Sagardwip is in West Bengal. A lovely destination combining pilgrimage and fun, situated on an island in the Sunderban, holds the charms of a completely unspoilt beach on the estuary of the mighty Ganga.
Sagardwip the best weekend tourist spots of Bengal nearby Kolkata. But, before planning to have a visit to Sagardwip/Gangasagar, you should be aware of these following alerts of Sagardwip: - Always carry snake and mosquito repellents. - One should carry Electric Torches –or- Emergency Lights as Sagar Island does not have sufficient Electricity. Sagar Island only gets few hours of electricity supply during the evening 6pm to 9pm only. - During Ganga Sagar Mela (The fair), there is sufficient supply of electricity for 24-hours. - One should be careful from Snakebite; mortality of Snake bite is considerably high, in Sagar Island. Sagar Gramin Hospital is the only place in Sagardwip to treat Snake Bites.
"Sab tirtha bar bar; Gangasagar Ekbar" (Meaning All pilgrimages again and again but Sagardwip only once (This is a popular Bengali saying about Sagardwip).
Sagardwip is a charming tourist destination, which attracts both the pilgrims and fun loving people. Located on an island in the Sunderban, Sagardwip possesses the charms of an unspoilt beach on the estuary of the river Ganges. Sagardwip offers acres of silver sand and clear blue sky, and the calm sea for the visitors who would like to spend their weekend in a quiet mood. Popularly known as Gangasagar, Sagardwip is still now unexplored and therefore unexploited. The island of Sagardwip is one of the most famous Hindu pilgrimage centers in India. Every year on Makar Sankranti (mid-January), pilgrims from all over India, gather at Sagardwip for a holy dip at the confluence of the river Ganga and the Bay of Bengal. After the holy dip, the pilgrims offer ‘Puja’ at the Kapil Muni Temple or Ashram. On the occasion of Makar Sankranti, Gangasagar Mela is organized in this island, which is one of the biggest fairs in West Bengal. The Bharat Sevashram Sangha temple is bigger comprising three huge towers.
In many tales of Hindu mythology and in ancient Indian literature like the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, a novel of Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay, a poem of Rabindranath Tagore, the name of Sagardwip was mentioned.
The lighthouse at Sagardwip offers a panoramic view of this spectacular beach, from where you can enjoy the enthralling dawn and dusk. On the time of the sunset, the sky turns golden with a patch of red on the horizon and the silver sand reflects the last rays of the sun, which form a delightful ambience. In this island, photography is not restricted.
On Makar Sankranti day in winter (mid-January), pilgrims from all over India congregate at Sagardwip to take a holy dip at the confluence of the river Ganga and the Bay of Bengal. After the holy dip, they offer ‘Puja’ at the nearby ashram associated with the legendary sage Kapil Muni. This has been a famous pilgrim centre from the ancient times. Gangasagar Mela, held on the occasion of Makar Sankranti is the largest fair in West Bengal.
Sagardwip is 135 km (about 5 hours) away from Kolkata. However, Sagardwip is not directly liked with Kolkata, a break journey is necessary to go to Sagardwip.
Get a Kakdwip-bound bus from Esplanade to Harwood Point (Lot No. 8) which is 30 km past Diamond Harbour. The bus would reach Harwood Point after almost three hours. Cross the river Muriganga by boat and reach at Kachuberia. West Bengal Surface Transport Corporation runs direct buses between Esplanade and Lot No. 8 and ferry vessels across the river.
From Kachuberia a bus or trekker will take you to Sagardwip (30kms) within one hour. Minibus and hired car are accessible for the journey.
Alternatively, you can take a bus to Namkhana from Kolkata to Namkhana (105) kms. From Namkhana you can reach to Chemaguri across the river Muriganga by launch and from Chamaguri to Gangasagar by bus (10kms.) Boats from Harwood Point and Kachuberia are accessible every hour.
If you want to spend your weekend in a peaceful way, then avoid the island in the middle of January during Makar Sankranti when there is a huge rush to here due Gangasagar. Before Makar Sankranti Day there is a huge rush to board ferry to Kachuberia.Due to low tide ferry service does not operate between 4am to 9am in the morning and also between 4pm to 8pm in the evening during the Makar Sankranti period.Before standing in the queue to board the ferry, one must enquire whether the ferry service is running or not.Otherwise, you may have to stand in the queue for 4 hours or more without any opportunity to turn back and crowds pressing you.
Sagardwip presents a quiet, silvery expanse of beach and the calm sea provides the perfect setting for a quiet weekend.
The Kapil Muni Temple is the holiest place to visit in Sagardwip. Other places of Sagar Island as follows:
- Bharat Sevashram Sangha temple of Gangasagar
- The Ramakrishna Mission of Sagardwip
- The Onkarnath temple in Sagar Island, religious sites of Sagardwip, the weekend tourist spot of Bengal.
- Fairgrounds at South Sagar, Religious place of Bengal.
- Sea beach at Sagardwip, excellent weekend beach tourish spot of Bengal.
- Sagar Marine Park at Sagardwip of Bengal.
- Sagar Lighthouse and Port at Beguakhali in Sagar Island of Bengal. The lighthouse at Sagardwip provides a panoramic view of the surroundings.
There are tourist lodges at Sagardwip and a Youth Hostel. Also dormitory accommodation in a dharamshala run by Bharat Sevasram Sangha.
Dharmashala of Mission and Guest Houses of West Bengal State Government are there in Sagardwip for spending the weekend in the excellent Beach of Bengal. Some of the places for spending days and nights in Sagar Island as follows:
- Dharmashala of Bharat Sevasram Sangha
- Dharmashala of Kapil Muni's Sangha
- P.W.D Bunglow Zila Parishad Bungalow
- Tourist lodges at Sagardwip and a Youth Hostel.
- Dharmashala of Sankaracharya Ashram