Birbhum district in West Bengal is one of India’s most prominent cultural centers.
It has several sacred and holy sites that are well-known among pilgrims and are steeped in India’s rich cultural past.
Known as the Land of Braves & the Land of Red Soil, there are many places to explore in Birbhum.
In this article, you will get to know about the following places to visit in Birbhum,
- Bolpur Shantiniketan
- Ballabhpur Wildlife Sanctuary
- Hetampur Rajbari
- Mama Bhagne Pahar
- Sonajhuri Forest
- Amar Kutir Eco Tourism Park
- Prakriti Bhavan
- Nandan Art Museum & Gallery
- Srijani Shilpagram
Let’s see each of these places in detail…
1. Bolpur Shantiniketan
Bolpur Shantiniketan is a perfect weekend getaway for travel enthusiasts.
Popularly known as Tagore’s Land, Shantiniketan is a perfect blend of beauty, literature, and cultural heritage.
The Lal Mati or red soil, green forests surrounding Shantiniketan, serene ambiance, and the charm of the nearby Kopai River attract many people here from India and abroad.
This is also an educational center.
Many people visit this enchanting place and take photos of the entire complex of Shantiniketan including Chhatimtala, Rabindra Bhavan, Kala Bhavan, Cheena Bhavan, and many more.
People of all ages love to visit these destinations.
During the Poush Mela, Shantiniketan attracts a large number of people as this fair is the melting pot of artisans, folk singers, and dancers.
And yes, once in a lifetime do visit Shantiniketan during the auspicious “Dol Utsav”.
2. Ballabhpur Wildlife Sanctuary
Ballabhpur Wildlife Sanctuary is a beautiful place located near Bolpur.
This wildlife sanctuary was established in 1977.
The forested area is home to a variety of floras and faunas and thus is a major draw for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts.
The main highlights of this sanctuary are the Spotted deer and blackbuck.
Other faunas which you can observe here are the foxes, jackals, and a variety of water birds.
There are also many authentic mud houses in this sanctuary.
Do not forget to carry your binoculars and camera while visiting here.
The park remains open every day from 10 AM-4 PM except on Wednesdays.
The entry fee is INR 10/-.
The best time to visit this park is during Winter, as the weather here during summers is generally hot and uncomfortable.
Birbhum is a sacred destination blessed with many Adi Shakti Peeths.
These spots are the major attractions for a large number of people from within and outside of West Bengal.
Every day thousands of devotees visit these holy places to offer pujas.
The Shakti Peeths present in Birbhum are – Attahas, Tarapith, Bakreshwar, Kankalitala, Nandikeshwari, and Nalhati.
Shrines are erected on these holy places, where, according to mythology, body parts of goddess Sati had fallen.
Among these, Bakreshwar is a significant site that is also known for its hot water stream having curative properties.
You can also visit these holy spots during the Durga Pujas, kali pujas, or any other auspicious festivals to experience the grandeur of these places.
4. Hetampur Rajbari
Hetampur Rajbari is a historical destination in Siuri, Birbhum.
The Royal Palace was built under the reign of zamindars, Nawab of Bengal, and Royal kings.
The magnificent palace is famous for its stunning architecture including embellished terracotta shrines, arched getaways, and Victorian Style palaces.
The rustic charm of the area surrounding the palace captivates all the visitors.
There are also many terracotta temples near the place that have a unique style of architecture.
The most fascinating thing about the Rajbari that you will find is that there are 999 doors.
It is therefore also called Hetampur Hazarduari, or the palace of a thousand doors.
The spot is indeed the symbol of the splendor and glory of Birbhum’s past.
5. Mama Bhagne Pahar
Mama Bhagne Pahar is one of the natural wonders of the Birbhum district.
It is situated in Dubrajpur.
The iconic landmark located at an elevation is famous for the unusually balanced formation of one spherical rock laying on the other.
This signifies the load of guilt that humanity bears.
The gray-colored-granite boulders amidst the sparsely populated lands gained popularity among many tourists and came to be known as the Mama-Bhagne Pahar (uncle-nephew).
