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Sagar Island

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Sagar Island (also known as Sagar or Gangasagar) is in Southeast Bengal in India. Sagar Island is the southernmost part of West Bengal and is a religious spot for hindu pilgrims.

Get in[edit]

The Kapilmuni Temple at Gangasagar

Sagar Island is about 80 km south of Kolkata, cut off from the main land by Muriganga river. At present there is no road bridge to connect the island to the main land. The Muriganga river can be crossed by ferry service to reach the Sagar Island. After crossing, the confluence of Sagar (bay of Bengal) & Ganga (holy river Ganges) can be reached via private taxis also which generally charges around INR 700 and it takes about 40 minutes to reach the confluence area from Kachuberia.

Transport Ferry at Sagar.
  • Sagar Island can be approached from either Harwood point or Namkhana jetty. 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 (as on June 2005; Rs. 60 during Mela 2008). 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.
  • Both the points Namkhana and Harwood Point can also be reached by train from Sealdah Station. There are direct trains to Kakdwip from Sealdah Station with link trains to Namkhana. Train fare up to Kakdwip is Rs. 18 only. 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.

  • To reach Sagar Island one must cross the Muriganga river/creek by ferry service to reach 'Kachuberia jetty' on the Sagar Island. 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. 8 as in 16 March 2013. The fare increases at the time of Ganagasagar Mela (The Fair; Rs. 40,- during 2008 Mela).
  • After reaching Sagar Island (Kachuberia jetty) one has to cross the whole stretch of Sagar Island (32 Km.) by local bus or shared taxi. Bus fare should be around Rs.10. A private jeep may charge around Rs 800-900 but befroe riding the same have a complete discussion with the driver about the fare and conditions like time,fare,sideseeing.Because they will charge afterqards if you have no words with them regarding the same. It was Rs 650/- for a 7 seater Maruti/Suzuki Van for both ways in March 2013 including stay at the destination of southern most point. 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.
  • Apart from Namkhana and Harwood Point, a direct ferry service is also available to reach 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 timings of the high tides. The charge for a light or medium vehicle is Rs. 490/- as on 16 March 2013. The fare increases at the time of Ganagasagar Mela (The Fair).

Get around[edit]

a) Ferry fare is still Rs. 6.50 per head from Lot No. 8 Jetty, Kakdwip to Kachubaria at Sagar.

b) If traveling in one's own car, there is (only) one vessel now at 6-00 A.M. from Kakdwip to Kachubaria a600.00/500.00nd similarly at 6-00 A.M. in the morning from Kachubaria to Kakdwip. Therefore, it is advisable to keep the car parked at Kakdwip near the jetty. Safe Parking is available with a payment of Rs. 100.00 per day; night parking is also plentiful with payment of additional Rs. 100.00 for the next day.

c) Tata Sumo/Maruti Van hiring charges are now Rs. 800/700 respectively for 30 KMs.from Kachubaria to Gangasagar (one way). Local buses to Gangasagar bus stand are available every fifteen minutes from Kachuberia bus stand, a small distance walk from ferry ghat. For people who intend to stay at night travelling by bus is the best option.

d) There are no hotels as such at Gangasagar in true sense of the term. The accommodations available are all Ashram/Dharamshala type, where no food is available, nor outside food allowed to be brought in. Even for a cup of tea, one must leave the premises. Of course there are plenty of places to purchase food. However,for regular members of various Charitable Trusts/Ashrams or travelers coming with advanced bookings from the head offices of these Organizations, food may be provided by the Organizations. There is reportedly no food available at the Youth Hostel, either. The best time for travelers is october when the sun is soft to middle of december after which arrangements for the fair is in full swing. Bharat Sevashram is located at a very convenient location near bus stop. Other ashrams for stay are also nearby and can be reached with help from locals who are till now very co operative and simple minded. Besides there are PWD and Irrigation Department guest houses. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is available from nearby shops with previous order. Food is of acceptable quality and served in a very congenial manner though it is not comparable to star category restaurants. Ashrams provide rooms with basic amenities though it is advisable to carry one bed sheet each for stay. Availability of rooms is not a problem in normal times. Staying at night is a very different experience from other tourist spots.

e) Vehicles are allowed to a short distance from Kapil Muni Temple. Plenty of Cycle vans are available to take you to the Gangasagar bathing spot (about 2.00 KM)-charges are Rs. 15.00 per passenger one way. These are quite comfortable for those who cannot walk 2.00 KM.

