Located in the heart of West Bengal, Bankura is a hidden gem that invites travelers to delve into its rich cultural heritage, historical landmarks, and natural wonders. With its ancient temples, terracotta art, and scenic landscapes, Bankura offers a unique blend of history, spirituality, and natural beauty. In this travel guide, let’s embark on a journey through the top tourist spots that make Bankura a captivating destination.

Bishnupur – Terracotta Town

1. Bishnupur Temples:

  • Bishnupur, the cultural capital of Bankura, is renowned for its exquisite terracotta temples. The town boasts a cluster of temples built during the 17th and 18th centuries by the Malla kings. The Rasmancha, dedicated to Lord Krishna, is a unique structure used for the annual Ras festival. Other notable temples include the Jorbangla Temple, Shyam Rai Temple, and the Madanmohan Temple, each adorned with intricate terracotta carvings that narrate stories from Hindu mythology.

2. Terracotta Art and Crafts:

  • Explore the terracotta art and crafts of Bishnupur, which have earned international acclaim. Local artisans skillfully craft terracotta panels depicting scenes from epics, folklore, and daily life. The town is a treasure trove for art enthusiasts, offering opportunities to witness the art-making process and purchase unique terracotta souvenirs.

Santiniketan – Abode of Tagore’s Vision

1. Visva Bharati University:

  • Santiniketan, founded by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, is a cultural and educational hub. The Visva Bharati University, established by Tagore, is a central attraction. The university’s serene campus includes Tagore’s residence, Uttarayan, and the iconic “Kala Bhavana” (Institute of Fine Arts), where students are encouraged to explore and express their creativity.

2. Kala Bhavana Museum:

  • The Kala Bhavana Museum showcases an impressive collection of artworks, sculptures, and artifacts. It provides a glimpse into the evolution of art under the influence of Tagore’s vision. The museum is a testament to the blending of traditional and contemporary art forms.

Joyrambati – Spiritual Retreat

1. Kamarpukur:

  • Visit Kamarpukur, the birthplace of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, a revered spiritual leader. The serene ambiance of the Kamarpukur Math, where Ramakrishna spent his early life, attracts pilgrims and spiritual seekers.

2. Joyrambati:

  • Nearby Joyrambati is the birthplace of Sarada Devi, the spiritual consort of Ramakrishna. The serene surroundings and the historic Udbodhan House, where Sarada Devi lived, make Joyrambati a tranquil retreat for devotees.

Biharinath Hill – Nature’s Abode

1. Biharinath Hill:

  • For those seeking a rendezvous with nature, Biharinath Hill beckons. The highest hill in Bankura, Biharinath offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. It’s an ideal spot for trekking and bird watching. The tranquil Biharinath Wildlife Sanctuary is home to diverse flora and fauna, providing a sanctuary for nature enthusiasts.

Susunia Hill – Archaeological Marvel

Susunia Hill:

  • Explore the archaeological wonders of Susunia Hill, known for its ancient rock carvings and fossils. The hill is a favorite among adventure seekers, offering trekking opportunities and a chance to discover ancient inscriptions that provide insights into the region’s history.

Mukutmanipur – Tranquil Reservoir

Mukutmanipur Dam:

  • Mukutmanipur, blessed with a serene dam and lush greenery, is an ideal destination for a peaceful retreat. The Mukutmanipur Dam, surrounded by hills and forests, offers boat rides and stunning sunset views. The Kangsabati Dam, an integral part of Mukutmanipur, is a haven for bird watchers.

Useful Information

1. How to Reach: Bankura is well-connected by road and rail. The nearest airport is Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata. Regular trains and buses connect Bankura to major cities in West Bengal.

2. Best Time to Visit: The ideal time to visit Bankura is during the winter months, from October to February, when the weather is pleasant. The monsoon season, from June to September, brings lush greenery but also heavy rainfall.

3. Accommodation: Bankura offers various accommodation options, from budget hotels to more upscale resorts. Some popular choices include Hotel Ananya and Hotel Utsav Plaza.

4. Local Cuisine: Indulge in Bengali cuisine with local delicacies such as macher jhol (fish curry), shorshe ilish (hilsa fish in mustard sauce), and sweets like rasgulla and sandesh.

In Conclusion

Bankura, with its cultural richness and natural beauty, offers a diverse range of experiences for every traveler. Whether you’re exploring terracotta wonders, delving into spirituality, or immersing yourself in nature, Bankura promises a journey that goes beyond the ordinary. So, pack your bags, embrace the cultural tapestry of West Bengal, and let the charm of Bankura unfold before you.