Howrah is in the eastern part of India and is spread along the western banks of the Hooghly River. While it is a separate city, Howrah is very much a part of the Kolkata metropolitan area, and Howrah railway station is where you will arrive if connecting with anywhere north, south or east of Kolkata.
This article also covers Dankuni, which though a separate city is one of the entrance points to Howrah and also a part of the metropolitan area.
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Howrah Junction railway station
Railways in India
The first commercial railway service in Eastern India began on 15 August 1854 on its first run between Howrah Junction railway station to Hooghly railway station.
- 1 Howrah Junction railway station (HWH), Lower Foreshore Rd (near the Howrah Bridge). The largest railway complex in India with over 600 trains arriving per day. An estimated two million people use the station every day. Howrah station is divided into two terminals: Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. There are 23 platforms in the station, 16 of which are in Terminal 1 and the remaining seven are in Terminal 2. Trains of the Eastern Railway (ER) arrive mainly at Terminal 1, while trains of the South Eastern Railway (SER) arrive at Terminal 2.
For passengers, there is a large covered waiting area between the main complex and the platforms and other areas for passengers awaiting connecting trains. Free Wi-Fi is present at the station. In addition, there is a Yatri Niwas (railway's travellers' lodge) with dormitory, single room and double room accommodation. First-class passengers can wait in an air-conditioned area with balcony views of the Kolkata skyline and the Howrah Bridge.
Transport options in the station include:
- By metro: As of 2022, Howrah is not served by the Kolkata Metro network. The nearest metro stations are in Esplanade and one has to cross the Howrah Bridge to reach the station. However, the Green Line is expected to connect Howrah by 2023. It will be the first underwater metro service in India.
- By bus: There's a huge bus terminus between Howrah station and the Howrah Bridge, where you can avail numerous buses from Howrah and different parts of West Bengal. Air-conditioned buses are available between Howrah station and Kolkata Airport.
- By taxi: There's a big taxi stand outside Howrah station, where iconic yellow Ambassador taxis are parked in long queues.
- By car: The station platforms have carriageways for motor vehicles within the complex, including two carriageways to Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 respectively. Flyovers at the ends of the platforms allow motor vehicles to exit the complex quickly. Such facility is unique among most major stations of the country.
- By ferry: There's a ferry ghat opposite the station.
Santragachi Junction railway station
- 2 Santragachi Junction railway station, Santragachi Station Rd (near Santragachi Jheel). There are six platforms. Serves local trains to Amta, Mecheda, Panskura, Haldia, Contai, Midnapore and Kharagpur. A few trains originate from Santragachi station to Ajmer, Porbandar and Nanded, and a Vivek Express running to Mangalore Central starting from Santragachi. Mostly all Howrah/Shalimar bound express/mail trains stop here. Santragachi also has a big bus terminus with bus services to various places in Kolkata and beyond.
The bus routes from the station are:
- 26 Mini: Unsani–Esplanade
- C11: Domjur–B. B. D. Bagh
- E6: Amta–Esplanade
- E7: Bagnan–Esplanade
- EB1A: Santragachi–Belgharia
- K11: Domjur–Rabindra Sadan
- KB15: Santragachi–Anandapur
- VS12: Santragachi–New Town
Shalimar railway station
- 3 Shalimar railway station (near Vidyasagar Setu). A small railway station compared to Howrah station, which handles a few EMU trains and few Express trains. There are small eateries serving snacks on the platform and eateries serving lunch outside the station. As a new rail station, Shalimar is not well connected by public transport. The most direct service to the station is taxi, which is not preferable by poor. All buses run along College Road, which is almost 1 km (0.62 mi) away from the station. Due to the lack of transport link, many people avoid this station.
- 4 Bally railway station.
- 5 Bally Ghat railway station.
- 6 Bally Halt railway station.
- 7 Belur railway station.
- 8 Belur Math railway station.
- 9 Dankuni Junction railway station.
- 10 Liluah railway station.
South Eastern Railway
- 11 Andul railway station.
- 12 Baltikuri railway station.
- 13 Dasnagar railway station.
- 14 Kona railway station.
- 15 Padmapukur railway station.
