Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 2nd February 2012, 22:41   #1
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 139
Thanked: 55 Times
Default Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal

In the winter of 2012, I took on a 500km journey to the Bankura district of West Bengal. The soil in this part of Bengal has a distinct Red hue (known as 'rangamati' in local tongue) and is geologically similar to the Deccan Plateau. The journey was mostly unplanned which added a sense of adventure to the otherwise stale city life.

Here is a summary of my route.

Day 1 26-Jan: Kolkata - Bishnupur via Bardhaman
Day 2 27-Jan: Stay at Bishnupur
Day 3 28-Jan: Bishnupur - Mukutmanipur via Onda
Day 4 29-Jan: Mukutmanipur - Kolkata via Jhilimili


Day 1

From Kolkata, the usual route to Bishnupur is to take NH2/Durgapur Expressway and then from Dankuni take the state highway through Arambagh. However, this is a busy bus route and also the day being a holiday (Republic day), I anticipated many picnic goers on this road. Hence, I decided to carry on along the expressway and take a diversion somewhere north of Dankuni. Accordingly I had set my GPS (Garmin Nuvi 250, loaded with Garmin India and MapMyIndia maps) and started my journey at around 10 AM.

However, after an hour or so I suddenly realized that I am still driving on the expressway and the GPS has stopped speaking to me. I looked at the GPS and found out that it is showing vehicle speed as zero and satellite signal is off! I stopped the car on the shoulder of the highway to figure out what happened. I figured out that the GPS is in simulation mode and not providing real-time directions. By this time I had already come too far away from my planned diversion. So I decided to reset my GPS and move forward towards Bardhaman. It recalculated the route and started giving me new directions. At Bardhaman, I took the exit and took a left as per GPS instruction.

It may be noted here that my GPS has two maps loaded. I have MMI 6.0 India maps as well as Garmin CN India 2011. Despite these, I soon figured out that this part of Bengal is almost alien to my GPS. It started showing non-existent roads, incorrect roads and seemed completely lost. After it led me into a dead-end in an interior village road laden with with boulders, I stopped relying on it and started asking local people for guidance. By this time it was lunchtime already. On the interior village roads there seemed no place to eat and I pretty much assumed that lunch is skipped for the day. I stopped at a sweet shop on the way to Khandaghosh to briefly fill up and started going again.

At around 2:30 PM I arrived at a Y-junction and stopped for direction. I asked a village elder for direction and he advised me of two different routes. One is through Sonamukhi which would take another 3 hours to reach Bishnupur . The other one was through Patrasayar and across a dry riverbed which would save at least an hour. I opted for number two and after some driving found myself on the dry bed of river Dwarakeshwar. It was a dirt road mostly frequented by tractors. It seemed funny to go along with these heavy vehicles in my tiny i10. Nevertheless, I paid 10 rupees and crossed the 'river'. My destination was right on the other side of the river.

Here is a Google Earth picture showing the river crossing (fed my GPS data into Goggle Earth).

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-river.jpg

Last edited by sbiswas : 29th October 2013 at 09:23.
sbiswas is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th October 2013, 09:22   #2
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 139
Thanked: 55 Times
Default re: Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal

Pictures en route.

On the road to Patrasayar. Brick kilns on the sides of the road.

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_2983.jpg

The dry bed of river Dwarakeshwar.

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_2996.jpg

Photo shoot on the dry river bed.

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_2994.jpg
Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_2999.jpg

Driving on the river bed. My GPS has no clue where I am going and shows all white.

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3000.jpg

Crawling back into state highway. GPS showing car crossing river.

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3004.jpg

Forced to off road. Road closed for construction near Bishnupur.

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3008.jpg
sbiswas is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th October 2013, 09:41   #3
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 139
Thanked: 55 Times
Default re: Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal

After a tiring day, we reached Bishnupur in the evening and took shelter in the WB Govt tourist lodge. The lodge is quite close to the ancient temple ruins. We freshened up and took a visit to the 'Rasmancha' (temple of entertainment) nearby. It is a brick pyramid built by king Bir Hambir in 1587. The terracotta temple looked beautiful in the night.

