For a traveller who loves the fascinating historical anecdotes, West Bengal is nothing but a reminiscence of a mini Europe scattered in the form of relics and folklores.
The British were not the only colonisers to call Bengal, the eastern state of India, a home away from home. Along the banks of the Hooghly river, not very far from the state capital Kolkata, lie a string of towns where much of Europe came to have their settlements. The district of Hooghly is situated on the west bank of the Hooghly River about 40 km north of Kolkata. It was a river port in the 15th century. The district has thousands of years of rich heritage in the form of the great Bengali kingdom of Bhurshut and the first European to reach this area was Portuguese sailor Vasco-Da-Gama. The Hooghly River was the main route for transportation and Hooghly served as an excellent trading port. The Portuguese dominated in Bandel, the Dutch in Chinsurah while the French controlled Chandannagar and the Danish community in Serampore. If you want to have a slice of this European heritage, a day trip out of Kolkata to Bengal’s proverbial ‘Little Europe’ is all you need.