 12:00 pm
Check out: 11:00 am
To reach here follow the following steps-
27 direct trains from Kolkata to Bolpur are available and it takes 1 hour 48 min.
No direct bus is there; one can take a Royal cruiser from Kolkata to Panagarh and then take a taxi to Bolpur.
By car, it takes 4 hours to reach the property. Fantastic roads, smooth drive, and beautiful greenery will welcome you.
The pocket pinch for the rooms is INR 4000 per day per room plus GST.
Child under 6 years stays free of cost. Above 6 years INR 800 per night for an extra bed.
Living in a rustic environment with a touch of modern amenities. This place can soothe your soul.
Check-in: 12:00 pm
Check out: 11:00 am
The cost is INR 3500 plus 5 % GST per room including breakfast for a couple.
Little visitors between 1-5 years are complimentary, 6-9 years will be charged half price and 10 years onwards will be charged fully.
In the middle of the red soil stands a grandeur white palace. you will find the perfect feeling of royalty here.
This property is located in boner pukur. Four suites are available in this property, which is named as the poet’s recluse, the painter’s retreat, the king’s chambers, and the Bahaar hall.
Check in: 1:00 p.m
Check out: 12:00p.m
Deluxe room – INR 7000 + 5% GST
Semi deluxe room – INR 6500 + 5% GST
Super deluxe room- INR 9000 + 5% GST
Driver accommodation is INR 500 per head.
Rural simplicity, fresh organic awesome foods, fresh air with all urban comforts are ready to welcome you to this property nestled amidst nature.
The pocket pinch for the stay is INR 3500 + 5 % GST including breakfast for a couple.
Extra-person charges INR 500 per head.
The age limit of kids between 1-5 years will be complementary, 6-9 years will be charged half price and 10 years onward will be charged fully.
Best Time to Visit Shantiniketan
The ethnicity of this place can be best in its attribute during mid-august-march. It is better to avoid this place in peak summers, because of the scorching sun.
This place is the ideal spot for different festivals starting from Poush Mela in winters. Dol Utsav in the spring.
These two time periods are apt to visit there. People are willing to see the crowd in a festive mood. They can enjoy the local fair, where artisans display the handicraft items.
Surely you won’t be tired of shopping after heavy bargaining. Most importantly visitors of these periods are advised to pre-book the hotels 1-2 months earlier to avoid unnecessary rush. Winters is no doubt one of the best time to visit this place for a trip.
It is also suggested to avoid the rainy season and summer. Because of the muddy slippery roads and the roughness of hot sun. If you want to feel nature from indoors. Then there is no reason to stop yourself to be the witness of the magical transformation of the greenery.
As you can see the place has lots to offer to the tourists that are looking to explore new places as well as to tourists who want to spend a few days in quiet and unwind. The unique bond between nature and culture is what woos tourists for decades now.
If you are reading this blog and are yet to visit the places, we believe you must have this as your next tour plan. Only when you go, you will know how well the name ‘Shantiniketan’ resonates with the meaning of the name. That is the abode of peace.
Sikkim is not some alien term if we are from India. Sikkim is not only popular for the beauty it possesses, but also the state’s concern about cleanliness and hygiene and safety of travelers and other attributes which place Sikkim in the good book of every traveler. Ravangla is an important page in the book of Sikkim that you cannot afford to miss.
Our this article is a tribute to this awesome yet little unknown place called Ravangla.
Now to talk about the geographical aspect, the first thing that strikes our head is the Mountain. A trip to Sikkim is more like answering the call of the mountain, valleys and sprinkling streams.
It’s surely a commendable job if we manage to find time from the hectic schedule to chalk out a trip and in case of Sikkim, it can be said that the mountain Gods have answered your call.
Ravangla: A Quaint Hill Station
Located at an altitude of 7000 ft in south Sikkim, Ravangla is a place of wonder with all-natural bounties. The location of the hamlet is situated on a ridge between Maenam and Tendong hill. The quaint town is surely a place to be if you want an undisturbed, uncovered view of the greater Himalayan ranges like Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Sinialchu, Mt. Pandim, Mt. Kabru, etc.
The place is covered by hills and mountains is a paradise for both types of people- the one who loves winter wonderland covered with snow and the other who favor green valley shadowed by pine trees, flowing water.
The upper part mostly gets covered with snow during winters whereas in the lower part, named and unnamed flower blooms, creating an aromatic ambiance.
The place rightly catches all our attention not only for its nature gifted treasures but also of its ethnicity. During the month of August and September, there is a local festival called Pang Lhabso, which exhibits the local culture of Sikkim with foods, handicraft items and a special dance called Chaam.
