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SOUTH OF CALCUTTA SIGHTSEEING

 

Diamond Harbour : A resort 51 km south of Calcutta by road, Diamond Harbour is at the point where the Hooghly turns south and flows into the open sea. It can be reached by bus or train from Calcutta. Launches run from here to Sagar Island. Haldia : The new port of Haldia is 96 km south of Calcutta, on the west bank of the Hooghly. There are regular buses between Calcutta and Haldia. Sagar Island (Sagardwip) : At the mouth of the Hooghly, this island is considered the point where the Ganges joins the sea, and a great three-day bathing festival takes place here in mid-January. Digha : Close to the border with Orissa, 185 km south-east of Calcutta on the Bay of Bengal, Digha is another self-styled 'Brighton of the East'. The beach is 7 km long and very wide. There are daily buses between Calcutta and Digha. The Chandeshwar Siva Temple is just across the border in Orissa, 8 km from Digha. Bakkhali : Also known as Fraserganj, this is another beach resort, 132 km from Calcutta, on the east side of the Hooghly. From here you can get boats to the small island of Jambu Dwip to the south-west. Sunderbans Wildlife Sanctuary : It has one of the largest tiger populations of any of the Indian parks. There's a heron sanctuary near Sajnekhli. At the Sanjekhli visitor centre there is a crocodile enclosure, shark pond, and an interesting Mangrove Intrepretation Centre. From here boats are available for excursions through the mangroves. There are watchtowers here and at several other points around the park. In the south of the Sunderbans are 2 other sanctuaries at Lothian and Halliday Island.


SOUTH OF CALCUTTA - GETTING THERE AND AWAY

 

West Bengal Tourism organises a couple of boat tours each month. Private operators have cheaper tours and day trips. From Calcutta it is quickest to get the bus to Sonakhali/Basunti. Continuing from Sonakhali/Basunti the next step is a boat to Gosava.


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