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Old 10th January 2018, 11:40   #1
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Default Christmas Eve Group Drive to Bandel, West Bengal

24th of December 2017 : Where mostly everyone was prepping up for the party at night, a handful of BHPians and some spirited souls with their families planned an impromptu drive to Bandel, Hooghly District, West Bengal.

Why Bandel ? Reference from Wikipedia on Bandel Church as under :
Quote:
The Basilica of the Holy Rosary commonly known as Bandel Church is one of the oldest Christian churches in West Bengal, India. Situated in Bandel (the name came from the Bengali word "বন্দর" which means "port"), Hooghly district of West Bengal, it stands as a memorial to the Portuguese settlement in Bengal. Founded in 1599, it is dedicated to Nossa Senhora do Rosário, Our Lady of the Rosary. It is also a parish church, part of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Calcutta. It is one of the most prominent historical churches in West Bengal as well as in India.
It was a Sunday and the outing was planned with Family and Kids. The first stop was at CCD on NH2 for breakfast.

A few cars parked together :
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At CCD :
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A cyclist :
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My son Mivann :
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The road to Bandel :
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Approaching the Bandel Church :
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Parking is a menace there at Bandel during Christmas time. However, there is a designated Ground ahead of the Church where Parking Personnel gets your car parked at an hourly charge which seemed pretty high to me. Negotiations helped and a 50% discount on parking was extracted from the local parking fellows.

Some clicks within the Bandel Church :
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BHPian Abhiroop and Family :
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BHPian Mi2n & family :
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An enthusiastic Subhayan :
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Bidding Goodbye to the Bandel Church :
Christmas Eve Group Drive to Bandel, West Bengal-img_7717.jpg

Last edited by AJ-got-BHP : 12th January 2018 at 12:50. Reason: Changes
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Old 10th January 2018, 11:49   #2
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Default Re: Christmas Eve Group Drive to Bandel, West Bengal

By the time we left the Church, the entrance was buzzing with visitors and there was a massacre it seemed. We decided to keep our cars parked where they were and opted to take a Tuk-Tuk (Battery Operated Rickshaw) Ride to the Hooghly Imambara.

Reference from Wikipedia on the Hooghly Imambara :
Quote:
Hooghly Imambara (imam—angel, bara—the building to live in) is a mosque cum imambarah administered by the Shia astna-ashari sect of Muslims, in Hooghly, West Bengal. The construction of the building was started by Muhammad Mohsin in 1841 and completed in 1861. The building is a two storied structure, with a tall clock tower over the entrance gate. The mosque has intricate designs and texts from Quran engraved on the wall. The interior of the mosque is decorated with marbles, candles and hanging lanterns.

Hooghly Imambara is famous for its vaunted clock. It is at the middle of the twin towers constructed on the doorway of the main entrance. Each tower, having a height of approximately 150 ft., takes 152 steps to reach its top. The clock has two dials with three bells having weight 80 mds, 40 mds and 30 mds. Smaller bells ring at an interval of 15 minutes and bigger bell rings to signify one hour. The clock requires two people to wind it for half an hour of each week, with a key weighing 20 kg. It was bought for Rs. 11,721 (in 1852) by Syed Keramat Ali from the manufacturer: M/s Black & Hurray Co., Big Ben, London.
As we reached, we saw that renovation work was on and they were in the process of restoring the Imambara. However, I personally feel that it seemed to be loosing it's Old World Charm with the restoration work.

Some images of the Hooghly Imambara :
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We found that there is a Ghat on the backyard of the Imambara from where small boats ferry people to the ghat closest to the Bandel Church and we decided to take the Boat Ride back to where our cars were parked. The boat ride was the highlight of this trip as it was very relaxing and we enjoyed the cool breeze and the scenic beauty under the sun sailing our way through for at least 40 Minutes or so.

