Bankura has gained wide appeal as a popular tourist destination. The district can legitimately take pride in having a wide range of spots attracting tourists for a variety of reasons ranging from arts and architecture, terracotta temples, dense virgin forests, hills and the scenic spots at Mukutmonipur etc. Since ancient times, it is popularly known as Rarh area in Bengal.
Bankura district, falling under Eastern Chhotanagpur Plateau, looks like handpicked by Mother Nature and is blessed with old brown hills, murmuring rivers, ancient temples- all bearing testimony to a rich culture and tradition.
Bishnupur deserves a special mention in that the town hosts a good many temples like Madan Mohan temple, Shyam Roy Temple and a short distance away, at Jairambati the famous temple dedicated to Sarada Devi for crores of devotees of the Ramakrishna Monastic Order. The town also has its own distinct musical tradition known as Bishnupur Gharana.
The hills at Biharinath and Susunia are spots of natural wonder and ideal for trekking and going foot-loose.
Mukutmonipur situated at the confluence of River Kansabati and Kumari has the second largest river dam in India. Hemmed in by hillocks all around, the still water of the lake offers a hypnotic visual of the azure sky above and is a delight for lovers of nature in its pristine beauty.
Bishnupur is the headquarter of the Bishnupur sub-division of Bankura District which is specialized for crafts and culture.
Mukutmanipur is popular yet somewhat an offbeat tourist destination, extremely ideal for having a peaceful weekend amidst the tranquility of nature. Though Mukutmanipur is a popular picnic destination for more than a decade and ranks among the top ten popular picnic destinations of Bengal, but of late it has gradually grown into an ideal weekend destination. For all those weary mind and body who wish to escape from the busy humdrum of the city life, Mukutmanipur is the perfect destination for ultimate relaxation.
How to reach
From Bankura one can take a bus till Mukutmanipur itself. Train journey from Howrah to Bankura : 4.5 hrs approximately. Bus journey from Bankura to Mukutmanipur is about 2 hrs. Buses are also available directly from Kolkata to Mukutmanipur with journey time 8-9 hrs.
Bishnupur is a town in the Bankura District of West Bengal and located at about 132 km from Kolkata. It is famous for its terracotta temples and Baluchari sarees. The town has a glorious past that is reflected in its rich architecture, music and handicrafts such as pottery and weaving. It prospered in the 17th and early 18th centuries. Ruled by a line of Hindu Rajas of the Malla dynasty, Bishnupur developed a unique form of architecture and has perhaps the most brilliant and detailed terracotta work in Eastern India that has withstood the ravages of time. The Terracotta tiles depict stories from Ramayana and Mahabharata. The Temples like the Shyam Ray Temple, the twin shrines of Jorbangla and the Rasmancha are a must visit. Apart from its heritage, Bishnupur is also known for its traditional handloom sarees. Pottery, artiefacts and even jewellery made of terracotta in Bishnupur are also very popular. Bishnupur is also famous for the School of Hindustani Music which flourished under royal patronage along with the Bishnupur School of Painting. This style of music is still being kept alive in local academies of music. The history of Bishnupur can be traced back to 694 AD, when King Raghunath founded the Malla dynasty. However, it was much later in 994 AD that the place was named Bishnupur. The name is derived from the name of the Hindu God Vishnu. The most powerful king of the dynasty was King Raghunath Singh Dev II, who ruled from 1626 AD. At that time the administration of Bengal was in the hands of Shah Lahan and his son Shuja. He developed a close friendship with the king and there followed a period of peace when art and music already flourishing, reached great heights. It was during this period that the Jorbangla Temple was erected.
How to reach
By Air: Nearest airport to Bishnupur is Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International airport, Kolkata. It is well connected to kolkata by road and rail network.
By Train: Bishnupur can be reached by train and regular trains are available from Howrah railway station.
By Road: It is well connected by road with Kolkata and surrounding towns like Asansol, Durgapur, Burdwan, Panagarh and other parts of the state.
