11 places in West Bengal for a cool summer vacation

Summer got you feeling like a melted rasgulla? Don't sweat it! West Bengal might be known for its vibrant Durga Puja celebrations, but it also holds the key to a refreshingly awesome summer vacation. So ditch the AC and pack your bags for these gorgeous destinations that promise cooler climes and unforgettable memories!

1. Darjeeling: The Queen of Hills with a Chilly Crown

Darjeeling, West Bengal Darjeeling needs no introduction. This iconic hill station boasts stunning views of the Kanchenjunga peaks, a toy train ride that's pure nostalgia, and enough tea gardens to make your chai dreams come true. Plus, with temperatures averaging around 20°C, it's a haven from the scorching plains.

How to Get There: Darjeeling is well-connected by air, rail, and road. The nearest airport is Bagdogra Airport (IXB), located about 65 km away. Trains from major cities like Kolkata and Delhi connect to New Jalpaiguri (NJP) station, which is 88 km from Darjeeling. Taxis and shared jeeps are readily available for the final leg of the journey.

Ideal Trip Duration: 2-3 days

What to Do: Ride the iconic Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, savor a cup of Darjeeling tea at Tiger Hill overlooking the sunrise, explore the sprawling tea gardens, visit the Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre, learn about Buddhist culture at monasteries like the Bengal Buddhist Monastery.

Pro Tip: Don't forget to indulge in a steaming cup of Darjeeling tea at Tiger Hill to watch the sunrise paint the mountains with a golden glow.

Also Read: The perfect 3 day Darjeeling Itinerary for a quick trip

2. Mirik: Serenity by the Lake

Mirik, West BengalFor those seeking a quieter escape, Mirik is your answer. Nestled amidst captivating tea gardens, this scenic town revolves around its namesake lake. Take a boat ride, soak in the mountain air, or simply relax by the waterfront. The temperatures hover around a pleasant 18°C, making it perfect for long walks and leisurely exploration.

How to Get There: The nearest airport is Bagdogra Airport (IXB), 56 km away. Trains connect to Siliguri Junction (SGUJ), 51 km from Mirik. Taxis and shared jeeps are available for hire from both airports and stations.

Ideal Trip Duration: 1-2 days

What to Do: Take a boat ride on Mirik Lake, explore the Sumendu Lake Park, indulge in shopping for local handicrafts at the Mirik Bazaar, go for a nature walk through the surrounding hills, visit the enthralling Bonsai Garden.

Pro Tip: If you're feeling adventurous, head to Samsing, a short distance from Mirik, for paragliding and a thrilling bird's-eye view of the valley.

3. Dooars: Nature's Playground

Dooars, West BengalCalling all wildlife enthusiasts! The Dooars, a gateway to the Eastern Himalayas, is a treasure trove of lush forests, teeming with tigers, rhinos, elephants, and a myriad of birdlife. Explore the Jaldapara National Park or Manas National Park on an elephant safari, or go river rafting on the Teesta. With an average temperature of 25°C, it's a comfortable escape for nature lovers.

How to Get There: The nearest airport is Bagdogra Airport (IXB). Trains connect to major cities like Guwahati and Kolkata, with stations like Hasimara and New Alipurduar serving as gateways to the Dooars. Buses and cabs are readily available for further travel within the region.

Dooars, West Bengal Ideal Trip Duration: 3-4 days

What to Do: Go on an elephant safari in Jaldapara National Park or Manas National Park to spot wildlife, embark on an adventurous river rafting trip on the Teesta River, explore the Buxa Tiger Reserve, visit the beautiful Dooars tea gardens, learn about tribal culture at the Mechpara village.

Pro Tip: Don't miss a stay in a heritage bungalow amidst the tea gardens for a truly unique Dooars experience.

4. Santiniketan: Where Art Meets Nature

Santiniketan, West BengalImg: Suprabhat Dutta

Santiniketan, the abode of Rabindranath Tagore, is more than just a pilgrimage for literature lovers. This charming town boasts lush greenery, the serene Kopai River, and Kala Bhavan, an art school established by Tagore himself. With temperatures averaging 28°C, it's a touch warmer than the hills, but the cultural immersion and natural beauty make it worthwhile.

How to Get There: The nearest airport is Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport (CCU) in Kolkata, about 160 km away. Trains connect Santiniketan to major cities, with Santiniketan being the main station. Taxis and buses are easily available for local transportation.

Ideal Trip Duration: 2-3 days

What to Do: Immerse yourself in the cultural legacy of Rabindranath Tagore at Visva-Bharati University, visit the Kala Bhavan art school, explore the Sriniketan Tagore's Ashram, witness the vibrant Holi celebrations (if your trip coincides), relax by the serene Kopai River.

Pro Tip: Plan your trip around the vibrant Holi celebrations in Santiniketan for a truly unforgettable experience.

Read more: West Bengal: Tagore's Residence Santiniketan Achieves UNESCO World Heritage Status

5. Digha: Beach Bliss (with a Hint of History)

Digha, West BengalCraving a beach escape? Digha, on the Bay of Bengal coast, beckons with its golden sands and crashing waves. Build sandcastles, take a dip in the sea, or indulge in some delicious Bengali seafood. While the temperatures can reach 30°C, the cool sea breeze provides a welcome respite.

