Winter season sets in, and weather is really cool for picnic or family outing. I am also taking less work load this year end for small family picnic and nearby outings. Many people in Kolkata really think where to go this winter weekends. We are really become sick of crowded city place, busy life. We need peaceful nature and some outing at picnic stops near forest or rivers or at a village garden surrounded by greenery. I love to go out with my family and explore new places. Here I have mentioned few places where you can spend your day out with your family. This is based on my journey, so some of the information may have changed over time. This is an small effort to share experience of outing in rural Bengal .
1. Taki Picnic spot: This is place tucked away by 75 km from Kolkata. This place is accessible by both road and train. This is the best place for family picnic. Taki is famous for best picnic spot along the Ichamoti river close Bangladesh Border. You can take Hanshnabad Local train from Sealdha and reach Taki Station, from there you can take local van to reach the picnic spot. You can reach by road, from Kolkata it’s 80 Km journey. First you reach Barasat , then take along Taki road and drive straight to reach Taki . I have visited five times there, mostly by my car.
What to see there: Taki Raj Bari , Machranga Dip ( island – really awesome views of island and rivers all around ) , boating in river Ichamoti , Hoglapata Jongal ( Hoglapata forest ) etc . You can take food in local guest house . You can get a very close view of Bangladesh. IF you go with your car , take all foods and enjoy a beautiful river side picnic . (Last time I paid Rs. 250 for booking a river side picnic sport). Place is very safe because of BSF camp .
2. Ichamoti Park: This place is a very safe place for family picnic . You can reach this place by private vehicle or you can reach here from Hashnabad line ( In fact I visited that place by my car ) . Route from nearby station to this place is not clear. You get all facilities from this location . You need to book this picnic spot from nearby counter. ( I feel I spent Rs 300 for a spot ) . This spot is a island surrounded by canal ( it’s created by local municipality for picnic only ) . This only picnic spot, so you can spend time with your family, playing games , you can get many other picnic parties there . I enjoyed this place very much.
3. Badu picnic spot : This is very close to Kolkata , 35 km off from Kolkata . There are many villa or picnic spots there. For big picnic party , you have book early . One important place is “ Makarasa Bagan “ you can say “Spider Garden “ . Actually it is Markar Shah’s Garden . This is a awesome place . Big ponds , big mango trees around the pond , big and old building along the pond guarding the mango trees . But place is not safe for family in rush hours.
But there are lots of place to arrange picnic . Most important place to visit are : Hanuman Mandir , Snake garden , Aquarium , also lots of mango gardens for family picnic and games under the big mango trees .
4. Sanhati Park : This is located in Ashok Nagar along Bangoan line . You can reach by train or private car . Best place to spend picnic with your kids . You can book ( in advance ) the picnic spot for full day picnic . This place has lots of rides for children . You can also visit Science Park near Habra.
5. Metho Gaon ( Village of mud ) : This not very popular spot located near Madhyamgram ( 25 km off from Kolkata ) . You can book one picnic spot , spend time among the paddy fields and pluck green vegetables from the fields ( with permission ) and use the same for your picnic .
6. Kakra Mirja pur : This is again along the Taki Road , beautiful village , country side . Ideal for family picnic. Famous “ Baba Loknath temple “ located in this place .
Other important places to visit:
7. Mayapur : This is approximately 125 km from Kolkata , near Krishna Nagar . You can reach by car or by train . ISKCON Mandir is there. You can visit many Math and local Asram . But single day trip is hectic . Better to stay a day at Mayapur ISKCON mandir .
ISKCON Mayapur guest house booking Information :
Phone : (03472) -245620 ( for Telephone Booking )**
Other Number : ( 03472) 245494
My favorite Guest house is Gada Bhavan , try to book guest house one month in advance during winter season .
8. Bangaon Bibhuti Bhusan Ghat : This place is very close to Bangaon Station . You can catch Bangaon train from Sealdah and reach the Bangaon station . From there you can reach the ghat . This is famous for Sri Bibhuti Bushan Bondapadhya , famous Bengali novelist . You can see the ghat , local bridge over river . Small picnic spot near the river. You can manage to stay nearby guest house by advance booking .
These are the places I have visited one or many times. These places are famous for their bucolic charm and smell of natures. Every winter, I plan to visit one of these sites with my family. Every time I go, I rediscover the place with new charms, with new experience ( as rural Bengal is changing fast ) . If you are in Kolkata, you can make a visit and enjoy your time with your family at country side picnic spots.
