Cooch Behar, also spelled Koch Bihar, is a town in the Northern Plains of West Bengal, India. It’s famous for its cultural heritage and the remains of its royal history. As a top tourist spot in West Bengal, it’s home to the impressive Cooch Behar Palace and the Madan Mohan Temple. Because of its historical significance, it’s been designated as a heritage town. There are many tourist places to visit in Cooch Behar.
5 Best Places to Visit in Cooch Behar
These are some of the most popular tourist places you should visit in Cooch Behar, have a look-
1. Madan Mohan Temple
Just a short walk away from the Royal Palace is the Madan Mohan Temple, another popular spot to visit in Coochbehar. It was built in 1889 and is dedicated to Lord Madan Mohan, who is the special god worshipped by the Cooch Kings. During festivals, people from all over the world come here to visit this temple. Every month, lots of tourists and worshippers come here to see the temple and pray. The temple is painted white and looks really beautiful. It is certainly one of the best places to visit in Cooch Behar.
2. Rajbari Palace of Cooch Behar
The Cooch Behar Rajbari Palace is undoubtedly the best place to visit. People love it because of its amazing design. Many historians from different places come here to see these old buildings, especially the Raj Palace made in 1887 by Raja Nripendra Narayan Bhup Bahadur. The Rajbari, also called Victor Jubilee Palace, is built in a style that mixes British and Mughal designs. They used red bricks to make it, like they did with Buckingham Palace. They also got inspiration from Italian Renaissance for the design. Originally, it was three floors tall, but during a big earthquake in 1897, the top floor fell down. The whole building is about 4,700 square meters. It’s 120 meters long from North to South and 90 meters wide from East to West. Nowadays, the Coochbehar Palace is a museum where visitors can learn about the royal family that used to rule the entire region.
Sagardighi is another popular tourist spot to visit in this city. This lake is like a small ocean and sits right in the middle of the city. It’s perfect for spending peaceful moments alone, whether you’re sitting by the water or walking around it. Bird lovers especially enjoy Sagardighi because lots of birds come here in the winter. The lake was built when Maharaja Hitendra Narayan was ruling. If you love tranquility and watching migratory birds, visiting this pond is a must.
4. Rasik Bill
Besides its historical sites, Coochbehar is famous for its big lakes, and the most well-known one is Rasik Bill. This lake is surrounded by a dense forest of sal trees and is famous for the many birds and migratory waterfowl that come here. During winter, birds like Brahimy Duck fly from places like Central Asia and Ladakh to Rasikbill Lake in Coochbehar. The Forest Department has even built a rest house here for tourists who love birds. Visitors will be amazed by the peacefulness of the lake. Spending time here can make them feel refreshed and rejuvenated.
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5. Baneswar Shiva Temple
Just about 10 kilometers away from the city center, there’s a place called Baneswar Shiva Temple that’s really worth visiting. This Hindu temple has a lot of stories about it. Some people say it was built by King Jalpeshwar, who also built the famous Jalpesh Temple. Others believe it was built by King Nilambar of the Khen Dynasty. There’s even a thought that Maharaja Nara Narayan of the Koch Dynasty started building it, and Maharaja Pran Narayan finished it. The temple is painted white and has a squarish shape with a dome. Inside, visitors can see a Shivalinga and a statue of Arthanarishwar. Outside the temple, there’s a big pond full of turtles. During Shiv Chaturdashi, there’s a big fair here that lasts for a week, which visitors can enjoy.
How to Reach Coochbehar
The easiest way to get to the town is by road. It’s well connected to nearby cities, and you can easily hire a car. The distance from Siliguri to Cooch Behar is about 170 km, and from Jalpaiguri, it’s around 99 km. If you prefer flying, Coochbehar has its own sirport, but there are no regular flights. Sometimes military or VIP flights land there. So, most people fly to Bagdogra Airport and then take a hired car to the city. If you like traveling by train, the railway service in town is good. It’s one of the main reasons why more people are visiting Cooch Behar. The town has several railway stations that connect to other important stations in Bengal.
Best Time to Visit Cooch Behar
Cooch Behar has nice weather all year round, and each season offers something special for tourists. In the winter (October to February), the weather is pleasant, perfect for sightseeing and enjoying events like Ras Mela. Temperatures range from 11°C to 25°C. During the summer (March to June), it gets hot and humid, which can make sightseeing a bit tough. Temperatures range from 20°C to 33°C. In the monsoon season (July to September), there’s lots of rain, especially in July. But this is also when you can see the Rath Yatra festival. If you’re planning a trip during the monsoon, it’s a good idea to check the weather forecast first.