The Colonial rule in India was started by the European countries like France, Portugal, Denmark and Dutch in 15th century, later British came to India and emerged as the dominant power in 18th century suppressing dominance of other European countries. This colonial rule continued till mid 20th century when India finally got independence in 1947. Though colonial rule ended but lots of buildings and other heritage was left behind by these countries which represents the colonial heritage in India.
Unlike Bandel, Chinsurah and Serampore, Chandannagar still boosts a lot of French heritage. Chandannagar was a French colony till 1950 and French is still taught as a third language in many of Chandannagar's schools. The Chandannagar Strand is considered as the most beautiful stretch of the Hooghly and still houses a few French mansions. Just off The Strand, is the Sacred Heart Church, one of the prime attractions of Chandannagar. The church interior has beautiful stained glasses. The Durgacharan Rakshit Ghat on the Strand is an interesting mix of Indo - French architecture. Also on the Strand is the Duplex's Museum, housing a French Museum. For more information read Chandannagar, a slice of France.
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.
In 1825, the British exchanged the island of Sumatra, in Indonesia, for Chinsurah, with the Dutch. Thus ended the Dutch rule in Chinsurah or Chuchura. The Dutch fort of Gustava has long been demolished by the British and nothing much remains of the Dutch legacy in Chinsurah. The Dutch Church was demolished in 1980s, but the Dutch Cemetery still stands and is a reminder of the golden days of the Dutch. The cemetery contains an assortment of graves scattered under the shade of ancient trees. The oldest dates back to 1743 while the newest one is on 1840. For more information read Chinsurah (Chuchura), Remains of a Dutch Legacy.
The Portuguese were the first Europeans to settle in Bengal and also have the distinction of building the first Christian Church in Bengal.The Church of Our Lady of the Happy Voyage was initially constructed in 1599 and demolished by the Mughals in 1632 and was rebuilt the same year. Sadly, the Church has been reconstructed several times and today represents a modern structure. It is popularly known as the Bandel Church. The word Bandel means 'mast' in Portuguese. The Bandel Church compound houses a mast, which was gifted by a Portuguese ship captain, after his ship was damaged in a storm in Hooghly. Apart from the mast and church, nothing much remains of Portuguese history in Bandel. For More information read Bandel, Church and Imambara.
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.
Serampore remained under the Danish rule till 1845, after which the Danish Governor decided to sell it to the British East India Company.
Built in 1818, the Serampore College, with its grand facede, reminds one of the glorious days of Danish Serampore.
Danish missionary Carey, along with Ward and Marshman, started the Serampore Mission Press and published the first Bengali translation of the Bible. They also started the Friends of India newspaper.
Serampore also houses two Cemeteries dating back to the Danish days. The Baptist Mission Cemetery in Serampore contains the family graves of Carey, Ward and Marshman, while the Danish Cemetery houses several other Danish graves.
How to reach
By Air: NSCBI Airport is the nearest airport, located near Kolkata. Cabs are available from here.
By Rail: Trains are available from Howrah. Nearest station is at Serampore.
By Road: Adequate number of buses is available from Kolkata and Howrah. G. T. Road connects Serampore with other parts of the state.