A beautiful beach, lovely sunset to watch out for and some heartfelt conversation with your cousins. Life is all about such happy moments and living them each passing day. During my recent visit to Kolkata, I along with my bunch of cousins decided to head to Henry’s Island –a popular beach adjoining Sunderban.
We decided to hire a cab and head to this fishing land. It already give me fair idea how beautiful the place just might be. Around 140 kms from Kolkata, The journey to reach Henry’s is pretty adventurous as you will have to cross the Namkhana Jetty Service, as you cross the cross the ‘Hatania-Doania’ River. The whole process of crossing the river is pretty interesting as there is no connecting bridge, but barge operates that transport vehicles from one bank to the other.
As our driver drove the car to the jetty, we decided to walk up to the place watching the whole humdrum around. After that it’s around a 25kms smooth road till you reach your destination. Maintained and supervised under the Fisheries Department of the Government of West Bengal, Henry’s island is most known for pisciculture and is one of the prominent eco-tourism project under their banner. Giving a taste a countryside, the place seemed pretty enchanting.
The minute we dumped our luggage all I could think was to head for the beach. The sprawling greenery around as I walked towards the beach was worth a view. As yes as you walk towards the beach you get to see Bheris – large shallow lakes, used for fish cultivation. The beauty of the place enchants and in no time as your cross a man-made bamboo bridge across a semi mangrove you are standing right in front of the sea.
But don’t get carried away by the sea, do look down upon your steps as you see a carpet of red crabs roll out. But don’t worry they are dam scurry even at the slightest hint of your feet.
This island juts out into the vast Bay of Bengal. After a long journey and all the masti that we did, our hunger pangs were at extreme levels. When we had booked the place earlier then only we had booked our meals and being a fish dominated place how the plate not have it enough. The lunch thali saw – Rice, seasonal vegetable, dal, chingri malai curry (Prawn curry with coconut) and bhetki curry (Asian seabass). Happy faces serving us and even insisting for a second helping made the meal all the more memorable.
As I sat watching the setting sun from the watch tower, the panoramic view of the place kept on growing on me. And as evening set in the sky saw a riot of colours that played shades of hue. Being a full moon night all I wanted was to visit the beach again and see the silver moon shine upon the water. Heading to the beach in late evenings is not much recommended, but the enthusiast bunch that we were, what could hold us. It not because of anything else but at dark the way back from the mangroves might look confuse and one could easily get lost.
The full moon had spread it’s beauty on earth and as we sat outside our guesthouse chit chatting all I wished was “ kash iss raat ki subah nah ho” ( wish this night stretches much longer). Woke up next morning to the sound of chirping birds and planning to go take a boat trip to ‘Mohona’ (a place where river meets the sea). The journey have a taste of some unique marine and birdlife as we crossed the narrow creeks of the mangrove.
Traveler Tip: Though we couldn’t make it, but do drop by at Jambudwip Island, a nearby island. The beauty of this secluded lonely place is enchanting. And not to mention bird lovers can catch glimpse of some rare species of migratory birds. The adventure doesn’t end here you can move further to the Bhagabatpur Crocodile Sanctuary and see some crocodiles.
Distance From Kolkata: 140 kms approx.
Places To Stay: There are two guest houses: – One is Mangrove and another one Sundari (this is closer to the beach). They belong to the Fisheries Department of West Bengal.
For booking, contact – State Fisheries Development, Bikash Bhavan, Kolkata (Phone – 033-23376470)
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