Weekend Destination From Kolkata: Bakkhali, Frasergunj, Henrys Island


Weekend means a breath of fresh air to the mundane city life. That happiness of spending a couple of days doing whatever our mind wants doubles up when we plan a short trip to the surrounding countryside or hill-station. Such short trips help us to accumulate enough oxygen, literally and figuratively, to make life healthy and happy.

This time, we decided to spend the weekend in Bakkhali. Though we have visited this not-so-crowded sea-beach a couple of times, still the attraction of strolling on the beach, with the typical smell of seawater and sea fishes around, is always inviting.

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We started our journey early in the morning, around 6.30 am. Bakkhali is approximately a four-hour drive from Kolkata, but crossing the Hatania-Doania river on the vessel is often a challenge. There are two vessels, one small and one large; the larger one generally is used to commute eight/ten-sitter cars and other big vehicles. As Bakkhali and Frasergunj are centres of commercial fishing, every day, hundreds of fishing trawlers and numerous small boats accumulate their catch here and, then they are packed and transported to different parts of the city. As per the government’s rule, these fish-carrying trucks are to be given priority while crossing the river on the vessel. The tourist vehicles, hence, have to wait if there is a crowd. However, this time, we proved to be lucky and cleared the vessel passage in less than one hour.

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The busy Hatania-Doania river in the morning

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As it was a sudden tour, we had no prior booking and, we decided to stay at the Bay View Hotel in Frasergunj instead of Bakkhali. More than hundred years ago, a British lieutenant general, Andrew Fraser bumped into this side of the Sundarbans while on a hunting spree. He fell in love with the scenic beauty of the place and built a bungalow. The place was later named Frasergunj to commemorate Lt. Gn. Fraser.

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At Bakkhali Beach

Bakkhali beach is a place to relax. One can savour the fresh fried fish sold by the local vendors or walk around to visit the Crocodile Park which is at a stone’s throw from the bus stand. If you want to stay in Bakkhali itself, the WB Government Tourist Lodge is perhaps the best place as far as my experience goes.

Frasergunj is quieter tan Bakkhali with an abundance of greenery around along with birds. As a birdwatcher, it made me happy to wake up in the morning by their twittering orchestra! The beauty of the early morning in Frasergunj is bewitching.

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Indian Magpie RobinΒ 
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Scaly-breasted Munia
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Green Bee-eater
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Purple Sunbird (Male)
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Purple Sunbird (Female)
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Red-vented Bulbul
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Spotted Dove

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But what really came as a surprise to us was the trip to Henry’s Island. Henry’s island, as the name suggests, was discovered by a British surveyor. Among the numerous islands in the Ganga-Brahmaputra delta basin, Henry’s Island is comparatively bigger. The State Fisheries Department has developed the place and, fish farming is extensively done here (50 hectares). The department has also built up a few lodges here with all the modern amenities. The condition of the road from Frasergunj to Henry’s Island is quite good. It took us about an hour to reach there. We spent the whole afternoon in Henry’s Island, had a sumptuous lunch while resting at one of the lodges, went up the watch tower to have a great view of the island and finally went to the nearby beach.

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I need to mention this virgin beach especially as the view was mesmerizing. A cobbled road amidst the rows of mangrove trees will take you to the beach. Whitish-golden sand, slightly bluish calm sea and the azure sky upwards created a magic-realism for us. There was nobody else and, it seemed that we were the only living beings in this beautiful world! The beach reminded me of the Kilauea Beach I read about in the Phantom (Aranyadeb) stories in my childhood.

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If you want to feel the sound of silence, if you love to listen to the susurration of the wind, if you dream of being the king/queen of a beautiful beach, visit Henry’s Island.

