We decided for a day trip as taki was not far away – just around 80 km from Kolkata.
I picked up my friend near saltlake at around 10 in the morning. We drove through Narkelbagan, Natishala and went inside a rather rural area. Narrow road meanders through the village. Ponds, trees and cattle all around. Driving is a little difficult due to the width of the road but quite pleasant given the greenery on both sides of the road. After a few kilometers we reached Bhojerhat. From there we took Basanti highway.
The road is very pleasant as it is flanked by large trees which create an arch-like shape overhead. A real long-drive experience just outside the city. Here and there red-clad Krishnachura trees on a green surroundings will attract your attention immediately.
There are a few markets on the route and a bit of crowd slow down the traffic. We drove cautiously.
After a while it was starting to drizzle. A somber dark cloud ominously looked down upon the road and a tell-tale strong wind warned us of an imminent bad weather.
However, there were houses and shops on both sides of the road made us feel safe. Surprisingly, heavy rain never actually started but the sky remained overcast sparing us the extreme afternoon heat.
The scenery changed a bit– there were wetlands (or ponds) and small huts here and there on both sides of the road instead of thick greenery. It was a real pleasure to look around. My friend tried to capture a few glimpses in his mobile camera. We could not stop as time was precious given the fact that we would return on the same day.
In next half an hour or so we reached a place called Bhebia and we decided to make a brief stop near a tea stall. Rain had just washed the vicinity and it was very soothing to look around. A signpost told us Taki was another 15 or 16 kms from there.
We started again in 15 minutes and after crossing another crowded market came a road junction and the road became narrow and a little more crowded. As we drove on, many school kids were walking on the road and I had to be extremely cautious behind the wheel. At a point the road made it difficult for two motor vehicles to cross each other. We were getting late due to the lack of speed and when we reached Taki town it was already close to 2 pm. The roads inside the town are even narrower and school children and totos made driving extremely difficult. Our GPS almost stopped working due to internet speed and we had to ask people how to reach the riverside.
The riverside is well maintained. A welcome gate, cemented seating arrangements and a small unmarked parking area made it quite comfortable for outsiders. The parking area could accommodate around 4 cars. There were many totos also parked in a row. We took a walk along the riverside. There is a quite well maintained cemented side walk and it seemed to be newly built.
Taki riverside welcome gate
Sidewalk under construction-right side of gate
Sitting area – left side of main gate
A small single room building on the riverside has almost been engulfed by the roots of a banyan tree. It was quite a site. Near the river bank there is a old-fashioned building which probably belonged to the novelty in the earlier times.
The other side of the river is Bangladesh. All the fishing boats from India side were fit with a tricolor.
After looking around and clicking photos of the surroundings we checked with the toto (electric rickshaw) drivers about the places to visit. They said they can show us Machhranga dwip from this side of the river as it falls under Bangladesh. Also there are Eco park and Mini Sundarbans.
Riverside road going towards Mini Sundarbans
We hired one of the totos for the sightseeing for Rs 200. The toto went through a the riverside road. There were 4-5 food stalls on one side and a couple of guest houses on the other. We started clicking photos of the sceneries. At one point the toto took a a turn and we went into the village.
The toto stopped near a dilapidated monument and told us it was a built 200 years back. We took photos.
It was afternoon and the narrow meandering road was going through a typical rural landscape full of small ponds, trees of various kinds and small huts. We felt the joy of a real outing – away from the city’s shrill honking, motor-engine hums and the never ending rush for business. Nobody seemed to be in a hurry.
We took the right decision by hiring the local toto as the road could hardly support cars.
We stopped at a BSF check post and made entry of our details. One of us had to leave his ID card with the personnel. It would be returned on exit they said.
After 15 minutes in total we reached what they called Mini Sundarbans. We bought our entry tickets for Rs 5 per person and entered the area. There is a BSF post and a bridge went into the riverside mini forest. We took the bridge and went into the forest. It is not a real dense forest but a thin layer of mangrove type vegetation on the side of the river. A special kind of palm trees were all around. They call it Golpata. Hence the forest is also called Golpatar Jongol ( jungle of round leaf trees).