- 16 Ramrajatala railway station.
- 17 Tikiapara railway station.
The bus termini in Howrah are:
- 18 Howrah Bus Terminus (W of the Howrah Bridge, N of Howrah station). Buses are available from Howrah and different parts of West Bengal.
- 19 Kolkata Central Bus Terminus (Santragachi Bus Terminus) (near Santragachi Junction railway station).
- 20 Nabanna Bus Terminus, Andul Rd.
Howrah is just across the river from Kolkata. The ferry services to cross the Hooghly River from Kolkata to Howrah is very convenient to zip across both cities. There are a number of jetties. On the Kolkata side the ferries link to such jetties as Bagbazar, Armenian, Fairlie, Chandpalghat, Babughat, Prinsep Ghat. On the Howrah side there are jetties at Howrah Station, Ramkrishnapur Ghat, Botanical Garden Ghat, Bandhaghat, Golabari 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!
For short distance travel, there are auto-rickshaws, electric rickshaws and cycle rickshaws.
Like in Kolkata, taxis in Howrah are easily available, relatively cheap, and will use their meters, at least in theory. They generally stand at the major railway stations in Howrah.
- 1 Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden (Shibpur Botanic Garden), Shibpur, ☏ . Mar-Sep: 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. The Great Banyan tree in the botanical garden boasts of having the largest canopy in the world. The British established the institution in 1786 as Indian Botanical Garden. foreigners: ₹50; Indians: ₹5.
- 2 Andul Rajbari (Andul Royal Palace), Andul. A heritage site of Andul, the palace was built by Raja Rajnarayan Bahadur in 1834. His family now owns a cinema hall and a local market as well.
- 3 Belur Math, Belur (about 4 km (2.5 mi) from Howrah railway station. You can travel there by bus, auto or taxi. It takes 20-25 min to get there and around 40 min to return, because this route is longer and becomes more congested. All modes of transportation are easily accessible from adjacent to the Howrah station area/Howrah bus stand. Local trains also go to Belur Math, but going by auto, bus or taxi is much better as they drop you off at the entrance of Belur Math.). Belur Math is a monastery and the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission. Situated next to the Ganges one can sit on the banks of the Hooghly River during evening time and relax. Across the Hooghly River is the Dakshineswar Temple.
- 4 Howrah Bridge (Rabindra Setu) (Near Howrah station). 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-metre (2,313 ft) long Howrah Bridge is a cantilever bridge with a suspended span over the Hooghly River, commissioned in 1943, replacing the older pontoon bridge. This bridge frames the skyline of the riverfront. The ambience is as amicable and profound as the river that flows alongside.
- 5 Kolkata West Gate, Salap. Based on the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, the gate is an entrance to the Kolkata West International City (KWIC), a satellite township in Howrah developed by Indonesia's Ciputra Group.
- 6 Nivedita Setu (Second Vivekananda Bridge), Bally. Nivedita Setu is a cable-stayed bridge over the Hooghly River. It runs parallel to and around 50 m (160 ft) downstream of Vivekananda Setu.
- 7 Rail Museum, Howrah Junction railway station. A museum established in 2006 to display the history and heritage of railways in the eastern part of India with special focus on Howrah Junction railway station. The collection includes the first broad-gauge electric locomotive built in India, a WCM-5; a HPS-32 steam locomotive captured during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971; and the Indraprastha, claimed to be the oldest remaining Indian Railways shunting locomotive.
- 8 Santragachi Jheel, Santragachi, Howrah (7 km (4.3 mi) from Howrah station by train, or 6 km (3.7 mi) from Kolkata via Vidyasagar Setu). A large lake next to Santragachi railway station. It attracts a lot of migratory birds in the winter months, particularly in December and January, impart because migratory birds are avoiding 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, and Comb Duck, 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.
- 9 Statue of Enlightened Buddha, Kona Expy, Shibpur. A pair of brass statues of the Buddha at Kona Expressway.
- 10 Vidyasagar Setu (Second Hooghly Bridge), Shibpur. 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 (2.3 mi) south/downstream of the Howrah Bridge. The bridge was commissioned in 1992.