Few more best picnic spots in Kolkata; Updated 2016
Few years back I wrote about popular picnic spots in and around Kolkata. Again after 4 years, in this updated posts I am sharing some new locations for family day outs at the heart of city.
9. New Town Eco Park (প্রকৃতি তীর্থ):
I feel the best hang out place for one day trip. This is located in along the major Arterial Road connecting Salt Lake and New Town Rajathat. This park is build over 480 acres (190 ha) plot and there is huge late with nice island in the middle.
Best things to enjoy here are
- Urban forest
- Heliconia garden
- Butterfly garden – This is an awesome place. Try to visit this place before 3:30 PM.
- Lake Zone – Famous for boating and enjoying musical fountain in the evening.
- Picnic spots in mixed-moist deciduous forests
- Bonsai garden
- Mask Garden – you can enjoy nice lighting here in the evening
It needs a full complete day to cover all rides and visting places inside the park.
How to there? It very well connected by bus. You can reach place from Salt Lake side (bus no DN 47, KB 14 etc) or you can catch taxi or bus from Haldiram stoppage along VIP road. I travelled there on private car and there are space for paid parking.
Visiting hours for Eco Park:
The Eco Tourism Park is opened on:
Tuesday to Saturday = 1:00 P.M. to 7:30 P.M.
Sunday & Holidays = 12:00 P.M. to 7:30 P.M.
The park is closed on Monday for maintenance.
Park entry and Ticket counter closes at 06:30 P.M.
Entry charge is Rs 20/-.
There are two parking lots. They charged me Rs. 50/- for whole day parking.
More details on Eco park visit this page
10. Nicco park :
This is referred to as the Disneyland of West Bengal . I always keep a day free every year to visit place with my family. There are lot many rides for children and elder members to spend a nice day out in Nicco park.
Nicco Park was opened on October 13, 1991. It is located on 40 acre land and offers 35 different attractions and has served over 24 million customers.
Nicco Park has approximately thirty-five rides that include the
- Toy Train,
- Paddle Boat
- Water Chute
- Water Coaster
- Flying Saucer
- Pirate Ship
- River Caves
Most famous of all these are: Cyclone, Water Coaster etc.
Basic entry fees:
- Basic entry fees: 200/- (11 rides free)
- Complete package: 550 per head.
We have taken complete packages. My daughters enjoyed cyclone ride many times.
How to reach there? It’s well connected by bus auto taxi. It located in Salt Lake area and many buses from Howrah, South and North Kolkata are passing through this area. There is limited parking space. So avoid private car during heavy rush hour.
This is birth place of famous Bengali novelist Sarat Chandra Chattopadhya (author of Devdas) . Deulti is located at 56 km from Kolkata and well connected via roads and railway. From Howrah you can take any Midnapore bound trains and get down at Deulti station. Deulti station is about 50 km from Howrah junction and takes 1 Hr 30 min by local train. From road you can drive along NH- 2 towards Kharagpur. After 60 km drive you reach Deulti. From esplanade, you can take deulti bus from Esplanade .
What to see: you can see house of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhya located about 3km from Deulti station, and house is maintained by his family.
You will also enjoy a village walk through the paddy field that will lead you to the bank of river Rupnarayan. The panoramic view of the River Rupnarayan will definitely enthrall your mind.
There are many nice picnic spots near the river. In winter season you can enjoy nice family picnic near the river.
Sarat mela : In every winter in the month of January, local people celebrate Sarat Mela. You can see Bengal craft, nice depiction of Sarat Chandra literary work, and village culture, etc.
Radha and Madanogopal temple: You can also visit the temple decorated with terracotta work . This was constructed in 1651 AD by the Zamindar of Mangalhat Pragana, called Mukundaprasad Roychoudhury.
If you like to have 50 km drive from Kolkata and like to enjoy beauty of river, history of Bengal’s great novelist and nice picnic environment, then this is really a best place for weekend outing . Best time to go there in the month of January and December.
If you have to stay there, you can stay in Nirala Resort. It’s a very nice place for family stay and large picnic. I haven’t gone there, but my friend Sayan Sadhu shared his good experience about this place.
Taki picnic spot – revisited (updated on 24-12-2017)
Taki is one of my best picnic spots near Kolkata. Hence, this year I again visited this place for the sixth time. Lot of things have been changed since last 10 years.
We have got new concrete pathway along the river Ichamati. Newly erected set of watch towers near the river bank give you wonderful view of ichamati river and distant view of Bangladesh. When we went Taki 10 years back, there were only 2-3 tourist lodges. Now, you can get about 20 plus good lodge and hotels there along the river side.
