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Welcome to Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal and a city full of historic places mingled with modernity on every corner. A flourishing city of literature and art, Kolkata’s vibrant streets and festivities do not need any introduction. Beyond the iconic Victoria Memorial and Howrah Bridge lie stunning offbeat places in Kolkata, waiting to be discovered. The city is home to dense mangrove forests, sunny beaches and hilly areas- diversity like none other. Immerse yourself in the symphony of the city of joy as you traverse across its narrow lanes and soak in the harmony of its natural landscapes.

Offbeat Places To Visit In Kolkata

If you are looking for a quick getaway, here are some offbeat places in Kolkata within 200 km which will refresh and energise you.

1. Sundarbans National Park

Experience the wilderness at Sundarbans National Park, one of the famous offbeat places in Kolkata

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Situated on the delta created by the Ganga, Brahmaputra, and Meghna rivers, Sundarbans is the home to the Royal Bengal Tigers and is one of the unique places to visit in Kolkata with friends. The forest is home to critically endangered animals like the Royal Bengal tiger, estuarine crocodiles and Irrawaddy and Ganges dolphins. You will explore the forest on a boat or a jeep traversing through the dense forest with high chances of seeing the tigers. Dancing river dolphins and birdwatching are also popular. It is a UNESCO world heritage site highlighting its unique flora and fauna diversity.

Distance from Kolkata: 130 km
Best time to visit: October to March
Travel duration by car: 11 hours
Number of days required: 2 days

Must Read: Best Things To Do In Kolkata

2. Mandarmani

Capture spectacular sunsets at Mandarmani, while covering offbeat places in Kolkata.

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Located in east Midnapore along the coast, Mandarmani is one of the unique places to visit in Kolkata for couples and families. The sprawling beach, spread over a vast coastline of 13 km, is adorned with palm trees and the pristine water of the Bay of Bengal. Mandarmani has the longest driveable coastline, so you can take a jeep and enjoy the wind and views of the beach.

For all the adventure enthusiasts, you can indulge in various water sports like jet skiing, boat riding and paragliding into the skies. You can also visit Shankarpur Beach, which has white sand alongside blue roaring waters. Sit back or walk along the beaches with your loved one to witness some of the best sunrises and sunsets. Relish the fresh seafood prepared most authentically.

Distance from Kolkata: 170 km
Best time to visit: September to February
Travel duration by car: 4 hours
Number of days required: 2 days

3. Joypur Forest

Witness scenic views at Joypur Forest, one of the must-visit offbeat places in Kolkata.

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If you are looking for offbeat places in Kolkata amidst nature, then Joypur Forest should be among them. Situated in the district of Bankura, Joypur Forest is adorned with sal, neem, and mahua trees and birds chirping all around. The enthralling experience of walking through the tall trees and rich wildlife, including monkeys, deer, and a variety of birds, is a haven for nature and wildlife lovers.

The Joypur village is home to ancestral temples whose ruins exude elegance. The Navratna temple at Duttapara has nine entrances: four on the ground and the rest above it. The temple walls are 40 feet tall and have exquisite terracotta works on Hindu literature.

Distance from Kolkata:124 km
Best time to visit: October to March
Travel duration by car: 4 hours
Number of days required: 2 days

Suggested Read: Picnic Spots Near Kolkata

4. Mayapur

Embrace the spiritual charm of Mayapur, one of the favourite offbeat places in Kolkata.

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Situated in the Nadia district of West Bengal, Mayapur is home to one of the largest temples and ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness). The ISKCON temple of Mayapur attracts tourists from all across the globe. It is the land of birth of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, a renowned Hindu saint. There are other sacred temples like Shri Chaitanya Math and Yogpeeth Temple which you can visit at your convenience. Mayapur is rightly called the land of temples and is the perfect place if you are looking for a religious retreat.

Distance from Kolkata: 129 km
Best time to visit: October to March
Travel duration by car: 4 hours
Number of days required: 2

5. Shantiniketan

Behold the artistic beauty of Shantiniketan, one of the renowned offbeat places in Kolkata.

