3 places you must visit near Kolkata

I have always had a flair for visiting new places to explore the culture of those areas. New places always attract me and pull me towards them. However, due to work pressure I do not get time always to visit the places that are far. Therefore, I try to explore the places, which are nearby and can be travelled by cars. Here I have shared some of my experience of visiting those places.

Bolpur, Shantiniketan: I was planning in to go somewhere to avoid the cacophony of the city life. My friends suggested me to visit Bolpur (Shantiniketan), a place just 163 km away from Kolkata. As the decision was taken in hurry, so I did not get time to book train tickets. However, I decided to go and as it was an off-season, so I hired a cheap car on rent and started the journey on Saturday second half. Once the car crossed the Howrah city and took NH2, I could sense the peace and sanity. It took two and half-hours to reach Bolpur and I found a budget hotel at a very cheap rate.

The next day I get up early, had my breakfast at the hotel and get up in the car to visit the near by place Kankalitala, Viswabharti University, deer park and local handicrafts villages. At evening, I went to the banks of river Ajay. I found that a thread like stream was floating and rest all was sand. I sat there and found it enchanting to see the sun set. I was mesmerized by the sound that has floated to my years. I saw two Bauls (local folk singers) were singing. I called them and heard the music for next one hour. The car took me back to hotel by 9,30pm. Next morning early, I left for Kolkata with the promise to back again.

Henry island: last year when I got a holiday on Saturday due to 15th August, I have planned to use the opportunity to give my rucksack little nudge and to have a relaxed weekend. I have planned to go somewhere, which would give me a break from the dissonance of city life. I heard of Henry Island somewhere so decided to spend the weekend over there. Once I have decided, I have found that booking a car will be the best option to reach there. I have planned to do a car hire in Kolkata and to reach there by as early. I found it is the best idea to reach the Henry Island through the car, as the bus service is very much limited. Car helps me to reach the place as well as it offers you a sense of freedom. I must highlight the portion of crossing the river on a ferry with the car itself was something very new for me in West Bengal. The 130 km distance took 3hours to reach the place by car. I was mesmerized by the view of mangrove forest. The moving red crabs on the beach made it look a moving red carpet. A panoramic view of sunset, which I enjoyed from the nearby watchtower, will be framed in my mind for a long time. I left the tourist lodge in my car by Sunday afternoon with a promise to have a date with this virgin beach again.

Bishnupur: Last year at the winter, I went to Bishnupur a town at Bankura district in west Bengal. The modern Bankura has enriched with the amenities of a proper city but I was attracted to the city with the due to the historical past of it. It had a rich heritage and was one of the flourishing towns in the mid 17th century and till known as temple town. The online car booking helped me to save time and I reached the place by noon. Once after having my lunch at evening I roamed in the car in the local nearby places to get the feel of the heritage. My love for history and craft makes my dslr busy through all the time. Next morning the car took me to famous Panchratna temple, Radheshyam temple, Manmohan temple and Dolmadol Kaman. The city has lot to offer which cannot be explored in one visit.

Thanks to the discount that my car rental agency provided, as it did not even burdened my pocket also. Therefore, I am eager to visit the places again as soon as I will get time.


Planning To Launch Your Own Car Rental Business?



Opening a private car rental agency can be a profitable venture, if you factor in all the relevant considerations for expanding your client base over time. In what follows, I have given a few tips for those who are indeed planning to launch their vehicle hire companies in Kolkata.

Like almost all other lines of business, profitably managing a car rental company can be rather challenging too. With the degree of competition in the car hire market of Kolkata being rather high, it is imperative to take a careful, all-inclusive approach – while making plans of your very own rental agency. My private car hire company in Kolkata started operations exactly nine years ago, and I would take this opportunity to share a few tidbits about how you can launch a new agency in the city:

  1. Chalk out your business plan in detail – From the very outset, you need to have an idea about the starting budget for your company. You will need to frame plans about the type of automobiles that should be present in your car rental agency too. Prepare a day-to-day operational cost model, which will not force you to incur heavy expenses. Unplanned businesses are never successful!
  2. Determine your target market – Who would you be providing car hire in Kolkata to? When I started out, my company provided rental cars only for formal/informal trips within the city. Later on, I started maintaining a separate fleet of luxury vehicles, for my corporate clients. Ideally, you should also have arrangements for car on hire for marriages and other functions.
  3. Select the location for your services – If you are not planning to provide car rent in Kolkata for weekend/holiday trips to the attractive places outside the city – you will probably be missing out on a considerable chunk of prospective clients. Clearly specify the locations to which the cars/buses from your company can be taken, without any additional costs. My company provides rental cars to all the tourist hotspots in Bengal.
  4. Pay attention to service quality – Remember, if you want to retain customers, you need to satisfy them the very first time. Before providing car rental in Kolkata, make sure that the automobile is not defective in any way. Hire a small team of experienced mechanics, who would be in charge of inspecting the cars at your showroom daily. Make sure that the automobiles have all the sophisticated components and accessories.
  5. What additional services will you provide? – Customers love reliable personalized services, and if you do not provide them – your company would remain unprofitable. My agency has provisions for Kolkata airport car rental, and timely pick and drop from the Howrah and Sealdah railway stations. You should arrange for these facilities too. With the Christmas season coming up, I would also be having carol records in all the luxury rental cars in my showroom.
  6. Have a team of professional chauffeurs – To gain authenticity, you have to allay the safety concerns of the people who wish to take car hire in Kolkata from your company. One of the first things you need to do in this regard is to hire a team of experienced drivers, who are familiar with the mechanisms of all sophisticated car models, and have a thorough knowledge of the local driving regulations. Make sure that their licenses are in order. No one would take vehicles on hire, if the driver does not come across as reliable.
  7. Keep the car hire rates reasonable – If you thought that charging hefty amounts on your rental cars would be a shortcut to getting high returns, you would be in error. I used to believe this too, but have, over time, realized that it is the affordability of my services that drew in more and more clients. Make sure that you do not charge any hidden costs, or have fees for common services like arrangement of car rental from Kolkata airport. Have a discount car rental scheme as well, along with a couple of suitable special offers.
  8. Provide online car booking options – Ensuring quick availability of rental cars to customers is key to the success of your business. Allow people to book cars from your agency from wherever they might be, by providing secure online car booking options on your business website. Avoid charging advance payments, and make sure that there are no undue delays in sending car(s) to the specified pick-up spots.
  9. Provide vehicular insurance – In case there is an on-road automotive breakdown, your clients must not be really inconvenienced. At my car rental agency, all the vehicles have complete breakdown insurance. Replacement vehicles are provided on request, whenever reports of problems in the cars originally provided reaches us. Choose an established third-party car insurance provider.
  10. Promote your company well – There is no dearth of car hire companies in the city, and if you do not promote your agency well, you will be trumped by the already established firms. Prepare an informative, engaging and optimized website – which would provide all pertinent information related to your business. Advertise your agency on leading dailies and magazines as well. If availability of funds is not a problem, you can also consider having banners and hoarding ads.

Avoid charging extra amounts for fuel consumption and/or driver charges. Train all the staff at your company well, so that they maintain a pleasant demeanor while interacting with clients. Doing these business basics correctly have helped my company becoming pretty successful over the years, and your agency can definitely prosper in this field too!