Hooghly is a historical district located close to Kolkata. During the 1700s, Hooghly became the center of the British East India Company.
It remains one of the few districts that saw the growth of the British Empire in India and around the world.
Hooghly is also recognized for its religious places and cultural heritage sites.
In this article, you will get to know the following places in the Hooghly district,
- Bandel Church
- Itachuna Rajbari
- Hooghly Imambara
- Hangseshwari Temple
- Serampore Rajbari
- Tarakeshwar Temple
- Chandanagar Museum
- Chinsurah Dutch Cemetery
- Lahiri Baba Ashram
- Antpur Radha Govind Ji Temple
Let’s see each of these places in detail…
1. Bandel Church
Bandel Church also known as the “Basilica of the Holy Rosary” is one of the significant and oldest landmarks in West Bengal.
Located in Bandel, Hooghly, this age-old Roman Catholic church was founded in 1599 during the Portuguese settlement in Bengal.
It was when Bandel was used as a port for trade purposes.
Many people visit this sacred site every day. During Christmas, the place remains quite crowded.
The iconic site is also famous for its glorious architecture and serenity.
The Holy Cross, the clock tower, and the graveyard are also prime attractions within the premises of the church.
2. Itachuna Rajbari
Nothing can beat the essence of royalty and opulence of the Itachuna Rajbari in the Hooghly district.
The grand palace reflects the glorious and rich past of history during the British era.
The other name for Itachuna Rajbari is called “Bargee Danga”. It is one of the most popular Rajbaris in West Bengal.
The grand mansion is bright red in color encompassing a large area with beautiful lawns and gardens.
There is a multitude of reasons to visit this cultural heritage. The Rajbari Tour is only available upon request.
The interiors are well furnished with a spacious room named after the “members of the family”.
There are areas for recreation facilities, body and foot massages, fishing, gardening, and flying kites.
This spot is also quite popular as a pre-wedding spot and for photography.
3. Hooghly Imambara
The Hooghly Imambara is one of the oldest cultural heritage sites in Bengal on the banks of River Hooghly.
The beautiful and grand mosque is among the Hooghly district’s must-visit places.
Hooghly Imambara is a two-storied mosque.
The building has a long array of corridors, spacious courtyards, a majestic watch tower, a sun clock, and overall impressive architectural beauty.
In the center of the huge courtyard, you can see a water tank and a few fountains.
The Zaridalan or the main prayer hall is the center of attraction in Bara Imambara.
The interiors of the mosque will mesmerize you with black and white marble floors, the holy text of the Quran inscribed on the walls, hanging lanterns, and the throne of the Imam.
You can also view the spectacular beauty of Jubilee Bridge and Hooghly River from the top of the twin tower.
4. Hangseshwari Temple
Hangseshwari Temple is located in Bansberia on the banks of river Hooghly in between Tribeni and Bandel.
The temple built towards the start of the 19th century has an unusual and unique type of architecture.
It has 13 towers each shaped like a “bud of lotus petal” almost resembling one of the holy architectural marvels of Moscow.
The interior of the temple resembles the structure of the human body and is also adorned with various terracotta decorations.
Many people not only come to see the distinctive architecture of the temple but also come to seek blessings from Goddess Hangseshwari, a manifestation of Goddess Kali.
The deity is a blue-colored neem idol with four hands.
The temple is now a popular heritage site under the Archeological Survey of India.
5. Serampore Rajbari
Serampore Rajbari in Hooghly is a palatial mansion that belongs to the Goswamis of Serampore.
It was erected between 1815 and 1820 by Raghuram Goswami, Hari Narayan Goswami’s son.
This Rajbari has been an important part of Bengali culture, architecture, and heritage.
The architecture will lofty columns, interconnected corridors, and ornamentation will surely impress you.
The Bonedi Bari Puja of this Rajbari conducted on the ThalurDalan is popularly known all over West Bengal.
For almost 300 years, the Goswami family of Serampore has worshiped Ek Chala Durga.
This Bonedi bari Durga puja is performed following three Puranas, Debi Puran, Brihat Nandikeshwar Puran, and Kalika Puran.
Apart from Durgapuja, festivals like KaliPuja, Dhol Yatra, Jhulan Yatra, and Ras Purnima are celebrated with great grandeur and fervor.
The notable feature of the Rajbari is the “Ashtadhatu” (eight metal) of the Radharani idol.
It has also many Dutch influences and has seen several events associated with Dutch Commissioners.
6. Tarakeshwar Temple
Tarakeshwar Temple located in the Tarakeshwar Village of Hooghly District is dedicated to Lord Taraknath, a form of Lord Shiva.
It is considered one of the prime Jyotirlingas in India.
