One can go on a beautiful river cruise along the river Ganges in Kolkata. The said cruise which is slated to be launched within a few days, will be covering some hidden gems of history along the river in the ‘City of Joy – Kolkata.
River Water Cruise is a rage all over the world. Whether it is London River Cruise or Singapore Boat Ride, it is loved both by locals and tourists alike. Something similar is being planned in Kolkata but the USP here is the price. For just Rs.39 for the cruise experience, much less than a dollar, one can do this Kolkata Heritage River Cruise.
The proposed cruise would be of 90 minutes, replete with traditional Bengali music. The vessel for the cruise is being decked up in art and the colourful vessel would reflect the eclectic spirit of Kolkata. It is being launched by West Bengal Transport Corporation.
Informing about the initiative, Ranjanvir Singh Kapur, MD of WBTC which will be operating the service said, “The idea is to make heritage river cruise experience affordable, and popular among the youth”.
The starting and ending point would be the Millennium Park jetty. The guests will have the comfort of a Cruise Café serving packed light snacks and tea/coffee for onboard purchase. There would be selfie booths where youngsters can take those snazzy photos for their Facebook friends. A free of cost tour guide would help the guests with the main points of attraction on the way.
Complimentary Special Heritage Navigation Brochures will be given to each guests as a take home gift and souvenir and also to help them appreciate the landmarks. Drinking Water facilities and Washrooms would be provided without any extra cost of the ticket price.
While on board, the guests would see Mayer Ghat where Sri Ma Sarada, wife of Ramakrishna Paramhamsa used to visit daily. Maa Sarada stayed near this ghat at Mayer Bari, Baghbazar from 23 May, 1909 to 20 July 1920.
One can also watch popular beautiful Ganga Atari that takes place soon after sunset.Guests would be able to pay homage from the cruise at the Nimtala ghat where the cremation of Rabindra Nath Tagore, Acharaya Prafulla Chandra Ray, Acharya Jagadish Ch. Bose and the likes was done.
This place is also famous for Somsankali temple and Bhootnath temple.On the trip is also the Armenian ghat that was built way back in 1734 by Manvel Hazaar Maliyan, a celebrated Calcutta trader of Armenian origin. This elegant ferry ghat was just one of the many contributions made by the benevolent Armenian toward developing Calcutta’s infrastructure and socio-cultural rapport. It is also the area where one of the first trams plied.
The guests would also be able to see the Eastern Railway HQ Building. The Eastern Railway was formed in 14th April, 1952 and has four divisions viz. Sealdah, Howrah, Asansol and Malda. The guests would also see the BBD Bag Railway Station. The Benoy Badal Dinesh Bag (BBD Bag) Circular Railway Station a Railway Loop Line operated by Eastern Railway encircling the entire City of Kolkata, is located in between Strand Road and Fairlie jetties at Fairlie Place.
The itinerary also has Chandpal Ghat, located just northern side of the Babughat, opposite to the New Secretariat Building on the Strand Road. Interestingly, the name of this very ghat was mentioned as the southernmost Ghat on the river Hoogly, in the purported “Plan of Fort William and part of the City of Calcutta” which was surveyed in the year 1753.
Chandpal Ghat was named after a petty shop owner viz. Chandpal, who used to sell the necessary household items by the side of this Ghat.In 1774, Sir Philip Francis and his fellow Councillors of the Supreme Council of India under East India Company disembarked here. On 12th September, 1786 Lord Cornwallis, the first Governor General of India landed at this Ghat.
The guests would enjoy a ride into history and heritage of Kolkata, amidst some light music and the breeze of the Ganga. The cruise will operate daily from Millennium Park at 4pm and 6pm. On Holidays, Saturdays and Sunday: 12pm 2pm 4pm 6pm.There would be special booking arrangements for educational tours in the future. Proper sanitization protocols are being followed for safety by the WBTC. With social distancing norms, a maximum of 150 people would be accommodated in one ride of the cruise.