This is a beautiful tourist place with shades of Sal, Piyal, Mahua, Palash and Shimul, about 60 km away from Bankura via Ranibandh. This is also the homeland of the Santhal, Munda and Bhumijas. It is an ideal place to spend a short leave. The surrounding is calm and peaceful with hillocks. It becomes charming and colorful with palash and krishnachura flowers in the day time and the enchanting tune of madal played by the villagers at night. The full-moon nights are mesmerizing. From the Bungalow, steps leads to the lake where boating add more fun to the tourists. Wild elephant, Deer, hog and partridges are seen in the forest. Elephants from Dalma often step into Sutan for ripened crops. The forest bungalow on the top of the hillock, although without electricity, attracts tourists for the serene beauty of the hills and forest.. There is a Trekker's hut 9 km inside the forest on the bank of the lake.
Garh Darwaja is a terracotta gateway situated in Bankura near Bishnupur, a destination famous for its terracotta masonry. Built during the rule of the Malla Kings, this gateway is also known as the Chota Patthar Darwaja or Small Gateway of Bishnupur. Found overlooking the famous Radhakrishna Lalji Temple, Garh Darwaja is an arched terracotta structure with a plain exterior. At a short distance from this gateway lies another gateway which is larger in size and is known as the Bara Patthar Darwaja or Main Gateway of Bishnupur. Currently this gateway is not protected by the ASI and is thus not well maintained. Tourists can also do shop for terracotta pottery, artefacts, jewellery and Balucheri saris close to this site.
How to reach
Bankura Garh Darwaja is well connected with all types of transport like Airplane, bus or other road transport and also train.
By Air: Nearest airport of Bankura is Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport, which is also called Dum Dum airport.
By Train: Via train, it takes 3 hours and 45 minutes to achieve Garh Darwaja from Howrah. The general trains joining Garh Darwaja to Howrah are Purulia Express leaving Howrah at 4:45 pm, Rupashi Bangla Express with drawing from Howrah at 6:00 am and Howrah - Chakradharpur traveler; leaving Howrah at 11.05 pm. Aranyak Express leaves Shalimar at 7.45 am. You can likewise travel via train to Kharagpur/ Midnapur/ Bardhaman/ Durgapur from Howrah lastly take the transport venture.
By Road: By transport can achieve Midnapore at first and after that take nearby transports that are accessible at regular intervals to visit Garh Darwaja. By street, it takes somewhat more around 4 hours from Kolkata. You have to take the Expressway to achieve Baidyabati crossing (more). From there, have to take left and travel 151 km through Singur-Halikut-Bashdeopur-Tarakeshwar-Rashulpur-Arambagh-Kotalpur.
Jayrambati is famous for the birth place of Sri Sri Sarada Devi, the devoted wife of Sri Sri Ramakrishna. The flowing Damodar river and the clear air remind the divinity. She was born here in the year 1858. A temple of the mother Matrimandir dedicated to Maa Sarada Devi established here. On the right side there is ancestral house of mother. On the opposite side she stayed from 1916 to 1920.
How to reach
By Air Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata at a distance of about 95 Km is the nearest airport of Kamarpukur. From the airport one can hire pre-paid taxis or other vehicle to reach Kamarpukur or Jairambaiti (at a distance of about 103 Km) in less than 2 hours. Road conditions are pretty good.
By Train Bishnupur railway station at about 48 Km away is the nearest railhead of Jairambati. However there are not too many trains from Howrah and Sealdah railway stations in Kolkata to take you to Jairambati. From Bishnupur railway station one can hire a vehicle to reach Jairambati in about one hour.
Susunia is a 1500 ft high hill of southern West Bengal, situated at the north-western part of Bankura District. It is often believed that Raja Chandra Varma had once built his fort on this hill. With plenty of natural beauty in the form of cascading waterfalls, plenty of greenery and river Gandheshwari flowing down the hill. Susunia picture perfect look and the rock faces meaut for the mountaineer and joy.
Susunia is one of the rich reserves of medicinal plants. It is known as an archeological and fossil site. The fossil of lion, giraffe, hyena and many other animal species was discovered from this area. The oldest rock inscription of West Bengal is located here. There is an ancient carved monolith standing at the point where the spring water is coming out of another stone curved projected.
How to reach
Purulia bound train from Howrah and to get down at Chatna. From there, Shushunia is only 9 km. Apart from this, can also board Susunia bound buses from Bankura, Kharagpur and Durgapur.
HOW TO REACH
By Air: The nearest airport to Bankura is Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International airport.
By Train: There is regular train service to Bankura from other major cities of West Bengal.
By Road: Bankura is well connected to Kolkata by bus service.