Sunday, August 25, 2013

Taki – Weekend escape

Vijaya Dasami at Taki

I landed in Taki in the monsoon month of July just to savour nature’s cache of green and enjoy the spillover of river Ichamati that divides India and Bangladesh. A van-rickshaw took us from the station to the Nipendra Atithisala, a guesthouse of Taki Municipality.
The strand

Just a cup of tea boosted us up and we headed for the river side. A watch tower stands on the strand which has a row of chairs where the visitors can sit and enjoy the river view. We sat there as the sun went behind the veil of the cloud. On the opposite bank lay the Bangladeshi villages of Bhatsala, Sakhipur, Sripur etc, which had been cut off from India by an imaginary line somewhere in between the river, a line that Sir Cyril Radcliffe drew decades ago on a map; the line that disappears during the Vijaya Dasami, when idols from both sides are taken in boats into the middle of the river for immersion. The last traces of solitude are wiped off in the festive fervor as thousands throng both the banks to watch the immersion and see the exchange of brotherly love between the two peoples having the same mother tongue.
Golpatar Jongol

In the late afternoon we went to Jalalpur to visit Golpatar Jongol – a mini Sundarban - where a mangrove forest lays in the bank of the river and an elevated concrete road meanders through it for a walk into the woods. Somnath Mukherjee, the Chairman of the Taki municipality, said that that he is planning to make a Deer Park over there. On our way back we saw the Eco Tourism Park which is on its way to completion. It has a 7 bigha water body where a mini zoo is planned. A guest house of 5 suits is also planned there. An old zamindar house of Late Harendra Nath Roychowdhury ( Ex Education Minister) is two minutes from our Guest House. Another must visit project, the first of its kind in Eastern India, is Iswar Swarajit Dalal Water Purified Center at Hasnabad where 7000 liters of river water is purified and bottled daily. Sadly, the beautiful Machranga Island has been taken over by the brick kiln owners and has lost is sheen. Re beautification is on the cards once election is over, said the Chairman.
On our way back I heard that Taki is the place where the great scientist Prof Prafulla Chandra Ray used to disembark from boat on his way to Calcutta from his native place at Khulna, now in Bangladesh. Lastly, don’t forget to visit Dayamayee Mistanna Bhandar for Chhanar Malpo, a sweet famous in Taki.
Navigator:  By ‘Kolkata – Hasnabad’ bus from Esplanade. By car (80 Kms) through the Basanti Highway. By train on Sealdah – Hasnabad route, get down at Taki station, time 2 &1/2 hours.
Place of stay: Nripendra Atithisala ( Taki municipality guest House ) Ph-03217-233323-4/ 9331026585

Text: Amitava Chakrabarty
Pics : Swadesh Bhattacharya 
Courtsey : Discover India