The district of Hooghly is just 47 km north of Kolkata and is steeped in history and heritage. Dotted with several small but important towns, the district is testimony to the rule of foreign settlers-the British and Portuguese at Hooghly, the Dutch at Chinsurah, the French at Chandannagar, and the Germans and Austrians at Bhadreswar. The Portuguese were the first to settle here in 1537, but were defeated by Shah Jahan in 1632. The British East India Company then followed and set up a factory here in 1651. Chandannagar (Chandannagar) was once a French colony and is still under the influence of French language and culture. Chinsurah was a Dutch settlement from 1656 to 1825. It was later exchanged by the Dutch for the British-held Indonesian island of Sumatra in 1825. The Hooghly, as the Ganga River is called here, dominates the landscape and people use ferries to cross from one town to another.
At a Glance
District Head Hq-
3,149 Sq Kms
55,19,145 (Ref: Census 2011)
Best time to visit-
January, February, December
Places of Interest-
Fur Furah Sharif
Temples In Balagarh
Distance from Kolkata-
Chandannagore is located on the bank of the river Hooghly. It has a unique identity different from all other cities and has its own characteristics. Chandannagar was established as a French colony in 1673, when the French obtained permission from Ibrahim Khan, the Nawab of Bengal, to establish a trading post on the right bank of the Hooghly River.
How to reach
By Road: Chandannagar is 37 km by road from Kolkata via G.T.Road or Delhi road. Taxis and private cars in Kolkata are easily available to approach Chandannagore.
By Rail: Local trains from Howrah through Eastern Railway main line run very frequently to Chandannagar. Many important express and passenger trains halt here.
By Air: Nearest airport is at Kolkata (Kolkata Airport), which is airlinked with all major Indian and international cities. Chandannagar is only 40 km by road from the airport. lease check Flight Schedules from the airport. If you want to go to airport from Chandernagore, the best option will be to hire a car.
By Water: Government of West Bengal (West Bengal Surface Transport Corporation) operates river services across river Hooghly (Ganga) and also between Chandannagar and Kolkata and Belur.
The Basilica of the Holy Rosary commonly known as Bandel Church is one of the oldest Christian churches in West Bengal. Bandel Church is a Roman Catholic Church situated in Bandel, Hooghly district. On November 25, 1988, Pope John Paul II declared the sanctuary a minor basilica.
Bandel, (the name came from the Bengali word "bandar" which means "port") appears to have been the port of Hooghly at the time of Portuguese and Mughals. The only relics of the Portuguese settlement are the Church (Basilica) and the monastery. The present church and monastery are said to be built in 1660 by Gomez de Soto having the key stone of the old church bearing the date 1599 over the eastern gate of the Monastery.
How to reach
Bandel (Jn) station is the main station which is connected with Howrah-Burdwan main line. From Howrah Bandel Local, Pandua Local, Burdwan Local and Katwa Local and Memari Local have stopage at Bandel Station. Bandel is also connected with the Naihati (Jn) Station of Sealdah section by Bandel-Naihati Local. Launch Service is available from Naihati Ferry Ghat to Chinsurah Ferry Ghat from 6 a.m.to 10 p.m.
Imambara, built by Hazi Mohammad Mohsin, is situated on the bank of River Ganga in Chinsurah. The construction of the building started in the year 1841 and was completed in 1861. The two storied building consists of several rooms and has a wide entrance, with the main gate flanked by two 80 ft tall towers and a massive clock tower between them.
The walls are decorated with texts from Holy the Koran and decorated with marbles, candle and lanterns. The mosque is situated north of the building and in the south there are graves of Mohammad Mohsin and his relatives.
How to reach
Frequently suburban train services to the all towns are available from Howrah Station. Nearest railway station is Bandel. Every town in the Hooghly district is easily accessible by road from Kolkata.
Kamarpukur, renowned all over the world as the birthplace of the great Indian saint Sri Ramakrishna is frequented by lakhs of visitors every year. Devotees and followers of (Thakur) Sri Ramakrishna visits Kamarpukur not only to pay their homage but also to get spiritually refreshed and elevated.
Kamarpukur, synonymous with Sri Ramakrishna is now a small hamlet in the Hooghly district of West Bengal. It is the place where the great 19th century Indian philosopher Sri Ramakrishna was born in 1836 in a poor Brahmin family. With his advent and on account of the frequent visits of his disciples and devotees, this hamlet has now become a place of pilgrimage.
How to reach
By Air Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata at a distance of about 95 Km is the nearest airport of Kamarpukur. From the airport one can hire pre-paid taxis or other vehicle to reach Kamarpukur or Jairambaiti (at a distance of about 103 Km) in less than 2 hours. Road conditions are pretty good.
By Train Neither Kamarpukur nor Jairambati has its own railway station. Tarakeswar railway station at a distance of about 50 Km from Kamarpukur is the nearest railhead. Plenty of local and express trains are available from Howrah and Sealdah railway stations in Kolkata to take you to Tarakeshwar in an hour. From Kamarpukur railway station one can hire vehicle of his choice to reach Kamarpukur in just one hour.
Tarakeshwar railway station is about 50 km away from Kamarpukur. From Howrah local trains are available to reach Tarakeshwar. From Tarakeshwar taxi and bus services are available to reach Kamarpukur and Jairambaiti comfortably.
By Road From Kolkata bus services also connect Kamarpukur with Kolkata. During morning buses are available approximately after every one and half hour.
From Burdwan one can reach Kamarpukur comfortably by road in just one and half hour. Private and state buses are available in every hour. Buses in the route of Burdwan to Ghatal, Burdwan to Haldia etc passes through Kamarpukur.
Dutch Cemetery is a Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) protected site.The cemetery contains a assortment of graves scattered under the shade of ancient trees. The oldest date back to 1743 while the newest one is on 1840.
Pandua is best known for its minar and the ruins of Pandu Raja's Palace. The 13th century minar rises to a height of 125 feet.
The mythology of Daksha yaga and Sati's self immolation had immense significance in shaping the ancient Sanskrit literature and even had impact on the culture of India. It led to the development of the concept of Shakti Pithes there by strengthening Shaktism. In Pandua, there lies a temple of this origin. Enormous mythological stories in puranas took the Daksha yaga as the reason for its origin. It is an important incident in Shaivism resulting in the emergence of Shree Parvati in the place of Sati Devi and making Shiva a grihastashrami (house holder) leading to the origin of Ganapathy and Subrahmanya. Shakti Pithes are shrines or divine places of the Mother Goddess. These are places that are believed to have been enshrined with the presence of Shakti due to the falling of Sati's body parts, when Lord Shiva or Mahadeva carried her corpse and wandered throughout Aryavartha in sorrow. There are 51 Shakti Pithes coresponding to the 51 alphabets in Sanskrit.
How to reach
By Air: There are no regular flights from other major cities of the country to Pandua. Nearest airport is Netaji Subhas Chandra Airport. Pandua is 54 km away from Netaji Subhas Chandra Airport (CCU), Kolkata, West Bengal. Pandua is 304 km away from Ranchi Airport, Jharkhand.
By Train: Pandua is well connected with other major cities of the country. Regular trains from Howrah station. Railway Station is Pundooah (PDA).
By Bus: Can get bus from Kolkata on regular basis : Pandua is 54 km away from Kolkata, West Bengal and 93 km away from Panagarh, West Bengal.
HOW TO REACH
By Air: Nearest airport is Netaji Subhas Chandra bose International Airport.
By Train: Frequent suburban train services to all the towns are available from Howrah Station.
By Road: Every town in the Hooghly district is easily accessible by road from Kolkata.