Many people wonder how the rocks are perfectly balanced.
There are many splintered boulders across this area too. This makes this place an important destination for geologists.
Locals also believe that this place is also mythologically significant.
You can visit the famous Pahareshwar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva at the base of this upland.
6. Sonajhuri Forest
Khoai Sonajhuri Forest is a hidden treasure in Birbhum that offers you tranquility.
The thick woods hidden amidst the calm rural settings and lush greeneries attracts many visitors from Bengal and outside.
Apart from the dense canopy of forests, the gentle breeze, canyon-like formations, and the placidly flowing Khowai River will surely mesmerize you.
Strolling through the clean jungle will rejuvenate your soul and you will be embraced by many wildlife as well.
Another lovely thing that you must not miss here is the Sonajhuri Saturday Market, known as Khoai Boner Annya Haat (Sonibaarer Haat).
Here the local artisans sell handcrafted creations such as handmade ethnic jewelry, garments, souvenirs, showpieces, Kanthas, and traditional food delicacies.
If you are lucky, you can also come across Bauls singing heart-melting folklores on the banks of the Kopai River.
7. Amar Kutir Eco Tourism Park
Amar Kutir is an amazing eco-park with a pleasant and calm ambiance.
It is one of the popular family-friendly destinations in Birbhum.
Situated on the banks of the Kopai River, the clean and well-maintained park is surrounded by lots of greenery.
You can leisurely stroll the park the entire day relaxing and taking pictures.
You can also enjoy delicious food in the restaurants at reasonable prices and the staff of the resorts and restaurants are well behaved.
There are a lot of parking spaces, so you can easily set out for a long drive and visit the park.
The park is open every day from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM.
8. Prakriti Bhavan
Prakriti Bhavan or Nature Art Museum is a gem located in the Ballabhpur area of Shantiniketan.
The museum focuses on the richness and beauty of nature.
It has some inspiring sculptures and art forms, and indoor displays of dry wood, natural driftwood, and metals.
The open garden is also beautified with the creativity of nature and the natural rock sculptures.
Inside the museum, there are also unique pieces of art and crafts that are a major draw for art and nature lovers.
Another iconic thing you may observe here is the rock sculptures of the birds.
The Bhavan is open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
The entry fee is Rs 30, and you have to pay an additional Rs 20 if you wish to take photographs.
You can also view the nearby Amarkuti from this destination.
9. Nandan Art Museum & Gallery
The Nandan Art Museum and Gallery is a museum on the campus of Visva Bharati University in Santiniketan.
This Museum is part of Kala Bhavan, which also includes Sangeet Bhavan and Kalo Bari.
At Tagore’s request, Kala Bhavan was built in 1923 under the supervision of Ramkinkar Baiz, Nandalal Basu, and Surendranath Kar.
This museum exhibits sculptures and paintings by artists like Nandalal Basu, Binodbehari Mukherjee, Ramkinkar Baiz, and others.
This museum features both a library and an exhibition hall.
The museum’s walls are covered in murals both in the interiors and exteriors.
You will be bound to admire the museum’s culture, art, and literature.
The museum remains open every Wednesday and Thursday from 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM.
10. Srijani Shilpagram
Srijani Shilpagram is a small village tourist spot in the Eastern Zonal Cultural Center located in Birbhum, Santiniketan.
The complex is stretched across 26 bighas of land and includes nine museums shaped like traditional huts.
Over 1000 artifacts are housed in these traditional huts at Shilpagram.
The acquisitions date back more than 25 years.
Shilpagram’s peaceful and natural atmosphere draws people, and it is becoming an important cultural center in the area.
In Srijani, there is also a folk painting art gallery.
Shilpagram, Bolpur also has a pavilion named ‘Adi Bimb, and ‘Adi Kranti’ that honors the tribal heroes of eastern India.
There is a nominal entrance ticket of INR 10/-.
In order to attract tourists, it also hosts weekend Haats, Melas, and cultural programs.
These are some of the major tourist attractions and places to visit in the Birbhum district of West Bengal.
So, pack your bags and set for a memorable trip to the land of Birbhum.
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