Destinations

12 Best Places To Visit In Serampore

Serampore is an incredible destination located in West Bengal, India. With its rich culture and vibrant history, it’s no surprise it’s a popular tourist destination. Read on if you’re searching for the best places to visit in Serampore!

From unique historical sites to fun things to do, there are so many great ways to learn about this very different city.

With something for everyone, each of these attractions will make your trip to Serampore unforgettable.

History Of Serampore

The town of Serampore, India, has a long and exciting history. It is in the Hooghly district of West Bengal, India, one of the country’s oldest towns. 

As early as 1730, European traders from Denmark, Sweden, France, and Britain established trading posts here and made it an important center for commerce. Then, in 1845, Danish King Frederick VI gave Serampore the status of a “free city.” 

This gave Serampore’s municipal government the power to pass its laws and regulations. As a result, missionaries like William Carey built schools in the city. 

He also created a printing press that made books in Sanskrit, Arabic, Greek, and Persian. The town also became a center for education. 

This press was responsible for introducing Bengali literature to the world!

Why Should You Visit Serampore?

This tiny Indian city in West Bengal offers abundant activities and attractions. 

Firstly, discover its rich history. Tourists who want to learn more about this fascinating time can see many important buildings from the colonial era, like the Danish Tavern and the Church of Serampore. 

The city was founded by Christian missionaries in 1776 and has since become an important center of art, culture, and education. It has also been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site because it is essential to history. 

Secondly, take part in the vibrant local culture. From temples to markets, visitors will find plenty to do here. 

Sample delicious Bengali cuisine or visit interesting craft stores around town—there’s something for everyone!

12 Best Places To Visit In Serampore

The following are the top 15 places to visit in Serampore:

1. Serampore Rajbari

The Goswamis of Serampore owned the magnificent residence known as Serampore Rajbari. It was constructed between 1815 and 1820 by Hari Narayan Goswami’s son, Raghuram Goswami. 

Since a section of the Rajbari was recognized as the ‘Debottar’ property, the term ‘Thakurbari’ is more appropriate. The Rajbari’s design is undoubtedly intriguing, with individual blocks connected by a complex network of corridors. 

The Thakur Dalan is spectacular, and the Rajbari has celebrated Durga Puja in the Bonedi Bari Ek-Chala tradition for almost three hundred years. However, the most notable element of the palace’s interior is the Chandni or Natmandir, a 120-foot-by-30-foot roofed courtyard.

After the building of Goswami Rajbari, Radhamadhav Jiu and Gopalji, the family deities, kula devata, were relocated to the Rajbari. The Goswami family also installed an “Ashtadhatu” (eight-metal) Radharani deity in this location. 

The Rajbari is a visible depiction of Serampore’s cultural history.

2. Henry Martin’s Pagoda – Places To Visit In Serampore

Henry Martin was invited to Aldeen House by David Brown. He stayed in a missionaries’ pagoda, an abandoned temple. 

Martin worshiped here and wanted to learn the native language. The modest white temple tower is surrounded by mossy, overgrown vegetation. 

This recently-rebuilt pagoda needs to be more frequently addressed. Terracotta shards from the old temple were pasted on several walls to provide the illusion of wall ornamentation. 

The rehabilitation included cement, bricks, and lime plaster repairs. On the roof are some old temple ruins.

3. St. Olav’s Church

St. Olav’s Church, built in 1806, is a Danish-era monument in Serampore. The neighborhood’s Christians used the church until 2009. 

Termites ate the original rafters, and the roof was collapsing. So Serampore College, the diocese of Kolkata, and The National Museum of Denmark’s Serampore project refurbished the church between 2013 and 2016.

The Kolkata bishop dedicated the church after it won the 2016 UNESCO Award of Distinction for Cultural Heritage Conservation. The church has a porch, spiral staircase, and bell tower. 

On the facade is Christian VII’s royal monogram. The greenery-surrounded cathedral has lovely interiors. 

Stone holy water container, pulpit, six memorial plaques, and lectern. The altar features merely a wooden cross.

4. Danish Cemetery – Places To Visit In Serampore

ASI (Archeological Survey of India) is currently in charge of the Danish cemetery. It is a protected site. 

