Raichak: The small and charming town of Raichak, which is a popular weekend tourist spot is located in the South 24 Parganas District of West Bengal. Nestled on the bank of River Hooghly, Raichak is 15 km from Diamond Harbour and 50 km from Kolkata and acts as a connecting link between Haldia and Kolkata.
RIACHAK: AN INTRODUCTION
Lately, Raichak, this small town has emerged as a sought-after weekend destination, a drive away from Kolkata, offering a spectacular view of the river Ganges and the 18th century Radisson Fort or the Raichak Fort. Situated at the banks of the river Hooghly, Raichak proves to be a quaint settlement, famous for its serenity and scenery. It is a pleasant destination which gives travelers a tranquil and peaceful atmosphere.
RAICHAK FROM KOLKATA
Raichak is a small town on the banks of Bhagirathi-Hooghly River, 50 Kms from Kolkata, well-known and popular as a one-day picnic spot near Kolkata. Raichak is the most lucrative river bank destination these days for the tourists. Raichak is in the southern suburbs of Kolkata, on the eastern banks of the Hooghly River quite near where the river meets the Bay of Bengal. The location is very close to Diamond harbor a most famous point for sea fishing in Bengal. Local economy here is based on agriculture and fishery.
HISTORY OF RAICHAK
Diamond Harbour was frequented by the Portuguese pirates. Thus, the site features some ruins associated with the pirates, the most notable being the remnants of the Chingrikhali Fort, built in the 16th century. According to the locals, the fort was inhabited by the Portuguese pirates.
RAICHAK AS A PICNIC SPOT
Picnic area at Raichak is a tract of land set aside solely for picnicking. The picnic area at Raichak is excellently located near the lake, pool or overlooking a scenic destination. Many hotels host a picnic area in Raichak for a pleasurable experience of its guests.
Raichak has been gaining importance for quite some time now, as many guests come here with the intention of spending their weekends or a brief period of their stay. The the best thing to do here is to sit beside the river and watch the passing boats.
This small town with a picturesque setting is the gateway to the south-western part of the district leading to such places as Gangasagar, Kakdwip, Namkhana, and Bakkhali. Gangasagar is a Hindu pilgrimage site where Hindus perform ablutions to wash away their sins. Bakkhali is gaining in popularity as a beach resort. Jetties at Diamond Harbour, Raichak and ‘Nurpur’ provide steamer service to the other bank of the wide river estuary.
It is an Anglo- Indian Style structure situated on the river bend of Raichak is the prime tourist attraction of the region. Original Fort Radisson was built in 1783 by the British East India Company to keep a watch on river Hooghly for any sign of pirates. However, post-independence the fort was in deplorable condition, which was undertaken by the Carlton Group of Hotels and the Bengal Ambuja Group in the late nineties and was transformed into a deluxe resort – Radisson Fort.
Though entry at the site is restricted only for the guests, you can highly savor the wonderful sight of the resort. The management was able to preserve some of the artifacts of the fort from the colonial era like a grand piano, perfume bottles, swords and a vintage wall clock.
What links Haldia and Kolkata is Diamond Harbour of Raichak. Formerly known as Hajipur, Diamond Harbor was then considered to be the safest resting spot for the ocean-going ship. It is famous for offering a mesmerizing vista of sparkling river stream. Along the harbor, visitors can find an ancient Chingrihkali fort with its own lighthouse. This age-old lighthouse is also a major tourist attraction. The fort once sufficed as a hiding spot for Portuguese pirates.
River Hooghly is one of the prime attractions of Raichak. In olden days River Hooghly served as an important trading link. It is an ideal place for a serene picnic spot or to avail boating facility to enjoy the sunset over River Ganga. Boat rides or ferry ride is available to Kukhrahati or Gadiara or to other nearby towns and villages from Raichak Jetty and Nurpur Jetty is another popular activity at Raichak.
RAMAKRISHNA MISSION ASHRAM
It is a popular pilgrimage center in Raichak. Situated near Diamond Harbor, Aashram of Ramakrishna Mission with its idyllic setting has become the perfect place for visitors who are in search of solace and tranquility. Tourists visit the Sarisha Ramkrishna Mission Ashram, which is another prominent highlight of the site.
