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Mousuni Island-The secret beach of West Bengal
I first time heard about Mousuni Island on 2014 form one of my friend. Since then I decided to visit this place but somehow it did not happen. So I finally got an opportunity to visit Mousuni Island on 2019.
Mousuni Island is one of the popular tourist destinations near Kolkata. You will find many groups of young people during weekends here. This place is ideal for a weekend trip.
Where is this Mousuni Island?
Mousuni Island is located at the southern end of West Bengal. This is basically a river island. Mousuni Island formed at the sea mouth of Muri Ganga River and river Chinai separates Mousuni Island from the main land. If you look at the map you will see this place Mousuni Island is located in between Gangasagar Island and Bakkhali. Bakkhali is situated south-east corner of Mousuni island and Gangasagar Island is located at South-west corner of the island. Jambu Dwip is situated at the south of Mousuni and it can be seen on a clear day.
How to reach Mousuni Island?
Reaching Mousuni Island is quite time taking and the toughest part of the trip. Mousuni can be reach by car, bus or train but one have to cross two rivers to reach Mousuni.
One of them is Hataniya-Doaniya, fortunately a bridge was built over it so one can cross the river easily but the next one is Chinai river and one has to cross the river by boat only. To cross Chinai river there are two ghats (Jetties)- Hujjuter Ghat and Durgapur Ghat.
By Train: Namkhana is the nearest rail head of Mousuni Island and this station is well connected with Sealdah Railway Station. One can find many local train from Sealdah (Station Code: SDAH) to Namkhana (Station code: NMKA) or one may break the train journey like Sealdah to Lakshmikantapur (Station Code: LKPR) then from Lakshmikantapur to Namkhana.
A direct journey from Sealdah to Namkhana will take nearly 4hours. Try to catch early morning train. Just from the outside of Namkhana Railway Station you will get lots of Magic Van and Toto which will take you to either Hujjuter Ghat or Durgapur Ghat.
It will take nearly 40minute to reach Hujjuter Ghat or Durgapur Ghat from Namkhana. You have to cross Chainai river either from Hujjuter Ghat or Durgapur Ghat by boat.
From the opposite side of Hujjuter Ghat or Durgapur Ghat you will again get Toto which will take you to Mousuni Island and it will take another 30-40 minute.
By Bus: Lots of buses ply between Dharmatala to Namkhana or Bakkhali. You may get down at Namkhana or Bagdanga Market from there you will get Toto which will take you to either Hujjuter Ghat or Durgapur Ghat.
From there you have to cross the Chinai river and after crossing the river you have to take Toto to reach Mousuni Island.
By Car: Unfortunately you can’t reach all the way to Mousuni by your own car. As you have to cross the Chinai river by the boat so you have to leave your car at Hujjuter Ghat.
To reach Mousuni by car you have to take route from Kolkata to Bakkhali via Diamond Harbour, after crossing Hatania-Doania river bridge ask local people for the route of Hujjuter Ghat.
At Hujjuter Ghat you will find parking place for your own car. Leave your car here cross the river by boat and then after crossing take a Toto to reach Mousuni Island.
When to visit Mousuni Island?
As Mousuni island is situated at the sea face of the river Muri Ganga, this place faces high tide and storm during rainy seasons. So it is advisable not to visit Mousuni during rainy season.
Expect rainy season Mousuni can be visited throughout the year but keep in mind as the staying option of Mousuni Island is either Tent or Mud House (Hut) so during summer it will be hot and humid. Winter is the best time to visit Mousuni.
Where to stay at Mousuni Island?
You will be shocked to know that there is no hotel on Mousuni Island but don’t worry there are some basic staying options like Mud house, family tent and dome tent and all are arranged by separate camp owners.
More than 100 camp sites are there in Mousuni Island. Actually in Mousuni there is no permission to build up concrete construction from local government authorities. Dome tents and family tents are very basic. There are no attached toilets or bath rooms.
You have to use common bathroom or toilet. Mud houses are quite different from real mud houses. This is made with combination of bamboo and plastic but the only advantage of the mud house is you will get an attached toilet and you will get a table fan in mud house.
Mousuni Islnad sightseeing:
Mousuni Island is ideal place to seat beside sand bank and to watch nature. You may like to watch sunset from here. If you like to go for sightseeing then you may pay a visit to nearby Jambu Dweep.
Local authority has permitted a specific boat to take tourists to Jaambu Dweep trip, it will take nearly two and half hours for a round trip but keep in mind you can’t get down at Jambu Dweep as it is strictly prohibited.
During your Jambu dweep trip you will find coast guard’s patrolling boats there. You will find many birds near Jambu dweep. During high tide few parts of the Jambu Dweep submerged into the sea water hence you will see some trees are standing on water.