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Haven for art and history lovers, Shantiniketan is among the most offbeat places in Kolkata. Situated in the district of Bolpur, Shantiniketan was the home to the legendary Rabindranath Tagore, which was filled with tranquillity. If you are tired of the fast-paced city life come here for a retreat to witness the calm village life. You must visit Tagore’s ashram here and witness the place where great poems and songs were created.

Tagore started the Vishwa Bharti University to provide a holistic approach to education. The Deer Park of Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary, located at 3 km from Shantiniketan, would fill your heart with joy as you spot herds of deer and birds enjoying in the forest. You can indulge in buying handicrafts and gift items from the Sonajhuri Haat.

Distance from Kolkata: 152 km
Best time to visit: November to March
Travel duration by car: 3.5 hours
Number of days required: 2 days

Suggested Read: Weekend Getaways From Kolkata

6. Digha

Refresh along the sandy beaches of Digha, one of the stunning offbeat places in Kolkata.

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Another beach located on the coastline of West Bengal, Digha is among the best offbeat places in Kolkata within 200 km. Strolling on the beach of Old Digha would rejuvenate your mind and remove all the stress. The Udaipur beach is filled with tranquillity and is very less crowded. You can hop on a scooter ride on this beach for a thrilling experience or just sit back and watch the waves.

You can also visit the Dariapur lighthouse, standing 98 feet tall, built by the British Empire. For a religious retreat, visit Lord Shiva’s Chandaneswar Temple and observe the Kalinga architectural beauty. Also, the quiet toy train ride in Kajal Dighi is popular among the children.

Distance from Kolkata: 183 km
Best time to visit: October to February
Travel duration by car: 4.5 hours
Number of days required: 2 days

7. Chandannagar

Chandannagar, is one of the cultural offbeat places in Kolkata to discover the heritage of the city.

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Located in the Hooghly district, Chandannagar is a quaint town that exhibits a fusion of French, European, and Indian architecture. Among the popular and unique places to visit in Kolkata with friends, the impact of British colonialism and foreign traders has greatly impacted the culture and cuisine. The most popular place here is the ChandanNagar Museum, a unique blend of Indian and French architecture with art galleries and archaeological evidence from the Gupta period.

Walk along the Chandan stand built on the Ganga River for the most scenic views. Well decorated with light, you can stand and watch the sunsets. Visit the Sacred Heart church, which has been standing for 200 years and exhibits French architecture. Indulge in the delicacies of the town and enjoy your leisure time.

Distance from Kolkata: 47 km
Best time to visit: October to February
Travel duration by car:1.5 hour
Number of days required: 1 day

Further Read: Best Places To Visit In Kolkata

Kolkata is a city filled with history, culture, peace, modernity, energy, and chaos. Everyone who visits would find a comfort zone in some part of it. With the most exquisite British architecture preserved and standing tall and much more, you would find yourself wandering in the lively art of its alleys. If this guide about the offbeat places to visit in Kolkata makes you feel wanderlust, then here are some of the best packages to book a trip to Kolkata.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Offbeat Places In Kolkata

What are the famous dishes to try in Kolkata?

When you are in Kolkata, you must savour different mouthwatering fish and seafood dishes. Also enjoy the iconic sweet dishes like rasgulla, sandesh and much more.

What is the best time to visit the offbeat places in Kolkata?

Kolkata has a hot and humid climate with tropical weather throughout the year. Winter is the best time to visit Kolkata. The temperature ranges from 15 to 28 degrees Celsius with breezy days. Also, the Durga Puja festival in October is a major tourist attraction.

What should I pack for a trip to the offbeat places in Kolkata?

Don’t carry heavy woollen or warm clothes as the climate is humid. Pack lightweight clothes, toiletries and sun protection.

Do I need a guide to visit the offbeat places in Kolkata?

No, you can visit these places on your own by referring to the top places in the specific place.

Do I need any special permits while travelling in West Bengal?

Most of the places do not require any specific permit. If you are visiting the areas bordering Nepal, Bangladesh or Sundarbans, you would need permits.

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