West Bengal is a land of immensely rich culture and heritage. Some of the most exceptional poets and artists of India like Rabindranath Tagore and Satyajit Ray hail from this beautiful state. Being one of the major cities of India, the capital city Kolkata is fondly known as the "Cultural Capital Of India".
Formerly known as Vanga, West Bengal is known for its sweets like Roshogulla and Mishti Doi and dishes made of fish; it is also a place of great strategic importance since it shares its borders with Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan.
Apart from its people, culture and food, the state is home to many scenic locations. From beaches to hills, universities to monuments, West Bengal has it all! This article, however, focuses on the breathtaking hill stations that West Bengal is famous for.
One of India's most favoured hill stations, Darjeeling is a splendid place to spend your vacation at! It is nestled at an elevation of 6,700 ft on the Lesser Himalayas, overlooked by the magnificent Khanchendzonga, and flanked with shamrock green tea plantations.
You can watch cute Red Pandas cuddled in their habitat at Padmaja Naidu National Park (/travel-guide/you-need-to-visit-this-zoo-of-cute-red-pandas-in-darjeeling-asap-003672.html), trek or go on mountain biking to the Sandakphu peak or just indulge in some street shopping!
Tiger Hill, Japanese Peace Pagoda, Nightingale Park are some of the many places you need to visit in Darjeeling.
PC: Jakub Michankow
Located about an hour from Darjeeling, Kalimpong is a less-explored hill station of West Bengal. Kalimpong is believed to have ruled by Bhutanese Kings for a long period of time. The town in dotted with ancient Buddhist Monasteries with Tibetan inscriptions, temples and churches.
It offers great panoramic view of the Teesta Valley from numerous popular viewpoints, especially from the top of Deolo Hills. Adventure buffs can try white water river rafting the Teesta River.
The name Dooars has been derived from the fact that it is the gateway (door) for Bhutan. Innumerable streams flow to Dooars from the mountains of Bhutan. Due to this, the hill station is rich with fauna and flora, mainly at the banks of these streams and rivers.
Many places like Mahanada and Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuaries offer a glimpse into the wildlife of Dooars with animals like Elephants, Royal Bengal Tigers, and more.
PC: Debarshi Bhaumik
Lepchajagat is an offbeat hill town of West Bengal is a great spot for nature lovers and a honeymoon location. Jagat means "World" and the place used to be home to the Lepcha tribe. So it literally means "World of Lepcha."
Jorpokhri is a small region on the hilltop that offers fantastic panoramic view of the mountains and has tiny tranquil ponds. Ghum Monastery and Pashupati Market are some of the places you may visit in Lepchajagat.
PC: Masrur Ashraf
Kurseong literally translates to the "Place of White Orchids". So naturally, beautiful white orchids grow in abundance at Kurseong. The hill station is also filled with lush tea estates. Ever since Toy Train services have been extended to Kurseong, it has now become a significant tourist destination.
Dow Hill is the place where you can find many places of interest such as Museum, Park, Water Reservoir and resorts to live in Kurseong. Apart from this, many viewpoints like Eagle Craig and Giddaphar View Point offers breathtaking view of the entire town.
PC: Ankit Agarwal
Mirik is a hill station that has gained major attention as a place of vacation destination only in the recent times. The serene Sumendu Lake of Mirik is the prime tourist attraction, which is surrounded by a park where horse riding is available. Boating services are available in the peaceful lake.
Apart from the lake, Mirik is made of Orange Orchards, beautiful orchids, and picturesque tea estates, all in all making it the ideal getaway for nature enthusiasts.
PC: BISHAL RAI
Best Time To Visit West Bengal
September to November when the winter is just about to set in, and the summer months of March to June is the perfect time to visit the hill stations of West Bengal. Although the rest of West Bengal might be warm during summer, the hill stations provide the perfect escape from the heat.
PC: Martin Malmsten