Kolkata – ‘the City of Joy’ boasts of a matchless cultural legacy. Initially known as a fishermen’s village, Kolkata went on to become one of the largest cities in India. It is the cradle of art, music, and cinema. Eminently known as the Land of Mother Teresa, Rabindra Nath Tagore, and Satyajit Ray; Kolkata symbolises creativity and vibrance in the perfect sense. Flaunting a beautiful juxtaposition of the old colonial-era charm and the futuristic metropolitan city, Kolkata is a city like no other. It exhibits an untamed and bohemian spirit of its nascent hipster culture that blooms amongst the city’s millennials.
Other than relishing the scrumptious roshogollas, fish curry, sipping on some hot tea, and enjoying a ride on the ubiquitous yellow taxis, there is a lot you can do when in Kolkata. There is no dearth of places to visit in West Bengal, thanks to its rich cultural history. But there is also an eclectic range of picnic spots near Kolkata where you can unwind and take a breather from the hurly-burly of the city. Here are some spots that you must explore: –
1. Babur Haat
Swathed by fishing lakes or bheris, Babur Haat is known to produce the tastiest fish in West Bengal. If you wish to get a witness of the rustic village the exhibits different shades of the archaic Bengali life, you are in for a treat. You can catch a glimpse of women sifting rice on a wooden tray or dheki, cows mooing in the valley, fishermen casting nets on the lake, farmers mowing the fields, and women weaving baskets and brooms. On the other hand, the sprawling rice farmlands and long stretches of vegetable orchards dotted with mango and palm groves bestow you with a scenic view and a stunning spot to rejuvenate making it one of the best picnic spots around Kolkata.
Distance from Kolkata: 48 km (So, if you are looking for a picnic spot near Kolkata within 50 km, this is your best bet)
How to Reach: 2-hour drive
Attractions: The fishing lakes that are maintained by local farmers
Best Time to Visit: Early summers
Nestled halfway between Mandarmani and Shankarpur, Tajpur is a small town located on the serene shore of the Bay of Bengal. This virgin beach is bereft of all the chaos and cacophony of city life. It is still untouched by commercialization and tourism which means it offers for a great spot for a weekend getaway from Kolkata. Also, you easily find hundreds of red crabs on the shore providing the beach with a beautiful crimson colour. You can easily pick a picnic spot as each corner at this beach bestows a stunning view. The coastline is fringed by dense eucalyptus, casuarina, and tamarisk trees are bound to make you snatch forty winks or just laze on a hammock.
Distance from Kolkata: 172 km
How to Reach: You can hire a taxi or hop on the train from Howrah to Digaha Station to reach this chocolate-box spot!
Attractions: Tajpur and Mandarmani Beach
Best Time to Visit: All round the year
Now, if you are in a rush, Bawali is certainly not the place for you. To explore every bit of this quaint and serene spot, you need to spend a couple of days here. Located in Budge Budge, Bawali is a pulsating picnic spot near Kolkata within 50 km that has an eclectic range of leisure and recreation that will keep your kids busy and entertained. This census town has a lot to explore, everything within a radius of 10 kilometres. Thanks to the Raypur riverside that makes it one of the best riverside picnic spots near Kolkata. Also, do not miss out to take a stroll across the old Chinese colony – Achipur and also seek blessings at the Boro Kachari Mandir and Navratna Gopinath Mandir and get a glimpse of some historical places in Kolkata.
Distance from Kolkata: 35 km
How to Reach: It is a 1-hour 40-minute drive to Budge Budge. You can also hop on the SD76 bus to reach here.
Attractions: Fish farming and the Rajbari Palace
Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year
Set up as the first cantonment in India by Britishers, Barrackpore holds great historical significance. Opting for this stunning spot makes a lot of sense. The old colonial, gothic style bungalows on the banks of River Hooghly gushing beside verdant gardens offering a stunning view would make them feel close to England. So, if you are looking for a lively picnic spot near science city Kolkata, this is the best option. Also, you should not miss out on the pristine temples that will help you purge your soul and give some positive vibes. Whether you are looking for a quick getaway spot or wish to delve into Kolkata’s soul, Barrackpore must be a part of your Kolkata tour package.
Distance from Kolkata: This is one of the best picnic spots near Kolkata within 30 km
How to Reach: Barrackpore is well-connected via roads. You can also catch a bus from Sealdah to reach here.
Attractions: Mangal Pandey Garden Barrackpore, Jawahar Kunj, Gandhi Ghat, and Annapurna Mandir
Best Time to Visit: October to March
5. Diamond Harbour
The Diamond Harbour is the confluence point of the River Hooghly and the Bay of Bengal. You can pick a picnic spot by the riverside and enjoy the mesmerising views, spend some quality time with your friends and family members. This is an enthralling picnic spot near Kolkata within 100 km that you should not miss out on. If you are travelling alone, you can just enjoy the solitude, read a book or catch a kip close to the largest delta in the world. While there is a myriad of one-day picnic spots near Kolkata, the Diamond Harbour is a spot that is bound to offer you a whole new experience. And since you are here, do not miss to explore the beach of Bakkhali and the old lighthouse.
Distance from Kolkata: 57.5 km
How to Reach: A 2 and a half hours drive
Attractions: The fort and riverbank. Do not forget to relish the delectable Hilsa in the nearby restaurants
Best Time to Visit: October to March
While the locals here at Kolkata have a specific routine, they often pay a visit to the South City Mall, enjoy a tanga ride near the Victoria Memorial, and have jhalmuri at Outram Ghat. But at times, it is important to ditch this madding crowd for a bit and enjoy some time with your kith and kin. So, grab a book and sunglasses and get ready to hit the road to explore all these amazing picnic spots near Kolkata. After all, experiential journeys like these are what make you a storyteller.