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How to Reach Ganga Sagar (Sagar Island)
Ganga Sagar (Sagar Island)
Sagar Island, popularly known as Ganga Sagar or Sagar, is a famous Hindu pilgrim place. Every year on the day of Makar Sankranti (mid of January), hundreds of thousands of Hindus gather to take a holy dip at the confluence of river Ganges and Bay of Bengal. They also offer devotion (puja) in the Kapil Muni Temple.
Sagar Island is about 120 km south of Kolkata. The island is separated from the main land by Muriganga river. The island is southernmost point of India state West Bengal.
How to Reach Ganga Sagar (Sagar Island)
Sagar Island is about 120 km south of Kolkata. The island is separated from the main land by Muriganga river. Presently there are no brindge to connect the island with the main land.
To visit Gangasagar, the best way is to take Diamond Harbour Road from Kolkata. You will have to drive around 90 km (from Esplanade bus Terminus of Kolkata) and reach Harwood ferry point near Kakdwip. The Panchyat Samity maintains a parking area near ferry point and charges Rs.80 (During Mela Time the charge will be high*) for cars for a day. Park your car there and walk a few minutes to reach the ferry point (called Lot no-8). The ferry service charge per adult is Rs 8.00 (During Mela Time the charge will be high*) for Sagar Island and children up to 5 years are exempt. During day time ferry service frequency is 45 minutes apart. It takes about 30 to 45 minutes to reach Kachuberia,the landing point on Sagar Island which is about 3.9 km through the Ganges river (also known as Hooghly River or Muriganga river locally). If the tides are low one can go by small boats which generally charge Rs 100 or 200 (During Mela Time the charge will be high) per head and take around 40 minutes. From there one can take any shared jeep or bus which generally charges Rs 30 per person (32 km) and takes around 45 minutes to reach Gangasagar, the confluence of river Ganges with Bay of Bengal. If there is a group of 5-6 people it is advisable to take a private jeep/car which will charge around Rs. 1,300 to 1,900 for both sides during off season (i.e. except Makar Sankranti times in Mid January every year). The car and buses are parked near the pilgrim site. From the parking area the Kapil Muni Temple is about 200 meters and the Gangasagar confluence is about 700 meters. Platform ricksaws from the bus stand / car parking area are available for Rs.20 per person or Rs.200 for up to eight persons and shall take you to the Gangasagar confluence first and then to Kapil Muni Temple after you have finished your holy dip and worship at the confluence and then back to parking area. All these take about 2 hours. November to February is the best season to visit Gangasagar. As a rough guide line, You should start by 7.00 AM from Kolkata and reach Harwood point by 10 AM. You will then be able to reach Kachuberia by 11 AM and Gangasagar by 12 AM. If you start back by 2.30 PM you would reach back Harwood point by 4 PM and Kolkata by 7 PM. This time table is valid for travel by car both from Kolkata to Harwood point and back and also from Kachuberia to Gangasagar and back. Mind it you can avail last ferry service from Kachuberia on Sagar Island at 8 PM. at Gangasagar mela area available of various of accommodation.
Sagar Island can be approached from either Harwood point or Namkhana. Both the points are linked by Calcutta State Transport Corporation (CSTC) or West Bengal Surface Transport Corporation buses. Distance of Harwood Point is around 80 km from Kolkata and Namkhana is 13 Kilometers more. Bus fare from Kolkata (Esplanade) to Namkhana is around Rs.40 -50 (aprr, Rs. 60 during Mela). During the Mela busses will end at the ferry crossing in Harwood point (or also called 'Lot 8'), and they will start in Kolkata also from Babughat, Howrah RS and Taratola in South Kolkata. From Kakdwip, Harwood Point is only 5 km. and Namkhana is 12 km. by bus or jeep. During the Mela cycle-rickshaws operate between RS and ferry jetty, price was fixed at 15 Rs per person on a 4 pax rickshaw. Trains tend to be overcrowded and are definitely a challenge during Mela time.
Board a Kakdwip-bound bus from Esplanade to Harwood Point, a three hour ride. Cross the river Muriganga by boat and reach Kachuberia. From Kachuberia a bus will take you to Sagardwip (30km) within an hour. Minibus and hired cars are available for the journey. It would take five hours to reach the island from Kolkata. As an alternative you can take a bus to Namkhana from Kolkata to Namkhana (105) km. From Namkhana you can reach Chemaguri across the river Muriganga by launch and from Chamaguri to Gangasagar by bus (10km). Boats from Harwood Point and Kachuberia are available every hour.
To reach Sagar Island one must cross the Muriganga river/creek by ferry service. Ferry service is available in both Harwood point and Namkhana and controlled by West Bengal Surface Transport Corporation. Frequency of crossings are more in Harwood point and it is once in every half an hour. The fare for a single crossing for a person is Rs. 6-10. The fare increases at the time of Ganagasagar Mela Fair
After reaching Sagar Island one have to cross the whole stretch of Sagar Island (32 Km.) by local bus or shared taxi. Fare should be around Rs.10. A private jeep charges around 800-900 Rs. for one way, so if shared by 9 pax a fare of 100 Rs. is a fair price. There is no accommodation available on the point of crossing (Kachuberia), so everybody has to travel the whole stretch of the Island and reach the southernmost part, where accommodations are abundant. Except from Namkhana and Harwood Point, there is also a direct ferry service available to Kachuberia (Sagar Island) from Haldia. It is possible to go the entire length by private car or hired car from Kolkata. At Harwood Point there is provision to transport vehicle with the help of a barge locally known as LCT. There are no fixed time for the crossings, because it is totally dependent on the water-level and thus, on the tides. The charge for a light or medium vehicle is Rs. 250-300 . The fare increases at the time of Ganagasagar Mela (The Fair). The rates are approximate only,chances for variation.
Kolkata is well connected with rest of the India by Howrah and Sealdah station. Howrah Station is the largest and second busiest station in India while Sealdah station is the busiest station in India.
You can go by local train from Sealdah South terminus of Kolkata to Kakdwip station to visit Sagar island. In the morning hours three trains are available for Kakdwip (Namkhana Locals), at 4.00am, 5.09am and 7.15am. These trains take about 2 hours 25 minutes to reach Kakdwip station. Kakdwip is 95 km far from Sealdah by train.
You can take manual or mechanised rickshaws to go from Kakdwip station to Lot No-8 ferry ghat. The distance is about 8 km. Mechanised rickshaws take about 20 minutes to cover the distance of 8 km, the manual rickshaw takes double the time.
Therefore if you board the 7.15 am Namkhana local, you would reach kakdwip by 10am and ferry ghat by 10.30am. You are most likely to reach Kachuberiya on Sagar island by 11.30 am and at Gangasagar confluence by 12.30 pm. If you start back by 3.00pm, you would reach Lot no-8 ferry ghat by 5.00pm and at kakdwip station by 5.30 pm. Up Namkhana-Sealdah Local is available at 5.47 pm at Namkhana station and you will be back at sealdah station by 8.30pm as of January 2016.
Sealdah to Kakdwip and Kakdwip to Sealdah trains
Kolkata is well connected to all the major cities within and outside India. Most of the major airlines have their flights operating from Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport of Kolkata.
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