f) Latest update on travel to Sagar Island dated 30.10.12: If you are travelling in family of 4 adult persons, to reach ganga sagar one of the most convenient way is to fix up indica/indigo from your hotel point. At present indica Ac charges are 12Rs/km and indigo AC are 14 Rs/km plus 80Rs for Kakdwip parking. Kakdwip is around 83 km one way.It take 2.5hrs.Once you reach kakdwip, better to take local rehri(jugar), available on car parking itself. There is Sulabh shauchalya( paid lavatory) at taxi parking/bus parking. From here onwards you will no where find lavatory.From taxi parking take conveyance of motorised rehri( jugar) which will charge 5 rs max per person to take you about 100m towards ticket point for ferry to sagar island.The ticket for ferry above 5 years is still Rs6.50/person.Better to take or keep with you hat/sunscreen to protect from bright sun light there as you wait for ferry to come near gate. Ferry will take about 30 minutes to reach sagar islands. There near exit, donot take any rehri who will come there. Nearby only book one taxi/marutivan/sumo. For 5 adults family book Van for Rs 700/- to & fro & it is safe and time saving.Buses will take about 1-2 hr sas compare to van which will take hardly 45 minutes. From van parking, again rehri( jugar) should be booked. It should be bargained. For 4 adult and 2 kids they may agree at Rs250.- to & fro from bathing point. For changing cloth near bathing point in sea, there is a makeshift moveable covered arrangement which charges Rs 10/person. From there after bathing go to kapil muni ashram about 200m away from bathing point. It is advisable to take local rehri( jugar) if you have old persons with you as it will be very difficult for aged persons to walk in sand stretch near bathing point.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Kapil Muni temple at South Sagar.
  • Fairgrounds at South Sagar.
  • Sea beach at South Sagar.
  • Sagar Marine Park at South Sagar.
  • Sagar Lighthouse and Port at Beguakhali
  • Ramkrisna Mission Ashram.
  • Sushama Devichowdhurani Marine Biological Research Institute. (SDMBRI) at Bamankhali.
  • Chimaguri Mudflat- It is the entry point to the Mangrove Forest
  • Wind Mills- The island gets its electricity from the wind energy

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Fishing
  • Coastal trek

Eat[edit][add listing]

There are many cheap rice hotels all over the Sagar Island, serving good quality Bengali food to the visitors.

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Always drink mineral water and avoid any thing else

[So called "mineral" water is not at all "pure" though!]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Youth Hostel at Sagar

For accommodation there are many places to choose from in South Sagar. In the time of Sagar Mela or the Fair, the number of accommodation increases drastically with temporary camps/hutments from many commercial and non commercial organizations. It is advisable to book your accommodation prior to go to Sagar Island in the time of Sagar Mela. If you bring your own mattress and sleeping bag you will most likely find shelter.

The following organsations provide shelter for tourists and pilgrims round the year:

  • State Youth Hostel Charge for a double bed room with attached bath is Rs100/day. Check in time is at 12 noon. Bookings can be done at Directorate of Youth Services, 32/1, B.B.D. Bag (South), Kolkata. ☎+91 33 22653231.
  • Bharat Sevashram Sangha and a couple of other ashrams usually offer accommodation and meals for free. They are oriented to pilgrims and would expect a donation.
  • Larica Sagar Tourist Lodge. ☎ +91 32 4022 6227.

Stay safe[edit]

Windmills at Sagar
  • Carry mosquito and snake repellents.
  • Carry Electric Torches and other means of Emergency Lights, because Sagar Island does not get power from the main electric supply grid. The Island only gets few hours of power supply in the evening, form a central diesel operated power generating station, situated at Rudranagar. Ideally power supply is available from 6pm to 9pm only. There is complete blackout for the rest of the day/night. But you will never feel uncomfortable due to the sweet wind blows from sea to land, round the clock. But in the time of Sagar Mela (The fair) Sagar gets sufficient supply of electricity for the whole day.
  • Snake bite mortality is considerably high in Sagar Island. There are sufficient measures for treatment of snake bites in 'Sagar Gramin Hospital'. But it is advisable to avoid traveling at night with insufficient light. Travelers should apply some snake repellents in their room before going to bed. Snake repellents causes disorientation in snakes and will cause them to to slither away unharmed, in search of fresh air. It is better to use a mosquito net to protect oneself not only from mosquitoes, but also from snakes.

Get Out[edit]

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As on date 17.02.2014, Power supply is available for 24 hours in Sagar Island.