TRAVEL & TOURISM
Travel & Tourism
Transport Services
From trams (India's first and only) to metro (India's first) to yachts (waterscape in India's widest river spaces here is changing everyday), Kolkata transport is acknowledged in many surveys as the most plural service-system in the country.
Over 4162 route km- one of the best rail networks in the country
822 railway stations providing freight and passenger connectivity from major urban/rural nodes in the country
The evolving metro rail connectivity will make Kolkata the next most metro served city (after Delhi) within 5 years, with 128 kms of metro lines going up to distant suburbs. Public investments involved, exceed Rs 20,000 crore.
Monorail connectivity envisaged in NewTown in PPP mode
Airports- Kolkata International Airport, Bagdogra Airport (connecting Paro & Bangkok), Durgapur Airport (Domestic), Coochbehar Airport (Regional), Balurghat Airport (Plans to revive)
Air Connectivity
Chopper services to different cities
State support plan for airline services to improve regional connectivity
Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) The Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) pact will boost connectivity among the four nations and promote trade and commerce. The pact will also allow motor vehicles to transport persons and cargo through each country more easily, helping businesses in overland trade among BBIN countries.


Tourism and Entertainment
Highlights
Market size in India at $117.7 billion in 2011 and is anticipated to touch $418.9 billion by 2022
6th most preferred destination for international tourists in India, with inflow of 1.38 million foreign tourists during 2014
Finest Multi-Star hotels and budget hotels in the State
Largest number of heritage clubs with all kinds of recreational facilities
5 golf courses, including the world's oldest outside UK
Royal Calcutta Turf Club- India's oldest race-course, still thriving
West Bengal Incentive Scheme, 2015, for Tourism Units announced
Opportunities Galore
Geographical advantage of the Himalayan Mountains (Darjeeling), the Riverine Delta of Sundarbans and sea beaches.
Thrust for investments into tourism projects.
Priority to Eco Tourism, Tea Tourism, Medical Tourism and Home Stay.
New Tourism Hubs across State, like the Mega Hub at Gajoldoba, Siliguri
Another Mega Hub at Sundarban next to the Royal Bengal Tiger Rescue Centre over 100 acres of land.
Tourism Potential in Bengal
Adventure Tourism Cultural Tourism Eco-Tourism
Tea Tourism Rural Tourism Medical Tourism
River Cruise Religious Tourism Wildlife Tourism
Tourism: Investment Opportunity in West Bengal

Bengal: On the Highway to Tourism Boom
Total length of Roads at a stupendous 2,11,770 km.
Present Road Density higher than National Average
West Bengal boasts Across-the-Spectrum Natural Diversity: With hills and the Dooars in the North, the laterite landscape and the Gangetic Delta in the Central Region, and the seas in the South, West Bengal has a near representation of the entire world.
West Bengal is a veritable cultural and demographic mosaic. From the Gurkha and Lepcha tribals in the North to the ancient tribals, like the Santhals, the Oraons and the Mundas in the West, West Bengal is a demographic paradise. It has the prized inheritance of various folk traditions. It boasts the Bauls in Birbhum, the Fakirs in Nadia and ancient Chhou traditions in Purulia.
It prides itself on some magnificent Islamic architecture in Gour, Malda and terra cotta masterpieces in districts of Bardhaman and Bankura.
Himalayas
Put your experience of getting mesmerized under challenge by discovering sheer artistry of nature spread to every corner of the horizon. The lush green gardens at your feet and snow-covered White Mountains at a distance seem like a wonderful experiment of god with colors. It is the rendezvous of earth and heaven; it is the treasure that you would keep in your heart forever. Hidden under the shadows of Eastern Himalayas, the hill stations of West Bengal are the main footprint of tourism in the state. Darjeeling, without a doubt is the most important and most visited hill station. This unique destination is famous world over for its unparallel beauty. Darjeeling and the other hill stations of West Bengal offer a magnificently rejuvenating respite from the exhausting heat that adorns the majority of the state during the summer months.
Kangchenjunga

Kurseong Kalimpong Rimbik-Rishop Lava Lolaygaon Mirik Sandakphu
Mangrove
Sundarban Biosphere Reserve was constituted by Government of India (GOI) in 1989 and it received the recognition of UNESCO under its Man and Biosphere (MAB) Programme in November, 2001. Sundarban National Park, forming the core area of Sundarban Tiger Reserve, received recognition as World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987. It has been nominated by GOI for recognition as Ramsar Site (a wetland of international importance). Sundarban Tiger Reserve was constituted by GOI under Project Tiger scheme, in 1973. Sundarban is the only mangrove forest in the world which is the home of Tigers. Sundarban Tiger Reserve has the highest tiger population in the world.
Sundarban
Importance of Sundarban Ecosystem

Sundarban has extremely rich diversity of aquatic and terrestrial flora and fauna. Sundarban's highly productive ecosystem acts as a natural fish nursery. Sundarban Mangrove reduces the fury of cyclonic storm and prevents erosion due to tidal action. Finally, millions of people depend on Sundarban Ecosystem for their livelihood and sustenance through fishing, collection of honey and fuel wood/timber.


