The beautiful riverfront of our city is one of a kind, where one can spend hours, admiring the beauty of the Hoogly, its banks, the Prinsep monument, or the majesty of the Howrah Bridge and Vidyasagar Setu, two iconic structures which have become the identity of this part of Bengal.
There is so much to do at the Calcutta Riverfront, and here is my list of eleven of them!
1. Sit on the grass in front of the Prinsep Monument and soak in the grandeur of the Vidyasagar Setu towering above it.
Its a beautiful sight, and gets even better after dark once the colorful Setu lights are switched on.
2. Munch on some ghoti gorom from the vendors near the station…
then carefully cross the rail tracks and go over to the ghat area. Read more about Calcutta’s favourite on the go munchy, Ghoti Gorom, HERE
3. Hang around with friends at Prinsep Ghat and indulge in a hearty adda session!
(or click pictures of other people clicking pictures at the ghat)
4. Take a leisurely stroll down to Babughat through this lovely path.
The entire riverfront has been connected with this beautified path, which is lush green and is always kept clean. Don’t forget to throw any trash into the plenty of bins there, and help maintain the beauty of the place.
5. Once you reach Babughat, dig into the best french fries in the world from scoop…
and request them to add some extra chaat masala to the fries and order cola floats to wash them down, as you stare into the sunset!
6. Fill up on the awesome streetfood while you are there.
There are plenty of things to eat at the river front, from Pao bhaji to Fuchkas and Chaats, and once your done hogging, keep walking ahead.
7. Stop for a hot cup of coffee at Floatel. The view of the riverfront and the bank on the other side is superb!
8. Let your hair down at millenium park!
This is one place where there are plenty of rides for both adults and children and they are cheap as peanuts! There are rides like Columbus, Ferris wheel, the miniature version of the London eye (very mini), Twister, Pirate’s ship, and even Striking Cars!! They are all priced at a nominal amount of INR 10 whereas these same rides would cost you at least INR 30-50 at your local Mela or Nicco Park! All the rides are safe and regularly checked by the authorities. You will be required to purchase entry tickets to the park seperately which are priced at INR 10, if I am not wrong.
And as far as I know from my last visit, they are doing their annual maintenance right now during the monsoons to prepare for the huge footfall in the forthcoming festive season.
9. Indulge in some “Prem” while you are there!
The riverfront benches are a lover’s paradise. You will see hundreds of couples romancing each other there. So sit with your partner, hold hands, and lose yourself in all the beauty infront of you (or beside you!) Or if you’re with friends and family, brace yourself for some heavy PDA and never interfere in their privacy in any way.
10. Buy a return ticket from any of the countless jetties throughout the Hoogly, hop onto a ferry and take a ride across the river.
The Hoogly and its jetties connect important locations of Calcutta to Howrah. Ferries are a very major mode of transport for thousands of people who commute to work everyday between Howrah and Calcutta. Ferry tickets are priced at INR 5 per person.
Not just that, you can also take a cruise and sail to the Sunderbans for a vacation, or hire a barge for parties and enjoy sailing through one of the most beautiful rivers in the world, the Hoogly! Checkout the Bengal tourism website for more details
You could also ride on a fisherman’s boat for a more private experience with your partner if you wish but I wouldn’t recommend it as much because firstly these rides are expensive, and secondly the boats and the ferrymen look dicey.
11. And finally, board the circular rail to Majerhat and back.
There is a point midway into the journey where the train almost touches the river water, just when you see the Vidyasagar Setu above you. Its magical!
Some more pictures from my last visit there.
Being on a boat in the river is a surreal experience. The sound of the water, the breeze, the view, everything makes one fall more and more in love with the city. This was barely a handful of things. Our riverfront, which is as beautiful at night as it is during the day, has so much more to offer. What is your favorite thing to do at the Calcutta Riverfront?? Let me know!