On The Steps - Babughat, Kolkata

The busiest ghat in the mornings, also called Babu ghat, was constructed in 1830 by a rich merchant named Raj Chandra Doss, who is remembered thanks to his wife Rani Rashmoni. She, a low caste Hindu, built the temple at Dakshineswar and was unable to find a priest to man the temple. She patronised the maverick priest Ramakrishna after her husband died (his brother was the first priest of Dakshineshwar). This ghat is also the second oldest, can be reached only from the main thoroughfare as government offices block further access from Strand.

 

Over the landing berth is a long building with pillars. Babu ghat is a favourite bathing ghat and the place to head for massage. Outside the eroding colonade sits a man selling flowers; inside, in the hall, is an assortment of activities and people. In one corner spread across a wooden bed is a mat. On it lies in passive bliss a rotund man, his eyes closed, revelling in the pleasure of a warm massage.

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Taken on June 29, 2008