The second in a series of photos depicting life along the Hooghly River. In this particular one you can see a man who has been bathing wringing out a cloth in front of a row of boats. During my boat ride from Dakshineswar to the Belur Math I saw numerous fishing and transport boats like these, many of which did not look very sea-worthy at all. |
The Hooghly River is the major waterway for West Bengal in general and Kolkata in particular. It serves as a industrial waterway, it was one of the chief reasons the British settled in Kolkata, and it provided the means by which the East India Company sailed into Kolkata. But the Hooghly also has spiritual significance for West Bengal, particularly as it is an offshoot of the Ganges.
Another interesting fact about the Hooghly is that it produces a true "tidal bore", the phenomenon where the incoming tide generates a wave that sweeps upstream against the current. Such bores are very turbulent and can be quite dangerous. In the case of the Hooghly the wave typically exceeds 7 feet in height.
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