Noteworthy to mention Sikkim also stocks the best carpet makers. So head to the Tibetan carpet center to purchase traditionally hand-woven carpets. Ravangla serves as a base for those who visit Peling, Kaluk and Namchi.
8 Places to Visit from Ravangla; Sightseeing Options
# 1 Buddha Park:
Also called as Tathagata tsal, Buddha park is one of the most popular pilgrimage sites to the people. This park has 130 ft high statue of Gautama Buddha, which took approximately 7 years to complete. It is situated within Rabong Gompa.
The park stays open from 9 am to 5 pm and includes separate entry fees for Indians and Foreigners. Outside the park, there are local stalls, from where you can collect souvenirs for your kith and kin. The view from the top is absolutely mesmerizing.
# 2 Palchen Choeling Monastic Institute:
Head about 10.5 km northwest to Ravangla and what you find is a beautiful Monastery complex that was built in 1955. This complex shelters about 500 monks and it serve as the residence of Gyaltsap Rinpoche, who is one of the highest figures of Kagyu Buddhism order (a religious order followed by the Buddhists).
It is a very important place in the religious context. The main prayer hall is vibrant and beautifully decorated with dazzling gilded roofs and a huge courtyard that has tiles, having the swastika symbol.
It remains open from 8 a.m to 5 p.m. the entry is free of cost. One can witness the Himalayan peaks from the monastery. There is a special dance item held every year in the month of November, known as Mahakala dance.
# 3 Old Ralang Monastery:
Timing is 8 a.m to 5 p.m. it was built in 1768 and considered one of the most sacred places in Sikkim. On the 15th day of the 7th month every year, the monastery organizes a masked dance known as chaam.
The special fair called Lossing is held in the month of December.
# 4 Ralong Hot Water Spring:
We all are aware of the fact that hot water spring has healing properties and this is, in particular, is situated 7 km before the Borong village.
An adventurous person can also hike from Ralong monastery and reach the spot within an hour. This spring is more popular in winter than in summer.
# 5 Trek to Maenam hills:
Elevation level 10,300 ft. various scenic beauties await for you here like the view of the majestic Kanchenjunga, the Bengal valley expanded between Darjeeling and Kalimpong hills.
# 6 Maenam sanctuary:
Apart from this, there is a sanctuary called Maenam sanctuary, which is home to a variety of flora and fauna.
# 7 Wildlife:
The rhododendron trees, the oak trees, and the chestnut trees cover the entire forest area. Among wild animals, you can spot Himalayan black bears, red panda and large species of deer.
One can hire a guide by spending 2000 bucks. It normally takes 4 hours to climb up and 2 hours to descend. Carry proper items if you are keen on having this trek. For bird and butterfly watching, it is suggested to visit between 8 a.m to 4 .m, otherwise, it gets dark.
Amidst birds found in this sanctuary, the popular ones are Eagle, white collared blackbird, Tesla, Indian blue Robbin, Flycatcher, etc. You must remember that a special permit is needed from the Sikkim state government to enter the sanctuary.
# 8 Rayong sunset point:
Visit Rayong sunset point to get a clear view of some of the ranges of Bhutan. It is situated 8 km away from the town and reaching the mentioned point by 5 a.m is suggested. The sunrise point also offers a base camp for several other treks. For instance, Deorali Dara, Tinkitam and Gholey Bhir.
Apart from the sightseeing, don’t forget to relish the good food the place offers. However, Thupkas, noodles, momos, special soups are must-haves.
Ravangla Festivals ;
This small town is known for many interesting and colorful festivals. Here are a few that demands attention.
#1 Saga Dawa
Celebrates the lifetime of Buddha, beginning from birth till death. Happens in the month of May – June and hugely celebrated in Gangtok.
#2 Drukpa Teshi
The greatest festival of the Buddhists.
#3 Phang Lhabsol
Celebration of nature, Mt. Kanchenjunga is shown respect and devotion.
Celebrated in January.
The Tibetan New Year falls on February first.
More like the Dusshera we celebrate, triumph of good over evil.
After the harvest season gets over, Chaam dance is also performed.
Like the festival of lights i.e. Diwali etc.
Ravangla is also the Trekker’s Paradise
Because you can explore several peaks from here, be it moderate to difficult. Some of the popular ones are,
#1 Goecha La Trek
11 days ( March- may, September- November, Altitude 4939 meters ).
#2 Rhododendron trek
10- 11 days is easy to moderate level trek, altitude is 1728 meters, happens in April to mid of may.
#3 Sandakphu trek
8- 9 days in April, May and October to December, Altitude 3636 meters.
