Steeped in folklore and nurtured by the Damodar, Boalia in Howrah district is a typical Bengal village. The Damodar here is wide and full of currents. It flows past Garchumuk to meet the Hoogly and the Rupnarayan near Gadiara. One can take a boat ride across the river. A 60-year-old Kali temple and a burning ghat by the river are the two visiting places in the village.
Boalia has a connection with the Behula-Lakshmindar story in Mansamangal. It is said that when the raft in which Behula accompanied the body of her husband Lakshmnidar reached this village, a Boal fish tried to bite off a finger of Lakshmindar. Residents like to believe that the fish was actually trying to make the poison of the snake ineffective that had bitten Lakshmindar. Boalia got its name from this belief.
Chilling by the river is the best thing that can be done at Boalia. Fishermen on tiny rafts can be seen casting their dragnets. Manasa is worshiped in almost every house. The folklore coupled with frequency with which residents get bitten by snakes makes them worship the goddess.
On the opposite bank of the river are Bagnan’s Gartali and Dawanpur villages. Dawan Saheeb or the Pir Saheeb mazhar is the attraction in Dawanpur. More than a hundred years old, the mazhar has wooden horses and deer on the premises. Both Hindus and Muslims of the area visit the mazhar. Gartali village is famous in Howrah for its vegetables. A visit can be made to Gadiara and Garchumuk via Shyampur from the nearby Deula market.
How to go ?
Boalia is around 9km from Birshibpur on the Howrah-Panskura section of South Eastern Railway. A local train to Birshibpur station can be taken and then an autorickshaw will take us to Boalia. If we choose to drive, then a left turn is to be taken towards Hooghly from NH6 .
Where to stay ?
There are no hotels in Boalia. A day trip is the only option.