Chandannagar, formerly known as Chandernagore is a small city and former French colony located 30 kilometres north of Kolkata. It is head quarters of a subdivision in Hooghly District. Located on the Hooghly River, the city has been able to maintain a separate identity different from all other cities and abide by her own characteristics. This small town over a period of 300 years has a unique blend of culture and heritage.
Chandannagar is well connected to Kolkata by railways, roadways and river and it takes about an hour to reach the place.
By Road :Chandannagar is 37 km by road from Kolkata via G.T.Road or Delhi road. Taxis and private cars in Kolkata are easily available to approach Chandannagore.
By Rail :Local trains from Howrah through Eastern Railway main line run very frequently to Chandannagar. Many important express and passenger trains halt here.
By Air : Nearest airport is at Kolkata (Kolkata Airport), which is airlinked with all major Indian and international cities. Chandannagar is only 40 km by road from the airport. Please check Flight Schedules from the airport. If you want to go to airport from Chandernagore, the best option will be to hire a car.
By Water : Government of West Bengal (West Bengal Surface Transport Corporation) operates river services across river Hooghly (Ganga) and also between Chandannagar and Kolkata and Belur.
Places of tourist interest
Chandernagore is famous for its Jagatdhatri Puja. It takes place just one month after the Durga Puja, usually in the month of November. The pandals, street lightings, idols - everything will make you spellbound. Millions of people from different parts of the country come here during that period. The atmosphere then is electrifying, and the whole city buzzes with exuberance. The emersion of idols gets marked with illuminated processions.
A beautiful tourist spot along the banks of the river Ganga. It is a superbly decorated pavement studded with lights surrounded by lush green trees. Many buildings of historical importance surround the spot. It is very popular visiting spot of the local people and the tourists would love to stroll along enjoying the mild breeze and watching the small boats sail by. Along the strand are present Vivekananda Mandir (a meditation centre) and a protruding structure into the river Ganga.
Chandannagore Museum and Institute
One of the oldest and finest museums of the entire region. It boasts a beautiful collection of French antiques (like cannons used in Anglo-French war, wooden furniture of 18th century, etc.) which are difficult to find anywhere else in the world.
The Sacred Heart Church of Chandannagar
The church stands for over two centuries to mark the beauty of the architecture during the French period — a good place to visit for the historians and tourists alike. The remains of the Church of St. Louis are also an attractive tourist spot.
The Underground House (Patal-Bari)
The building is another beautiful example of the advancement in the knowledge of architecture and the aesthetic sense of the people of those earlier days. Its lowest floor is submerged in the River Ganga. The Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore frequently visited the place and appreciated a lot about the building. He mentioned Patal-bari in many of his famous novels. The famous social reformer Pandit Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar also stayed in the building.
Nandadulal Temple, built in 1740 by Indranarayan Roychoudhury presents an excellent example of ancient Indian sculptures. There are many fascinating temples devoted to Kali, Shiva and other deities which show marks of brilliant craftsmanship and artistic taste.
Chandernagore is also famous for its sweets. Suryakumar Modak, a famous confectioner, apparently invented a new sweet named Jolbhora Sandesh once upon a time. Nowadays, his grandsons operate more than one sweet shops in the city. Don't forget to have a taste of jolbhora. Apart from this, the other sweets and desserts are also very tasty and delicious.