#4 Varsey trek
7-8 days in April and May, easy to moderate one with Altitude 3060 meters
#5 Kanchenjunga base camp trek
This is one of the most popular ones of 11- 12 days in March to May or September to November, moderate to difficult trek with an altitude of 5086 meters.
#6 Kasturi Orar round trek
15-16 days in March to May or September to November, moderate to difficult one with an altitude of 5002 meters.
#7 Singalila trek
18- 19 days in in March to May or September to November, a moderate to difficult one with an altitude of 4940 meters.
#8 Dzongri trek
10- 11 days in March to May or September to November, a moderate to difficult one with an altitude of 4020- 4939 meters.
#9 Green Lake trek
16 days in April or October, a moderate to difficult one with an altitude of 5050 meters.
Visit Yuksom, a quaint village, 4 hours away from Gangtok. It serves as the main site for several treks.
If you are planning on doing any of these treks. Then be sure to carry all the necessary items for your safety like Torch, woolens, windcheater, boots, socks, ropes, first aid kit, eatables, chargers, extra batteries, knife, compass, tent, sleeping bags, plastic seal bags to keep your gadgets dry all through the trek.
How to reach Ravangla
The nearest airport is the Pakyong Airport, distanced at 74.7 km and takes about 3 hours.Taxis and cabs are available outside the Airport.
The nearest railhead is NJP, distanced at 119 km and will take 4.5 hours to reach by road. That is to say, you can bargain with the cab drivers before hiring one.
Now if you are on a road trip, then start from Siliguri by 8 a.m and reach here by 1 p.m or you can start from Gangtok at 8 a.m and reach here by 11.30 a.m. Shared Jeeps are the best mode of the visit or if you are a large group of tourists then booking a car is suggested. Reserved large vehicle will charge approx 6k to travel one side.
On the way to this place, you can buy fresh organic vegetables.
Best Places to Stay in Ravangla
Barfung retreat is one of the best options to stay in Ravangla. Situated in a very quiet environment, the resort is full of greenery. The amalgamation of nature and luxury is situated here. All 3 star amenities are sure to make your stay comfortable.
Costing for the stay is INR 4k + 5% GST per day per cottage including food and lodging.
Check-in- 12 p.m
Check out- 11 a.m
Next on our list of comfortable stays is Narsing village resort. This resort offers a picturesque view of the Rangit valley, mountains, countryside, and monasteries. The snow-covered peak of Mt. Narsing, standing tall at the background literally makes this resort look-alike a calendar shot.
If you wish to relish traditional Sikkimese hospitality along with luxury, this is your place to be. The resort consists of two wings- the Annexes and the main resort. The former is separated from the main site with a distance of 1 km, whereas the latter is located on the highway to Pelling.
Deluxe or Standard rooms are available according to your budget. The resort apart from boasting of natural backdrop has its own lawn and gardens. The kitchen has multi-cuisine expert chefs to suit your taste buds.
Check-in- 12 p.m
Check out- 11 a.m
The pocket pinch will be INR 2750 + 5 % GST per day including breakfast for two.
Next on the list is a quaint homestay, which has been awarded by the Sikkim Govt as well for the performance of its hospitality. Great view of mountains, stream flowing in front and great food and hospitable staff make it an ideal place for a traveler.
Check-in- 11. A.m
Check out- 12 p.m
Pocket pinch is INR 1650 + 5 % GST per head per day including all meals.
Charges for children below the age of 5 are complimentary. Pet is allowed here.
Birder farm stay, the name itself relates to nature or the proximity towards nature. Unlike hotels, the resort does not allow dampening your mood by the artificial scenes of busy roads and crowds and that is why the environment is true village-like.
You can view large acres of tea gardens and cardamom forest cover creating a green carpet. The property also serves organic vegetables, fresh from their gardens. The name of the property comes from the plethora of Himalayan birds available here.
The Accommodation consists of 2 log house suite, 3 villa suites and 2 family cottages. The maximum accommodation strength is of 14 people.
Check-in – 12 p.m
Check out- 10 a.m
The farmhouse has expert chefs, who can give you a tutorial on-demand on the local cuisines in their own kitchen. The property offers you natural, yet luxurious facilities. That is why you can indulge in the hot stone herbal bath named Dotho at the property’s own spa service.
On-demand the property helps in arranging guided treks or vehicles as per your tour schedule.
The property has total of 8 rooms, which are decorated keeping in mind their rich cultural heritage. There are several packages to suit your needs like-
The continental plan includes bed and breakfast.
A log house suite costs INR 4000 + 5% GST
A villa suite costs INR 4500 + 5 % GST
Family cottage costs INR 4800 + 5% GST
The cost of extra bedding is INR 1500 per night.