How to Get There: The nearest airport is Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport (CCU) in Kolkata, about 195 km away. Trains connect Digha to major cities, with Digha being the main station. Buses and taxis are readily available for local transportation.

Ideal Trip Duration: 2-3 days

What to Do: Build sandcastles and soak up the sun on the golden beaches, indulge in water sports like parasailing and jet skiing, explore the historic town of Mandarmani with its unique black and white beaches, savor delicious Bengali seafood by the waterfront, visit the Amaravati Park for amusement rides and scenic beauty.

Pro Tip: Explore the historical town of Mandarmani near Digha, known for its unique twin beaches - one black and one white!

Read more: 15 Insanely underrated places in India we bet you didn't know!

6. Kurseong: Land of White Orchids

Kurseong, West BengalKurseong, often overshadowed by its more famous neighbor Darjeeling, is a hidden gem. This charming hill station boasts rolling green hills draped in tea plantations and is known for its abundance of white orchids. With slightly warmer temperatures averaging around 22°C, it's ideal for those who prefer a touch more sunshine.

How to Get There: Similar to Darjeeling, the nearest airport is Bagdogra (IXB) and the nearest major railway station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP). Taxis and jeeps can be hired for the final leg from both these points.

Kurseong, West BengalIdeal Trip Duration: 1-2 days (can be combined with Darjeeling)

What to Do: Take a joyride on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, witness the beauty of the Orchid Sanctuary, visit the Eagle Rock viewpoint for panoramic vistas, explore the heritage buildings like the Kurseong Governor's House, shop for souvenirs and local tea at the Kurseong Market.

Pro Tip: Take a ride on the heritage Darjeeling Himalayan Railway for a scenic journey through the hills.

7. Pedong: Off the Beaten Path Tranquility

Kanchenjunga, West BengalKanchenjunga, West Bengal

Pedong is a haven for those seeking solitude amidst the Himalayas. This lesser-known destination offers breathtaking views of Kanchenjunga, serene monasteries, and hiking trails that meander through emerald forests. With temperatures averaging 20°C, it's a cool escape for those who enjoy the peace of nature.

How to Get There: Similar to Darjeeling and Kurseong, the nearest airport is Bagdogra (IXB) and the nearest major railway station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP). Taxis and jeeps can be hired for the final leg from both these points.

Ideal Trip Duration: 2-3 days (can be combined with Darjeeling or Kalimpong)

What to Do: Hike through the emerald forests and witness breathtaking views of Kanchenjunga, find serenity at the serene Pedong Monastery, explore the mesmerizing orange orchards, visit the tucked-away waterfalls like the Sillery Gaon Falls, shop for local handicrafts and organic produce at the weekly market.

Pro Tip: Visit the Pemayangtse Monastery, a beautiful Buddhist monastery perched on a hilltop.

Read more: 8 Places in West Bengal That Look Otherworldly

8. Kalimpong: A Blend of Cultures

Kalimpong, West Bengal Kalimpong, a town nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, boasts a unique blend of Indian, Tibetan, and Bhutanese cultures. Explore colonial architecture, visit bustling monasteries, or simply relax amidst the scenic beauty. With temperatures averaging 23°C, it offers a comfortable escape for those seeking a cultural immersion.

How to Get There: The nearest airport is Bagdogra Airport (IXB). Trains connect major cities to New Jalpaiguri (NJP), with taxis and jeeps available for onward travel.

Ideal Trip Duration: 1-2 days (can be combined with Darjeeling or Pedong)

What to Do: Explore the colonial architecture like the Delo House and the McKinnon MacKinnon Bungalow, delve into Tibetan culture at monasteries like the Zang Dhon Monastery, take a day trip to the mesmerizing Lava for breathtaking views, learn about the region's history at the Kalimpong Arts & Crafts Centre, indulge in a spot of birdwatching.

Pro Tip: Take a day trip to nearby Lava, a small town known for its breathtaking views and natural beauty.

9. Siliguri: The Gateway to Adventure

Siliguri, West Bengal Img: Times of India

Siliguri isn't your typical tourist destination, but it serves as a convenient hub for exploring the wonders of North Bengal. This bustling town offers easy access to Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kalimpong, and the Dooars. Plus, foodies can rejoice in the abundance of street food and local delicacies. While temperatures can reach 28°C, it's a great base for your forays into the cooler hills.

How to Get There: Siliguri is a well-connected transportation hub. Bagdogra Airport (IXB) is the nearest airport, while New Jalpaiguri (NJP) is the major railway station connecting to major cities across India. Buses are another convenient option for reaching Siliguri.

Ideal Trip Duration: 1-2 days (serves as a base for exploring nearby destinations)

What to Do: Explore the Coronation Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in West Bengal, for panoramic views, shop for local souvenirs and artifacts at the Hong Kong Market, indulge in a street food tour to savor the culinary delights of the region, take day trips to nearby destinations like Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kalimpong, and the Dooars.

