About a 90-minute drive from the eastern metropolitan city, Kolkata, the idyllic village of Raichak was traditionally a fishing hamlet by the mighty Hoogly River. However, that was before the Raichak on the Ganges came up. The transition of this small fishing village to a popular tourist destination was initiated and predominantly ensured by the vision of Harshavardhan Neotia, Chairman, Raichak on the Ganges, who initiated this project more than two decades ago.
The facility has successfully attracted a wide array of tourists and caters to various segments. It is a quality weekend getaway, a relaxed business conferencing destination, and a popular venue of destination weddings.
Mayukh Ray, General Manager, Raichak on the Ganges, informed BE, “The facility has no lean period as such. This may be because we cater to such diversified portfolios. Weekend tourists are a major segment and we have them year round. Apart from that, our facility is a popular destination for corporate events, which are a major revenue driver.” The ambience and the premium quality of services provided, make the facility popular for corporate events. Ray informed, “Companies from the pharmacy, banking, insurance and automobiles sectors organise regular events in our facility.”
Sourabh Manna who is associated with Asian Paints had visited the facility for a corporate meet. He informed BE, “The staff is very cordial and helpful. They have helped us during our meet. We will love to visit again.”
The facility has four major hospitality offerings. The Ffort Street, which has a farmhouse feel, has packages starting from Rs.7499. The Ffort, which has all the rooms overlooking the river, has its package starting at Rs.9999. The Anaya Spa Villa, which has 19 premium villas overlooking a central pool, starts at Rs.11500 and the premium Ganga Kutir, which are villas on the bank of the river, starts at Rs. 14,000. Apart from these, Footloose, which is a sports bar cum lounge, is popular among young party lovers. The Sonar Tori which is an exclusive Bengali cuisine restaurant, is also quite popular. As weekend tourism is an important segment in the revenue model, there is a live band performance every Saturday at Footloose and a weekend pool party is also organised regularly.
Various events are organised yearly to make the destination popular. The year starts with the Aqua Holi, which is organised on the Holi weekend. It is inspired from the Songkran water festival which is organised in Bangkok and guests are discouraged to play with colours. The Ffort Symphony is another important event. It is musical event and is widely popular among music lovers. The Puja Escapade organised during the Durga Puja is another important event. It entails a stay of five days and involves a river cruise, pool parties, celebration evenings and gala dinners. The year is drawn to a close with the Ffort Fiesta, which is the year ending bash. The resort is also gaining popularity as a wedding destination. Ray informed BE, “We organise 12-14 open air winter weddings each year.”
The facility also stands out because of its extensive social initiatives. It has been a major employment generator for the local population. Apart from that, it is funding various educational scholarships for deserving students of the local villages. It is also working on ensuring better sanitation in the neighbouring villages and is building toilets for the local population. Sabdar Mollah of Paschim Kakjole village near the facility informed BE, “Toilets were a problem for us, especially the women of the family. With the development of new toilets in our area the chances of diseases have reduced.” The management has also taken a keen interest in promoting interest in sports and supports many local organisations which organise sports events.