South 24 Parganas constitutes the periphery of the city of Kolkata on its south. Starting from the low-lying plains of the region which are immensely fertile to the mangrove forests. The place contains world s largest delta - the Sundarbans. South 24 Parganas is a district with great diversity, stretching from the metropolitan Kolkata to the remote villages upto the mouth of Bay of Bengal.
Bakkhali is a quiet sea beach only 132 km from Kolkata. If you want to have a quiet experience against the waves of the sea, with only the stars shining above you then this is the place you want to be in. This beach is away from crowds and loud noise. Considering this is a hard beach, this is apt for walking or running.
Gangasagar or Sagar Island is an island in the Ganges delta, lying on the continental shelf of Bay of Bengal about 100 kms south of Kolkata. Gangasagar is a charming tourist destination, which attracts both pilgrims and adventure lovers. Located on an island in the Sunderbans, Gangasagar offers the charms of an un-spoilt beach on the estuary of the river Ganges. Gangasagar offers acres of silver sand and clear blue sky, and the calm sea for visitors who would like to spend their weekend in tranquility. Also known as Sagardwip, Gangasagar is one of the most famous Hindu pilgrimage centres in India. Every year on Makar Sankranti mid-January , pilgrims from all over India, gather at Gangasagar for a holy dip at the confluence of the river Ganga and the Bay of Bengal. After the holy dip, the pilgrims offer Puja at the Kapil Muni Temple or Ashram. On the occasion of Makar Sankranti, Gangasagar Mela is organized in this island, which is one of the biggest fairs in West Bengal.
Sundarbans ecosystem is a unique natural wonder of South Asia and the globe. The delta is spread over India and Bangladesh with an area of approximately 10,000 sq kms and is enjoying the status of being largest halophytic mangrove forest in the world. It is a delta of the two great Indian River - The Ganga and The Brahamputra which converges on the Bengal basin. The whole area is kingdom of the famous Royal Bengal Tigers. Sundarban Tiger Reserve was created in 1973, and constituted as a Reserve Forest in 1978. The current core area was established as a National Park in 1984. Recognising the region and its unique biodiversity, the National Park was listed as a World Heritage Site in 1985. The entire Sundarban area was declared a Biosphere Reserve four years later. Tiger, fishing cat, spotted Deer, wild boar, gangetic dolphin, water monitor, estuarian crocodile, river terrapin, olive ridley turtle, ground turtle, hawks bill turtle, king crab, etc. seen in this area.
Kakdwip, an important junction for water transport in South 24 Parganas District, is 91 km from Kolkata. The river Ganges spreads wide here. This place is of historical importance, for it served as the centre of the great Te-bhaga rebellion of undivided Bengal.
Jater Deul is a tower-like temple. It was a Temple of Mahadev as the name Jata of Sen Era for some historians, but according to Pandit Haraprasad Sastri, it was a Buddhist Temple of Pal Era. This temple is nearly 30 m in height and with a squre size basement of area of 25 sq mtrs. You can witness the fine terracotta work from the walls of this temple.
Sagardwip, 128 kms away from Kolkata presents an ideal repose for a quiet weekend. A small island in the Sunderbans, Sagardwip is bequeathed with a quiet charm amidst the completely unspoilt and silvery beach on the estuary of the mighty Ganga. It has a lighthouse that offers you a panoramic view of the surroundings. Quite a hot spot for Hindu pilgrimage, Sagardwip throngs with pilgrims during Makar Sankranti in middle of January.