Howrah officially is a city on its own but in fact it has long grown into one huge urban agglomeration together with Kolkata. Howrah is located on the Western bank of the Hooghly river.
Howrah Railway Station is the largest station complex in the country. The headquarters of Eastern Railways, it is well-connected to other parts of India.
From its twin-city Kolkata it is easy to arrive by local city bus. As the station is the major transportation hub many bus routes either terminate at or passes through Howrah station.
Kolkata downtown is just across the river, and probably the reason one's here in the first place. To zip around between Kolkata and Howrah the ferry service to cross the river Hoogly is very convenient. There are a number of jetties. On the Kolkata side the ferries link to such jetties as Baghbazar, Armenian, Fairlie, Chandpal, Babughat, Princep. On the Howrah side there jetties at Howrah Station, Botanical Garden and Belur Math. Buy the ticket before you board the ferry and retain the ticket till after you have crossed to the other side and have shown it to the ticket checker near the exit gate or else you will be penalised!
There are numerous buses to Kolkata and different parts of Howrah. Taxis are also available for travel within Howrah an Kolkata.
For short distance travel, there are auto rickshaws and cycle rickshaws.
There are four bridges across the Hooghly River, connecting Howrah and Kolkata.
- Vivekananda Setu. The 2,887 feet (880 m) long rail-cum-road bridge was built in 1932 as Willingdon bridge, and renamed Vivekananda Setu.
- Nivedita Setu. Nivedita Setu is a cable-stayed bridge over Hooghly River in Kolkata, West Bengal. It runs parallel to and around 50 m downstream of the old Vivekananda Setu.
- Howrah Bridge (Officially: Rabindra Setu). The eastern rail terminus for Indian railways is at Howrah. An estimated two million people use Howrah station every day. Howrah station is Kolkata's main railway station and in order to go to Kolkata some use the ferry, a few hire taxis but millions just hang on to buses or walk across the bridge. The area around Howrah station and Howrah Bridge has grown as a world of its own, catering to the needs of a huge floating population. The 705 m (2,313.0 ft) long Howrah Bridge is a cantilever bridge with a suspended span over the Hooghly River, commissioned in 1943. - This bridge frames the skyline of the riverfront. The ambience is as amicable and profound as the river that flows alongside. But, turn back to your trail of discovery. Dalhousie Square was the administrative centre for British India. On one side is the General Post Office, a majestic specimen of Edwardian architecture. It is built on the site of the original Fort William. On the other side stands Writers’ Building, a massive Gothic structure with lonic pillars – still the house of political power.
- Vidyasagar Setu. With a total length of 823 m (2,700 ft), Vidyasagar Setu is the longest cable–stayed bridge in India and one of the longest in Asia. It was built 3.7 km south/ downstream of Howrah Bridge. The bridge was commissioned in 1992
- Belur Math, Northern part of Howrah (about 4 km from Howrah railway station. You can travel there by bus, auto or taxi. It takes 20-25 mins to get there and around 40 mins to return, because this route is longer and becomes more congested. All modes of transportation are easily accessible from adjacent to the Howrah railway station area/Howrah bus stand. Local trains also go th Belur Math, but going by auto, bus or taxi is much better as they drop you off at the entrance of Belur Math.). It's a worthwhile visit. Situated next to the Ganges one can sit on the banks of the river Hoogly during evening time and relax. Across the river Hoogly is the Dakhineshwar Temple. A visit to the temple is free and so is parking..
- Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden (situated in the Southern part of Howrah, about 3km from Howrah station, get there by bus or taxi - depending on traffic it will take you anything between 25-45 minutes). Mar-Sept: 5am-5.30pm; Oct-Feb: 5.30am-5pm. An extraordinary place of vivid nature under the smog filled sky of the city. You will value the silence that is only filled by some birds singing. Nature is wonderfully beautiful here foreigners: Rs.50; Indians: Rs.5.
- Santragachhi Jheel, Middle part of Howrah city (7 km from Howrah station by train, or 6 km from Kolkata via Vidyasagar Setu). Santragachhi Jheel is a large lake, located next to the Santragachhi railway station. This lake attracts large number of migratory birds in the winter months, particularly in December and January. The number has increased in recent years, as migratory birds have started to avoid destinations like the lakes in Alipore Zoo, Kolkata. Birds like Saras Crane from North America and Australia, and many other local migratory birds such as Cotton Pygmy Goose, Comb Duck etc. are spotted here during this season. The lake area is owned by South Eastern Railway, though the Forest Department of West Bengal also looks after the place. Efforts are made by local residents, Forest Department and Railways to improve the environment for the birds.
- It might be worth while to stroll down Howrah Maidan just for the excitement of a local market, busy with street shops selling anything from clothes, to pots, to fruits. By bus or taxi from Howrah station it will only take 10 minutes to get there.
- Avani Riverside Mall, 32 Jagat Banerjee Ghat Road, Howrah (On way to Kolkata - From Prinsep Ghat Railway Station (1 km) take a trip to Dinobondhu College Bus Stop 0.5 km -), ☎ , fax: +91-33-2289-5811/12. 11 AM to 10 PM. This three storey mall contains East India's first PVR cinema hall. Large food court and many shops. Free.
Local foods you must try are egg, chicken and mutton roll. They are known for their egg chicken roll, which is available anywhere for Rs 20. You will not find these foods anywhere else in the world. Mutton Biriyani is also worth a try, in Nizams or Arsalan.
For places to sleep in the Sudder Street area see Kolkata/Esplanade, for the Sealdah station area see Kolkata/North Kolkata, for the Ballygunge area see Kolkata/South. For other areas see the relevant area page.
- The Howrah Hotel, 1, Mukhram Kanoria Road (Adjacent to the Howrah Railway Station), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 24 Hours. A heritage property, with a lot of character and one of the oldest hotels of Kolkata. Renowned for homey atmosphere and offers very neat and clean, airy rooms - one of the safest hotels in the locality, with cordial staff. Attached baths and cable TV. Five minutes walking distance from the railway station and bus stand. 5,000 sq ft garden. +phones =+91 33 26412149-28490240/55538251 Rs 550-650+.
- Fortune Park Panchwati, Kona Expressway, Howrah - 711403 Tel: 033-39884444 Fax: 033-39881222 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (Near Santragachi, 5 Kms. from Vidyasagar Toll Plaza in Howrah, 20 min travel from Esplanade.). Nestled in a serene and tranquil atmosphere, Fortune Park Panchwati is a grand place. Standard Room INR 4,200 Fortune Club Room INR 5,000 Executive Suite 7,000 (Best Rates Price).
- Batai Post OfFice, 461, Sarat Chaterjee Road, Kazipara, Shalimar, Howrah (At 'Santa Sing More' Bus Stop). a Branch Office