7 Underrated Tourist Spots near Raiganj For a Weekend Getaway (2020)
Raiganj is one of the most underrated tourist destinations in West Bengal. Even though this town is the district headquarter of Uttar Dinajpur, not many people know that it is a great place to spend a few days away from the hustle and bustle of a metropolis. With a moderate population, Raiganj is one of the most important cities in West Bengal. Especially in the Northern part of Bengal, this town has a great significance. With railway lines that have been operative since 1896, Raiganj is one of the first regions in India that got the railway connection.
Many people believe that the name Raiganj has been derived from the then royal family of Dinajpur, while others believe that it came from the abundance of “Rai” in the region. “Rai” in English translates to mustard. Apart from being a massive business hub, Raiganj is pretty famous for its wildlife sanctuary and bird sanctuary. There are other sites located in Raiganj that are quite famous in West Bengal. In this blog, we are going to provide you with all the information regarding the best places to see in Raiganj.
Apart from tourism, Raiganj and other parts of Uttar Dinajpur has a lot to offer. If you go there, your taste buds will have a great time tasting the region’s food. Some of the most interesting delicacies you will get to try while exploring there are Shukti Maachh (dried fish), Laal Shak, and Paat Shak. Uttar Dinajpur is the only district where you will find the above dishes.
Most tourists who visit Raiganj, make it a point to shop for some Terracotta souvenirs for them. In case you visit there, you should buy items like Terracotta flower vases, oil lamps, clay lampshades, and others. These commodities are sold at a great value to different countries of the world. As this town is pretty populous, finding transport to explore it will not be a problem. You can rent a car to visit the different sightseeing spots over there, or you can travel from one place to another by the e-rikshaws and autos.
Traveling to Raiganj is quite straightforward. If you live in one of the major cities in India, you will reach the town by accessing its railway station. In case you are planning to visit there by airplane, you will have to get on a plane to Bagdogra. The distance between the said two places is 165 km. So, it would not take you more than four and a half hours to reach your destination. Now, without wasting any more time, let us venture into the nook and corner of North Dinajpur.
Tourist Sites Near Raiganj That You Will Love
The following tourist spots are some of the most famous places in not only Uttar Dinajpur, but also in West Bengal.
1. Raiganj Bird Sanctuary
Originally Raiganj Bird Sanctuary is known as Kulik Bird sanctuary. This wildlife reserve is the pride of North Bengal as it is home to more than 164 rare species of birds. Located pretty close to Raiganj, this forest reserve has a gorgeous scenic view. As it is situated by the Kulik river, the region receives a large number of migratory birds every year. Most of the birds go there annually and they arrive from the north of India. You will be surprised to know that more than 70,000 migratory birds go there every year. Some of the well-known migratory birds that visit the region are Pond Heron, Egrets, Black-Crowned Night Heron, Open-Bill Storks, Indian Shag, and others. Even though the bird sanctuary is spread over an area of 35 acres, there is also an extensive forest cover area of 286 acres over there. For the conservation of wildlife, the rest of the area is contained in the area of the park.
Throughout the park, you will notice different artificial canals that arise from the river Kulik. These canals have been created so that the birds could arrive there without any fear. Some of the resident birds that can be seen inside the premises of the park are flycatchers, owls, woodpeckers, duck, cuckoo, and others. If you visit the park between May and July, you will have a greater chance of seeing the breathtakingly beautiful birds. Even if you visit there between October and November, you will get to see the younger birds. The entirety of the Kulik bird sanctuary is full of a wide variety of floras and faunas that make the surrounding extremely wonderful. If you are a bird lover, do not forget to visit this fascinating bird sanctuary. Also, think about investing in a good pair of binoculars before visiting there.
The distance between Raiganj and Kulik Bird Sanctuary is- 1 km.
2. Kunore Village
When you first visit the Kunore village in North Dinajpur, you will wonder what is so different about this place? But soon, after exploring the region, you will know why it is so famous. Located at an hours-drive from Raiganj, Kunore village is one of the few places in West Bengal where every house in the area is engaged in pottery making. The talented artisans of the village are well-versed in Terracotta pottery making. Most of the items created by them are exported to different parts of the world.
