Region: West Bengal
Geographic Coordinates: 22.661200, 88.866000
Temperature Range: 20.0°C to 35.0°C (68°F to 95°F)
Basīrhat is a small town located in the North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal, India. It is situated on the banks of the Ichamati River and is approximately 70 kilometers away from Kolkata, The capital city of West Bengal. The town has a rich history and cultural heritage that dates back to ancient times. The name Basīrhat comes from two words – Bashi meaning bamboo and Rat meaning land. This name was given to the town because it was once known for its bamboo plantations. Basīrhat’s economy depends mainly on agriculture, With rice being the primary crop grown here.
One of Basīrhat’s most notable landmarks is its historic mosque, Which dates back to the 15th century. The mosque has intricate architecture and beautiful carvings that make it a popular tourist attraction in the area. Another noteworthy site in Basīrhat is its famous Durga Puja celebration which takes place every year during Navaratri (a Hindu festival). During this time, People from all over India come to Basīrhat to witness this grand celebration. Basīrhat also has several schools and colleges that provide education to students from surrounding areas.
The town’s literacy rate is relatively high compared to other parts of West Bengal. The people of Basīrhat are known for their hospitality and friendly nature towards visitors. They take pride in their culture and traditions which are reflected through various festivals like Eid-ul-Fitr, Diwali, Christmas as well as local fairs like Baruni Mela or Kartik Mela. In recent years, Basirhāt has become an important hub for trade due to its proximity to Bangladesh border (only 25 km away). Many traders come here every day for business purposes making it an important commercial center in North 24 Parganas district.
Overall, Basirhāt is a charming town that offers visitors an opportunity to experience the rich culture and traditions of West Bengal. Its history, Landmarks, Festivals, And people make it a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to this region of India.
- Basirhat Boro Masjid
- Ichamati River
- Nandadulal Mandir
- Durga Puja Pandals
- Kali Temple at Dakshinpara
- Ganga Sagar Mela (held annually)
- Jhau Boner Seroni (Mangrove Forest)
- Bakhali Beach
- Sundarban National Park
- Taki Tourist Lodge
- Small-scale manufacturing units
- Retail shops
- Service sector businesses such as healthcare and education
- Production of jute products, handicrafts, and traditional sweets
- Small-scale industries that produce goods like plastic items, garments, and footwear
- Tourism industry due to its proximity to the Sundarbans mangrove forest and the Bay of Bengal coastline
- Basīrhat Riot: In 2017, there was a communal riot between Hindus and Muslims in Basīrhat due to an alleged Facebook post that hurt religious sentiments.
- Raja Ram Mohan Roy: Raja Ram Mohan Roy, the founder of the Brahmo Samaj and a famous social reformer, was born in Radhanagar village near Basīrhat in 1772.
- Haji Muhammad Mohsin: Haji Muhammad Mohsin, a philanthropist and social reformer who founded several schools, hospitals, and mosques in Kolkata, was born in Basīrhat in 1732.
- Sisir Kumar Bhaduri: Sisir Kumar Bhaduri was a renowned Bengali theatre personality, actor and director who was born in Basīrhat in 1889.
- Anil Biswas: Anil Biswas, a famous music composer who worked with legendary filmmakers like Bimal Roy and Guru Dutt, grew up in Basīrhat although he was born in Barisal (now Bangladesh).
- Swami Vivekananda: During his travels across India as a philosopher of great renown Swami Vivekananda visited the Radha Govinda Temple at Baraipur near Basīrhat.
- Satyajit Ray: The legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray shot some scenes of his film Ghare-Baire (The Home and the World) at a house located on the outskirts of Basīrhat.
- Jibanananda Das spent some time as an educator at Brahmankhali High School near Basīrhat before becoming one of the most prominent Bengali poets of the twentieth century.
- Basirhat Heritage Museum
- Bhabanipur Archaeological Site
- Basirhat College
- Shyam Sundar Temple
- Hazrat Shah Sufi Syed Ahmadullah Mausoleum
- Kali Temple, Gobindapur
- Jaleswar Shiv Mandir
- Chandraketugarh Archaeological Site
- Rabindra Bhawan Cultural Centre
- Ramakrishna Ashram Mission
- Basanti Puja: This spring festival is celebrated in honor of Goddess Durga and usually takes place in March or April.
- Eid-ul-Fitr: This Muslim festival marks the end of Ramadan and is celebrated with great enthusiasm in Basīrhat.
- Durga Puja: One of the most important festivals in West Bengal, it is celebrated with great pomp and show in Basīrhat as well, usually around September or October.
- Rath Yatra: This festival celebrates Lord Jagannath’s annual visit to his aunt’s house through a grand procession through the streets of Basīrhat.
- Poush Mela: A winter fair that takes place every year on December 7th celebrating Bengali culture through music, dance, food, and crafts.
- Kali Puja: Another important Hindu festival that celebrates Goddess Kali’s victory over evil forces.
- Christmas: Although not traditionally celebrated by Hindus or Muslims, Christmas has become increasingly popular among Christians living in Basīrhat over the years.
There are many other local festivals throughout the year like Pohela Boishakh (Bengali New Year), Saraswati Puja (Goddess Saraswati’s worship), etc., which are also widely observed by people living here regardless of their religion or background.
- Fish curry: Basīrhat is renowned for its fish dishes, especially the fish curry made with local spices.
- Macher jhol: This is another popular fish dish in Basīrhat that is cooked in a spicy gravy.
- Prawn malai curry: This creamy prawn dish cooked with coconut milk and spices is a must-try when visiting Basīrhat.
- Bhetki paturi: A traditional Bengali dish made with Bhetki (a type of fish) wrapped in banana leaves and steamed with spices.
- Roshogolla: A famous Bengali sweet that originated from Kolkata but can be found all over the state of West Bengal, including Basīrhat.
Some popular restaurants to try these dishes in Basīrhat are:
- Hotel Sagarika
- Hotel Royal Palace
- The Spice Route Restaurant
- New Punjabi Dhaba Restaurant
- Tandoor House
- Basirhat Park: A popular park for families and children, with a playground, walking paths, and benches.
- Rabindra Bhavan: A cultural center that hosts various events such as music concerts, dance performances, and theater shows.
- Ganga Sagar Mela: An annual fair held in January where people take a dip at the confluence of the Ganges River and Bay of Bengal.
- Bakkhali Beach: A beautiful beach located about 30 km from Basīrhat that offers water sports like swimming and surfing.
- Sundarbans National Park: A UNESCO World Heritage Site located about 100 km from Basīrhat that is known for its mangrove forests and wildlife such as tigers, crocodiles, and dolphins.
- Durga Puja Festival: An annual festival celebrated in October or November where people worship the goddess Durga with elaborate decorations and cultural programs.
- Barasat Stadium: A cricket stadium located about 20 km from Basīrhat that hosts local matches during the season.