It is a quaint settlement located near Raichak. Joynagar is famous for housing the artifacts dating back to the 11th and 12th century. Visitors can see ancient manuscripts, terracotta figurines, and black stone images of many gods while exploring Joynagar.
THINGS TO DO
Savor the scenic beauty of Raichak and the spectacular sunset on the river Hooghly. The ferry rides or the boat ride from the Raichak Jetty and Nupur Jetty to Gadiara or Kukhrahati is truly exciting. Relish the scrumptious Bengali cuisines available at Raichak. In visiting Diamond Harbor you can also book a daylong river cruise trip.
BEST SEASON TO VISIT
The ideal time of visiting Raichak is during the period between October and March when the temperature drops down and becomes pleasant.
HOW TO REACH RAICHAK
The connectivity to major tourist attractions and transportation hubs is also efficient from the Raichak, as the site is well connected by road, rail and air.
By Bus: Luxury bus ply from Goalpark, Esplanade, which takes directly to Raichak. Fares vary between Rs. 200 to 500 per trip. It is just 2 and a half hours drive by bus.
By Car: Raichak lies at a driving distance from Kolkata. You should drive down the Diamond Harbour Road from Behala in southern Kolkata to reach Sarisha in about 30 mins and take a right turn just before Diamond Harbour. Raichak is another 5 km from here.
By Train: Train connectivity is there through Howrah station, buses are the direct car is also available from Howrah station
By Air: Netaji Subhash Chandra airport is the nearest airport from where cars or buses are available.
Raichak Fort and Ganga Kutir are among some famous hotels in Raichak. These five-star hotels provide with a magnificent panoramic view of the river at Raichak. Apart from Fort Radisson, you can also get budget accommodation options in Raichak like Hotel Arena, Raichak on Ganges, Hotel Punyalakshmi, Fort Holiday club, Raichak hotels etc. Room fares vary between Rs. 500/- to Rs. 15000/-
OTHER RECOMMENDED DAYTRIP PLACES NEAR KOLKATA
The village of Deulti, nestled on the riverbank of Rupnarayan, is a popular sightseeing destination of Howrah. It is an ideal weekend getaway from Kolkata if you love the calm mysticism of the village. So there must be little wonder why your effervescent excitement will drive you to Deulti in that case.
You will love the serene natural set up surrounding the village which is a perfect vacation spot, cradled on the bank of the Rupnarayan river. Travelers who are interested in the culture and heritage of Bengal, especially about the literature, can visit this interesting place to cater to their taste in Bengal and its natural surroundings.
An aura of mystery and smoky hues of obnoxious desolation has its mark felt upon this island called Machranga Dweep. This bleak island is roofed by trees and is measured as an ideal hub for a fun-filled day trip. The island is nice for a nature walk over the stretched green fields and in the distance where enchantment screams one can also visit the villages of Bangladesh.
It is a petite island in the middle of Ichamati river that is still more or less a virgin spot and a secretive destination for bird lovers and photographers. Kingfisher Island touts of being a beautiful landscape surrounded by trees and flowing river.
ACHIPUR: CHINA TOWN
Achipur, a hamlet on the banks of the Hooghly near Budge Budge, is just like any other Bengal village 30Km away from Taratala. 300 years ago, this village, bustled with activity and was dominated by the Chinese people. This was the first Chinese settlement in India. On every Chinese New Year eve and for the rest of that month, Achipur turns into a mini Chinatown. Thousands of people gather at the Chinese temple here, especially on Sundays, to celebrate the new year.
Want to get lost amidst nature, wish to feel the love of nature or paint your thoughts in the green canvas of nature? Then Parmadan Forest is an ideal place for you this weekend. It is here where the chirps of melodious birds will steal your heart. The marvelous greenery of the forest will definitely bring your youth back. Your mind and body will definitely wave in the rhythm of Ichamati river waves after seeing the panoramic beauty of nature, which is a feast for the eyes.
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