How to travel while maintaining social distancing
Kolkata may not be as blessed as some of the other metros when it comes to getaways at a drivable distance. But if you don’t mind a day-long drive – you know the kinds you’d take from Mumbai to Goa – the possibilities open up. So look at these five places to visit from Kolkata, more as getaways to destinations where you can spend a fortnight or a month, work from these picturesque places in peace and tranquillity.
There’s much to see and do in Darjeeling but you’d be better off staying away from the crowds. Even if you don’t step out much and choose to stay indoors, Darjeeling is a wonderful place to spend anything from a week to a month just to beat the October blues. Check into a good hotel, wake up to a cup of Darjeeling Tea and you’re set for the day.
Quite like Darjeeling, Kalimpong has opened up to tourists too. According to the state government’s regulations, restaurants will have to follow extremely strict social distancing norms and maintain higher levels of hygiene than earlier. Buffets will not be allowed until further notice and everyone in the hotel – guests and staff alike – will have to wear masks and gloves as well as go through temperature checks. None of this means you cannot have a relaxing time in Kalimpong, so what’s stopping you, really?
This one’s an old favourite among Kolkata folks mostly for its chill vibe, a great beach, and a promenade. It may be tad bit crowded right about now but, again, what place in India isn’t?
Mayurbhanj may not necessarily be on a typical tourist map but the tranquillity of this little-known Oria district is what makes it so attractive to people from big cities. Mayurbhanj may not have a lot of places to stay but the Belgadia Palace that has been converted into a boutique hotel is definitely where you’d like to check into for a few days if not weeks!
The breathtakingly beautiful capital of Sikkim is now open for tourists, as is the rest of the state. Even as neighbouring West Bengal is choosing to open up to tourists only slowly, Sikkim has decided to open up completely. There are a whole lot of dos and don’ts that you will need to follow just to enter the state so you cannot just arrive there and expect to be let in. The Department of Tourism of the State Government of Sikkim has a draft proposal ready with strict guidelines which will only allow domestic tourists and only those who have a pre-booked or a package tour will be permitted to entire the state. Additionally, all tourists will be required to produce a COVID-19 negative test report at all entry points and at all the checkpoints along the state’s border. So keep all these documents ready or be prepared to be turned away.
Enjoy the rest of the series here.
5 places to visit without getting on a flight: