A calm ocean and a serene beach with waves gently crashing at your feet. That is Bakkhali for you. Bakkhali is a tiny seaside resort located in South Twenty Four Parganas (24 Parganas) in West Bengal. It is located on one of the many islands that form part of the Sunderban delta.Fraserganj which is a major town in Bakkhali is now forming one continuous town with Bakkkhali.The two places are linked by a stretch of pristine beach. The beach of Bakkhali is hard and hence ideal for driving, cycling and going for long walks.
Frasergunj which forms part of Bakkhali is named after Andrew Fraser who was the Lieutenant Governor of Bengal. He is said to have discovered the place when he accidentally landed here after a shipwreck.
A very unique thing in Bakkhali is the windmills of Frasergunj. These generate power for the town and are visible from all around. Fishing is the primary occupation of this place and you can see fishing nets and dried fish all around. Bakkhali has not yet been touched by the evils of urbanization and this has helped it to retain its idyllic charm. The beach is the most beautiful thing in Bakkhali. A walk down the beach in the early mornings and at sunset is an amazing experience. To see the sun set over the ocean is a sight that has to be seen to experience. The rickshaw van is the only means of local transport available. You can take a ride on the rickshaw to the watch tower. From this tower you can view the entire expanse of the Sunderbans. It is quite a view with the green expanse of the Sunderbans on one side and the sea on the other.
When in Bakkhali you can take a ride in the bhut-bhuti, a crude motor boat to Jambudwip. This is an uninhabited island out in the sea. You can also visit Henrys Island. This is a ten minute ride from Bakkhali and you can go there in a rickshaw van.Sundari and Mangrove are the two rest houses on the island and are owned by the State Fisheries department.
It is advisable to stay there only during winters since the place is without electricity and the heat and mosquitoes are enough to drive you insane. If you are looking for some more fun then you could also make a trip to the crocodile farm and mangrove forest by the Bakkhali bus stop. Entry fee is very nominal. The Bisalakshi temple at the end of the beach is also worth a visit. You could hire a rickshaw van to take you around all these places. It is a fun ride as the van takes you through the village roads and lanes.
Bakkhali can be accessed by road or rail. The nearest railway station is Namkhana. There are regular trains from Sealdah to Namkhana. From Namkhana you cross a small creek by boat to reach the bus stand from where you can get a bus to Bakkhali.
You can also get to Bakkhali from Kolkata by a WBSTC bus that leaves from Esplanade bus terminus. It takes around five hours to reach Bakkhali by bus. There are many hotels in Bakkhali which offer good rooms at moderate prices.