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3012.jpg
Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3021.jpg
Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3027.jpg
Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3022.jpg
Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3030.jpg
sbiswas is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th October 2013, 09:48   #4
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 139
Thanked: 55 Times
Default re: Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal

After visiting the Rasmancha, we took a stroll in the neighborhood. We spotted carpenters making the famous toy horse of Bankura. We also saw weavers weaving beautiful Bishnupur silk sarees.

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3037.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3039.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3041.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3042.jpg
sbiswas is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th October 2013, 10:14   #5
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 139
Thanked: 55 Times
Default re: Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal

Day 2

Day 2 was a rest day for the car. We took a ricksaw for local sight seeing. Saw quite a lot of ancient temples and ruins of the ancient kingdom. Most of the art work depicts life of Krishna and stories of Mahabharat and other mythologies. In the evening I attended the marriage of my cousin sister.

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3048.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3049.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3050.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3051.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3060.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3061.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3064.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3066.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3067.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3068.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3070.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3071.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3072.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3074.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3078.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3080.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3081.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3082.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3083.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3084.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3086.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3093.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3095.jpg

Last edited by sbiswas : 29th October 2013 at 10:17.
sbiswas is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th October 2013, 10:43   #6
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 139
Thanked: 55 Times
Default re: Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal

Day 3

We left Bishnupur in the morning and planned to go to Mukutmonipur, a small tourist location near Kangsaboti river. The city roads of Bishnupur are narrow and many of them turn one-way. Since I did not know this before and followed my stupid GPS, I soon found myself face to face with a bus. I had no other option but to drive in reverse for a while before I found the open gate of someone's house. I drove inside and turned around. Again, I stopped relying on my GPS and asked locals for help with direction. Soon I found a Bankura bound bus to follow and ended up in the state highway. The rest of the drive was uneventful. The state highway to Bankura was in bad shape with lots of potholes. It improved after Bankura. Traffic diminished and the road went through sparsely populated villages before turning right onto Mandarmoni, a winding hilly road.

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3138.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3140.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3142.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3143.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3145.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3150.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3158.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3160.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3163.jpg
sbiswas is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th October 2013, 10:53   #7
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 139
Thanked: 55 Times
Default re: Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal

We spent a quite day at Mukutmonipur. Rested the car, took a boat ride, visited the deer sanctuary in the afternoon and relaxed.

Local ride is this hybrid 'Vano'.

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3202.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3197.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3170a.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3182a.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3193a.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3205a.jpg

Last edited by sbiswas : 29th October 2013 at 10:59.
sbiswas is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th October 2013, 11:37   #8
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 139
Thanked: 55 Times
Default re: Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal

Day 4

Back to Kolkata via Jhilimili:
We started off in the morning after breakfast. We came via NH2 (Delhi road) from Kolkata. While going back, we decided to go via NH6 (Bombay road), thus making somewhat like an ellipse. The road would go through Jhilimili, a favorite destination for tourists and picknickers. However, the road goes through core Maoist areas of Bengal (Jhargram, Lalgarh etc), so the locals at Mukutmonipur told us to be cautious and not approach the forest of Sutan. We took village roads and reached Jhilimili after couple of hours. The road to the river is a dirt road through forest with loose gravel. This gave me some unexpected opportunities of off-roading. I followed the tire tracks of a Sumo and soon reached the river bank.

While coming back we stopped at a roadside dhaba near Jhilimili for lunch. The food tested okay but gave all of us horrible food poisoning the next day.

After driving for another 3 hours through Lalgarh, Jhargram and Medinipur, we found the approach of NH6 blocked near Kharagpur. Apparently some road construction was going on. Asked locals for bypass route and followed a CRPF jeep to reach the highway. It was almost evening and becoming dark. We made one stop at Kolaghat Sher-i-Punjab dhaba for tea and reached home by 9ish.