Topography and Soil

Geologically, the Sundarban delta is the largest prograding delta on the globe. The region is covered solely by quaternary sediments carried and deposited by the rivers Ganges , Matla & Bidyadhari.



Climate and rainfall

Although the region is situated south of the Tropic of Cancer, the temperature is equable due to its proximity to the sea. Average annual maximum temperature is around 35 C . Average annual rainfall is 1920 mm. Average humidity is about 82% which is more or less uniform throughout the year.
Tiger Census
The tiger estimation has traditionally been done in Sundarban by “Pug Mark Method” in which the fresh left hind pug mark impression is collected from the field and analyzed. The Pugmark method was field friendly but due to some of the drawbacks, Project Tiger developed a new methodology for the “Monitoring of Tigers, Co-predators, Prey and Habitat”. The Monitoring of Tiger, Co-predators, Prey and Habitat Exercise in Sundarban was conducted from 5th January 2006 to 10th January 2006, as a part of All India estimation of Tiger, Co-predators, Prey and Habitat exercise.
The Royal Bengal Tiger
Sundarban is among the five Natural World Heritage Sites In India namely, Kaziranga National Park, Manas National Park, Keoladeo Wildlife Sanctuary, Sundarban National Park and Nandadevi National Park.
The Sundarban Biosphere Reserve has three main objectives:
* Restoration of the unique mangrove ecosystem of Sundarban and conservation of its biodiversity.
* Development of sustainable economic, social activities of the population living in the Biosphere Reserve.
* Facilitating research, monitoring, education and training to perpetuate the achievements made.
People of the Sundarban

The people of this area are unique in their occupation and lifestyle, faiths, rituals and beliefs – farmers, fishermen, wood collectors, honey collectors and poachers. Sundarban represents a society that is primarily agricultural. The people live in villages adjoining forests which is the home of Tigers. For survival, these people have to fight with nature day in and day out. The hardships of daily existence have given rise to fraternal feelings and non-communal traditions. Members of both Hindu and Muslim communities worship the same Gods and Goddesses. The two most famous among them are Dakshin Ray and Banabibi. Dakshin Ray is worshiped as the God of Tiger and all those who enter the forests for subsistence, worship Dakshin Ray irrespective of their caste, creed and religion. Banabibi, on the other hand, is considered as the protector of the inhabitants of the forests. She is popular both amongst Hindus and Muslims.

Seas

Breathtaking Beaches promise the perfect escape to tranquility. The coastal strip of West Bengal, extending from the Gangetic delta land to the border of Orissa, presents some beautiful options in sea resorts - Digha, Shankarpur, Mandarmoni, Bakkhali, Gangasagar, Tajpur,etc. All of these offer wide, flat, hard beaches, a gently rolling sea, rows of casuarina forests and a pleasant, warm weather round the year.

Digha Sankarpur Mandarmani Bakkhali Gangasagar Tajpur
Forest

The natural beauty of the State, its snow-clad mountains, lush green forest, the rolling Tea gardens, ripe agricultural fields in North Bengal, the red lateritic tracts and the pure sal forests in the South West Bengal, and the world's largest mangrove delta in Sundarban make the State potential paradise for Eco-tourism. Eco-tourism is "tourism that involves travelling to relatively undisturbed natural areas with the specified objectives of studying, admiring and enjoying the sceneries and its wild plants and animals, as well as in existing cultural aspects found in these areas" (WTO). Thus eco-tourism differs from Resort tourism or mass tourism by requiring lesser infrastructure development and lower impact on the environment.

Dooars Duarsini Ayodhya Hill Jhargram Mukutmanipur Ramnabagan
Heritage

The State of West Bengal has a lot to offer to the tourists. Whether they are the chaste ripples in the waves of the Holy Ganga that bring in an effect of serenity or the high-rise monuments that one would see on the Dalhousie Street or the sculpture’s delight – the Victoria Memorial, Hazarduari, Shaheed Minar, or the Terracotta temples, they all speak highly of the rich cultural heritage of the State of West Bengal.

Victoria Memorial Dakshineswar Temple St. Pauls' Cathedral Belur Math Nakhoda Masjid Cooch Behar Rajbari
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