Raichak on Ganges is like a bubble. It is a place to escape to and experience the rhythm of rural life amidst peaceful environs surrounded by a timeless landscape composed of a sacred river and swaying coconut palms.
Kolkata is a frenetic metropolis well known to be a hub of political intrigue, economic vitality and ongoing intellectual debate.
Raichak on Ganges is situated just 50 kms to the South of this bustling city and is a quick 90 minute drive from Kolkata. It comprises of the Ffort Raichak luxury hotel, a boutique resort called Ganga Kutir and the Anaya destination spa, along with numerous country homes that dot its landscape.
On arrival you need a moment to be calm, to catch your breath and let your senses do their thing for a bit. Accommodation options are two, the Ffort Raichak, which is a luxury fort-themed hotel and Ganga Kutir, the chic spa resort. Both are situated at different corners of the sprawling greens, but no matter where you decide to stay, you have an exhilarating view of the dramatic bend of the river Hooghly, which is what the Ganga is called in this part of the country.
If it’s a vibrant holiday that’s on your wish list then Ffort Raichak fits the bill, but if it is a quiet retreat to calm city-frayed nerves, then head to Ganga Kutir, the day-dream inducing spa resort designed by Channa Daswatte, Probir Mitra and Vivek Rathore, under the helm of Mr. Harshavardhan Neotia, the chairman of Ambuja Realty of which this development is a part.
City weekends and mountain retreats have their place, but nothing says vacation like a riverside resort escape. The Ffort Raichak has been intentionally made to look as if heritage restorers waved their magic wand and an old fort was brought back to its original glory.
But in reality there never was a fort! The new red bricked structure housing the rooms is positioned on sprawling greens and criss-crossed with pathways that connect it to other areas, including the boutique Anaya Spa building.
The Ganga Kutir, one of the two stay options, boasts of a perfect hybrid of traditional elegance and modern luxury. Subtle historical references to the days gone by create a cultural, yet organic ambience. Here the guests enjoy tastefully done up rooms, a library, as well as a swim in a pool whose edge melds into the waters of the river.
The Anaya Spa building has the look of a rammed earth construction on the outside. Two types of facades clad its exteriors; red brick and a central dome like structure that is clad in shimmery white mosaic.
As the doors open and one steps inside, the beauty of the outdoors merges effortlessly with the contemporary beauty of the interior space. That fine line between the indoors and out becomes even more of an illusion as the gently wafting breeze fills the space, as guests make a bee-line to try the international therapies that help to rejuvenate their senses and keep them calm throughout their stay.
I don’t know if it is the spiritual charisma of the mighty Ganga or the innate hospitality or the luxurious accommodations, but all said, no visitor comes away from here without a good measure of admiration and affection for this enigmatic destination, just waiting to convince his near and dear one to follow suit. Come with your mind open and you’ll leave with your heart full.
Text By Mala Bajaj
Photographs Courtesy Raichak On Ganges