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3214.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3217.jpg

Which road to take? It says, everyone in Bengal is left. For a change I took the right
Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3222.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3223.jpg

Approaching a small canal.
Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3228.jpg

Resting before the climb.
Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3231.jpg

Climbed up the earthen dam and approaching river bank.
Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3238.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3243.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3244.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3250.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3251.jpg

Climbing back again.
Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3252.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3260.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3255.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3257.jpg

The clay here is mixed with Mica.
Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3273.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3275.jpg

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3281.jpg

Last edited by sbiswas : 29th October 2013 at 12:07.
sbiswas is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th October 2013, 12:18   #9
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 139
Thanked: 55 Times
Default re: Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal

The road from Jhilimili to Medinipur was littered with these Maoist red flags. In the interior village areas, the trees were practically red because of these. Along this stretch, after every kilometer, we found armed CRPF jawans standing vigil watching over paddy fields and grasslands like motionless statues.

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-img_3285.jpg

Last edited by sbiswas : 29th October 2013 at 12:45.
sbiswas is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th October 2013, 12:27   #10
Team-BHP Support
 
mobike008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 10,746
Thanked: 7,964 Times
Default re: Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal

Note from Mod : Thread moved from Assembly Line to Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing
mobike008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th October 2013, 12:41   #11
BHPian
 
mobix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 36
Thanked: 15 Times
Default re: Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal

Nice travelogue biswas and very nice pics. Love the night shot of 'Rasmancha' the most.
mobix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th October 2013, 13:41   #12
BHPian
 
Dodge_Viper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Vashi
Posts: 483
Thanked: 461 Times
Default re: Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal

Let me comment on your alloys first, they look too beautiful .
Great pictures and places. I could see the ruins pretty well maintained. Beautiful architecture. Thanks for sharing
Dodge_Viper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th October 2013, 13:58   #13
BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 130
Thanked: 126 Times
Default re: Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal

Wow! It took you ~1.5 years to complete the writeup .

Beautiful description and photos by the way. Was looking for some pointers on Bishnupur and would be really useful in planning my trip. Thanks.
yosbert is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th October 2013, 15:51   #14
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 139
Thanked: 55 Times
Default re: Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodge_Viper View Post
Let me comment on your alloys first, they look too beautiful .
Great pictures and places. I could see the ruins pretty well maintained. Beautiful architecture. Thanks for sharing
Thank you.
These ruins are maintained by archeological survey of India. They charge only Rs 10 for ticket! With little more attention, this place could have been like Khajuraho imho.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yosbert View Post
Wow! It took you ~1.5 years to complete the writeup .

Beautiful description and photos by the way. Was looking for some pointers on Bishnupur and would be really useful in planning my trip. Thanks.
Yes, I started writing immediately after coming back from the trip but then lost steam and got busy with other things. This morning I found some time to finish it off.

Don't visit from March to September as Bishnupur is extremely dry and hot during that period. The WB govt lodge is a good place to stay. Be careful about the one-way roads. There are no road signs but the locals know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mobix View Post
Nice travelogue biswas and very nice pics. Love the night shot of 'Rasmancha' the most.
Thank you!

Last edited by sbiswas : 29th October 2013 at 16:10.
sbiswas is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th October 2013, 17:04   #15
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 139
Thanked: 55 Times
Default re: Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal

Here is the complete map of the route. C, D and E are Bishnupur, Mukutmanipur and Jhilimili respectively. Total trip was around 530 km.

Journey through the Wild West end of Bengal-new-picture.jpg

Last edited by sbiswas : 29th October 2013 at 17:19. Reason: Old / incorrect map removed.
sbiswas is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
5000kms and 12 Passes, a 20 day wild wild ride to the roof of the world! tsk1979 Travelogues 556 19th August 2015 10:42
Petrol Pump Buying in West Bengal - Need suggestions akaushik Shifting gears 3 8th April 2010 22:12
My say on West Bengal traffic esteemer Street Experiences 17 3rd July 2009 21:41
A Wild Wild ride to the Mighty Chansal Ghati tsk1979 Travelogues 44 26th January 2009 18:21


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 02:41.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks