On one normal day, I thought of visiting Bandel to see the famous Basilica of the Holy Rosary or known as Bandel Church. Without wasting much time I started research on how to get there. The route I selected was the Suburban rail route since I stay near Belgharia Station(Sealdah Main line route).
Bandel Junction is an important railway station of Eastern Railway on Howrah line and its also a junction. It is well connected to Howrah, Sealdah and Naihati on the main line.
On surfing the web I found another great spot which is Hooghly Imambara. So I planned my trip to two spots Bandel Church and Hoogly Imambara.
Though few direct train was available from Belgharia(Sealdah), being a lazy person I choose to do a break journey. I took Naihati local and I was lucky enough to get a connecting train from Naihati to Bandel.
The train pass through Jublee Bridge( the old one, not operational now) which was around 127 years old then. The train slowly crossed the bridge and I reached my first destination “Hooghly Ghat Station”. I got down off the train and walked towards Imambara taking help from reliable google map.
It took me 10 minutes to reach there.The Imambara is a beautiful piece of architecture however it remains less crowdy as it has not been promoted well enough.
There is an entry fee for the Imambara, the interior is well decorated with marbles, lanterns, there is also a garden inside the premises near the Hooghly river.
To be honest I didn’t expect such a wonderful piece of history and architecture at that place cause I never get to hear about it.
It did make me sad to see such a beautiful place is not well maintained. Thanks to the Internet I found this place and gave it a visit.
I then started my walk to next destination to Bandel Church, which took me approx 25mins to reach. It is one of the oldest church in the state, situated in Bandel which is around 60 km from Kolkata but is well connected by train from Howrah and also train service is available from Sealdah and Naihati. The church is 2km(approx) from Bandel station one can easily get an auto rickshaw or cycle rickshaw from the station.
The Church was crowded as you can expect from a tourist spot. The church has been renovated and is in good shape. But I found the old traditional architecture missing after the renovation.
The church has a very long history so maybe a local guide can guide’s knowledge can make the church more interesting. Many astonishing has occurred related to the church. These stories have been written on the church’s wall.
The places are well connected by roads and railways and also ferry service is available from Naihati. One can get around the city in a cycle rickshaw or auto rickshaw.
It was then my time to return, I choose to walk to Bandel Station to catch a direct train. I left Bandel with wonderful memories and promise to return back to take quality pictures next time.