If you want you may visit to Gangasagar Island from Mousuni. It will take nearly 3-4 hours for one side trip. So don’t forget to take your luggage with you if you are plaaning for Gangasagar trip from Mousuni.
Gangasagar is popular island among pilgrims. Every year a fair named as Sagar mela held here during Makar Sankranti. You will get to visit Kapil Muni temple there.
You may pay a visit to Bakkhali – a beautiful sea beach from Mousuni Island. To visit Bakkhali you may take a boat ride from Mousuni Island to Bakkhali or you may get back to Bagdanga Market and from there take a Toto or bus service to reach Bakkhali.
You may go to Henry’s Island and for that you have to come down to Baghdanga Market. From this market you will get toto to reach Henry’s Island.
Mousuni Island food:
Generally foods are included with staying option. Every camp owner has their own menu. Lunch, evening snacks, dinner and next day’s breakfast are included with camping package.
There are some small beach side restaurants where you may get some food to eat. Prawn and crabs are must to try while in Mousuni Island.
Mousuni Island tour cost:
Mousuni Island is a budget friendly weekend destination. You may easily cover this place with in a budget of Rs 1500-1800 for one night two days trip.
Cost of Transportation:
The cost of railway ticket from Sealdah to Namkhana is Rs 30, if you are traveling by bus it will cost you Rs 80-90 to reach Namkhana from Dharmatala (Kolkata).
Toto will charge Rs 25-30 each to drop you at either Hujjuter Ghat or Baghdanga Ghat. Boat fare is only Rs 3 to cross Chinai River.
After crossing the river a toto will charge you to Rs 30-40 to drop you at your camp.
Cost of food and lodging:
Charges of camps are different and it varies from Rs 700 to 2000 depending on the camp quality. But frankly speaking all camps are more or less same in quality.
Generally dome tent of the camp starts from Rs 700 and Family tent starts form Rs 1000 and mud houses are starting from Rs 1200 (All prices are for only one person).
Mousuni Island activities:
Camping: Mousuni Island is popular for camping. You may want or not you have to stay at camp if you are visiting Mousuni. This may be a new experience for you.
Fishing: Fishing is another activity where you may try your hand. You may go for fishing by rod or net as you wish but don’t try to go by yourself, always ask the camp owner first regarding the arrangements.
Night sky watching: Mousuni is far away from big cities and here the pollution level is very low so you may get to see starry sky on a clear night from here.
Beach cleaning: Nature is giving us everything but what are we returning back to Mother Nature? If we want to save nature we need to be careful about nature. So if you want to return something to nature you may put your hand to beach cleaning that will not only help Mousuni to get clean but also will leave a positive impact on other tourists.
Village walking: As Mousuni is situated on sea mouth, it faces many cyclones. Local villagers are habituated with storms and cyclones thus they have changed their lifestyle accordingly. If you wish to experience the daily life of locals you may go for a village walk.
Where should you visit Mousuni Island or Bakkhali:
Mousuni Island and Bakkhali both places are on the same side of the West Bengal and both the places can be reaching from Namkhana. So where should you visit? Let’s start with point by point.
Advantage of Mousuni Island: In Mousuni you can do camping. This place is relatively new to tourists. You can enjoy beautiful sunset from here. You can go for fishing here.
Disadvantage of Mousuni Island: Mousuni Island becomes crowded during weekends. Mousuni is relatively dirty. Many people play loud music till mid night here.
You will find many party animals here. There is only basic staying option available. Only two restaurants are here and there is no other shop.
Advantage of Bakkhali: Bakkhali is relatively clean than Mousuni Island. You will get descent hotels, shops here. This place is easy to reach from Namkhana as well as from Kolkata.
Disadvantage of Bakkhali: You can’t pitch your camp/tent here. Bakkhali is one of the oldest tourist destinations for weekenders.
My experience on Mousuni Island:
I went to the Mousuni with my brother. I stayed at Nirvana Camp of Mousuni. The camp was quite good. I booked a mud house there. They provided a table fan to me. The food of the camp was delicious. We went for Jambu dweep trip from Mousuni; it costs us Rs 300 each. There is a beach side restaurant just in front of the camp. Contact of Nirvana Camp, Mousuni: 6297281032 (Arnab)
Mousuni Island is getting popular day by day so many tourists are visiting Mousuni but unfortunately they are leaving trashes on the sea beach, thus Mousuni is losing its natural beauty.
So my earnest request to the Tourists, Camp owners and local authorities please give a look on the matter and do regular beach cleaning activity to clean Mousuni.
You would like to visit other places of West Bengal from West Bengal Tourism official website.
Looking for other weekend destination? Check out Gangani – the grand canyon of Bengal.