Tuesday, March 18, 2014 By

Shankarpur - Weekend Destination Near Kolkata

A Lonely Sea-beach In Shankarpur, WestBengal

Its time for high tide.Sky is pale and colorless.Curling waves are continuously striking shore.Though it is spring,mood of monsoon prevails in the air.I am standing on the unpopulated beach of Shankarpur. All I see few fishermen and locals.I can view a straight virgin beach as long as my eyesight can reach,bordering with casuarina plantation.Trees are bending towards the waves of wind.Winds are ruffling my hairs.It is a secluded affair of waves and winds.

Shankarpur Sea beach,West Bengal - A 'Sea and Me' kind of Destination

Shankarpur basically a beach village in West Beangal, by the side of Bay of Bengal with couple of hotels and resorts.Only 15 kilometers away from Bengal's popular beach destination,very much touristy Digha, Shankarpur is less crowded and with not much to do activities.For me its an ideal weekend destination from Kolkata as sometimes I love to be alone,want to cherish my oneness,want to get rid off earthly pleasure.Its only 'sea and me' kind of destination without the baggage of so called touristy spot.I stayed in a sea facing room of Belanivas,basic decent hotel,just few minutes away from beach.I slept all night with the sound of sea.

Gone With the Wind
Next morning ,as dawn breaks,sun rises above the sea,vivid sky with warmer tones of red crimson orange summons a new day.A sight to behold,an celebration to be remembered!As the sun started getting warmer, I slowly approached towards sea,hugging those huge waves,but a sudden surge of wave sweep me back to the shore where I do belong.Its fun playing with waves,bathing and swimming in a desolated sea,nobody watching you. It was a memorable weekend with sea,sun and sea foods.

Undisturbed affair of winds  & waves under the shadow of clouds @ Shankarpur Beach

Where To Stay At Shankarpur:

Without having a sea facing room visit to Shankarpur is not worth.So while booking your hotel at Shankarpur please check how far beach is.Nest is quite a good family resort with kids play area,large rooms and good food,but away from beach. Belanivas,a basic hotel,almost on the beach with delicious food as an added plus points(prawns,crabs, & they will serve you varieties of sea food along mutton chicken,vegetable dishes as per your wish).When you are in Shankarpur try your luck with Bengali cuisine specially rice with prawn curry.

How to get into Shankarpur: Shankarpur from Kolkata

Shankarpur Beach ,WestBengal

Thursday, March 6, 2014 By

Places to See In Coonoor

Tea, Trains and Colonial Charm - Coonoor

Up south, heading towards hill station most often brings the picture of famous hill station Ooty in our mind. But most of us often overlook or unaware of the classical charm of Coonoor which is less commercialized, more beautiful. Coonoor sits snugly under Ooty's shadow and never aspire for so called fame.That's why Coonoor is the favorite haunt for those better-informed tourists who seek peace. A short drive away (18Km) from Ooty, Coonoor welcomes every guest with panoramic view of unending green slopes of perfectly trimmed tea bushes. You will find a laidback and classy ambiance with sprawling old bungalows surrounded by wide manicured lawns, spotlessly clean avenues and roads, nicely maintained B&B inns, delectable continental cuisines, bright sunshine, pleasant temperature,everything under one umbrella without much noise.A summer retreat of erstwhile British presents old heritage essence to the travelers.

Where To Stay At Coonoor

What I liked about this hill adobe is the wide variety of staying option with so many things to do for every kind of tourist. You can stay in some old heritage bungalows turned into B&B Inns and enjoy your lunch served at those manicured lawns. I have chosen to stay at 180° McIver part of Serendipity chain of heritage resorts, a 115 year old colonial bungalow with 180° view of Coonoor and I did the right choice. The ambiance,antique d├ęcor, fireplaces,grassy lawn and above all French delicacies served at La Belle Vie(the adjacent multi-cuisine restaurant) are an absolute pleasure.Soft Lamb ribs will be roasted in perfection to fill up your stomach.

Tea and Coonoor is synonymous to each other and so obviously renowned for tea themed tourism .Sip a cuppa of freshly brewed aromatic Niligiri tea and savor the morning scenery from wide patio of old colonial plantation bungalow.Go for long walks into those tea establishments or hike to nearby forests. Sighting of different kinds of bird is guaranteed on those long treks\walks.Tea Nest wrapped inside a 1800 acres tea estate is ideal for tea themed tourism.Taj Garden Retreat is grandest.La Mansion set on a hill top in Kotagiri is worth mentioning French run boutique home stay.

Things To Do In Coonoor:

With several things to do a must is toy train ride with Niligiri Mountain Railway which is now  UNESCO Heritage.As whistle blows, smoking away,train makes his way through tunnels, passes tea gardens, lush green valleys,picturesque hamlets and take a rest in between those small station beautifully named like Ketty, Lovedale,Wellington.

Sim's park situated at the heart of the city is a 100 year old terraced botanical garden with a lake inside for boating, showcasing varieties of flora, fauna,creepers,collected from allover the world. Garden is full of mature trees.Towering teaks,slender pines,and rare Rudraksha tree will bear that testimony.Seasonal flower beds with vibrant colors will charm you undoubtedly and should be in your itinerary.Apart from Sim’s Park,surrounding area is dotted with scenic spots like viewpoints of Lamb’s Rock (8km), Dolphin’s Nose (10km) and trek to ancient outpost of Tipu Sultan known as Droog Fort.Numerous gushing waterfalls like Catherine Falls,Law Falls and Katteri Falls cut through the gorgeous mountains,jumping into the valley and great for a drive.You can visit High Field tea estate which is 1km from Sim’s Park .
So what are you thinking? Plan for Coonoor to experience an exotic holiday.