Hooghly is a historical town situated in close proximity to the city of Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal. Hooghly was founded in the 1500s by Portuguese invaders and came under the influence of various British and Mughal rulers in the later period. During the 1700s, Hooghly became the centre of British East India Company and even today, it marks itself among the few places that saw the rise of British Empire in India and the world. Hooghly is also known for its religious traditions and houses close to 20 temples for devotional purposes. From historical buildings to colonial artefacts and from the world famous Hooghly River to various devotional centres, the town of Hooghly offers you a significant number of options to travel and explore. Apart from the historical places and monuments, delicious Bengali food is another promising feature of this town. Here are top 5 places that you should visit in Hooghly.
1. Tarakeshwar Temple
Tarakeshwar Temple is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and receives a huge number of local devotes on a regular basis. It is one of those places in Hooghly that remain densely packed with visitors throughout the year. The best time to visit this temple is the monsoon season as it hosts a grand fair for devotees during this period. Tarakeshwar temple has got a deep mythological value attached to it and it is believed that a visit to this temple in good faith can fulfil all your wishes.
2. Shri Ramakrishna Math
Shri Ramakrishna Math was founded by Swami Vivekananda. It is also known as the Belur Math. This place proudly stands on the western coast of Hooghly River and can be safely described as the most beautiful example of religious unity of India. The most attractive part of this place is its brilliant architecture which has sought inspiration from Hindu mythology and ancient Islamic traditions. This place fills you with deep spiritual thoughts and is certainly the most peaceful place in the entire town of Hooghly. Shri Ramakrishna Math is a major religious symbol of Bengal and is a must visit destination.
3. Bandel Church
Bandel Church is one of the most ancient churches of India and was built around 1600 A.D. This church was built under the immediate guidance of Portuguese invaders and serves as a major centre of Christianity in the state of West Bengal. The main building of the church has faced several attacks by radical elements and has gone through a series of renovations. Bandel Church is known globally for its artistic Roman style of architecture and is surrounded by a unique aura of the European lifestyle. This church receives a huge number of visitors who come here in search of peace, historical knowledge and photography.
4. Hooghly Imambara
Hooghly Imambara is a massive two storeyed building which was built in the year 1861 by Mohammedan ruler Hazi Mohsin. This building is beautifully situated on the bank of river Ganga and is a major religious centre of the followers of Islam. Brilliantly carved walls, sculptured texts of the Holy Book of Quran, massive pillars on the entrance and an ancient clock tower are some of the most captivating features of this place. The northern block of this building houses a mosque and the southern block has been dedicated to the grave of its founder Hazi Mohsin.
5. Hangseswari Temple
Hangseswari Temple is situated in Bansbaria, an adjoining village of Hooghly and has been dedicated to the Hindu deity ‘Kali’. This temple is gloriously known for its breath-taking Indian architecture and religious significance. Hangseswari temple houses around 14 towers which are popularly known for their lotus shaped summits. The main idol of this temple is a massive five storeyed structure made of wood and is the most important attraction of the temple. If you want to understand this city from a spiritual angle, Hangseswari temple is a must visit destination for you.
Hooghly is one of the most intensely visited cities of West Bengal. This city is often termed as a paradise for the travellers as it offers you the best of all worlds. Historical monuments, spiritual centres, colonial buildings and local artistry are few of the most important attractions of Hooghly. On your visit to Hooghly, make sure that you have the above mentioned places in your list as they will give you the most realistic experience of this place.
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