The spirited Vasavi all excited for the Boat Ride :
Christmas Eve Group Drive to Bandel, West Bengal-img_7738.jpg

BHPian Mi2n & Abhiroop sailing together :
Christmas Eve Group Drive to Bandel, West Bengal-img_7743.jpg

Lined up for our turn to take the boat :
Christmas Eve Group Drive to Bandel, West Bengal-img_7752.jpg

Subhayan joins Shivani (the lady driving the XUV 500 AMT AWD )& Family :
Christmas Eve Group Drive to Bandel, West Bengal-img_7760.jpg

Vasavi again :
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Me with my Kids :
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Some snaps from the Boat :
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We reached very close to the place where our cars were parked and set out to Azaad Hind Dhaba, Gopalpur for Lunch as everyone was very hungry. Taking the village roads back to the NH :
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Following the cars in the Convoy :
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Lunching at Azaad Hind Dhaba :
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The machines parked together :
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It was a fun day with Cars, Family & Friends where the outing was a meaningful one. The kids also got lots to see and learn. Good food for everyone and the drive for the wandering soul was what made the day !!

Last edited by AJ-got-BHP : 12th January 2018 at 13:05. Reason: Changes
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Old 12th January 2018, 18:28   #3
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Arrow Re: Christmas Eve Group Drive to Bandel, West Bengal

Note from Support: Thread moved to the Travelogues section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 12th January 2018, 23:08   #4
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Default Re: Christmas Eve Group Drive to Bandel, West Bengal

Glad to see a travelogue on my district, 'HOOGHLY'! Bandel is just 35km from my home and due to work i visit Bandel almost 2-3 times every month. Have been to Bandel so many times but last time i visited Bandel church was during my school days. From this travelogue i feel like visiting Bandel church, next time i go there. Thanks for sharing. Nice pics too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ-got-BHP View Post

The road to Bandel :

Attachment 1714873
Never venture this underpass if it rains! My Figo was literally floating on this underpass, once i tried to cross it when it was water logged! Attaching the pics below. The pic shared by you can be used as a reference to gauge the height of the water. Its till the level of the foot path, which is at per with the height of my Figo's bonnet! I some how managed to come out of this 70-80m stretch without getting stuck!

Christmas Eve Group Drive to Bandel, West Bengal-img_6913.jpg

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Christmas Eve Group Drive to Bandel, West Bengal-img_6915.jpg

Last edited by Samba : 12th January 2018 at 23:18.
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Old 15th January 2018, 10:50   #5
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Default Re: Christmas Eve Group Drive to Bandel, West Bengal

Nice write up Arav, add to that some great snaps. One of the rare occasions when my wife and son joined us for the trip. Wife mentioned that she too enjoyed herself barring the fact that she had a bout of travel sickness just before Bandel Church.
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Old 16th January 2018, 12:04   #6
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Default Re: Christmas Eve Group Drive to Bandel, West Bengal

Nice short TL AJ-got-BHP with some lovely pictures. Excellent get together of like minded enthusiasts. Never knew the church there is so beautiful. Thanks for sharing the references to the places visited.

I missed this one due to the Sandakphu trip planned at the same time. Waiting for your next one on Mandarmoni. Would love to see the Endy in action.
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Old 20th January 2018, 11:45   #7
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Default Re: Christmas Eve Group Drive to Bandel, West Bengal

Such impromptu trips always gets the best out of us..we shall do these more frequently... good to see the Bandel church after ages...looking forward to be part of the next convoy.
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Old 20th March 2018, 14:38   #8
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Default Re: Christmas Eve Group Drive to Bandel, West Bengal

Enjoyed this trip thoroughly, great planning and execution, waiting for the next one to happen.
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Old 21st March 2018, 06:23   #9
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Default Re: Christmas Eve Group Drive to Bandel, West Bengal

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ-got-BHP View Post
By the time we left the Church, the entrance was buzzing with visitors and there was a massacre it seemed. We decided to keep our cars parked where they were and opted to take a Tuk-Tuk (Battery Operated Rickshaw) Ride to the Hooghly Imambara...........It was a fun day with Cars, Family & Friends where the outing was a meaningful one. The kids also got lots to see and learn. Good food for everyone and the drive for the wandering soul was what made the day !!
Great photologue AJ-got-BHP! For us Probashi Bengalis this is the stuff that weaves hopes of doing the same, some day! Your narrative too is spot-on - chatty, laid back and congenial. But the photographs were the highlights - the name of Bandel church, with its background of local legend, is one that Bengalis all over are familiar with. Once again thanks for the thread.

Regards,
Shashanka
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