Birbhum (Bengali: বীরভূম Bīrbhūm) is a district of West Bengal and the "land of red soil". It is famous for its cultural, natural and religious attractions.
- 2 Bakreshwar —
- 4 Kendubillo (Jaydev Kenduli) — birthplace of Jayadeva, a 12th-century Sanskrit poet, also famous for the old temple and fair
- 9 Santiniketan — town of Rabindranath Tagore's Visva-Bharati University, known for exotic handmade goods
Birbhum (BIHR-bhoom) has seen many cultural and religious movements in history. The Visva Bharati University at Santiniketan is one of the famous sites in Birbhum is known for. Many festivals are celebrated in the district, including Poush Mela and Choitro Sankranti. Birbhum is also famous for the group of itinerant singers called bauls (বাউল bāul).
The climate of Birbhum is generally dry, mild and healthy. The hot weather usually lasts from the middle of March to the middle of June, the rainy season from the middle of June to the middle of October, and the cold weather from the middle of October to the middle of March. They do not always correspond to these limits.
Like most of West Bengal, Bengali is the main language in the region. Hindi and English are understood in the district. English is generally more understood than Hindi, especially in the eastern areas. Tribal languages like Santali are also common in Birbhum.
The cities in Birbhum are well-connected by train. A lot of express trains have a stop at Santiniketan. There are MEMU local trains upto Rampurhat.
The NH 114 runs north-south in Birbhum and it is useful to get to Santiniketan and Sainthia. The Panagarh–Morgram Highway also runs north-south in the district and it is useful to get to Dubrajpur, Suri, Tarapith and Nalhati. A link road connects Panagarh–Morgram Highway to NH 114 near Santiniketan.
The cities in Birbhum are well-connected by road and train.
Like most of West Bengal, there are three types of rickshaws in Birbhum: cycle rickshaws, auto-rickshaws and electric rickshaws. Cycle rickshaws can carry upto two people and are useful for short distances. Auto-rickshaws, also called "autos", can carry upto three or four people and are useful for medium distances. Electric rickshaws, also called "totos", can carry upto four or five people and are also useful for short and medium distances.
See and do
There are too many attractions in Birbhum to be visited in a week tour. Birbhum is full of cultural, natural and religious attractions, including the Visva-Bharati University in Santiniketan, five Shakti Pithas (Bakreshwar, Fullara, Nalhati, Sainthia and Tarapith), Mama Bhagne, Amkhoi Wood Fossil Park and so on. Visva-Bharati University is an famous for its gurukula method of education. Mama Bhagne is famous for its unusual rock balancing. Amkhoi Wood Fossil Park is the only fossil park in West Bengal.
Eat and drink
If you are the adventurous type, try the fresh toddy juice as the tappers bring it down early in the morning beside roads in rural areas. However, avoid it, if you get it late in the day as once late fermentation starts.