Chandannagar Strand - The Best Hangout Place For All Ages

Chandannagar, located around 37 km from Kolkata, is a former French colony. The beautifully decorated Chandannagar strand by the bank of river Hooghly is the best place to hang out with friends and family. It remains in activities from dawn to dusk. Local people and tourists love to stroll along the river enjoying the breeze and watching the small boats sail by.

Chandannagar strand

The strand is the riverfront of the town. It is a wide road with colonial buildings on one side and the Hooghly, a tributary of the mighty Ganges on the other side. Wide-open spaces, quaint street lamps, and the Statuesque baroque buildings of the courthouse and the museum are sights to behold.

With big shady trees, this place seems to be out of India at times. The tree-shaded wide promenade along the river is about 700 m long and 7 meters (23 ft) in width. Lines of shadowy trees that run along the strand create a natural umbrella for the people to protect them from the burning sunlight.

One can see this site in the backdrop of many Bengali movies. The place has been cleaned and renovated to make it one of the best places for a walk along the Ganges. There is less crowd compare to the Calcutta side, and also much more well maintained.

The town still retains its French culture, which is unique in the eastern part of India. Amazing Indo-French architecture is noticeable in the colonial bungalows along the pathway.

People of all ages, from children to old aged, have their purpose on the strand. Be it a group of senior citizens idling on the benches, or college students getting lost in adda, love birds being cozy with beloved, or a fitness freak taking a walk, all kinds of crowd assemble here.

Lots of wooden benches are their hangouts. Although, the senior citizens and the college students of this area occupy most of them.  A few moments on one of the many benches provide peace of mind. Water is just dancing before you, and watching this for a long time can make your eyes a little bit sleepy.

Chandannagar strand
Chandannagar Strand

From 4 A.M. till 11 P.M., never in any time, one may find strand to be deserted. When the usual walkers are off during midday, the local college and schoolboys assemble in their off periods. The night view of the strand in Chandannagar strand is grand.

Two bathing ghats are available to take a dip in the mighty Ganges. One can see the splendid sunrise from the strand every day.

You can eat many flavors of street food near the strand. Street-side stalls provide clean and good food. Some good restaurants are also here. The chowmein kiosk of Ganesh is quite popular.

Food Stalls At Chandannagar strand
Food Stalls At Chandannagar Strand

The shape of the riverbank is like a moon-shaped necklace. Hence it got the name Chand-er-Nagar(The city of the moon). Locals also believe that the town was once the hub of the sandalwood (Chandan in Bengali)trade and hence, got the name.

History Of Chandannagar

The town Chandannagar came into being during colonial times. The French paid 40,000 coins to the Mughal subahdar in 1688 to gain control of the area. They brought prosperity to this not-so-known French colony soon after. It became the prime center for European commerce in Bengal and had thriving centers of trade involving opium, indigo, silk, rice, rope, sugar, etc.

French governed Chandannagar until 1950. India became independent from Britain in 1947. In June 1948, the French Government held a poll which found that 97% of Chandannagar's residents wished to become part of India. 

In May 1950, the French allowed the Indian government to assume de facto control over Chandannagar. On 2 October 1954, Chandannagar became a part of the Indian state of West Bengal.

Today, this charming little town has an air of solitude. Life here flows gently, much like the calming and serene Ganges. You see very few motor vehicles on the road.

Historical Places At Chandannagar Strand 

On the opposite side of the strand, the administrative offices, courts, police station, school, college, Rabindra Bhawan, Museum, guest houses, restaurant, itinerant, and food vendors are located.

Chandannagar Strand Historical Monuments

If you want a taste of old French architecture and are a history buff, Chandannagar is a must-visit. Winter is preferable to take a leisurely walk down the pavement.

The Sacred Heart Church of Chandannagar

The famous church situated adjacent to the Chandannagar strand is an attractive tourist spot. This french designed church was inaugurated on 27 January 1884. The church stands for over two centuries to mark the beauty of the architecture during the French period. It is a great place to visit for historians and tourists alike.


The famous Patal bari(The underground house) is located here at one end. Its lower floor gets submerged in the Ganges during the monsoon when the level of the river rises. That makes it a one of its kind monument in Chandan Nagar.

Rabindranath Tagore frequently visited the place and felt that the site influenced him to a large extent and broadened his intellectual capabilities. Patal-bari found mention in many of his famous novels. The famous social reformer Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar also visited this beautiful architecture.

French Museum

This small museum speaks a lot about the rich history of Chandannagore. The artifacts of the French occupation are carefully preserved in this museum. It conserves the ancient documents and other valuable assets of the Portuguese era.

Vivekananda Mandir

Along the strand, there is Vivekananda Mandir, a meditation center protruding into the river Ganges.

You can also visit nearby places connected with french history (of old Chandannagar).  Chandannagar is famous for Jagadhatri Puja. 
There are not many decent options available for accommodation. Visitors prefer to return their home at night time.

How To Reach Chandannagar Strand

By Road

Chandannagar is 37 km by road from Kolkata via State Highway 6/ Grand Trunk Road or Delhi Road. Private buses ply through Chandannagar along Grand Trunk Road. Taxis(Ola outstation) and private cars ply between Kolkata and Chandannagar.

The drive is pleasant until you have to negotiate the narrow streets of the town. But once you feel the cool breeze from the river, it all seems worth it.

By Rail

Chandannagar railway station serves the locality. Local trains from Howrah Station on Howrah-Bardhaman mainline run very frequently (peak frequency one train every 10 or 12 minutes). A few express and passenger trains also stop here. The distance from Howrah by rail is approximately 33 km, and it takes about 50–55 minutes in all-stop local trains.

By Bus

Chandannagore is well connected by bus. Every day, two buses of West Bengal Transport Corporation leave from Esplanade Bus Stand for Chandannagar, one in the morning and the other in the evening. Apart from the WBTC buses, many other private buses connect Kolkata and Chandannagar.

By Air

The nearest airport is in Kolkata (Dumdum/Kolkata Airport) is only 40 km by road from Chandannagore.

By Water

The government of West Bengal operates river services across the Hooghly River between Chandannagar and Kolkata. You can take a ferry ride across to the other side of the Hooghly.

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