Home > Bangladesh, General > Crossing the Padma, Highlight of the Kolkata – Dhaka Bus Journey

Crossing the Padma, Highlight of the Kolkata – Dhaka Bus Journey

Crossing the Padma

Highlight of the Kolkata – Dhaka Bus Journey

I was delighted to receive the invitation from Wikimedia Bangladesh to attend the 10th anniversary celebration of Bengali Wikipedia in Dhaka.

Padma Crosing

Padma Crossin at Dulatdia Ferry Ghat, Bangladesh

But I was a little disappointed as the invitation provided for land transport instead of air transport.

Padma 1

A barge near the Dulatdia Ferry Ghat

But road transport has its own share of charm and the famous zoologist George Schaller points it out “A fast approach by plane robs the journey of anticipation; a slow approach by road always begins with the hope of a pleasure trip, and continues with the hope of simply reaching the destination.

There are two road options between Kolkata and Dhaka, bus and train and after a long discussion with fellow wikipedian Biswariup Ganguly we decided to take the Kolkata – Dhaka Bus.

The main reason was that there was a rail bridge on the Padma but no road bridge but the vehicles were ferried across the river on huge barges. flat bottom boats, built for river and canal transport of heavy goods, thus providing ample opportunities for photography.

Padma 3

A barge on Padma (return journey)

The Padma crossing is the highlight of the 380 km (12 hours) journey between Kolkata and Dhaka along the Asian Highway 1 (AH1).

The river crossing takes place at the junction of Padma (Ganges) and Jamuna (Branbhaputra) rivers and betwwe the two ferry ghats of Daulatdia and Paturia.

Daulatdia, have the notorious distinction of houses the largest brothel in the world, is located on the western bank of the river and is just south of the historic ferry ghat of Goalundo.

Goalundo famous for the Goalundo Steamer Chicken Curry, a simple chicken dish once cooked by the ordinary boatmen of the Goalundo Ferry Ghat, has made its way to the top restaurants of the world.

Padma 4

Boat ferrying passenger across the Padma (return journey) 

Once the Goalando Ferry Ghat was the hub of river transportation that connected the whole of eastern India.

Once the Goalando Ferry ghat was connected to far of places like Patna (along Padma and Ganga) and Dibrugarh (along Jamuna and Bramhaputra) by river transport.

In 1871 East India Railway opened the line from Kolkata to Goalando from where passengers have to take a ferry to proceed towards Dhaka.

Thus Goalundo became a stopover point for passengers, who relished their taste buds on the Goalundo Steamer Chicken Curry.

Now the Kolkata – Dhaka Maitree Express takes a northern route and crosses the the Padma on Hardinge Bridge and the Jamuna on Bangabandhu Bridge.

Today Goalundo has lost most of its former glory as the road transport crosses the Padma between Daulatdia and Paturia.

Padma 2

A boat takes on the choppy waters of Padma. Daulatdia – Paturia River crossing (return journey)

As per schedule we were supposed to cross the river at about 4 pm but a long wait at the boarder crossing delayed us over two hours and as we approached the Daulatdia Ferry Ghat we were greeted by a spectacular sun set.

By the time we reached the ferry ghat the sun had already set but the skies were still lit up by the post sunset glow providing us the oppertunity to capture the sight with our cameras.

By the time we set sail for Paturia it was complete darkness robbing us all opportunity of photography. Luckily the return journey compensated for the all the missed photography opportunities.


  1. Madhuja
    February 10, 2016 at 12:43 PM

    Looking forward to more about this trip!

    • April 29, 2016 at 2:19 PM

      Dear Madhuja, the Kolkata – Dhaka road journey was really interesting, but don’t have enough material to have a whole blog post. Moreover their are photography restriction at the boarder.

  2. February 10, 2016 at 3:49 PM

    eTa daarun…. I would like to avail the road trip for Bangladesh…this looks exciting! … 😀

    • April 29, 2016 at 2:16 PM

      Dear Maniparna, I always prefer road approach than air approach, but the 4 hours wait at the boarder was really pathetic.

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