Guide charges for short trek/hike 01-03 hours Rs 1000/- per trek
Guide charge for a day trek 04-06 hours Rs 1500/- per trek
Bird watching Guide for one morning Rs 2000/-
Bird watching Guide for whole day Rs 3000/-
Dotho (Traditional Sikkimese hot-stone herbal bath) per person (Minimum of 2 Persons) Rs 2000/-
Airport/ Railway station / Siliguri Pick-up or Drop Rs 3000 – 5000/- per vehicle
Sightseeing tours around Kewzing, Rayong, Samdruptse, Temi tea Rs 3000/- per vehicle.
Great view of mountains, stream flowing in front and great food and hospitable staff make it an ideal place for a traveler. Feast your eyes with the view of Mt. Kanchenjunga from the rooms. The silent name of the resort comes from its location which is far from the madding crowd.
Check-in : 12 p.m
Check out : 10 a.m
These kinds of locations are best for bird watching. So if you are keen on bird watching, then do not miss the chance. The resort organizes guides at a very minimal cost to give you the best bird watching experience.
Learning of Sikkimese cuisines can be another adventure, which you can enjoy here. The farmhouse has expert chefs, who can give you a tutorial on-demand on the local cuisines in their own kitchen.
Although it is situated in Borong, all other important parts of Sikkim and nearby are well connected by roadways.
Ravangla – 16 km
Gangtok – 69 km
Pelling – 85 km
Siliguri – 130 km
Zuluk- 141 km
The pocket pinch will be as follows –
Standard room costs INR 2K + 5 % GST Per night per room for two.
Premium cottage costs INR 3350 + 5 % GST per night per room for two.
Deluxe room costs INR 3750 + 5 % per night per room for two.
Child below 5 years will be complimentary.
A child above 10 years will be treated as an adult.
Best time to visit:
October to November is considered the best time to visit this place. Weather remains chilly yet tolerable making it most enjoyable. Furthermore, you can enjoy various festivals portraying Sikkimese ethnicity via dance, song, food, handicraft items.
March to June is summertime here and best for witnessing the peaks of mountains without any hustle. If you are fond of snow, then December to February is your time to be here. Temperature goes down to -10 degrees Celsius.
If you are looking for a few days of solitude in the hills, this place is a great option to explore. From the snow-capped peaks to great sightseeing options, from cozy homestays to swanky hotels you got everything here. Also, if you are a trekking enthusiast you can make this place as a base for a few great treks aswell.
Overall, from family holidays to trekking adventures Ravangla has got everything for everyone.
Kolkata, the capital city of the state of West Bengal, warrants no special introduction to tourists from across the globe. As a destination, there are a lot of tourist places in Kolkata that are especially talked about, famous and obviously commercialized.
In this piece, we decided not to chew the same gum and talk about great tourist places in Kolkata that are less talked about. For any tourist who wants to know and understand Kolkata at depth, these are a must in the bucket list.
Understanding The Common Tourist Places in Kolkata
The city has its own fair share of history and heritage. At the same time, the city has developed a lot like a modern-day metropolis. Architectural marvels, art galleries, and a very special, very warm cultural ambiance welcome you in the city.
If you plan to go on a shopping spree, you have more than enough options here. There are the lavish outlets and malls in South City, City Center, Forum or Quest area. For the budget options, the street markets in Gariahat or Hatibagan give you ample opportunities.
When you walk the roads in Kolkata, the hidden gems by the road can surprise you. From old buildings with ornate gate to theme parks- Kolkata offers a plethora of tourist spots.
West Bengal claims herself as “The Sweetest Part of India”. As a result, the sweetmeat shops spread across the capital will tempt you to come and relish the items. The festivals of the city have their own appeal too. Irrespective of religion, all the citizens take part and have a great time across the year. The nicknames- “The city of palaces” and “The city of Joy” describes the beauty and the spirit of the city perfectly.
The issue of too common, too seen, too hackneyed!
However, typical to the really famous travel destinations in the world, there comes a slight problem. When you come to Kolkata or search for tourist places in Kolkata, there are certain destinations that pop up.
The places like Victoria Memorial, Howrah Bridge or Maidan are quite symbolic with Kolkata and its visual representation in movies or tv shows set in the city backdrop. All of these destinations are quite well-known and tourist magnets.
While these points make up a vibrant side of the city, Kolkata is far more beyond the popular destinations. The city is the third-most populous metropolitan area in India, and the soul of the city lies with its residents.
If you wish to look into the heart of the city, you will need to go beyond the common points from tourist handbooks. A city of religious and cultural harmony, Kolkata can amaze you in every turn and twist of the road.
