Bankura (Bengali: বাঁকুড়া Bām̐kuṛā BAHn-koo-rrah) is the headquarters of its namesake Bankura district of West Bengal. Bankura town is an important stopover for most of the tourist destinations in Bankura and Purulia.
The nearest airport is Kazi Nazrul Islam Airport (RDP IATA) at Durgapur, but only a few flights are present at the airport. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport (CCU IATA) at Kolkata is the nearest airport to get to Bankura smoothly.
Private and state transport buses are the most convenient to reach Bankura, although rail transport is also available. There are buses between Kolkata and Bankura. Regular bus services are also available for Malda, Siliguri, Purulia, Medinipur, Kharagpur, Tatanagar, Ranchi etc.
- 1 SBSTC Bus Stand and Garage.
From Howrah, trains like Rajdhani Express (Bhubaneswar Rajdhani), Rupasi Bangla, Purulia Express, Chakradharpur Passenger, Samarsata Express (Howrah to LTT)-(Bi-weekly) are available. Puri Express( Puri-New Delhi), Baidyanath Dham Express (Patna-Puri), Guwahati-Puri Express also run via Bankura. Passenger trains like Tatanagar-Kharagpur, Asansol-Kharagpur connect Bankura with major railheads in this region.
- 2 Bankura Junction railway station.
Rickshaws are available for local travel.
See and do
While the town itself has only a handful of attractions, it is surrounded by several tourist destinations like Biharinath, Bishnupur and Mukutmanipur. Thus, Bankura town serves as the base to visit these destinations.
- 1 Ekteswar Shiva Temple. The temple is dedicated to Shiva, also called Ekteswar. It was built by the Rajas of Bishnupur. The temple was built of laterite but had subsequent additions of sandstone and brick. It is a solid structure, not generally seen in Bengal. The temple was not built in the Bengal style. The top has probably faced damage and so it seems incomplete. Charak Puja is celebrated in the Bengali month of Choitro with great enthusiasm.
- 2 Sonatapal Sun Temple. A large temple ascribed to the Rajas of Bishnupur. It is a remarkably solid and tall temple made of brick. Close to the temple, and on the low ground, which is under water during floods, are several mounds. The mounds, as well as the temple, are ascribed to Salibahan. The mounds near the river are said to be part of his garh (fort).
- Bankura is terracotta country. There are artistically designed terracota panels on temple walls, some depicting Ramayana and Mahabharata themes, but simple terracota items as wall plates and ashtrays are also readily available. The famous Bankura horse, now the symbol of Indian handicrafts, is available in various sizes, ranging from less than a feet to around three feet tall. With mounting tourist demand, wood-carved versions are also available.
- Bishnupur baluchari saris are wonderfully handcrafted.
- Bankura has its own sweetmeat speciality - mecha sandesh. The Beliator version is more renowned. Another popular sweetmeat, pera, is better known at Chatna. You can look for these in Bankura city also.
There are a few good restaurants such as Hotel Saptarshi (Lalbazar), Saptaparna (Chandmaridanga) and Classic (Chandmaridanga), where all kinds food are available at a cheap price.
If you are a sweet lover, go and check out 'Bhairab Mishtanna Vandar'.
- 1 Hotel Saptaparna, Avinash Sarani, Chandmaridanga, ☏ , , email@example.com.
- 2 Hotel Saptarishi, Lalbazar, ☏ , , firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 3 Hotel Siddharth, 77/1 Noongola Road (near Rastala Bus Stand), ☏ , .
- 4 Rajmahal Hotel, ☏ .
- 1 Ancient Temple (Siddheswara Temple), Bahulara (22 km (14 mi) from Bankura). It is well known for its unique architectural style and exquisite ornamentation of the temple walls. The temple dedicated to Shiva, located on the banks of the Dwarkeswar River, is considered the finest specimen of brick rekha deul temple made in line of the Kalinga architecture ascribed to Pala (medieval) period. Besides a Shiva lingam the temple has images of Ganesha, Jain tirthankar Parasanath and one of Mahisasurmardini deity. The exterior of the temple is covered with very fine ornamentation.