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Time Required : 5-6 hrs

Entry Fee : INR 15

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Henry Island

Henry's Island, Bakkhali Overview

Henry's Island is a serene island near the village of Bakkhali in the Indian state of West Bengal. Bakkhali is located in the district of South 24 Parganas of West Bengal. The captivating island is 140 kilometres away from the bustling city of Kolkata and is a quick getaway for the locals. The place is famous for its tranquillity, its virgin beach and the crabs that thrive on it attracting not just the locals, but also tourists from all over the world. One is sure to be mesmerised by the fresh air, the unexploited beach and the panoramic view. 

The name, Henry's Island, is derived from a British explorer who arrived on the island back in the 19th century. One can opt to stay in one of the cottages/ resorts or one of the three guest houses that have facilities to make your stay comfortable and offer scrumptious local food items. Sunrises and sunsets should never be missed here, and you can stroll across the beach all day long.

Water babies can enjoy their time swimming in the sea and take back memories of this wonderful Island. With striking golden sand, the clear water, beautiful beaches and Mangrove trees that appease the senses, this trip is sure to be worthwhile. Do make it a point to visit the watchtower inside the Sundari Tourist Complex to get a magnificent panoramic view of the beach.

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Things To Do at Henry's Island

The Beach
Travellers may explore the beautiful Henry's Island Beach. The gentle tides, the sand that many describe as smooth and silky, and the pleasant atmosphere with less or no crowd will mesmerize you. You may walk across the beach and watch the red crabs that thrive in abundance here, swim in the sea or just sit down on the sand under the clear blue skies and watch the fishing boats sail away as you enjoy some refreshing coconut water on the serene island.  

Mangrove Forests
The Island is an extension of the Sundarbans and has dense mangrove forests that travellers can explore. Some mangrove trees are seen surviving in regions surrounded by the ponds, a view which is not often found in every area. Exploring the forest fringes is a perfect nature walk for nature lovers. From the forest region, you need to follow a path leading to a small Bamboo Bridge across which lies the pristine beach. The lush greenery of the region is refreshing.

Bird Watching
Bird watching is a favourite activity at Henry's Island. With dense Mangrove forests, the island is a breeding ground for a variety of birds like Gadwall, Eurasian Wigeon, Kingfisher, Red Knot, Woodpecker, Common Snipe, Black-Rumped Flameback, Whistling Ducks etc. Do not forget to carry your binoculars and a hat.

Bheris/ Large Shallow Ponds
When the water level recedes naturally, the mudflats are exposed, and several ponds are formed. Nearly 29 such formations have now been dedicated to pisciculture by the Fisheries Department in the region. The fishermen catch fresh fish every morning at these lakes. Interested ones can watch them fish and purchase fresh fish from them.

The Watchtower at Sundari Complex is a must-see for all travellers. The panoramic view from the top of the watchtower is breathtaking. One can get a bird's eye view of the clean beach, the stunning Bay of Bengal under the clear blue skies and watch the fishing boats sail silently at a distance as they immerse at the moment and absorb the tranquillity.

Geography of Henry's Island

Henry's Island is one of the deltaic islands in the southern part of West Bengal, located about 15 minutes away from Bakkhali that extends further into the mesmerizing Bay of Bengal. Dense mangrove forests and several canals that separate the land is a characteristic feature of this region which is also an extension of the Sundarbans. The thick forests in the regions are home to a variety of animals like Tiger, Crocodiles, Wild Pigs, Deer and birds and the ocean is home to a variety of aqua fauna like crab, starfish, carp etc. Henry's Island has an expansive area of mud and sand flats, and during monsoons, the whole of delta gets submerged as the water level rises.

Best Time To Visit Henry's Island

The best time to Visit Bakkhali is between October and March as the weather is pleasant, the tides are gentle and the island is open for tourists.

Tips For Visiting Henry's Island

1. Visitors may want to carry their own food and beverages especially those planning a one-day trip.
2. Carry enough cash as not all vendors would accept credit or debit cards.
3. If travelling by bus, please reach the bus stops at least 20 minutes before the departure time.
4. There are dormitories available for drivers at a minimal cost. You may want to check about it while booking.
5. The beach area becomes pretty desolated after sunset. So, avoid visiting it at night.

How To Reach Henry's Island

You can take a road trip from Joka Tram Terminus and travel through the Diamond Harbour - Kakdwip - Namkhana route till the Hatania-Doania creek. From the creek, a ferry is available for a ride till Bakkhali. Once at Bakkhali, travel about 15 minutes further to reach the mesmerising Henry's Island.

Public Transport Buses regularly ply from Dharmatala to Bakkhali. Buses leave Dharmatala at 7:00 AM and 8:00 AM. The nearest Railway Station is the Namkhana Railway Station. Travellers can hail public transport till Hatania-Doania creek and take a ferry ride till Bakkhali. The nearest airport is Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata which is about 150 kilometres away from Henry's Island.

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