- 11 Vivekananda Setu (Bally Bridge), Bally. The 880 m (2,890 ft) long rail-cum-road bridge was built in 1932 as Willingdon Bridge and later renamed Vivekananda Setu.
- 1 Belilious Park, Tikiapara. 10AM-8PM. An amusement park. Within the park, there is a pond and the trees around here provide greenery to the region. A marriage hall is also present here for marriage events.
- 2 Howrah Indoor Stadium, Dumurjala. An indoor stadium with plays host to several prominent talent hunt contests and sports activities.
- 3 Howrah Maidan, RBC Rd.
- 1 Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur (IIEST Shibpur, formerly Bengal Engineering College) (near Shalimar railway station). The first university in Howrah and the second oldest engineering college in India.
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.
- 1 Avani Riverside Mall, 32 Jagat Banerjee Ghat Rd (on the way to Kolkata - from Prinsep Ghat Railway Station — 1 km (0.62 mi) — take a trip to Dinobondhu College Bus Stop — 0.5 km (0.31 mi)), ☏ , fax: . 11AM–10PM. This three storey mall contains Eastern India's first PVR cinema hall. Large food court and many shops. Free.
- 2 Forum Rangoli Mall, 212, Girish Ghosh Rd, Belur. Opened in 2015 and houses stores of premium brands, including Max Lifestyle, Domino's Pizza, Archies and Spencer's retail among others. There is also an INOX multiplex in the mall.
- 3 RD Mall, 269, GT Rd, Liluah. It was launched in 2011 and houses INOX multiplex, Domino's Pizza, Cafe Coffee Day, a gaming arena and Big Bazaar among many other retail stores.
Local foods you must try are egg, chicken and mutton roll. Howrah is known for its egg chicken roll, which is available anywhere for ₹25. You will not find these foods anywhere else in the world. Mutton Biryani is also worth a try, in Nizams or Arsalan.
- 1 Kichukhhan, 23/2/2, Bhagwan Chatterjee Ln, Kadamtala, ☏ . North Indian and Indo-Chinese. Their signature dish is mixed fried rice. ₹200-250 for an average meal per person.
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:|
|Mid-range||₹1000 to ₹3000|
- 1 Sampath Rail Yatri Niwas, Terminal 2, Howrah railway station, Lower Foreshore Rd, ☏ . Contains dormitory, single room, and double room accommodation. Show your ticket. Dorm ₹100/bed, Double Non-AC ₹350, Double AC ₹550, Triple Non-AC ₹400.
- 2 The Howrah Hotel, 1, Mukhram Kanoria Road (Adjacent to Howrah station), ☏ , , , 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. ₹550-₹650.
- 3 Samrat Palace, 219, GT Rd, ☏ .
- 4 Fortune Park Panchwati, Kona Expy, ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Standard Room ₹4,200, Fortune Club Room ₹5,000, Executive Suite ₹7,000 (Best Rates Price).
The Howrah City Police is a police force serving the city. While most police officers are honest and helpful, you may find some officers who may be corrupt and unhelpful. For police assistance during an emergency dial 100. For non-emergencies, or to report a crime, visit the nearest police station.
- Howrah, ☏ .
- 7 Batai Post Office, 461, Sarat Chaterjee Road, Kazipara, Shalimar (at 'Santa Sing More' Bus Stop). A Branch Office.
|Routes through Howrah (Asian Highway routes)|
|Bardhaman ← Rural Hooghly ←||NW E||→ Kolkata → Bangaon|
|Routes through Howrah (National Highway routes)|
|Krishnanagar ← Kolkata ←||NE SE||→ Kolkata → Diamond Harbour|
|Ends at ←||NE SW||→ Rural Howrah → Kharagpur|
|Bardhaman ← Rural Hooghly ←||NW SE||→ Ends at|
|Routes through Howrah (State Highway routes)|
|Hooghly ← Serampore ←||N W||→ Ends at|
|Hooghly ← Serampore ←||N S||→ Ends at|
|Ends at ← Rural Hooghly ←||W S||→ Rural Howrah → END|
|Routes through Howrah (Other routes)|
|Hooghly ← Serampore ←||N SW||→ Meets at|