The Un Tourist Places in Kolkata, Holds the Key to Know the Real City of Joy
The city thrives not in the common destinations but in the untouched, un tourist places in Kolkata. Make no mistake, these parts are well-known to the inhabitants of the city. They flock here for years, even for generations in some places. When you want to feel the real vibe of the city, you will need to go to these places.
See for yourself how the city laughs and lives with the native flock full of joy and vitality.
If you love to know cities by its nerve, if you love to travel like locals, if you love to click pics of less clicked these are the places for you. So, if you have some time in the city and obviously the serious intent to know the city do not miss to visit these so-called un tourist places in Kolkata.
These are the places, where history unfolds, these are places where Kolkata lives and breathes. In short, these are places that make Kolkata what you know it for.
Here is our list of some un-tourist places which will make your Kolkata memory unforgettable.
# 1 khalasitola; The Heady cocktail
A small watering hole that withstood the test of time, Khalasitola is a part of Kolkata and its heritage. It is associated with a long history of intellectuals, artists and literary legends of Bengal, even the world. The place dates back to the early nineteenth century.
At that time, the “Khalasi” or dockyard workers used to frequently visit the bar. In 1918, it was re-initiated by an engineer, Mohito Saha. The place is still run by his family, keeping true to the tradition. The popular poison here was country liquor, and the place still serves them.
Why is this Place Famous?
Artists and legends like Ritwik Ghatak, Sunil Ganguly, Kamal Majumdar, and other Bengali artists used to hang in this place often. During the sixties, there was a rise in the Hungryalists movement in literature. The poets arranged reading sessions and distributed bulletin here.
Khalasitola has a history and legacy, which transcends the brand of a wine shop. When you reach the place, the unique ambiance will strike you.
After your eye gets adjusted with the squeaking chair and caged counters, you can see the efficiency and discipline of the place. Queues at the counters, neat and distinct service of food items to try, management and removal of chaos-makers, the place offers it all with a touch of legacy.
The place is at an old and central part of Kolkata, by the Maidan. The exact location is the intersection of Rafi Ahmed Kidwai-S.N. Bannerjee Road opposite the Lotus cinema bus stop. Take a bus or tram from the Esplanade area through the Maidan, and walk the rest of the way.
#2 Territy Bazar; Mini China in Kolkata
The city welcomes and hosts people from all across the world. Irrespective of country of origin and language, they have settled here and were integrated into urban life. Still, they retained their own culture without any trouble. Territy Bazar is a prime example of that inclusivity.
Kolkata’s very own little “China Town” is a hidden gem in terms of cultural assimilation and a heaven for those who crave oriental breakfast. The Chinese had settled here from the late eighteenth century.
Since then, they have played a significant role in Kolkata’s culinary journey. When you walk in the area for the first time, you have to walk through a busy market area, just like other parts of Kolkata. Then the slow transformation begins, with a change in building styles and the assortment of breakfast options.
The place runs 7 days a week, from 6:00 a.m to 7:30 a.m. But on Sundays, you will find more food varieties and more stock.
Through the bustle of the market, walk in here and find the Chinese people ready with their breakfast choices of fishball, soup, momo and Maggi. Here, you can find soups with both pork and fish, with sauce and other condiments.
The peeping hot preparations do not burn a hole in your pocket also. To reach the place, walk towards Poddar court from the central metro station.
On your left, you will find a small mosque. The wide lane by it organizes this magnificent breakfast fest.
This is surely one of the must-visit tourist places in Kolkata for the discerning traveler.
# 3 Chor Bazaar
If you wake up with a small tug in your belly to trade lightly on the other side of the law, or yearn for some value-for-money shopping, Chor Bazaar can be a unique experience. It can also pull you in with an array of antiques and other rare/unique commodities.
As the name suggests, the place primarily started as a market for stolen goods.
Since the old days, it has expanded and you can now find A to Z items here, at a throwaway price. Here lies the catch though, some of the items can really be stolen, where some are second-hand.
Unless you are really aware, you can end up with duplicate or defective items. Still, shopping at chor bazaar could be quite an enthralling experience. The Chandni market region in Kolkata is the most famous Chor Bazaar in Kolkata, which has flourished like a paradise of electrical and electronic gadgets.
What you get here?
The maze of lanes are lined with shops, and they offer various electronic goods and gadgets, from headphones to the latest smartphones.
For a first-timer, it can be quite mind-boggling with the calling from the shops, the price, and the items spread without much care.
You will find CCTV cameras, phones, phone covers, speakers, the latest LED TVs, all being sold in shops on pavements, or in big malls at a price that competes with the largest e-commerce platforms.
Another attraction here is the junkyard sale section, which is the ultimate example of recycling. Here the discarded electronics are dismantled, and the extracted parts are sold at a throwaway price.