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At Henry’s Island
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Finally, it’s me πŸ˜€

Link for booking the WB State Fisheries Lodge in Henry’s Island:Β http://wbsfdc.com

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40 responses to “Weekend Destination From Kolkata: Bakkhali, Frasergunj, Henrys Island

  1. Wow Mani, what a beautiful trip you took me on.. Sometimes these spur of the moment tours prove to so rewarding..
    I can see why A British lieutenant General, Andrew Fraser fell in love with the place and built a bungalow there in Frasergunj .. And what an honour to name the place after him.

    The birds and views are exquisite, Henry Island looks to be a wonderful place..

    And I loved your description of the sound of Silence listening to the susurration of the wind.. Beautifully put..
    And lastly, you saved the best till last..
    So loved your radiant photo Maniparna,
    And so pleased you enjoyed your time there…

    Sending much love Mani… Enjoy all of those moments of silence..

    Love Sue ❀

    Like

  2. Great to know about Bakkhali in your very expressive post Maniparna…..many times we have heard about the beauty of the place but haven’t got a chance to visit it….hopefully one day it will happen….thanks for sharing this πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The bird lover is back with so many excellent shots…i loved this “If you want to feel the sound of silence, if you love to listen to the susurration of the wind, if you dream of being the king/queen of a beautiful beach, visit Henry’s Island.”.. may be they should keep your words somehwere there…it’s really catching attention

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Indeed Mani, the very thought of weekend outing suddenly galvanizes our sleeping energy and we are doubly charged up. The break away from the city life and the disconnect from the cacophony makes us relaxed and so calm and subtly we get connected to oneself.

    Many times this lesser known places and location deep inside are less traveled and therein lies the hidden gem. The virgin beaches and the pristine clear sand, the clear sky and the blue color of sky and ocean play mirror image. To be in such hidden places and the thought being the only living creature therein makes the voyage so special and we suddenly see a different world within the world we have been living. We look at the beautiful birds and the small insects, the lush green tree, the vibrancy and the freshness lifts us.

    Generally, after a long walk during such vacation or a vehicle travel, the joy of pouncing on the sumptuous array of food at display has its own charm. I could feel the joy you have must had in this short trip and into a place with very little inhabitants. The pictures are beautifully taken and the flowers, to the boat to the birds makes it a wonderful collage of beautiful thoughts in a canvas of imagery.

    Thanks Mani as always for such a lovely post, and the choice of words and soaked thoughts makes all your post so beautifully enriched.
    πŸ˜€

    Like

  5. Loved the scenery and history, as well. Gorgeous bird shots… if I were a bird, I’d be like the Green Bee-Eater, but my name would be the Crazy Lasagna-Eater. 😊 Lovely smile, Mani! I especially like the message in your shirt…. you truly may have been a bird in another life. Happy Halloween, dear friend!πŸŽƒβ€οΈπŸ‘»

    Liked by 1 person

    • Crazy Lasagna-Eater πŸ˜€ Haha… but, isn’t that bird gorgeous ❀
      Thanks for noticing the Tshirt message. It's one of my fav shirts πŸ˜€
      Hope you had a great Halloween…I can imagine your costume and make-up…a sweet-natured, cute, blood-thirsty Dracula ❀ πŸ˜€

      Like

  6. Wow, Maniparna – what a beautiful visit. I love this blog post, it’s so true how weekends away can help us relax and have fun! πŸ™‚ And WHAT a great photo of you. It made me smile.

    Your bird photos were also amazing. And Henry Island sounds like a quiet, peaceful place to visit as well. So great.
    Blessings to you. Lovely to read this.
    Debbie

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So you had a great time there…
    Ektu holeo hingsha hochhe…bahu bochhor dhore esob jaiga gulo jawar plan banachhi r kono na kono karone jawa hochhe na.
    Captures are wonderful as usual, your photography always reveals your affection to nature.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great pictures and scenic places especially the beach. I have never heard about these places. Thanks for showing us the beauty from your region, Maniparna! Haven’t seen you around, lately!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Nice to see you back with this wonderful story of weekend destination Mani…sounds like a relaxing vacation with a white sand beach! Did you click those lovely pictures of birds there? They seem to pose for you and you are looking awesome! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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