Santragachi Jheel

Weather :

Timings : 24 hours

Time Required : 1-2 hours

Entry Fee : No entry fee

Santragachi Jheel, Howrah Overview

The Santragachi Jheel, located in Santragachi, Howrah, is a lake which attracts different migratory birds over the winter months and is a perfect day-trip destination for birdwatching. However, the number and variety of birds have been declining over the years due to climate change and increasing water pollution, among other reasons. Santragachi is a prominent neighbourhood in Howrah, West Bengal. The district of Howrah is connected to Kolkata by two bridges across the river Hooghly and is quite easy to access from any point of Kolkata due to its proximity as well as an abundance of transportation facilities.

 

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About Santragachi Jheel

The lake is situated right next to the Santragachi railway station and is quite close to the nearby residential localities. Covering the span of 32 acres, the lake becomes a beautiful site for nature-lovers, especially from December to February. One can spot myriad breeds of birds here, such as the ferruginous pochard, the Swinhoe’s Snipe, the Comb Duck, the Northern Pintail, Cormorants, the Gadwall, the Garganey, the Northern Shoveler, the Water Moorhen, the cotton pygmy goose, the comb duck, and different breeds of whistling ducks. More than 4,000-4,500 birds visit this lake every winter, the majority of them being variations of aquatic species such as the duck and the goose. Besides migratory birds, several resident breeding species are also regularly spotted in the lake, such as egrets, jacanas, and bitterns. Most of the lake is fenced, barring one or two spots.
However, one alarming fact is that the maintenance of this lake is not up to the mark, which leads to contamination of the waterbody, thereby causing a steady fall in the number of birds flocking to this area. Being very closely located in residential areas which produce disposable waste is another reason contributing to the morbidly increasing rate of pollution. It is sad to note that the government is yet to take adequate measures to preserve such a prominent spot.

Places to Visit Nearby

There are several places of tourist attractions in the district of Howrah, most of which are easily accessible from near the lake. The most popular ones of them include the famous Indian Botanical Garden situated at Shibpur (takes around 30 minutes to reach), the Rail Museum near the Howrah Station, the renowned Howrah Bridge (also referred to as the Rabindra Setu), and other spots which are located comparatively farther away from the lake. Some of these places are Panitras Samtaber, the Sarat Chandra Kuthi at Deulti, Garchumuk, and Gadiara. Some tourist spots in Kolkata can also be conveniently travelled to from Santragachi Jheel, such as the Victoria Memorial, the Dakshineswar Temple, and the M.P. Birla Planetarium.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit the Santragachi Jheel is during the winter months of November to February as these are the months when the migratory birds visit the lake. Also, the best time to visit the lake is during early morning to midday, and it is recommended to avoid the place after sunset due to its location.

How To Reach Santragachi Jheel

The Santragachi Jheel is situated in the district of Howrah, and can be easily reached from Kolkata. The nearest metro station is Rabindra Sadan, from where a bus or a cab can be taken to reach the spot. Direct buses are also available till Santragachi from near various other metro stations such as Park Street, Esplanade, and Netaji Bhavan, etcetera. Since Santragachi also hosts both a railway station as well as a bus depot, reaching the place is easier via a bus or a local train. Buses from all over the city of Kolkata directly connect the city to Santragachi, and are also the cheapest possible mode of transportation to the place. Several direct buses ply between Santragachi and the Exide crossing at intervals as regular as 8-10 minutes everyday, and it takes around 35 minutes to complete this journey. Trains can be boarded on from several other stations, the most important of them being the Howrah station, to reach Santragachi. Cab services are another convenient way to reach Santragachi Jheel, which is distanced at around 12 km from Kolkata. The route through the Vidyasagar Setu is the easiest one to take while reaching the lake. The distance between this place and the Dumdum airport is comparatively more, and the spots are connected by several buses plying regularly.

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