Henry Island, Bakhali A place to visit near Kolkata
Henry Island is a man made island in the Southern part of West Bengal near Bakkahli. With mangrove forest and sea it is a nice place near Kolkata for 2-3days vacation. Not at all touristy, you can live solely with yourself within the lap of mother nature.
How to reach Henry Island Bakhali
Henry Island can be reached by rail/road. There is frequent WBSTC bus service from Esplanade and Korunamoyee. Or you can hire private car for the whole trip to Henry Island. The journey by road is about 3.5-4hrs.
The road goes through New Alipore, Joka, Diamond Harbour. Take a break here, nice place at the bank of the river Ganges. A Sunset over the river will be an immemorable experience. If you start early in the morning, take breakfast at this place, if you start in the afternoon, enjoy the Sunset. Start your journey again, and stop at the ferry ghat of river Hatania-Doania creek, crowded place with fishermen selling fresh fish caught from the river, a small market with regular items needed by the locals and gathering of some big traders, merchants as well. You have to cross the river by launch, in fact your car/bus have to cross the river by launch. The fare for crossing a Car/Jeep is approximately Rs 190. It's a good experience in its own. After crossing the river it's another 45 minutes journey to Henry Island.
The nearest rail station is at Namkhana. There are regular trains from Sealdah via Lakshmikantapur and Kakdwip to NAMKHANA. The first train starts at around 4am from Sealdah. Train fare is around 22 rupees and the journey takes around 3hrs.
Accomodation at Bakhali
Good accommodation available to stay at this place, though there is a checkpoint before reaching Henry Island, and beyond this point there is only West Bengal Fisheries Resort. Try booking this, the best place to stay overnight. For reservation, contact: State Fisheries Development Corporation, Bikash Bhavan. Ph: 23376470.
Otherwise you have many options before the checkpoint and you have to take permits to enter the Henry Island. Entry Fee Rs 5 . Room service is pretty good at West Bengal Fisheries resort, always in "serve with a smile" mood. Only keep in mind that at night staying outside the resort after 11.30pm is strictly restricted.
What to eat at Henry Island Bakhali
No restaurant is present at this place, only option of fooding is at the resort itself. and believe me, the food is damn good. Various recipes of fresh fishes are the main attraction I must say. You will get rice, dal, fried potatoes and other Bengali dishes including "desi murir jhol" anything you order beforehand. They can even serve "luchi, aluvaja" at your breakfast.
There is no liquor served anywhere in this place. So if you want to drink you have to carry it yourself, or alternately you have to buy from Diamond Harbour on your way.
Credit cards are not accepted anywhere, nor are there any ATMs around the place, so carry cash.
Taxis or hired transport are not generally available at Bakkhali or Namkhana. Those who desire to travel in hired transport should preferably arrange for it from Kolkata or try their luck at Diamond Harbour. Most Bakkhali hotels have chargeable dormitories for drivers to stay.
locals are mainly dependent on fish catching. Also they are paid by the Govt. for reserving, protecting the mangrove forest here.
Sight seeing involved mainly the mangrove forest. You can get the feelings of being in Sunderban. And in fact this forest in connected with Sunderban mangrove forest. The sea beach is another good place to hang out. Literally a virgin beach, You can find no one to disturb while you are swimming.
Visit the Benfish harbour and Frasergunj Beach on the way to Henry's Island .
You can also visit the Crocodile Park. Entry fee Rs 2.
For all the spots a Ricksaw van will charge you at max Rs 60 per head.