Pro Tip: Explore the Coronation Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in West Bengal, for panoramic views of the Teesta River.

Read more: Take Snaps in These Picturesque Spots in Kolkata for Your Social Media!

10. Sandakphu: Trek Above the Clouds

Sandakphu, West Bengal Sandakphu is not for the faint of heart. This highest point in West Bengal is a paradise for trekkers, offering unparalleled views of Mount Everest and the surrounding Himalayan peaks. However, the trek itself is challenging and requires proper planning and fitness. Temperatures can vary depending on the season, but generally range from a pleasant 15°C to a chilly 5°C.

How to Get There: Sandakphu requires a bit more planning due to its remote location. The nearest airport is Bagdogra Airport (IXB). Trains connect major cities to New Jalpaiguri (NJP). From NJP, you can hire a car or jeep to reach Manebhanjan, the starting point of the trek. Permits and a guide are mandatory for the trek.

Sandakphu, West Bengal Ideal Trip Duration: 3-4 days (depending on trekking experience)

What to Do: Embark on the challenging trek to Sandakphu, the highest point in West Bengal, witness unparalleled panoramic views of Mount Everest and the surrounding Himalayas, experience the unique ecosystem of the region, enjoy stargazing under a clear night sky, breathe in the fresh mountain air and disconnect from the hustle and bustle.

Pro Tip: The best time to visit Sandakphu is during spring (March-May) for clear skies and comfortable temperatures.

11. Sundarbans: A World of its Own

Sundarbans, West Bengal The Sundarbans National Park is unlike any other destination in West Bengal. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the largest mangrove forest in the world and is home to the majestic Royal Bengal Tiger. Explore the intricate waterways on a boat safari, encounter a diverse array of wildlife, and witness the unique ecosystem of the Sundarbans. While the temperatures can be quite warm, averaging around 28°C, the boat tours offer respite from the heat.

How to Get There: The nearest airport is Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport (CCU) in Kolkata, about 150 km away. Trains connect major cities to Kolkata, with Canning Town being the gateway to the Sundarbans. From Canning Town, boats are the primary mode of transportation for exploring the national park.

Sundarbans, West Bengal Ideal Trip Duration: 2-3 days (overnight stays on boats are common)

What to Do: Explore the world's largest mangrove forest on a thrilling boat safari, encounter the majestic Royal Bengal Tiger (with a healthy dose of caution!), witness a diverse array of wildlife like deer, monkeys, and birdlife, learn about the unique ecosystem of the Sundarbans Delta, cruise through the intricate waterways and experience the natural beauty, be awestruck by the bioluminescent planktons that illuminate the waters at night (during specific seasons).

Important Note: Due to the sensitive ecological balance of the Sundarbans, permits are mandatory for entry. Booking your Sundarbans tour well in advance is crucial, as permits are limited.

Also see: Durga Puja West Bengal 2023 | Everthing You need to know

From the serene hills to the vibrant beaches, and from the exciting wildlife adventures to the rich cultural experiences, pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable summer vacation in the "City of Joy"!

Subscribe to TripZilla

Get updated on travel deals and trip ideas!

Related Posts

10 Amazing Backpacking Destinations to Add to Your List in 2024

From spiritual havens to nomadic adventures, explore a tapestry of cultures and landscapes, promising an unforgettable journey.

10 Amazing Reasons to visit Tanzania, East Africa

Explore Tanzania's allure—an enchanting blend of diverse cultures and stunning landscapes, resonating with the spirit of India. Here are 10 reasons to make it your next adventure!

10 Amazing things to do in Budapest, Hungary

Dive into the "Pearl of the Danube" with our top 10 picks for an unforgettable Budapest adventure! From steaming in Szechenyi Baths to conquering Buda Castle, get ready for historic gems, vibrant ruin bars, and langos.

10 Backpacking Destinations in India that you must check out in 2024

In 2024, explore India's diverse beauty with these 10 must-visit backpacking destinations, offering mountains, beaches, and cultural gems for every traveler.

10 Beach Wedding Destinations in India for Magical Memories

A beach wedding in India is a dream come true for many couples, with its picturesque backdrop of golden sands, azure waters, and stunning sunsets. From the shores of Goa to the beaches of Kerala, this blog has the 10 best wedding locations for you!

Latest Posts

Sikkim Enforces New Sustainability Measures for Travelers: Carry Your Own Garbage Bags!

Travelers to Sikkim are now required to carry their own garbage bags, marking a significant step towards sustainable tourism in the picturesque state.

Gita Mandir, Ahmedabad: Everything You Need to Know!

Discover the serenity and spiritual essence of Gita Mandir in Ahmedabad, a sanctuary dedicated to Lord Krishna and the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita.

Best & Worst Time to Visit Sakleshpur, Karnataka: When to Visit?

Discover the best and worst times to visit Sakleshpur for a memorable adventure in Karnataka's lush hill station.

Kerala Implements Restrictions on Tourist Spots Amid Heavy Rains

Travel news update: Tourist spots closed amid heavy rain in Kerala

Air India Introduces E-Gift Cards for Seamless Travel Purchases

E-Gift cards to make travel gifting seamless!