The ancient temple was constructed by Raja Bharamalla in the year 1729.
It is built in Atchala or nat mandir architectural style with four roofs above the sanctum sanctorum with extended galleries for the congregation of a large number of devotees.
Apart from the main shrine of Baba Tarakanath, the temple has also other shrines of Goddess Kali and Lakshmi Narayan.
There is also a sacred tank beside the temple known as the Dudh Pukur Tank.
Thousands of devotees visit this holy abode of Lord Mahadev on Maha Shivaratri, Sravan Month, Neel Puja, Charak Puja, Gajan Celebration, and Chaitra Sankranti.
6. Chandanagar Museum
Chandannagar Museum is one of the oldest and best museums in West Bengal.
This museum was established in Dupleix House in 1952 and preserves the rich colonial history of France.
The museum has an antique collection of gifts awarded to Harihar Sett, the antiquarian and the first president of the free city of Chandernagore.
If you visit this museum, you can see vivid vintage collections of French antiques, Anglo-French War Canyons, 18th-century wooden furniture, and the personal belongings of the governor-general.
Thus this museum is worth visiting if you are interested in the history of French colonial rule.
The Museum also has well-maintained gardens and the statue of Marianne at the entrance.
Timings: 11 AM – 5.30 PM, Closed on Thursday, Saturday & govt. holidays
Entry: Rs. 5 for Indians & Rs. 20 for Foreigners
7. Chinsurah Dutch Cemetery
The Dutch Cemetery is a historic landmark in Chinsurah, Hooghly.
It is a renowned heritage site in West Bengal and is one of India’s oldest cemeteries, with around 45 burials.
Louis Taillefert, a former head of the United East Indian Company, founded the Dutch Cemetery.
The Dutch Cemetery still exists as a reminder of the glorious days of the Dutch Era.
The tombs vary in size, with some very big and some small.
Aside from its historical value, the location has a mystical charm. It is set among greeneries with graves interspersed with pathways.
8. Lahiri Baba Ashram
Lahiri Baba Ashram which is also known as Lahiri Temple, is a sacred place in the village of Rajhat, Hooghly.
The beautiful white temple is an ideal place to find peace amidst nature.
A beautiful garden at the entrance of this small lake temple greets you to the main shrine via a bridge.
You can also see several other small shrines around the main temple.
In the main temple, you can see the main idol of Lahiri Baba along with various Yogic postures and holy symbols of hands inscribed on the wall.
There are also idols of Lord Shiva, Krishna, Durga, Vishnu, Buddha, Mother Mary, and Jesus depicting a culmination of rich cultures and religions.
There are also dress codes to enter the temple and photography is strictly prohibited here.
You can also avail yourself of the Bhog offered at the temple.
9. Antpur Radha Govind Ji Temple
Antpur Radha Govind Ji Temple is one of the ancient and beautiful tourist spots in Hooghly.
Sri Radha Govindaji Temple is the most prominent terracotta Temple in Bengal.
Shri Krishna Ram Mitra, the Diwan of Bardhaman Raj, built the shrine in 1786.
This 100-foot-tall temple is adorned with magnificent terracotta sculptures reflecting stories from all 18 Puranas.
The temple’s main sanctum sanctorum has a black stone idol of Lord Krishna.
While Radha and Krishna are prominent deities in this temple, there is also the goddess Durga, whose devotion was greatly revitalized in 1757 by Nabakrishna Deb of Sovabazar Rajbari.
It has a Chandi Mandap and a Dol Mancha, both of which are exquisitely made wood carvings and terracotta.
Aside from the main Radhagovindjiu temple, there are temples dedicated to Gangadhara, Fuleswara, Rameswara, Jaleswara, and Baneswara.
Kamarpukur is one of the sacred destinations in Hooghly, as it is the birthplace of the legendary sage “Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa ”.
It is a location that would fill your heart with immense peacefulness, and inexpressible joy and satisfaction.
The beautiful place has a rural charm that attracts many devotees every day.
The Ramakrishna Math in Kamarpukur is blessed with a spiritual ambiance, greenery, and beautiful gardens.
The main shrine is built over two straw huts that were used by Sri Ramkrishna and his family.
You can visit this place as part of the Jairambati – Kamarpukur Trip.
Apart from the main temple, you can also see the Laha Babu’s Pathshala, Rash Mancha, and Haldar Pukur.
The entire temple complex is surrounded by lush green paddy fields.
You can take amazing photos of the place and can also savor the Mahaprasad Bhog in Kamarpukur.
These are some of the best places to visit in the Hooghly district.
So set out for a long drive from Kolkata to see the age-old treasures of Hooghly!
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