No matter how much we love living our urban life, sometimes, we do crave to run away to lead a simpler life amidst nature. We are always looking for a place to escape from the urban chaos to a secluded space. This is one of the reasons why off-beat travel and tourism is fast gaining popularity.
If you are a lover of the crashing sea waves and the golden beaches but are tired of travelling to the regular destinations, then visiting Mousuni Island at the southern-most corner of West Bengal will be a fine choice. The mystic Mousuni Island keeps its arms wide open for you to explore its unexplored scenic beauty on a budget, best for a weekend tour to a nearby off-beat place from Kolkata.
Location and History of Mousuni Island
The geographical location of Mousuni Island lies in the South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal. It is a sub-set of Bengal’s deltaic group of islands, with the Muri Ganga separating Mousuni and Sagar Islands in the west and the Chinai River flowing between Mousuni and Bakkhali coast in the east. The tranquil island offers a picturesque view of the distributaries of Ganga swiftly flowing to unite with the Bay of Bengal and a long and narrow beach covered with the area’s typical mangrove vegetation.
The island has a long geological history but has very little by way of a touristic heritage as it is a newly discovered spot by the lovers of off-beat tourism. Sadly, global warming is seriously endangering this beautiful destination of Bengal, with the rising sea waters and the increasing frequency and intensity of cyclones and coastal flooding.
How to get to Mousui Island from Kolkata?
From whereever you live, you need to first make your way to Kolkata in India. Mousuni Island is distanced at 120 Km away from Kolkata. The place is well accessible and enjoys good connectivity. You can choose your preferred mode of transportation depending on your budget and comfort.
The bus journey from Esplanade bus terminal to Namkhana bus stand is of 3.5 – 4 hours. Hop onto a Magic Van, cross the Hataniya-Duaniya river via a bridge to reach Bagdanga Ghat. Next, take a ferry ride to cross the Chinai river and then go to your pre-booked traveller’s camp taking a toto.
Or, you can also take a bus going to Bakkhali and get down at 7mile stop from there take a toto to go to Hujjoter ghat, cross the Chinai river go to your camp.
Take any local train from Sealdah or Ballygunge station preferably in the early morning and get off at the Namkhana station. From there enjoy a bus ride up to Namkhana bus stand. From there enjoy a magic van ride followed by a ferry ride to reach your travel camp.
Bike and Car rides
You can also book a car rental or set out with your personal car or bike to the island.
Best time to visit Mousuni Island
The most recommended time to visit the calmness and beauty of this less-known island is from October to March. Avoid taking a tour during the monsoon or an approaching storm.
Accommodation, food, and facilities on this Offbeat Island
When planning to visit Mousuni Island you have to give away the comfort and luxury of leading an urban life. No hotels or resorts are available as of now.
The place offers a very rustic yet homely feel immediately building up a connection of the tourists with the roots of nature. Staying at the Mousini island is quite adventurous as the only form of accommodation available in the tented camps and mud houses. You can either stay in the tents having a common outdoor washroom available for all or in the mudhouses having separate washrooms if you are looking for some more privacy and comfort.
There a range of tents to choose from: Adventure tent for 2 people, Family tent for 4 people and Group tent for 6-8 people.
Here are a few of the famous and trusted traveller’s camps at Mousuni:
Backpacker’s Camp – INR 1200/- to INR 1600/- per head
Call: +91 9836505038
Alafiia Camp – INR 1050/- to INR 1450/- per head
Call:+91 7407700920/ +91 7407315177
Mousuni Jhinuk Camp – INR 1200/- to INR 1400/- per head
Call: +91 8017098992/ +91 7439975903/ +91 877707129
Call: +91 9051160870
All the camps offer somewhat similar facilities like offering a welcome drink (coconut water or fresh seasonal fruit juice) followed by an authentic Bengali lunch. Puffed rice and onion fritters (Peyaji-Muri) are mostly offered as evening snacks followed by a non-vegetarian dinner.
The cost of all the day’s meals and next morning’s breakfast along with the stay at the tent/mudhouse are all-inclusive in their 1 night 2 days package cost. You can additionally order a chicken-barbeque or prawn/crab fries (separate charges) to enjoy in the evening, sitting by the seaside.
Tip: Pre-book your camps for a hassle-free stay on the island. You should carry a portable light, a power backup port, and some extra cash. Don’t forget to take a cap and sunscreen too.
Is Mousuni Island safe?
The newly discovered travel destination to Mousuni Island has become quite a rage mostly among the people of the neighboring districts like Kolkata, Medinipur, and North 24 Parganas.
The island is a beautiful off-beat location to relax and cool off from the monotony of everyday life. Also, don’t worried about the safety of staying in Mousuni’s outdoor camps. The kind and humble helpers at the camp are always there to guide you and serve all your requirements, ensuring your total safety and security.
But with the increasing popularity of this island, the local people are unionising and are trying to dupe the tourists by charging them exorbitantly high fares of magic vans, totos, and rickshaws.
So be prepared to bargain with the toto/magic van drivers before you take a ride. Apart from this, the island is completely safe and tourist-friendly.
Things to do in Mousuni, West Bengal
There’s only a few things to do on Mousuni Island, and since you can only visit with island via a backpacking camp, most trips follow a schedule like the one below.
- After unloading your luggage at the camp and freshening up, dive into the waters of Muri Ganga and enjoy bathing with your friends and family.
- After a fun-filled bathing session, head back to the camp for a delightful Bengali lunch at the beach, following which have a relaxing time with your group.
- In the late afternoon, head out for an adventurous 30-35 minutes tour to the Jammu island on a boat (within INR 200-250) sailing across the glistening waters for an enchanting view of the wild mangroves all around.
- Enjoy the golden hours of sunset at the beach near your camp enjoying with your friends and family.
- Have a gala time in the evening with a bonfire and some fun music by the beach. You can also relish smoked or barbeque chicken/prawn/crab by the sea.
- Have a comforting and home-like dinner and sleep peacefully to the sound of the gushing waves crashing on the beach.
- Rise early and set out to view the sunrise at the beach. Take a soothing stroll all along the beach and return to your camp for a nice breakfast.
- With this, your short and budget-friendly weekend trip to this mystique and serene Mousuni island comes to an end. Again take the same route back and return home safely.
Approximate Tour Cost:
If you opt to go via public transport from Kolkata to Mousuni Island, the estimated cost will be around INR 100-150 per head. Basic camping packages range from INR 1050 to 1500 per head. There are separate charges (around INR 500/kg) for barbeque preparation at all the camps. Another INR 100-150/- travel fare for returning from the island to Kolkata. Take some extra cash for an emergency.
About the author:
Ruma Dey Baidya has been travelling for the last 20+ years. She lives in Kolkata, West Bengal with her family. Photography and travelling has been her affection since childhood. She always prefers group travel and on a budget. Memories are not constant so she decided to document them and create the blog The Holiday Story. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
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