Around 44km north of Kolkata lies Chandernagore, a former French colony from 1678 to 1950. Also spelt Chandannagar, Chandernagor and many other variations, the architecture of this charming destination has a very French feel, and mid-November sees an array of beautiful lighting displays for the Jagaddhatri Puja festival.
A former governor's mansion, the Institut de Chandernagore is located on the pleasant riverfront road. Inside, you’ll find an interesting museum explaining colonial history on the Hooghly, and the four-poster bed of 18th-century governor Joseph Dupleix. Just over the road is a mini Arc de Triomphe in honour of the first Indian to become a chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur, Durgacharan Rakshit (1841–98).
Just off the Changanagore strand is the 'Sacred Heart Church', with its beautiful stained glass windows and walls with brightly coloured reliefs of Jesus carrying the cross. With its twin towers and intricate statues, the church is a great example of Chandergore’s architecture during the French period.
Mid-November is a fantastic time to visit Chandanagore for the amazing lighting displays to celebrate Jagaddhatri Puja. This festival is dedicated to an incarnation of the Hindu goddess Durga and locals throng the streets to pay respects to gigantic clay idols of the four-armed deity, which are cast into the River Hooghly in an enormous procession to mark the end of the celebrations.
You can visit Chandernagore on our Historic Hooghly with Assam Bengal Navigation tour or as part of your own bespoke Indian holiday. Contact our travel experts on 01792 315499 or email firstname.lastname@example.org