There are no new burials here; the last one you can see was in 1964. ASI has done a lot of work to fix up the graves. 

The crumbling ruins of the coffins have put back together with lime and mortar, and the whole property is in good shape. Here, you can see the graves of many vital Danes. 

The Grave Site of Factor Casper Top, the only one written in Danish, is the most interesting. The gravestones of Lt. Col. Oie, who started building Olav’s Church, and Jacob Kreeting are also important (Head of Serampore from 1805-1828). 

The best time to go to this heritage site is between 10 AM and 4 PM, and there are no fees to get in.

5. The Denmark Tavern

The Denmark Tavern was a well-known place to do business in Serampore. It was built on the banks of the River Hooghly near Nishan Ghat. 

The officials loved coming to this tavern in the evening to have drinks, eat tasty food, play billiards, and enjoy the cool river breezes. In 1786, this was a famous lodge and riverside cafe with a friendly atmosphere. 

The Denmark Tavern is one of the most popular places in Serampore today. So the National Museum of Denmark, Realdania, and the Government of West Bengal worked together to fix it. 

Elegant Tuscan-style columns and an open entryway provide tourists with a beautiful vista of the Ganges. Try the soup, Danish, fried fish, and beverages here.

6. Mission Cemetery – Places To Visit In Serampore

The Serampore Trio has much to do with the Mission Cemetery and its importance to Christianity in South Asia. The well-known “Serampore trio” consisted of William Carey, Joshua Marshman, and William Ward. 

This is the second important Cemetery in Serampore. The first important Cemetery is the Danish Cemetery. 

It has two parts: one for Protestants and one for Roman Catholics. After taking over the church and college, the English Baptist Missionaries set up this Cemetery. 

The Baptist missionaries did more to build Serampore’s legacy than the Danish ones did. The grave of William Carey, which is red and has a marble plaque, is the most important. 

The graves of the Marshan family and William Ward are also important.

7. Danish Government House

The central government building in the Danish Rules of Serampore is called the Danish Government House. But, surprisingly, the building that is there now wasn’t there at the start. 

In 1755, it was a tiny mud house with a thatched roof where the head of Serampore worked and lived. Johan Leonard Fix hired people to use bricks and lime mortar to build a new building from 1770 to 1773. 

The grand office building had two rooms, a verandah, a front entrance, hallways, and many other rooms added over time. The old building was known for its long gallery-like hallway. 

The building was fixed with money from the West Bengal State Heritage Commission. As a result, you may see a renovated main gate, columns with ionic capitals, an open verandah, doors, and windows with the same design.

The inside of the building is now a museum. The large building where the Danish government works is exciting.

8. Radha Ballav Temple – Places To Visit In Serampore

Radha Ballav Temple is a well-known temple in Serampore. Nayanchand Mallick of Calcutta built it in 1764 A.D. 

People claim Rudraram, a pandit who dreamed of Radhaballab jiu, located the stone on the Nawab of Gour’s terrace and made the statue. But, in the end, the Bhagirathi River destroyed it. 

Nayanchand Mallik built the current Atchala temple in 1764. Its design is very similar to that of Henry’s Pagoda. 

Doric columns hold up the flat-roofed verandah on all sides, and the Southern Wall has five pointed arches. In front of the temple, there is also a Natmandir.

9. Jagannath Temple and Rath of Mahesh

The Jagannath temple was built in the village of Mahesh, which is now part of the city of Serampore. It was one of the first places of interest in the town. 

People say that this Jagannath Temple, built in the 1400s, is the second oldest and one of the best in India. Drubananda Brahmachari created Balaram, Subhadra, and Jagannath with a Daru Brahma (neem idol) and offered them Bhog.

Nayanchand Mallik built the current Mahesh temple in 1755 on the ruins of the old one. It has a simple Rekha Deul-style structure. 

Since 1396, the Rath Yatra of Mahesh has been one of the most critical events in Serampore. Every year, many people go to Mahesh to pull the chariot of the Lord. 

First, they pull the chariot north of Mahesh to the Lord’s garden house. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu chose the name “Naba Nilachal” for this place. 

This is the chariot that Dewan Krishnachandra Basu ordered from Martin Burn Co. This iron chariot is 45 feet tall and has four floors. 

