NITN | @notintownlive | 24 Apr 2021, 08:49 am
Beat the summer heat at these five riverside getaways easily reachable from Kolkata.
About 50km from Kolkata, Raichak and its neighbouring town of Falta, both located on the banks of the Hooghly River, are good for a quick getaway from the city. Take early morning strolls by the riverside and repair to your hotel room to beat the heat by day. Evenings are usually pleasant.
There are plenty of hotels and resorts to suit every pocket but we recommend you check out the facilities before making a booking. If you are looking for a luxury staycation, head to the Anaya Spa Resort (part of the Gujarat Ambuja group’s Raichak on Ganges complex). https://
If you are not willing to go far, spend moderately and prefer vegetarian meals, the Belur Rashbari may be your best option. Located right next to the famous Belur Math, it is a restored homestead belonging to the Dawn family of Kolkata and is right on the bank of the Ganga (Hooghly). While a large part of the complex with its temples and other structures are open to the public, a part of the private quarters have been converted to exclusive tourist accommodation. A one-story heritage building is the best place to stay here. The rooms open on to a large manicured garden on one end which overlooks the river. They serve vegetarian meals (fish may be served on request). https://twinstour.
Located on the Icchamati River, which separates India from Bangladesh, Taki is less than 70km away from Kolkata. Crumbling mansions bear faint memories of the wealthy families who once lived here. You can hire a boat for a late afternoon ride in the river or hire a local ‘toto’ van to visit a wee mangrove forest called the ‘mini Sunderban’ (ticketed entry). Hotels and lodges line the Indian side of the river. Hotel Sonar Bangla, a sprawling, luxury property, right on the river bank, is one of the best places to stay. https://www.
The Denmark Tavern in Srirampur (Serampore) is not only a lesson in painstaking restoration of a more than two-centuries old colonial building but also an excuse to stay in this historic town which can be otherwise seen in a day. Srirampur is about 30km from Kolkata by road. The tavern has a café on the ground floor and lodgings on the first floor, both run by a private hotel chain. From the first floor of the building, you can observe the life along the river, the ferry and cargo boats passing by, and the passing of the sun over the river.
The historic town of Azimganj, a little over 200km by road from Kolkata and about 15km from Murshidabad, is where the famous ‘Sheherwali’ community settled down in the early 18th century. Arriving from Rajasthan, these Jain merchant families soon made Bengal their home. So if you are on a splurge budget, then a weekend trip to the Bari Kothi – as the family home of the Dudhoria family is known as – is definitely for you.
The palatial building with a riverside facade, will remind you of the grand havelis of Rajasthan with its Sheesh Mahal, Durbar Hall, Janana Chowk, Gaddi Ghar, etc. Interestingly, the Jain families successfully merged their own culture with that of the local Bengalis and the court of the Nawabs of Murshidabad. Although strictly vegetarian in nature, the food served here is an example of the cultural adaptation. You may also request for a specially organised (paid) ‘Breakfast on the Ganges’. https://barikothi.
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