If you wish to revive some ancient model of TV or PC you are attached with, and can not find the parts anywhere, come here before giving up hope. If you are lucky, when you are roaming the streets, you can stumble upon a jail-broken iPhone set at one-tenth of the price.
However, do not blame us if you find it to be an android running on Apple hardware.
Also, barring the big shops and malls, forget about anything called a warranty in here for the cheap goods. To reach the place, take any bus that goes to Chandni region, or take a metro to Chandni. You will have to walk the rest of the way for the shopping experience.
# 4 Dacres Lane; The ‘Delicious’ Walk
The ultimate and oldest food street of Kolkata, Dacres Lane or James Hickey Sarani serves history with its excellent food. The tale of the lane goes back to the colonial days. The dishes in the old food joints, like the unique chicken stew and loaves, still keep to that trend and quality without changing a bit.
What is Special Here?
Take a walk through the lane to see shops overflowing with office-going loyal customers. The small shops offer a quick service of fresh tasty food with a smile. The lane is located in the heart of the city and office-para of BBD Bagh region. As a result, the dainty tables are never empty and no food is wasted.
Bengali, Chinese, Tandoor, Toast, Khichdi-papad or Lassi- you can find all types of food and cuisine here throughout the day. The legendary shops like Chitto Babur Dokan, Apanjan, Hindu Hotel etc stay full to the brim during the lunch hours.
When the lights start to dim in the evening hours, the lights are lit in the local classic bars, for another set of frequent customers.
The famous chef Gordon Ramsey was wonderstruck when he visited the place for an episode of ‘Gordon’s Great Escape’. The place is exactly at the Esplanade more near the KC Das crossing, opposite Tipu Sultan Mosque.
From the KC DAS shop, walk towards Babughat. Take a right turn after a few meters, as your nose will guide you to this heaven for foodies.
# 5 Maidan Tent
Maidan, Or “Garer Math” which actually means a large open field, is a vast urban outdoor park in Kolkata, and its largest too. From Raj Bhawan in the north to the National Library in the south, this stretch of greenery acts as the lungs of the city.
The Maidan is a popular area for outdoor sports like Hockey, horse race, football, and cricket. International stadium like the Eden Gardens, various football club tents, Victoria Memorials, Kolkata racecourse, and Royal Kolkata Golf club, there are numerous landmarks spread across here.
Brett Cole Photography
The whole maidan area is under the direct control of the Indian Army. It has strategic importance too with the mighty Fort Williams. With the various clubs and sports associations, the need is there for delicious and healthy food.
The century-old club canteens serve the need perfectly, and the common people can try those out too. If you are lucky, you can get a glimpse of the local sports stars too, after their practice session.
The Calcutta Referee Association Club Canteen’s vegetable stew with soya chunks, carrots, papayas, onions and a piece of potato is to die for. In Central Excise Tent, the delicious, tender mutton stew small mutton pieces can offer you the ultimate foodgasm at a pocket pinch. Deepak Ghosh’s Stall is famous for the vegetable stew to the officegoers and maidan people.
If you visit Maidan on a cold winter morning, the breakfast in the Maidan tents is a must.
# 6 Sonagachi; Largest and Oldest Red Light Area in India
For the adult explorer, the Kolkata visit is incomplete without a glimpse of Sonagachi. The place is Kolkata’s biggest and one of the largest red-light areas of India. Sonagachi is located in North Kolkata near the intersection of Chittaranjan Avenue and Shobhabazar with Beadon Street.
To reach the place, Sovabazar Metro is the easiest option.
Why So Special?
The history of this place goes back to the colonial days. It was started by the British East India Company, to fulfill the needs of British soldiers who left their partners back home. The company used to bring local women, widows and sex workers from across the state here.
According to the legends and lore, the place was owned by Prince Dwarkanath Tagore, one of the earliest and wealthiest merchants in India.
The brothel business that started back in the day is still in full motion. The lanes stretch in every direction with houses, shops catering to the needs of sex workers and their customers.
In present times, the social and economic condition of the region has improved a lot with unionization and proper medication drives like the Gates Foundation’s HIV/AIDS prevention program Avahan.
Still, those who wish to partake in the pleasures of the place, are advised to use proper protection and settle the fees beforehand to avoid any trouble.
# 7 College Street and Coffee House; ‘The Great Indian’ Coffee House
Literature, education, culture, and books are deeply intertwined in the history of Kolkata. The college street area is the ultimate proof of this, with the special and unique charm of the city. The place is famous as ‘Boi-para’ or Book-zone locally.
It is one of the most important gathering centers of the literary crowd with colleges and universities scattered across the whole street. College street is the largest second-hand book market in the world and the largest book market in India.
