Enjoy the serenity of the Hooghly river at the James Prinsep Ghat of Kolkata

History of the
Prinsep Ghat

The James Prinsep
Ghat popularly known as the Prinsep Ghat was constructed in 1841 during the
pre-independence period. It was designed by W. Fitzgerald in the memory of renowned
Anglo-Indian scholar and colonial administrator James Prinsep after whom it was
named. He was the first European to decipher the edicts of Ashoka and also the
editor of the journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal. The architecture of the
building is in the form of Palladian architecture (
European architectural style which was derived from the work of architect
Andrea Palladio
) as we see
the Palladian porch. It has immense historical and archaeological significance
as the monument is rich in Greek and Gothic inlays. It is located between the
Water Gate and the St George’s Gate of the Fort William. Man-O-War jetty which
played a significant role in the second world war is also located here. It
belongs to the Kolkata Port Trust. Its use is now restricted to the visitors
and only used by the Indian Navy. Built during the British rule, it still
remains to be one of the most iconic spots in the heart of the city of joy that
is Kolkata.

Things to do in Prinsep

People can visit
the prinsep ghat in kolkata any day. It is a
(1.2 mi)
beautified riverfront amidst nature. This place is normally crowded throughout
the week but more crowded in weekends. It doesn’t have any entry fee and is appreciably
maintained by public works department since it was restored in November 2001
making it highly popular and crowdy place among students and younger
generations, especially young lovers.

It has different
food stalls from where people can buy and eat their morning breakfast or
evening snacks. Chips, ice-cream, papri chaat, ghoti-garam, tea etc are among
the popular food items available there. There are many restaurants nearby like
JSI restaurant, Alfresco etc for those who don’t eat road side food. Decent
restaurants are also available in the esplanade, park street and maidan area
which are a few kilometres away.

Decorated boats of
different sizes are also available to the visitors in the ghat area who can
enjoy their rides with their family, friends or lovers through the Hooghly
river just for
₹300.00. The price may slightly vary
according to the availability of boats, weather, type of shikara etc. People
can also reserve the boats from beforehand and decorate them nicely for
different occasions like birthday, anniversary or engagement. They can also
hire people there who will decorate the boats for them according to their demand.

There are small seating areas or benches where lovers
can sit and spend time amidst lush greeneries in cool and calm weather.
It is located along the banks of river Hooghly. Hence
it is a great place to enjoy the cool breeze of the Hooghly river during the
sunset or sunrise along with some light music with your loved one. But it has
no arrangements of music so if you want it you have to arrange it yourself.

Old people can visit this place for morning or evening walks in the pathways of the ghat through well-maintained gardens and fountains. It helps to keep their mind and body healthy. Moreover, the cool breeze of the Hooghly river rejuvenates their soul.

People also tend
to visit other ghats nearby when they visit prinsep ghat and the popular babughat
is one of them. Some other iconic places to visit nearby are malik ghat flower
market, BBD bagh, eden gardens, St. John’s Church, Howrah bridge, millennium
park, Maghen David synagogue etc.

Place for photography  

It is a wonderful
place for amateur and professional photographers as well as models. Models tend
to conduct their portfolio shoots in such old monuments of Kolkata with rich
historical significance. Prominent film directors have also chosen this place
for shooting different films. Kolkata based artists often choose this place for
their professional purposes like music videos and short films. Not only the
prinsep ghat, but the view of the Hooghly bridge or the Vidyasagar Setu creates
a unique backdrop which is the main reason behind choosing this place. The
sunset in this view is another beauty to fall for. Kolkata is a great place for
lovers and people who make films, documentaries or videos about the rich yet
diverse cultural heritage of Kolkata or those whose storyline in based on
Kolkata never fails to include the iconic James Prinsep Ghat in their work.
People also prefer this spot for their trending pre-wedding shoots, Instagram
reels and several other brand shoots too. The famous song Piyu Bole from
the 2005 film “Parineeta” starring Saif Ali Khan and Vidya Balan was shot here.

How to reach
prinsep ghat?

It is located in
the heart of Kolkata near Fort William, Hastings. So reaching prinsep ghat is
really hassle-free. It has well connectivity from places like Howah (~12km),
Sealdah (~6km) and Esplanade or Dharmatala (~4km). From Howrah station buses
are available like 12A, 259, C-37 etc. If you are coming from Sealdah, walk
upto Surendranath college to get S-3B bus. You can also walk upto Sealdah court
and board 30B bus. other than these private non- AC buses, many private non- AC
buses are also available from N.R.S hospital bus stand. The nearest metro
station is esplanade for those are coming via  north-south metro. From esplanade it takes
30-40 minutes by walking (suggested for pocket-friendly couples); buses like
12A, 259, S-3B etc. are also available in this route.

Apart from these
routes, James Prinsep ghat is having its own railway station named after it
(station code -PPGT). It is a part of the Kolkata circular railway popularly
known as the Kolkata chakra rail which encircles the city of Kolkata. It is operated
by the Sealdah division of the eastern railway zone of the Indian railways.

When to visit the
Prinsep ghat?

During the covid period it was closed for months and
even in the post-covid times there were several restrictions but now it is
again normally open for all the visitors. It remains open for 24 hours and for
all the 7 days in a week. But for boat ride through the Hooghly river, the time
of sunrise and sunset is highly recommended. Though it is opened for the entire
day, it is not advised to visit the ghat during hot sunny summer afternoons
because most of the seating areas do not have any shade.

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