What is lost forever in Taki tourist spot?
In my first two trip, we did a boat ride to embark on tiny island located near the confluence of there river ichamati, kalindi and vidyadhari, and this small beautiful island was called Machranga Dwip (kingfisher island). On this tiny island, we explored various vegetation and watched waves coming from three different rivers. Now, after Aila cyclone, and change of course of river current, the machranga deep went under the river water. Now Machranga deep is a history.
How to reach taki picnic spot?
By road from Kolkata airport side, you can take NH 34 to reach Barasat Chapadali junction . From chapadali road to take Taki road to reach Taki spot after 70 km ride.
By train : you can reach taki by train, from sealdha, you get Hasnanad local every hour and it’s about 80 km and 2 hours train journey to reach Taki station. ( Taki is the second last station in this route just come before ending station Hasnabad). From Howrah, you can take taxi or bus to reach Sealdha station. Then, you can catch Hasnabad local.
How to arrange lunch in Taki?
You may be wondering how to get quality lunch there. In fact, you get many restaurant and hotels there to place your lunch order after reaching Taki. We have placed lunch order at Taki Municipal guest house. I feel they are best and oldest guest house in Taki and located just beside river bank.
After reaching there, you can place order and just leave for the sight seeing tour. Here is food rate: Fish thali : 80./- , chicken Rs. 100 , veg 50 rs. Food are really tasty and cheap.
You can stay at this guest house, however, you have to book in advance. In our first, visit we stayed in this guest house.
Planning your sightseeing in Taki?
We reached Taki station around 9 am. We took motorised van to reach Taki picnic spot tucked away by 3 km. Rickshow van charged 15 rs per head to reach the spot. Once we reached river bank, many Toto and van wala approached us for sightseeing. We finished our breakfast near the river side lawn. Meanwhile, we bargained with few Totos and finally booked each Toto 200 rs.for touring four locations in east side of Taki.
Phase 1 tour in Taki: we took 2 Toto for 12 team members. In this locations, roads and lanes are narrow, hence, you can not take personal car for sightseeing.
1) Army general Sankar Roy Chowdhury house: Very famous address in Taki and located in serene village environment and you find a nice puja mondop just behind the house.
2) village garden house famous for Famed movie Bishorjan. This is big garden and a very old house inside the garden made it more enchanting.
3) Golpatar jungle: we crossed BSF camp to reach this place. From here, you can have very close view Bangladesh. We have found very nicely decorated garden meant for picnic spot.
4) Mini sundarban: it just close picnic spot near golpatar jungle. This is the best place to explore in Taki. Entry fee is 5 rs per head. Best part of this place is the canopy walk through a elevated bride passing through deep jungle (50 meters) to reach the river bank. You find mangrove trees here. Once bridge ends, we walked through the swampy jungle to reach river bank.
It reminded me about our canopy walk in Dobanki camp is Sunderban. But, no tiger is around here in mini sunderban. Hence, just walk and enjoy nature in sundarban type marshy land.we enjoyed this place a lot.
Our first phase is completed here. Now we moved to guest house for lunch. It was really a delicious lunch. Our team members were taking some naps in the garden near the river bank.
Phase 2 tour: our Toto drivers are ready for short tour to sightseeing places near mohona. They again charged us 400 rs for 2 hours tour.
6) Mohona: It is about 2 km from the main spot. We reached spot around 3 pm. From here , we got splendid view of Mohona. Our guide showed us the water body to mention the machranga deep is there under the water.
7) 200 years old Durga temple: it was a temple of local raja. Now it is closed to enter the temple.
8) Eco park: it is a small Eco park build by local municipality ( ticket 10 rs per head). since, we have visited Kolkata Eco park many times. We skipped this spot.
9) Kuleshwari temple: it is very nice Kali Maa temple. While returning to main spot we stopped there for 10 minutes. It is very nice temple.
Phase 3 tour :
10) Boating in Ichamati river
We returned from phase 2 tour around 330 pm. We immediately booked boat trip in Ichamoti river. They charge Rs. 30 for 40 min boat trip. You can enjoy a very close view of Bangladesh, Mohona, and river side view of taki spot. Boat ride is closed by 5 pm. Hence, plan your accordingly.
When we returned to jetty chat, it was 5 pm. We enjoyed the spectacular view of sunset near Mohana. We took motor van to catch Hasnabad local from Hasnabad station.