Even at the age of digital books and shopping in e-commerce sites, book shopping in college street is the best it can get.
The big and small bookstores, selling points of the publishing houses that make up the street houses many rare books which can be found nowhere else in the world. The sellers can offer a hefty amount of discount on popular books too, throughout the year.
The University of Calcutta, Presidency University, and Calcutta Medical College are the jewels in here. While the alumni gather to their institutions for reminiscing memories, the most popular place of gathering is the coffee house.
The Indian Coffee house is deeply rooted in contemporary Bengal culture, music and lore. The Coffee Board started a coffee joint in 1942 in the heart of College Street. Since the inception, students and intellectuals alike gathered in here.
Cheap and unique infusion coffee, good side dishes were always the major attraction.
Besides, you can spend long hours here debating with your friends or the unknown individual from the next table over political or philosophical ideologies, without being asked to leave. The place has been immortalized in a song by the famous singer Manna Dey.
The India Coffee house is a part of the cultural nostalgia of Bengal. The place has a huge rush throughout the day.
If you are visiting the place in the evening, it will be hard for you to get a seat. The place is quite easy to find though. You may take any bus from the Sealdah station or Esplanade to reach the place.
The nearest metro station is Central. Walk along College Street and bargain over books. When you reach the heart of the street, look across the road from the well-lit Presidency University. Cross the road, and follow a narrow stair to feast your eyes and also the stomach in the ambiance of Indian Coffee House.
# 8 Mallick Ghat Flower Market; Largest Flower Market in Asia
There are numerous temples and houses across Kolkata where daily worship of the Gods takes place. A huge part of the flowers needed for this is sold and shipped from Mallick Ghat Flower Market. The place is located under the famous Howrah Bridge.
The markets wake up at the crack of the dawn, and fully functional from 5 a.m. The place is known as the biggest flower market in not only India but the whole of Asia. It was built by Ram Mohun Mallick in 1855. To see a large spread of various bright colored flowers with the first ray of sun is a visual treat itself.
To reach the place, take a bus from Sealdah station to here. You can walk in the market if you are coming from Howrah station. The nearest metro station in M G road.
# 9 Barabazar; The Real ‘Bada’ Bazaar of Colonial India
Back when Kolkata used to be the financial capital of the country, the Barabazar market flourished. Foreign goods and wholesale markets, these two were the primary selling points of the place, whose name literally means a big market.
What Sets it Apart?
Even in its diminished state, Barabazar is the ultimate paradise for a shopaholic. It is still the largest wholesale market in the country. In the British era, the place started as a yarn and textile market.
The merchants who did business here with the British East India company became millionaires overnight.
Everything under the sun was sold here, from English broadcloth, cashmere silk or ivory from Srilanka. Even after suffering a number of calamities and fires, the market in Barabazar is still going strong.
When you visit Barabazar, you will find that the place is divided into specialized areas like Dhotipatti, Fancypatti, Tulapatti, Chinipatti etc, and further divided into Katras.
The specified divisions deal with specific goods. From clothes to ornaments, everything is sold here in wholesale and retail. There is a huge crowd throughout the year.
During the festival times, the costumes and dress for idols, Puja items, designer earthen lamps, ladoos, and other items, gift items and other novelties are also sold.
For festival dress shopping in a budget, the whole city flocks to the streets of Barabazar at that time. The place lies in between two major stations, Howrah and Sealdah. You can take a bus from either of the places to reach here. The nearest metro station is Central.
Do try the street food here, when you take a break from your shopping spree.
# 10 Rabindra Sarovar Lake
An oasis of greenery in the southern part of Kolkata, Rabindra Sarobar is an artificial lake. The place was previously known as Dhakuria Lake. It was renamed to honor the son of the city, the great Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagor.
Why Special Tourist Place in Kolkata?
The only Japanese Buddhist temple in Kolkata is located on the southern fringe of the Rabindra Sarovar. The place acts as a pollution remover and carbon sink for the whole south Kolkata. It is a famous morning and evening walk spot throughout the year.
In winter, many migratory birds come and spend for a few weeks to a month in the pristine lake water as a pit stop. You can take a gander in the lake and the surrounding area at any time of the year.
There is no entry fee, and thus family and friends often gather here for a short recess or picnic. Enjoy the scenic beauty in the well-maintained garden, or visit the only Japanese Buddhist temple of Kolkata on the southern fringe of the Rabindra Sarovar.
You can get down in the Tollygunge rail station or Rabindra Sarovar Metro Station to reach the place. Early morning or late evening is the best time to see the place. You can see the rowing boats or flock of a goose floating lazily in the calm water of the lake.
