Henry’s island – weekend destination near Kolkata

Henry’s island is an offbeat tourist destination hugging the western boundary of the greater Sunderban region, and dotting the south-end corner of the ‘Mouths of the Ganges’. Kilometers of empty beach, placid sea, clear sky and excellent food are some of the attractions of this island. In recent years the place has gained prominence and is slowly making its mark as a budget friendly sought after destination. This ideal weekend destination is fast becoming popular, thanks to the initiative taken by the Fisheries department of West Bengal.

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Birds flying in peace at Henry’s island

Where is Henry’s island?

Henry Island is near Bakkhali in South 24-Parganas of West Bengal. It is around 130 Km from Kolkata.

About Henry’s island

In the mid-Eighties, the Government Fisheries Department took over and turned Henry’s Island into a successful eco-tourism project, establishing a strong bond between man and nature. Henry’s island has an area of 600 hectares habitating wide varieties of plant and animal life.
The wide and flat beach, adorned with silvery sands is of prime attraction for the tourists.. It is difficult to find a body in sight, whether of a man, a machine, or any other mammal. The solitude of this remote place has such a unique soporific quality that it cajoles one to remain alone with nature. The experience of remaining alone with nature is an experience of a lifetime which will be cherished by every tourist visiting the place. Spending time away from the humdrum of city life rejuvenates the body and soul.
A dip in the sea is pleasant. Lazing on the sprawling and deserted beach is even more enjoyable. The sun setting in the evening presents a lovely sight. The red crabs roll out a red carpet on the beach. The crabs, however, scurry away at the slightest sound of feet.

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Watch Tower at Sundari Tourist Complex

Simply breathtaking is the panorama, when seen from the ‘view tower’ of Sundari Tourist Complex. Standing at an elevation of fifty feet, the viewing pavilion provides an opportunity to plunge on a riot of colours.
There are many rarely observed species of birds which occur regularly at Henry’s island. These include Greater Thick-knee, Ruddy Turnstones, Great Knots, Sanderling, Caspian, Gull-billed and Common Terns, vagrant Heuglin’s Gull, Mangrove Whistler, Back-capped and Collared Kingfishers, Eurasian Hobby, a good selection of plovers and other shorebirds. Moreover, it is the sort of place where a Spoon-billed Sandpiper or a Nordmann’s Greenshank is not impossible!

Sightseeing in and around Henry’s island

A country boat trip to the ‘Mohona’ (a place where river meets the sea), takes two hours and just Rupees Four Hundred is a wonderful experience. The slow movement of the boat enables one to seek, and see the rich marine and birdlife. And there are a variety of mangrove trees, on creeks so narrow, that the foliage has to be removed with bare hands to make way.

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View of the Jambudwip Island

Jambudwip Island – A visit to this nearby island is a must in the tour of Henry’s island. Apart from the thrilling the journey, the beauty of the island gives the feeling of how lonely we are in this world. The island is rich in bird species including migratory birds as well.
For more adventure, motorised launches are available on hire to visit Bhagabatpur Crocodile Sanctuary, where one will be amazed to see large crocodiles and how they are being taken care of.

How to Reach Henry’s island?

By Air – Kolkata is the nearest airport of international repute. From the airport one can hire a car to reach Henry’s Island.
By Rail – There’s also a train connection to Namkhana. Take Lakshmikantapur local from Sealdah. Get down at Namkhana station and hire a van to reach Henry’s Island.
By Road – Take a bus from Esplanade to Namkhana. Cross the Hatania-Doania creek on a ferry. From the Jetty ghat, hire a van to reach Henry’s Island, about two kilometers away. Direct buses are also available.

Where to stay at Henry’s island?

There are two rest houses in Henry Island. One is named Mangrove and another one Sundari which is very close to the sea beach. These lodges belong to the Fisheries Department of West Bengal.
For booking, contact – State Fisheries Development, Bikash Bhavan (Phone – 033-23376470)

About Food

‘Fresh from the garden’ vegetables, with prawns and fishes netted from the surrounding ponds, radically better the taste of all preparations. Varieties of fishes netted from more than 50 ponds of fisheries department, like carp, lobster, shrimp, trout, tilapia, bele, parse and tangra adds to the gourmet.
Add-ons are the hospitable countrymen, unknown and unsung, working relentlessly to make India an incredible destination.

Filed Under: BeachesFeatued PostIslandOff-beat

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About the Author: Hi! friends, travelling is my passion and my only hobby. High mountains to deep seas, lush green forests to barren deserts, holy places to sites of historical importance, - every beautiful place attracts me the same way. I want everyone to feel the same and so through my writing I intend to take you all to a virtual trip to all those lovely places that I have visited.

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  2. Wow this is a great resource.. I’m enjoying it.. good article

  3. Pc tv says:

    Thx for this great information that you are shareing with us

  4. I love your blog – excellent !

  5. Anu says:

    After reading your blog I have decided to visit this wonderful mesmerising place when I next visit Kolkata.But little worried as I am a vegetarian, will I get veg. food delicious? another thing that is, is it necessary to book a hotel in advance for Henry’s Island?

  6. Ritwik Bhabuk says:

    It is a real good description about this island. The website is really good.

  7. Gita says:

    Hi,

    Your post was wonderful and I am planning to visit Henry’s Island in December with my daughter. I was searching for an unusual destination not too far away from Kolkata (where I live) as I had just 2-3 days in hand.

    I stay in Salt Lake so booking the Sundari resort would not be a problem, but does the bus also leave from Karunamoyee? That would save me a trip to Esplanade..all the way from Salt Lake. Are there any other transport options? I would like your suggestions. Thanks in advance.

    With best wishes,
    Gita Narrayani

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