It is made in the traditional “Navaratna” style of Bengal, which means that it has nine spires and wheels made of neem wood.

10. Serampore Johannagar Baptist Church

The John Nagar (or Johnnagar) Church is another great place to worship in Serampore. It tells the story of the indigenous church movement in Bengal. 

Even though it wasn’t a Danish building in and of itself, it was part of their Danish province. So, at the start of the 19th century, Baptist missionaries were eager to build churches in this area. 

The Johnnagar Baptist Church, which used to call the Carey Baptist Church, was started by William Carey in 1880. Carey, Ward, and Marshman all lived in the parsonage of this church. 

In front of the church is a river, and a part of it is named after Carey’s famous printing press.

11. Vheto

Vheto is an old building in the city. It is in the Serampore Court Compound. 

It used to be a canteen, but it was restored beautifully and became a popular restaurant. So, if you want to eat delicious and traditional food in Serampore, you can go here instead of the Denmark Tavern.

The outside of the Vheto Court Compound looks very old and impressive. Here, you may discover old stuff like glass lights, wooden ceilings with slats, red scooters, old furniture, cactus, and creepers.

The rooms are set up for guests with chairs and tables, and delicate cutlery sets are displayed in old glass cases. Dal, Bhaat, Dim Kosha, or any other authentic Bengali dish will make you happy to eat. You can also get a mocktail if you want to feel calm.

12. Bose House – Places To Visit In Serampore

The Bose House in Serampore is an old house that is falling apart and looks very scary. It has been there for about 200 years. 

The house is in ruins, with red bricks and the trunks and roots of giant trees growing through the cracks and crevices. The house might have been built with Lakhori bricks, which were used in the 18th century. 

Once upon a time, this Danish house was a beautiful grand palace with a well-kept garden. Between 1947 and 1974, Albert, Norman, George, Samuel, Daisy, Stella, and Grace Bose lived in this building. 

Even though it’s in ruins, you can still see how elegant and well-furnished Bose House was. The front porch retains its lovely floor, pillared doorways, and cast iron gates that require repair.

How To Travel Safely In Serampore?

Are you planning to travel to Serampore? Its unique culture, stunning architecture, and delicious food make it easy to understand why this city is such a popular destination. 

But when traveling abroad, safety should be your top priority. 

First, familiarize yourself with the area and crime rate before visiting. Then, check out local news sources online or talk to people who have recently seen the city for advice. 

This will help you identify areas where it may not be safe to wander alone at night. 

It’s also essential to always keep an eye on your belongings. 

Invest in a secure bag that can close with a zipper or padlock. So your items remain protected even if you’re not watching them closely.

Is Serampore A Costly Place To Visit?

For those looking to explore this historic city on a budget, here’s some good news – Serampore is surprisingly affordable! 

From delicious street food to affordable accommodation options and cheap transportation facilities, there are plenty of ways to have a great time without breaking the bank. 

Tourists can also avail discounts on entry fees at many local attractions, while shopping at local markets can help them save even more money.

How Much Does The Average Hotel Cost In Serampore?

The good news is that, on average, most hotels in Serampore are surprisingly affordable! You can easily find simple but comfortable lodging for just a few hundred rupees per night. 

There are also plenty of options if you want something fancier. But these can cost anywhere from 500 to 1000 rupees, depending on your tastes.

Whichever hotel you choose, you can rest assured knowing that your money will go a long way in Serampore’s vibrant hospitality industry!

Best Time To Visit Serampore

Serampore comes alive during the winter (December-February) when the weather is pleasurable and ideal for sightseeing. Tourists can enjoy various activities such as boat rides along the river, exploring historical monuments like Danish Fort Frederiksnagore, or participating in festivals like Basanta Utsav – a celebration of spring. 

Additionally, visitors can savor delicious Bengali cuisine while soaking up spectacular views from rooftop restaurants.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Serampore is an excellent destination to visit. Unique architecture, magnificent vistas, exceptional cuisine, rich culture, and friendly people make it the ideal vacation spot.

Serampore is perfect for a romantic break or a unique experience. So book your tickets immediately and plan your next journey in this beautiful city.

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