Visiting Off Beat Places in Howrah
If, for any reason, you are stuck for a day in Howrah do not let it go waste. There are many off beat places that are bound to interest you. It is true that the town is little congested; but that is partly because it is an ancient town, which has become commercially successful. Moreover, it has very little scope for horizontal growth. Nonetheless, a trip in and around the town offers an interesting experience.
A visit to the Howrah Maidan areaIt is to be noted that although Howrah Station is the face of the town, the area around Howrah Maidan, is the soul of the city. It is located at a distance of 2 KM from the station and under normal circumstance it takes around 10 minutes to reach there. Most of the important industries as well as offices are located in this region. The Monglar Hut too is a unique feature of this area.
Monglar Hut in Howrah
Let us, therefore, start our trip with a visit to the Monglar hut. As we all know, huts are temporary markets set up on particular days of the week. Monglar hut is set up on every Tuesday and since Tuesday is referred as Mongol Bar in Bengali, this market is known as Monglar hut.
Monglar hut is located on Forshore Road, very close to Howrah General Hospital. It is mainly a cloth market. Weavers from far and near come here to set up stalls. Traders as well as individual buyers throng this place to buy sarees and other cloth materials at a more affordable rate. Since this market starts as early as 4 o' clock in the morning it is always advisable to keep it on the top of the itinerary. That way, you can also avail some good bargains. However, it remains open until 6 o'clock in the evening and so you can also take your time to visit this place.
Close to the Monglar hut are Howrah General Hospital, Howrah Court, Howrah GPO, New Collectorate, RTO etc. The residential bungalows of the DM and SP are also located in its close vicinity.
Visiting Manchester of India
The Ghats in Howrah
Howrah Ferry Ghat is another interesting place to go. If you go there early in the morning, you may find it rather empty. There will be very few people waiting to cross the river. Instead, you will find men and women having their bath; some standing in knee deep water; others going deeper into the river. While they do so they also offer homage to the Creator reciting different hymns. Children will be diving into the water, swimming about and playing pranks. In all, it gives off a picture of peace and tranquility. However, as the clock moves on, the scenario begins to change.
By the time the clock strikes eight or at the most nine, the area becomes full of passengers heading for Kolkata; some for business purpose; others to attend offices and educational institutions located in the city. In the evening, you can watch the reverse flow of passengers; they will now be hurrying to catch local trains to reach home as fast as possible. Watching them negotiating sea of fellow passengers is indeed a mesmerizing experience.
Indeed, it is not only the natural beauty of the river, which enthralls the viewer. It is also the human touch, which makes the place even more fascinating. Indeed, if you like to observe human nature, you must spend some time here.
There are however, quite a few jetties on this side of the River Hooghly. Among them Ramkrisnapur Ghat, Shibpur Ghat, Shalimar Ghat, Bandhaghat, Nazirgunj Ghat are located within the district not far away from the Howrah Station. You can hire a boat to visit all these ghats.
A drive through the G T RoadIf you have read history you must have heard about Grand Trunk Road built by Sher Shah Suri. However, recent researches have established that the road existed even during the Maruyan Era and Sher Shah had only improved upon it. Today, it starts at Chittagong in Bangladesh and reaches up to Kabul in Afghanistan crossing India and Pakistan on the way.
In Howrah, the G T Road starts from the vicinity of Indian Botanical Garden in Shibpur. From Howrah, you can take a ride up to Bally crossing Shalkia, Liluah and Belur on the way. If the traffic condition is tolerable, it will not take more than one and half hours to reach Bally. On the way, you can also visit the century old railway colony and Don Bosco Church in Liluah as well as Belur Math of Ramakrishna Order at Belur. On your way back, you can hire a country boat from Bally and row down to Howrah, enjoying every minute of it.