Throughout history, civilizations have flourished along the banks of rivers and Hooghly, India is one of them. Hooghly District is situated along the river of the same name. It is located about 40 km (25 miles) north of Kolkata – one of the biggest cities in India - and it is a place where nature’s beauty can be seen in its best forms. With all its natural serenity adding to its name, Hooghly deserves a place on your list of must-visit places.
Situated at a striking distance from one of the four metropolises of India, reaching Hooghly is no trouble. Kolkata is connected by rail, road, air and sea to several parts of the world. Hooghly is connected to Kolkata by road and can be reached without much fuss. Once you reach there, here are some places in the district of Hooghly where you must spend some time and explore new experiences.
1. Taraknath Temple
The Taraknath Temple is a major pilgrimage site in Hooghly District. Situated in the town of Tarakeswar, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is believed to have been built after the brother of Raja Vishnu Das had a dream which led him to discover a linga (holy phallic symbol) in the forests of Tarakeswar.
The occasion of Shivaratri is considered a special time to worship Lord Shiva. A large number of pilgrims gathers during the ‘Phalgun’ month of the Hindu calendar, generally during the months of February and March. Devotees believe that the prayers of those who take a dip in the pool located at the north end of the temple will be fulfilled.
Address: Taraknath Mandir Rd, Tarkeshwar, West Bengal 712410
Opening Hours: 6am - 8pm, daily.
2. Bandel Church
This church of historic importance was founded in 1599 and is a famous tourist attraction because of its excellent contemporary Portuguese architecture. This fine Portuguese structure is accompanied by a port and a fort, which was also built by the Portuguese. This church stands as a reminder of the rich Portuguese era.
Address: Sahaganj, Hooghly, West Bengal 712104
3. Belur Math
One of the most prominent places in Hooghly is Belur Math. Located in Belur, this is the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Mission, founded by Swami Vivekananda in the memory of his teacher Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. The area of Belur Math encompasses about 40 acres (16 hectares) and the place is situated on the banks of the holy river Ganga, or the Ganges. The campus contains temples dedicated to Ramakrishna, Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda.
Address: Belur, Howrah, West Bengal 711202
Opening Hours: 6am - 11.30am and 4pm - 7pm (April - September) and 6.30am - 11.30am and 3.30pm - 6pm (October - March). Hours might differ, check website for more information.
Website: Belur Math
4. Hangseshwari Temple
Hangseshwari Temple is another major site to see. This temple, located in Banshberia, is dedicated to the goddess Hangseshwari. The marvelous architecture of Hangseshwari Temple makes it unique in the area. The architecture of the temple represents the human body.
Address: Bansberia, Mithapukur More, West Bengal 712502
5. Chandannagar Museum
CHANDERNAGORE MUSEUM and INSTITUTE. One of the oldest museums of the region. It boasts a collection of French antiques...Posted by Chiranjit Dutta Photography on Monday, 25 May 2015
One of the oldest museums in India is the Chandannagar Museum. This museum was built during the French occupation of the region and was handed over to India in 1952, five years after independence. It contains one of the largest collections of French antiquities, in India. The artifacts include French cannons and other instruments that were used in countless wars, fought in India.
Address: Strand Road, Chandernagore, Hooghly, West Bengal 712136
6. Hooghly Imambara
The Hooghly Imambara is a famous place in Hooghly District. It is a huge building, consisting of two stories and situated on the banks of the river Ganges. The marble used in the Imambara is marvelous and the craftsmanship and architecture of the building are a delight to see. This place is sure to be in your memory for a long time. Beautifully carved walls and a clock tower are both major attractions at the temple and the artwork on the walls is sure to provide you with a wonderful visual treat.
Address: Imambara Road, Chowk Bazar, Olaichanditala, Hooghly, West Bengal 712103
7. Deer Park
If you are a nature lover, this deer park is certain to stir your senses. The Deer Park is situated in Kamarpukur and tourists flood in during weekend and holidays. The park has a wide variety of trees and a leisurely walk through it, in the evening, is sure to relax you, both physically and mentally.
Address: Uluberia-Shyampur Rd, Srirampur, West Bengal 711314
Opening Hours: 9.30am - 5pm, daily. Closed on weekly holidays on Saturday and Sunday.
Website: Deer Park
8. Boating in the Hooghly River
Who doesn’t like rivers? Nothing can soothe your senses as much as the perfect boat’s ride, during sunset. A boat ride in the Hooghly river offers an enchanting experience and you will be able to feel revitalized by inhaling the fresh air. Watching the birds, with the sun in the background, is a treat for your eyes. The river Hooghly contains a large number of Gangetic dolphins and you are sure to spot one or two hopping around in the water, during your ride.
Boating in the Hooghly River
Address: Fort William, Hastings, Kolkata, West Bengal 700021
9. Delicious food in Hooghly
Sometimes, just the thought of delicious food is enough to make us drool. The food in Hooghly consists mostly of Bengali cuisine but with a twist. Bengali cuisine is famous for its variety of fish - a bonus of being near the sea or on the banks of a river. In case you are hungry, there are countless options for places to grab a bite, from the classy Floatel (floating hotel) to sophisticated hotels and numerous roadside stalls. A hearty meal after a relaxing boat ride is something that must not be missed, during your trip to Hooghly.
A day full of enjoyment
Travel, food, and accommodation are never a problem in Hooghly. The river Hooghly plays a vital part in the lives of its people and in Kolkata. The district named after this river is as marvelous as the river itself and it is a mixture of culture and heritage. With a culture this diverse, Hooghly stands tall amidst the various destinations that make you want to visit them again and again. This place is really worth a visit if you are looking for a peaceful and relaxing trip. The serenity of this place will, for sure, make you want more.
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