Home > Calcutta (Kolkata), General > Ganga Aarti, Howrah and the Kolkata Skyine

Ganga Aarti, Howrah and the Kolkata Skyine

Ganga Aarti and the Kolkata Skyine

Howrah

Howrah, the twin city of Kolkata, has always lived in the shadows of of its more famed counterpart Kolkata. History of the city of Howrah dates back two centuries before the arrival of Job Charnock, on 24 August 1690, in present day Kolkata.

Howrah Bridge and Kolkata skyline from Telkal Ghat, Howrah

Howrah Bridge and Kolkata skyline from Telkal Ghat, Howrah

The Hooghly River separates the twin cities of Howrah and in recent years both the city authorities have given stress on beautifying the river fronts of both the cities.

Kolkata Skyline from the Howraah River Front, with (L to R) New Secretariat, State Bank and Custom House and the Flotel Hotel (in front white colour)

Kolkata Skyline from the Howraah River Front, with (L to R) New Secretariat, State Bank and Custom House and the Flotel Hotel (in front white colour)

Millennium Park and Princep Ghats are prime attraction of the Hooghly River front on the Kolkata side. Howrah, which has always lived in the shadows of Kolkata, also has its own river front, offering grand views of the Kolkata skyline along with the twin bridges.

Babu Ghat - Ramkrishnapur Ghat Ferry with Second Hooghly Bridge (Vidyasagar Setu in background)

Babu Ghat – Ramkrishnapur Ghat Ferry with Second Hooghly Bridge (Vidyasagar Setu in background)

It true the Howrah side misses out on historical structures like the Princep Memorial and the Gowalior Memorial (Pepper Pot) but it has its set of attraction.

People enjoying the Hooghly river front in Howrah

People enjoying the Hooghly river front in Howrah

Like all river fronts in the world, both the Kolkata and Howrah river fronts are best explored on foot.

For the Howrah river front walk it is best to start from the Howrah station. Walk past the grand red building of the Howrah Station on the right and the ferry ghat on the left.

Head southwards past the South Eastern section of the Howrah Station. Although the roads are narrow but there are footpaths, making the walk enjoyable.

Walk past the Howrah Rail Museum, which will be on your right and head for the river front. Soon on your right are the Durga Temple and Nanga Baba Temple. A flight of stairs in between the temple leads to the Telkal Ghat.

People enjoying the Hooghly river front in Howrah

People enjoying the Hooghly river front in Howrah

The Telkal Ghat offer grand panorama of the Kolkata side with portion of the Howrah Bridge (Rabindra Setu) however the Second Hooghly Bridge (Vidyasagar Setu) is not visible from here.

A couple of yards south leads to a tree lined walk way, with interlocking tiles,  along the Hooghly River. There are seats and visitors can enjoy the fresh river breeze.

Soon the Second Hooghly Bridge comes into view and path leads past a the plaque of Amar Jyoti. Put up by the Howrah Municipal Corporation and dedicated to all the martyrs of India. But during my visit in July 2017 the jyoti or flame has not yet come up.

Walk past the Panchmukhi Hunman Mandir on your right and further south leads to a platform on the banks of the River Hooghly. The platform is located below the road level and is approached by a short flight of stairs. Paved with black and white marble it provides a grand view of Kolkata skyline. 

Ganga Aarti along River Hooghly, Ramkrishnpur Ghat, Howrah

Ganga Aarti along River Hooghly, Ramkrishnpur Ghat, Howrah

The New Secretariat Building, with its football shaped weather radar on top simply looks grand.  Next to it is the eastern region head quarters of the State Bank and in front of it is the the Flotel, the floating hotel. The views extend past the Babu Ghat,  Custom House and final to the Second Hooghly Bridge, spanning across the mighty Hooghly River.

Ganga Aarti along River Hooghly, Ramkrishnpur Ghat, Howrah

Ganga Aarti along River Hooghly, Ramkrishnpur Ghat, Howrah

Although there are seats but there are no food stalls, but  the absence of food stall is largely compensated  by food hawkers selling jhalmuri, bhelpuri, ghotigaram and ice creams.

The road leads further south to the Tara Ma Mandir and next to it is the Ramkrishnapur Ghat, operating ferry service to Babu Ghat on the other side of the Hooghly River.

The road along the river front ends out here and but the journey is not yet over. The sloping open space just before the Tara Ma Mandir serves as a platform for Banaras style Ganga Aarati along the Hooghly River.

Ganga Aarti along River Hooghly, Ramkrishnpur Ghat, Howrah

Ganga Aarti along River Hooghly, Ramkrishnpur Ghat, Howrah

The Ganga Aarti in Howrah is a grand spectacle and after the event is over one can take the ferry to Babu Gaht, passing in between the illuminated twin bridges.

Travel Tips:

  • The trip can be combined with a visit to Howrah Rail Museum, the rail museum is open from 9:30 am- 5:30 pm, Thursday closed. So visit the rail museum in the afternoon and continue with the river front walk in the evening.
  • The Ganga Aarti starts at 7 pm in summer and 6 pm in winter, so plan your walk accordingly
  •  Use public transport, the walk needs to be enjoyed and ferry ride must not be missed.
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  1. July 28, 2017 at 8:24 PM

    This was a very informative post. Thanks a lot. I have always felt that the Ganga Arti has a mystery and enchantment of its own.

    • August 5, 2017 at 3:14 PM

      Thanks Lakshmi, no wonder the Ganga Aarti is enchanting

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