Taki is a cosy and quiet retreat, just a two-hour drive from the city. It is situated 73 km northeast of Calcutta, in North 24-Parganas, bordering Bangladesh.
After crossing Science City, as you drive down Basanti Road cross the Bantala Leather Complex, the landscape starts changing from urban to semi-urban and finally to rural. Villages with paddy fields and fish ponds appear on either side of the road, replacing buildings.
The quiet Ichhamati is the main attraction of this place. An imaginary line through the middle of the river separates West Bengal and Bangladesh.
The local people look forward to the annual reunion on Dashami. On that day, people from both sides of the border hoist their national flags on boats carrying idols and meet across the Ichhamati. The man-made boundary vanishes for the day.
The main tourist attraction at Taki is the Machhranga Island near the confluence of the Ichhamati and Vasa. The island, spread over 129 acres, is mostly uninhabited. It takes around 30 minutes to reach the island by a mechanised boat. On the way you can spot the ruins of Zamindar Roychoudhury’s palatial house, being swallowed by the river now. The island is ideal for a picnic.
The paved riverfront near Jetty Ghat wears a festive look in the evenings with roadside eateries and shops selling toys and trinkets. Taki municipality, established on April 1 1869, maintains these facilities.
The Ramakrishna Mission temple and ‘Kuler Kali Bari’ are within walking distance from the riverfront. One can witness the evening prayer and arati there. The name ‘Kuler Kali Bari’ suggests the existence of another river flowing near the temple.
The strip of land between the two rivers, locally called tack, might have given rise to the name Taki.
The hotels in Taki serve reasonably good food, particularly fish dishes. Those with a sweet tooth must try the local speciality - malpoa.
You can also hire a van rickshaw and head for Jalalpur. The old deity of Nandalal Jiu is an attraction here. You can walk down further into a portion of land on the river, locally known as golpataban, for a grand view of Bangladesh.
The river here is a narrow ribbon and we could clearly see the people in the Sreepur village of Bangladesh.
How to reach: Taki can be reached both by road and rail. Take a bus from Esplanade or a train from Sealdah. The Hasnabad local goes via Taki Road station.
From Taki Road station, Jetty Ghat takes 15 minutes by van- rickshaw. River cruise boats can be hired at Jetty Ghat.