It is a great place to not only see the local life of North Dinajpur but also, acquire some authentic Terracotta items for you and your friends. You will be surprised to know that the clay used to prepare these items are from the tea gardens of North Bengal. Most of the pottery items created by the artisans have motifs. Some of the common motifs that you will notice in these potteries are that of blooming creepers, a palm tree, a mother with a child, and others. If you visit there, you will get to know a lot about the family history of the craftsmen who have been in this industry for such a long time.
The distance between Raiganj and Kunore Village is- 25 km.
3. Raiganj Church
Dedicated to the patron saint of Raiganj Diocese, St. Joseph, the Raiganj church is one of the most important things to see in the city. As the church is quite massive, you will be able to see it from a far-off distance. Even though the church was established in 2010, it has the aura of an ancient structure. The architecture of this building is inspired by the Greek orthodox churches. One of the most notable aspects of the church is its Greek pillars.
The high altar of the institution will transport you to another world. Moreover, the carved paintings of the wall of the church and the hexagonal dome make this site noteworthy. You might not know this, but the Raiganj church is the second largest church in India. At a time, more than 20,000 people can enter its premises.
The distance between Raiganj and Raiganj Church is- 1 km.
4. Karnajora Museum and Park
If you want to seek some solace while staying amid the hustle and bustle of Raiganj, Karnajora Museum and park is the best place for you. One of the most different things about this site is that it combines pottery with nature quite effortlessly. Amid the park, the Karnojora museum gives you a great idea about the famous Terracotta pottery industry of Uttar Dinajpur.
Apart from the museum, the park has a great ambiance. With lush greenery, the entire surrounding of the museum will feel pretty surreal. It might not be one of the most overwhelming things you will ever see, but it is certainly a huge part of North Dinajpur.
The distance between Raiganj and Karnojora Museum and Park is- 3.5 km.
5. Shri Digamber Adinath Jain Mandir
Shri Digamber Adinath Jain Mandir is another reason why Raiganj is famous in West Bengal. This Jain temple is most famous for its 31-feet tall Adinath idol. In the premises of this religious institution, the idol is presented in an erected position. Even though this site is not that old, but it has gained a lot of popularity among the Jain community of India. This site was commissioned by famous Jain saints Ganini Pramukh Aryika and Deshbhushanji Maharaj.
Apart from the said Jain temple, the Ajitnatha Shvetambar Jain temple is also famous in Raiganj. Some other Jain temples located in the city are Chaubisi temple and Kamal Mandir.
The distance between Raiganj and Shri Digamber Adinath Jain Temple is- 1 km.
6. Sap Nikla Forest
Sap Nikla Forest is one of the most beautiful places to see in North Dinajpur. Located at a three-hour drive from Raiganj, this forest is located not that far away from Islampur. Mainly consisting of tropical mixed deciduous trees, this natural reserve is one of the most popular picnic spots in North Dinajpur. There is a lake located in the forest cover of the region. That is why the view of the lake in the backdrop of the forest is genuinely so beautiful.
The entire area is spread over 282 acres. Although you will not get to see the forest area all at once. They are distributed throughout the entire area of the forest.
The distance between Raiganj and Sap Nikla Forest is- 88 km.
Located at a two-hour drive from Raiganj, Islampur is another renowned city in North Dinajpur. Although many people would find the region not worth visiting, there are some sites in this region that you should visit. Some of the renowned temples located in Islampur include Kopeshwar Temple, Mahalaxmi temple, Iskcon Radha Gopal temple, and others.
The distance between Raiganj and Islampur is- 55 km.
Raiganj might not be a tremendously popular tourist destination in West Bengal, India, but it is certainly worth checking out. With so many different sightseeing spots, Raiganj is a great place to have a weekend getaway. The town is enriched with history, culture, and tradition that is quite rare in today’s world. In this blog, we have tried to mention all the important areas near Raiganj. By renting a car, you will be able to cover all the said areas in a day or two. We hope you have a good vacation by visiting Raiganj.