It is the gateway of Kolkata, the capital city of West Bengal to the rest of the country. Developed towards the early part of the twentieth century, it has become one of the most important transit points for passengers and goods movement in the country.
Vidyasagar Setu - otherwise known as the Second Hooghly Bridge opened to the traffic in 1992 is the finest product of modern architecture and technology. It is intricately connected with the cities of Kolkata and Howrah by a series of over-bridges and situated at a distance of 1.5 km southwards of Rabindra Setu. It is erected on only four pillars and hanged on 121 number of iron ropes. The bridge is 458 metres long and 115 metres wide. One can have a glimpse of a large part of Kolkata standing in the middle of the bridge. The beauty of the bridge and its background is largely utilized by the Film Industries of India for shooting purposes.
The old Howrah Bridge, a floating pontoon Bridge, was opened in October 1874 and made over to Port Commissioners who managed and maintained it. Designed by the late Sir Bradford Leslie, it had a total length of 1528 feet between centres of abutments and provided a 48’ feet roadway and two 7’ feet footways.
At a Glance
District Head Hq-
1,467 Sq Kms
48,50,029 (Ref: Census 2011)
Best time to visit-
February and December
Ramnavami and Rash mela, Saraswati Puja, Maha Shivaratri
Places of Interest-
Botanical Garden, Shibpur, Bally, Gadiara, Bagnan, Amta, Uluberia
Botanical Garden, Belur
Distance from Kolkata-
The most novel feature was the removable section which when floated out gave 200 feet clear openings, with a head room of 22 feet, were also provided for smaller crafts. The adjusting ways or shore spans, one at each end of the bridge, consisted of three 160 feet long bow string girders. The traffic between commercial Kolkata and industrial Howrah having enormously increased during the first quarter of the 20th Century, the old bridge was quite insufficient and it was decided to build a new one. The shifting mode of the river Hooghly was dangerous for either a cantilever or a suspension Bridge and hence a Bridge was designed as a sort of combination of the both. It is however known as and reputed as a cantilever Bridge and is the third largest bridge of its kind in the World having an over-all length of 2150 feet with a single span of 1500 feet. The new Howrah Bridge was designed by M/s. Rendell, Palmer and Tritton, consulting Engineers. It took 8 years to complete the bridge and 26,500 tons of steel including 18,200 tons of high tensile quality were used. The total cost of construction of the land and all ancillary works, amounted Rs. 3.33 crores.
Southwards of Ravinrda Setu. It is erected on only four pillars and hanged on 121 number of iron ropes. The bridge is 458 metres long and 115 metres wide. One can have a glimpse of a large part of Kolkata standing at the middle of the bridge. The beauty of the bridge and its background is largely utilized by the Film Industries of India for shooting purposes.
The Indian Botanic Garden
The Indian Botanic Garden previously known as Royal Botanic Garden with the famous Banyan tree is comprised of 285.05 acres of land that is about 1000 bighas and lies on the bank of the River Hooghly just outside the Municipal area of Howrah bordering its southern boundary line and adjoins the compound of the Sibpur Engineering College on the South. This green belt is considered to be the lungs of the highly industrial and urbanized city of Howrah. Use of plastic materials has been banned in the Garden Campus. In the Garden, beside the great banyan tree we have a fair collection of rare indigenous and exotic plants, beautiful Amazon lilies, climbing plants, varieties of palm, delicate orchids and all sorts of large trees - mahagoguny, teak, walnut etc. We also find here a nursery (not open to the public), a Conservatory, a Palm House, a Herbarium, an Orchid conservatory. We have also a second large Banyan tree. Besides we can find in the Garden the following Monuments and buildings: Wallich's monument, Griffiths Monument, Jack's Monument, Kurze's Monument, Roxburg's the Great Banyan Tree.
How to reach
INDIAN BOTANIC GARDEN
A number of buses of Kolkata and Howrah go to Shibpur Botanical garden. Visitors can also reach there by taxi or private car.
Santragachhi Jheel is a large lake, located next to the Santragachhi railway station. This lake attracts large number of migratory birds in the winter months, particularly in December and January. The number has increased in recent years, as migratory birds have started to avoid destinations like the lakes in Alipore Zoo, Kolkata.
