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A Day in the Colonial Towns from Kolkata


It is a lesser known fact that the British were not the only ones to call Bengal their home. Upstream along the quiet banks of the Hooghly river, not very far off from the hustle and bustle of Kolkata, lie a string of dusty towns where much of Europe came to settle. And if you want to experience this European Heritage, then a day trip out of Kolkata to Bengal’s proverbial “Little Europe” is all that you need.

Travelling around 40 km north from the city, along the Old Grand Trunk Road, the first port of call is known as “Serampore” – founded in 1755 by the Danish Asiatic company as a trading outpost. You will drive further to Chinsurah, where the Dutch settled in the early 17th century to trade in muslin, salt, spices and opium. Continue to the famous Bandel, where the Portuguese set up a colony as early as 1635, and known for its imposing Bandel Basilica, where many a sea-fearing captain once once paid obeisance still embodies the essence and grandeur of the former colony. Your final stop will be Chandernagore – the once most charming town governed by the French until 1951, where even till this day you will find bakeries serving croissants and French loaves, and might even hear a few Bengali elderly folk still conversing in French.

Places of Interest :

  • Serampore - Home to the magnificent Serampore College with its awesome library, the Danish Cemetery and Henry Martin’s Pagoda
  • Chinsurah – See the Chinsurah Court – formerly the Dutch Governor’s residence
  • Bandel - Visit the Basilica and understand the history of the sea fearing captain . Move on to the Hooghly Imambara, a behemoth of structure built in the 1860 as a mosque and centre for Islamic Education. Climb up to the clock tower for superb views of the Hooghly river.
  • Chandernagore – Stroll along the picturesque Strand by the riverside, admire the French Church and the former mansion of the French Governor General, which is now a museum. Walk through the old town where you will chance upon the bakeries, stop to taste some freshly baked croissants and French loaves.

Tour Plan and details

  • Trip Duration: 10 hours
  • Tour Starts: 08:30 am
  • Pick up : From Hotel/Airport/Staton
  • Refreshments &smp Packed Drinking Water: Included
  • Chauffeur with Phone: Provided
  • Guide: Optional
  • Tour price : From $ 80.00 per person onwards, min 2 persons required
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