Many of you must be unable to help but head out on a vacation every couple of months. But, during this epidemic, forget vacations, even stepping out of the house to buy groceries has been a huge task. Thankfully, in the last one month, the lockdown has been somewhat lifted, and there are now less restrictions on the movement of people for ‘non-essential’ purposes. In this case, if you happen to be in Kolkata and planning a getaway, check out our list of the lesser-known places near the city, where the chances of you having a good time are high, but chances of you catching the infection are pretty less. Here you go:

Less-Crowded Places near Kolkata

1. Taki 

One of the best picnic spots near Kolkata, Taki is a short drive from the city. It is an extremely green place, due to the presence of wooded areas as well as farmlands. You can set up the picnic on the banks of the Ichamati River, across which lies Bangladesh! Among the places you can visit in the area are Machranga Island and Golpata Forest.

  • Distance from Kolkata: 65 km
  • Driving Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Things to Do: Picnic, ferry rides, jungle walks
  • Best Time to Visit: October to February

Since this is a border town, you will need to carry a valid government ID for the Border Security Force (BSF) to check and give you the entry permit.

2. Mousuni

Among the many lesser-known beaches near Kolkata, Mousuni is actually located on an island! This is known to be a paradise for birdwatchers (though not to a lot of people), so get your camera. You can just laze on hammocks, go for a little swim in the ocean, take a walk on the beach (preferably at sunset) or build sand castles.

  • Distance from Kolkata: 120 km
  • Driving Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
  • Things to Do: Birdwatching, swimming, boating, fishing, beach walks, camping, paragliding, windsurfing
  • Best Time to Visit: October to February 

3. Baguran

If you are looking for more less-crowded beaches near Kolkata, then Baguran is a great spot for you. Far from the tourist buzz, this small coastal town is enveloped in quietness, with the only constant sound being the lashing of the waves on the shore. On the beach, you will see scores of red crab, which makes the place quite unusual.

  • Distance from Kolkata: 140 km
  • Driving Time: 4 hours
  • Things to Do: Beach fun, ocean swim, relaxing, crabbing
  • Best Time to Visit: October to February

4. Junput

Located on the same coastal stretch as the hugely popular Tajpur, Mandarmani and Digha, Junput is another among the less-crowded places near Kolkata, perfect for a peaceful time. Unlike most of the tropical beaches, this one is lined by eucalyptus trees, instead of palms. You could merely sit on the shores for hours or play with the sand. Else, there are the lush farmlands further inland, which you could walk through.

  • Distance from Kolkata: 140 km
  • Driving Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Things to Do: Relaxing, beach fun, visiting fish farm and duck farm, rafting, kayaking, rock climbing, zorbing,
  • Best Time to Visit: October to February

5. Shankarpur

The moment your reach Mandarmani, you might see quite a lot of people, which is why we suggest you ditch this incredibly popular weekend getaway near Kolkata and drive a little further to Shankarpur. The unspoilt shore, miles from any major human activity (although it is a fishing village), will calm your soul. Visit the shore in the morning to see fishermen bringing the day’s catch from the sea.

  • Distance from Kolkata: 155 km
  • Driving Time: 5 hours
  • Things to Do: Beach fun, swimming, fishing
  • Best Time to Visit: October to February

6. Sonajhuri

Sonajhuri is as close as it gets to nature, because it is essentially a forest, with nothing but tall trees around. It is so untouched by humans that even the roads here are dirt tracks, instead of proper paved ones. Get your cameras out, as the area is inhabited by jackals, spotted deer, elephant, foxes, and many kinds of colourful birds, including parrots, kingfishers, ducks and woodpeckers.

  • Distance from Kolkata: 165 km
  • Driving Time: 4 hours
  • Things to Do: Nature walk, birdwatching, wildlife spotting
  • Best Time to Visit: July to February

7. Gangani

If Andhra Pradesh has Gandikota, then West Bengal has Gangani, its very own Grand Canyon! Here, the Silabati River flows through a gorge, which is lined by hills that have withstood thousands of years of erosion and weathering. The highlight of this place, apart from the various shapes that the wind and river have carved into the sandstone hills, is the fact that the river here isn’t deep at all, so you can cross it just on foot!

  • Distance from Kolkata: 180 km
  • Driving Time: 4 hours
  • Things to Do: River crossing, hiking, photography
  • Best Time to Visit: October to February

8. Bangriposi

Visit Bangriposi if you fancy a trip to a hilly place not many know about. Located in the state of Odisha, this little hamlet in the Eastern Ghats will treat you to calm and green realms, regional wildlife and tribal culture. Almost empty roads lined by green trees on both sides make for a memorable and romantic drive. There are loads of waterfalls, rivers and trekking trails in the area that you can venture to.

  • Distance from Kolkata: 220 km
  • Driving Time: 4 hours 40 minutes
  • Places to Visit: Simlipal National Park, Joranda and Barehipani waterfalls, Chahala, Thakurani Hill, Bankabal Lake
  • Best Time to Visit: October to February

9. Mukutmonipur

Another among the numerous lesser-known places near Kolkata, Mukutmonipur is situated on the shores of the Kangsabati Dam. Here, you can, without a doubt, enjoy some peaceful time, away from the swarms of people. The nearby hills give you an opportunity to hike, while the reservoir offers boating facilities. What’s more? This is a great place for a picnic, owing to its green surroundings and open expanses.

  • Distance from Kolkata: 230 km
  • Driving Time: 5 hours 50 minutes
  • Things to Do: Relaxing, hiking, picnic, camping, boating, nature walks
  • Best Time to Visit: July to February

10. Baranti

Baranti is a small village, located on the shores of a large dam reservoir, surrounded by lush hills all around. One of the best places to visit near Kolkata for two days, it will refill all the energy you would have lost in the city, just by even sitting idly at home. During the monsoon, this place comes alive with colourful butterflies, while wild boars, deer, wolves and several other animals can be seen throughout the year.

  • Distance from Kolkata: 235 km
  • Driving Time: 5 hours
  • Things to Do: Nature walks, interacting with tribal people, wildlife spotting
  • Best Time to Visit: July to February

11. Muruguma

Muruguma, set on the shores of the eponymous dam reservoir, is another tribal village in West Bengal. Apart from sitting on the lake shores and looking at the lush hills, you can explore the wilderness on foot. The Kenkechi Hills and Ajodhya Hills, which comprise the northernmost tip of the Eastern Ghats, are home to numerous species of animals and birds.

  • Distance from Kolkata: 325 km
  • Driving Time: 8 hours
  • Things to Do: Trekking, partaking in tribal culture, birdwatching, photography
  • Best Time to Visit: October to February

Like the blog? Then, it’s time for you to stop reading and head out to these less-crowded, but wonderful places near Kolkata. But, most importantly, take all precautions, and don’t let the sickness get you.