Belur Math or Belur Muth is the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission, founded by Swami Vivekananda, a chief disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. It is located on the west bank of Hooghly River, Belur. It is a place of pilgrimage for people from all over the world professing different religious faiths. Even people not interested in religion come here for the peace it exudes.
How to reach
By Air: The nearest airport to Belur math is Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose international airport, kolkata.
By Train: The nearest railway station to Belur math is Howrah junction. From Howrah local trains to Howrah-Burdwan line touches Belur Station.
By Road: Buses are available from Howrah station. Other vehicles are also available to reach this place. Ferry services are available from many Ganges ghats of Kolkata to Belur Math.
Situated at the confluence of the Hooghly and the Damodar, this spot has a quiet scenic beauty. The undulating irrigation canal connecting the two rivers adds to the beauty of the spot. There are two Bungalows of Howrah Zilla Parishad. The new Bungalow is situated in the vicinity of the confluence. There is also one deer park within the campus of the old bungalow. Though the spot is yet to take a place in the tourist map, it can be developed as a major tourist spot with adequate publicity, proper maintenance of the deer park and beautification of the embankment.
How to reach
Trains are available from Howrah, which takes around 45 minutes to reach Uluberia. From Uluberia, visitors will find jeep, bus, ambassador and trekker to reach Garchumuk. Garchumuk is located at a distance of 60 km from Esplanade and takes around 2.5 hours to reach the destination. Avail a bus heading to Gadiara from Esplanade, and drop down at the 58 No gate stop. Tourists can also drive along the Bombay road to Uluberia and then take the local road to reach Garchumuk.
Gadiara is a small village at the confluence of the Hooghly and Rupnarayan rivers. Gadiara is one of the most beautiful and popular picnic spots in Howrah district. The ruins of Fort Mornington Point built by Lord Clive, and the lighthouse are the prominent attractions. Mayachar, a sprawling sandbank on the Rupnarayan River, is an interesting spot to idle on the secluded beach. Watching both the sunrise and sunset at the confluence of the rivers is a wonderful experience.
How to reach
Visitor can drive to Bagnan and then take left. Cross the level crossing and head towards Shyampur to reach the destination. Gadiara is 8 km from Shyampur and 33 km from Bagnan. If visitors are driving along the Durgapur Expressway from Kolkata, then it will take around 1 hr to reach Bagnan from Kolkata. By local train services, from Howrah heading to Kolaghat, Mecheda, Panskura or Kharagpur that will drop at Bagnan Station. Visitor can catch a bus from Bagnan to Shyampur. Tourists would get auto rickshaws from Shyampur to Gadiara. There are also direct CSTC buses leaving Kolkata from Dalhousie (Esplanade) - opposite to KC Das Sweet shop for Gadiara. The first bus leaves Esplanade around 5:30 am and the last CSTC bus leaves Gadiara at around 4:00 pm. There is another way of reaching Gadiara through ferry services from Nurpur. There are direct buses from Esplanade to Nurpur too.
It is the home place of the immortal Bengali novelist Sri Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay. Though he was a Bengali writer, his great novels and short stories dealing in human emotions are translated in almost all major languages of India. His two-storied dwelling house is situated at Panitras or Samtaber village on the bank of the river Rupnarayan in a perfect lonely village atmosphere of Bengal. The building is now preserved as a Museum where mementoes of Saratbabu like table, chair, chappals, stick, bed, writing tables are kept apart from his works (books), some manuscripts and personal letters. Saratbabu spent twelve years (1926-1938) of his literary life in this place before permanently settling at Kolkata. During this period he created some of his finest stories and novels such as Abagir Swarga, Bamuner Meye, Palli Samaj, Ramer Sumati, Mahesh, Srikanta (4th part).
How To Reach
Howrah is easily accessible by air from Kolkata airport. There are a number of domestic airlines that connect Kolkata with other major cities of India.
By Train: Howrah is easily accessible by air from Kolkata airport. There are a number of domestic airlines that connect Kolkata with other major cities of India. The main railway station is Howrah railway station.
By Road: Buses are available from various corner of the state. The main bus terminus is Howrah bus terminus. Ferry services are available from many Ganges Ghats of Kolkata to reach Howrah.