Now tranquillity is just a boat ride away from the bustling city of Kolkata in town the of Hooghly “place of unity of religion” with all mesmerising and dreamy scenery in a lap of natural beauty “full of peace, full of tranquillity”.
Hooghly can also spelt Hoogli or Hugli. The city is a perfect tourist destination to visit. The district of Hooghly is just 40 km north of Kolkata and is steeped in history and heritage. Dotted with several small but important towns, the district is testimony to the rule of foreign settlers-the British and Portuguese at Hooghly, the Dutch at Chinsurah, the French at Chandernagore, and the Germans and Austrians at Bhadreswar. In those days the Hooghly River was the main route for transportation and Hooghly served as an excellent trading port.
Within a few decades the town of Hooghly turned into a major commercial center and the largest port in Bengal. The Hooghly, as the Ganga River is called here, dominates the landscape and people use ferries to cross from one town to another.
Major attractions of Hooghly:
Bandel church of Hooghly is one of the most visited and popular weekend destinations. It is one of the oldest Christian churches in West Bengal. In 1599 the Portuguese traders built a convent and a church in Bandel. This is the first Christian church in Bengal known as ’Bandel Church' today. This Holy Christian Bandel church is also a parish church, which is part of Roman Catholic archdiocese of Kolkata. One of the heritage sites of West Bengal i.e. Bandel Church is dedicated to Nossa Senhora do Rosario. Inside the Bandel church of Hooghly one must see prayer room, lady on voyage, graveyard etc.
Best time to visit bandel church is during Christmas time in December, because Bandel church complex was decorated excellently during Christmas. In winter season cool weather will let you seat and relax outside of church for long time.
It’s not only the Dutch Christian Cemeteries but this Islamic institution is also a famous landmark in the town and a must visit destination. Before you enter in Hooghly Imambara take some time to enjoy its architecture and its magnanimous presence from outside. It is to be noted here that this is not the original structure as the original structure was rebuild to its present condition. Once you enter the main complex you will see a gigantic courtyard with a water tank and a fountain in the centre. Being an Islamic institution this is where the ritual washing is performed.
You can actually spend a whole day at this Imambara thus make sure you have enough time in your hand.
Ramakrishna Math Antpur
The magnificent Radhagobinda Temple in Aatpur (Antpur)
Hooghly is that of Radhagovindjiu with exquisite terracotta carvings depicting stories from the purans. It is said that the Radhagobinda Temple of Aatpur (Antpur) was built during a transition period marking the end of Islamic rule and the beginning of European rule to enthuse the Hindus. So it contains several panels depicting European lifestyle. There were several panels with Europeans engaged in battles, hunting and horse riding. Western dresses and head gears were the main features of the terracotta panels.
It is 100 feet high temple. It was at Antpur that Swami Vivekananda and eight other disciples of Sri Ramakrishna took their vow of ‘Sannyasa’. One must go to visit this fabulous place of peace and enlightenment.
A holy destination for lovers of religion, Tarakeshwar or Tarakeswar is a small village in Hooghly district of the state West Bengal
. The picturesque place is an important center of religious significance for Hindus. The renowned Tarakeshwar temple
, dedicated to Lord Shiva is located here and draws millions of pilgrims every year to this place.
The story goes that two brothers descended to Tarakeshwar from Ayodhya and unearthed a Shiv Lingam in the forest. Sensing some foul play, the local villagers forced one of the two brothers to hold hot iron in his hand. The brother comfortably passed the test seeing which the other brother unearthed the Siva Lingam in the forest. It was later revealed that the brother had a dream in which Lord Shiva instructed him to build the temple there.
Buddha Temple of Deulpara is one of the main attractions of Tarakeshwar village of Hooghly District. This temple, situated at a distance of 6 km away, was consecrated in the year 1985 by Dalai Lama. Known for its statue of Lord Buddha and beautiful garden, Buddha Temple of Deulpara is the only Buddhist temple in Hooghly District.
Dudhpukur Tank is one of the main attractions of Tarakeshwar village, which is situated towards the north of Tarakeshwar Temple. Dudhpukur Tank, which is associated with the temple, means Milk Tank. Pilgrims visiting Tarakeshwar temple often take a dip in this tank for the fulfilment of their wishes. It is also believed that the water in the tank possesses medicinal properties and a bath here can keep one healthy.
As per folklore, the tank was built at the time of the construction of the temple in the year 1729 by Raja Bharamalla.
Fur Furah Sharif
It is located in Jangipara. The structure is a Sufi settlement which was established during Akbar’s reign. This structure was probably built in the year 1375 by Muqlish Khan. It is one of the famous mosque of history and a huge number of pilgrims from other religions as well visits the place especially during the famous Pir Mela, held annually.
From this one may find the unity of religion with its beautiful history which now a days play a role to give you a state of tranquillity, mind of peace and enlightment.