Now You Can Enjoy A 78-year-Old Paddle Steamer In Kolkata During Puja!

During the festive season of Durga Puja, tourists will have the opportunity to embark on a unique aquatic adventure called the 'Bengal Paddle.' This extraordinary experience, not limited to navigating the Hooghly River but also enriched with a maritime museum, promises to captivate visitors. The paddle steamer, crafted in Scotland in 1945, is the sole survivor among its contemporaries, making it a piece of living history.

The Chairman of the Port revealed, "Of all the steamers that once sailed to India from Scotland or Europe, this one remains. The rest have succumbed to scrap. Hence, the historical significance of this steamer is immense, and we have revived it with the assistance of a private organisation."


This 78-year-old paddle steamer was built by Scotland's Denholm & Brothers. Before independence, it provided steamship services mainly for the Bengali and Assamese regions. This P.S. Bhopal was created for the India General Navigation and Railway Company.

It plied the waters of the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Padma rivers, transporting passengers and goods. Its engine, which still exists, was powered by coal. However, today, it runs on diesel instead of coal. One of the distinguishing features of this steamer is the massive paddlewheels on both sides, resembling a giant water mill, which propel the steamer forward. This unique design has been preserved.

According to the chairman, Binoy Kumar, "This steamer will operate seven days a week and showcase the Heritage Port. The private organisation will transfer the steamer to the 'Shyamaprasad Mukherjee' port for three days a month. We believe that this steamer will not only serve the people of this aspirational city but also become highly popular among domestic and international tourists, playing a significant role in promoting tourism."

Besides its historical significance, the steamer has been equipped to host various events. It features a spacious deck for gatherings and even a climate-controlled glass auditorium for events in all weather conditions. However, the museum onboard is a must-visit, offering insights into the history of India's waterways that would otherwise remain unknown.

As the Bengal Paddle Steamer embarks on this remarkable journey, it promises to be a delightful blend of history and modernity, offering tourists a unique perspective on India's rich maritime heritage.

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