Tuesday, 4 October 2011

SMH: Up the lazy, hazy Hooghly

India, boat on the Hooghly river.
Spirit level ... the RV Sukapha. Photo: Getty Images


Lee Atkinson takes a slow boat back to the days of empire while daily life unfolds all around.

The Ganges may get the glory as both the longest and most sacred river in India but the Hooghly - the western branch of the Ganges that seeps into the sea in the Bay of Bengal south of Kolkata - was once one of the most important waterways in India.

It is on the banks of the Hooghly, in its towns and villages, palaces and fields, that the British conquest of India began. Here the East India Company and their French, Dutch and Danish rivals set up their trading ports and forts, shipped their boatloads of silks and cottons, teas and opium downriver to Calcutta (now Kolkata), fought battles and made history.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/travel/activity/cruises/up-the-lazy-hazy-hooghly-20110929-1ky5k.html#ixzz1ZmJpoPex