BEAUTY of river Ganga unforgettable

Utpal Chatterjee

River Hooghly, Howrah | Timings, How to Reach | Holidify

AND, QUIET FLOWS THE GANGA! The other day, I decided to take a couple of days off and spend most of it in as relaxed a manner as could be possible. So, we drove for about an hour and a half, cutting across 45 kilometers, to Sarisa. Then, it was a matter of minutes finding the much talked about “Ganga Kutir”. Given the warm and friendly reception, while checking in, I was in my room on the first floor in no time. It was a room with a view. And, what a view! I have seen the Ganges or the Ganga in all its moods and seasons since I had been an infant until I passed out of school outside Bengal. But this was, altogether, a different sight. This is the point where two rivers actually meet, merge and, in some minutes, finally, flow into the sea. So, it is a confluence of the Rupnarayan and the Ganga. I should think the river is at its widest or broadest here and the bank, on the other side, seems relatively far. When it is hot and humid outside, this place is cool. And, that is but natural. There is a lovely breeze that blows past your ears as you stand looking across the expanse of the water that gurgles past you. The current, they warn, is strong and tricky. At all times the river is alive….when the tide is high and when it is low. When I was a child, I remember a well-known painter telling me that the sky, even if it seems the same, is constantly changing. That truth seems much the same about the river in all its hoistroom have sailed across this river long ago when I was involved in a couple of Doordarshan tele-documentaries in 1982, one on the emerging Haldia, the Sagar island and the story of the Port from Calcutta to Haldia. But sailing across the river is one thing and relaxing by it so comfortable when you can observe so much is another. Back to where I had checked in, the room was, indeed, comfortable. But I preferred moving about. On this side, everything is so green. So verdant green! For the food buffs, there are plenty of places to choose from. I tried three during my stay. For lunch, it was “Shonar Tori”, a place done up in old Calcutta zamindar style. You could choose from a zamindari thali and a peasant’s thali. But the fare from both is equally delicious. Warning: You would be lavished and pampered. The Ganga Kutir has its own dining room from where you can look towards the river. For those fond of Oriental fare, one can always look up The Oriental which is a stroll away at the Fort chose to have light dinner at The Oriental which, given the clientele, seems to be very popular. But one thing I found in common at all times was the fact that the staff was extremely courteous and friendly. When people take time off as tourists in Bengal, their destination is, inevitably, the hills or the seaside. But whoever could have conceived an ideal place to relax by the river and at precisely such a spot? By the day or night, the river fascinated me and even more so because I chose to visit the place at a time when the only night, I spent there was moonlit. The brainchild behind the entire concept is Harshvardhan Neotia and all kudos to him for being so full of ideas. Thanks to him, no visitor to Ganga Kutir can ever be disappointed. For me, the “visual romance” with the river that starts from Gangotri and shows itself in its full glory here before merging with the sea, has only resumed. Those like me, smitten by the sights and the sounds, cannot wait to return. (Picture courtesy: Holidayfy)

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