When we talk about travelling in and around West Bengal (especially from Kolkata), thoughts of delicious fish curries and cotton-soft sweet balls of rosogolla cloud our minds. On that note, we are listing below five lesser-explored culinary road trips from Kolkata for your post-lockdown holiday plans. By Smrithi Suresh
1. Kolkata to Ranchi
Ranchi is not just a city of waterfalls and eclectic art, it has an array of delectable dishes on offer too. Dhuska, litti chokha, chura bhunja, and koinar sag are a few dishes that you must try when in Ranchi. This city has an incredible vegetarian fare. However, if you are a non-vegetarian foodie, options are galore too; try their famous mudwa khussi meat, deshi chicken, and tengara fee. Cost for two people would be around INR 400.
Distance from Kolkata: 416 km
Duration: 9 hours 24 minutes (approx.)
Best Time to Visit: October to May
Places to Visit: Dassam Falls, Tagore hills, and Hudru Falls
Where to Stay: Capitol Residency, Chanakya BNR Hotel, and Radisson Blu Hotel
Must-Try Restaurants: Kaveri Restaurant, Jungli Restaurant, and shops from Upper Bazaar
2. Kolkata to Bakkhali
Looking to go on a road trip to a calming seaside destination? Well, look no further. Bakkhali is your best bet. This small place is a typical beach village with the best seafood delicacies on offer. The eateries are mostly street stalls, but they serve delicious pomfrets, bagdas, rohus, and evening snacks like prawn pakoras that would cost you around INR 200, approximately. Henry Island here is famous for thousands of red crabs, which are rare to see near Kolkata.
Distance from Kolkata: 125 km
Duration: 3 hours 31 minutes (approx.)
Best Time to Visit: October to March
Places to Visit: Henry Island, Jambudwip, and Sea Beach
Where to Stay: WBTDC Tourist Lodge, Dolphin Hotel, and Bay View Tourist Lodge
Must-Try Restaurants: New Hotel Parijat and Frazargunj Indian Hotel
3. Kolkata to Burdwan
Burdwan’s cuisine has many interesting fish-based dishes on offer. Rice is the staple food here, so most of the dishes are prepared to be paired with it. The specialities here are chingri macher malai curry, rui macher kaalia, and desserts like sitabhog, mihidana, and langcha are to die for!
Distance from Kolkata: 101 km
Duration: 2 hours 40 minutes (approx.)
Best Time to Visit: November – December, March
Places to Visit: Meghnad Saha Planetarium, Lord Curzon Gate, Ramnabagan Wildlife Sanctuary
Where to Stay: Sinclairs Tourist Resort, Bless Inn Hotel, Hotel Mrigaya
Must-Try Restaurants: C2 restaurant, Ganesh Sweets
4. Kolkata to Durgapur
This urban city serves a variety of Bengali delicacies. When you visit this steel township, do try the famous potoler dolma, jhuri aloo bhaja, prawn pulav, dhaniya chicken curry, kochi pathar jhol and more. There are many street-side stalls here that serve delicious snacks like phuchka, chaats, egg rolls, mutton cutlets, etc. Locals suggest that dhabas on GT Road offer delicious naans and dal tadkas. The average cost to dine in would be around INR 600.
Distance from Kolkata: 173 km
Duration: 3 hours 12 minutes (approx.)
Best Time to Visit: October to February
Places to Visit: Durgapur Barrage, Kumaramangalam Park, and Troika Park
Where to Stay: Peerless Inn, Park Prime, and Fortune Park Pushpanjali
Must-Try Restaurants: Peerless Inn, Netaji Restaurant, Kohinoor Snacks, and MPJ Punjabi Dhaba
5. Kolkata to Bhubaneshwar
An under-explored food destination in India, Bhubaneshwar offers a huge variety of East-Indian dishes. The must-try foods here are gupchup, dalma, chakuli, kheema ghugni, and the quintessential Odia thali. If you get a chance to visit temples of Lord Krishna, try looking out for the iconic Chappan Bhog prasad. It has 56 completely different items and is mostly offered during Janmashtami. Also, do not forget to try out mutton delicacies in this city. Approximately, it would cost you nearly INR 400 for a meal.
Distance from Kolkata: 447 km
Duration: 8 hours 51 mins (approx.)
Best Time to Visit: October to March
Places to Visit: Udaygiri and Khandagiri Caves, Lingaraj temple, Rajarani temple, and ISKON temple
Where to Stay: Mayfair Lagoon, the Presidency, and Trident Hotel
Must-Try Restaurants: Odisha Hotel, Daalma Food Chain, and Sohala Ana Odia