# 11 Princep Ghat
One of the classic Kolkata structure, which is well-known to the locals and often ignored by the tourists, Princep Ghat is one of the major points in our list. It is a beautiful ghat, that stands tall and proud, from the surrounding dull neighbors.
It is situated between the Water Gate and St. George’s Gate of Fort William beside the Hooghly River.
Why So Special?
The white monument is one of the finest pieces of British Architecture in Kolkata. With the turn of the river, it is now a bit away from it. Still, the sweet river breeze touches your cheek softly when you reach the place. The best time to see it is in the late afternoon.
After the sun sets, the mellow and subtle lights turn on which transforms the whole place in a fairyland.
The place was built in memory of James Princep, in 1843. He was an English scholar who founded the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal. He also deciphered the Kharosthi and Brahmi scripts of ancient India.
The Palladian style monument was designed by W. Fitzgerald. It is a favorite place for city couples and poets. A number of social and cultural events also take place across the popular monument from time to time.
The Metro station for Princep Ghat is Esplanade. From the opposite of Oberoi Grand, you can board a minibus to reach the place in five minutes. The landmark is Netaji Indoor Stadium. You could also walk down from Oberoi Grand to All India Radio, then take a left turn by the stadium to reach here.
# 12 Indian Botanical Garden
Even with all its glory, the roads and rush of a metropolitan city like Kolkata can feel a bit tiring from time to time. Your ears deserve a rest from all the cacophony, and the lungs can soak in the fresh river breeze in the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden near the city.
Botanical Garden is actually across the river from Kolkata, located in Shibpur in the twin city of Kolkata, i.e. Howrah. The verdure paradise is spread over 109 hectares and it has a collection of over 12,000 species of plants and trees from across the world. The origin of the garden dates back to 1787, by Robert Kyd, an officer of the East India Company.
Why a must-go tourist place in Kolkata?
Botanical Garden place housed commercial plants, spices, etc. back then. It also played a very important part of introducing tea plantation in India from China. Even after facing a few years of negligence, the place now is well-maintained and boasts an amazing collection. The most famous one attraction this garden is the Banyan tree, which is known as the biggest one and the second largest canopy in the world.
The prop roots are so thick that you cannot find the main trunk and it looks like a mini-forest. Among other exotic collections, there is a rare water lily, Victoria Amazonica. The leaves are so big that it can hold a child easily while floating on the water. It is also a home of a number of resident and migratory birds, as well as butterflies.
Visit the place in the early morning for a morning stroll, or take your time and spend the whole day in here. The sculptures here even are blended with green, and they can remind you of the Goddess of Life, Te Fiti from Moana. In recent times, there was another unique development with the changing climate.
The river salinity rose, and Mangrove returned to Kolkata naturally after centuries in the Hooghly River in here, with a Mangrove project for more than one-kilometer stretch. The place is open from sunrise to sunset and closed on public holidays. To go to the place, reach Howrah station from your location. You can find a number of buses starting from there to Indian Botanical Garden easily.
# 13 Behala Flying Club
Kolkata has a very good aerial connectivity with the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, but it has a lesser-known civil counterpart in the Behala region. The Behala Flying Club or BFC has a very bright future ahead as the Airports Authority of India is planning to convert to a fully functional airport soon.
The place, located at the southern fringe of Kolkata, also has a functional flying training institute. If you wish to experience the bird’s-eye view of the city, take an early morning ride to the place in the cab, or come from the nearest metro stations i.e. Kalighat/ Rabindra Sarovar. Under private operators, Behala Flying Club offers helicopter ride over the city.
The joyride takes place on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday at 4 p.m. and 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday at 12 p.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. at a cost of INR 1700 per person. There are other special rides organized from this place also, like Malda and Gangasagar. Also, if you wish to see the Bay of Bengal from the city within an hour, there is the most popular ride to Digha.
The romantic joyride costs INR 2000 per person one way, and the flights are on Saturday generally. To see the sea as well as the aerial city view, you may have to plan and book in advance.
Concluding Thoughts; Tourist and Un Tourist Places in Kolkata
Here we tried to present not so common tourist places in Kolkata, which never got the celebrity value from the tourist. However, these are the places make the city of joy what it is today. So, if you feel you want to see kolkata and touch the soul to understand in its totality, these are the places you should never miss.
We hope with time and with increasing interest to travel like locals, these unknown, uncelebrated places of Kolkata will gain its due importance among the travelers across the world.
If you feel we are missing out on something, or if you feel like contributing to making it much bigger and detailed work on such un tourist places in Kolkata, feel free to let us know. We would love to integrate your piece with due credit in this very article.
You may like to know about the short distance tours from Kolkata too.