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Old 29th March 2012, 10:37   #1
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Default Weekend trip to Deul from Kolkata - My first post

This is my first post / mini-travelogue post to this site. Frankly speaking, I came across this site some time back and the purpose was to gather information for my upcoming grand driving trip (which will be posted in due course of time, once completed). Once I went through various fantastic travelogues and experiences, I thought that I should share whatever little experience I have for the benefit of my friends who share the same bug of wanderlust. I am out and out a travel enthusiast and along with my equally willing wife Chandrima, I have been to a few places in India and a few offbeat places in other countries. Anyway without getting the audience bored further, let me get started

Being a resident of Kolkata & being a bong there is an ever burning question of where to go when you have a couple of free days. Well the names of the same places come up, until and unless you decide for North Bengal or Sikkim (which takes more than 2 days). This time we came to know of a place called “Deul Park” through our good old travel buddy Dr. Asok Majumder and decided to check it out

The Route from Kolkata
From Kolkata somehow reach NH2 (Durgapur Expressway) either through Nivedita setu (toll tax Rs 33) or through Kona Expressway-Bombay Road. I love to drive on this road and often drive here on the weekend just to have lunch at some dhaba. After paying your toll (Rs 35 one way / Rs 50 return within 24 hrs) at Dankuni toll tax, keep going on the road till Panagarh

On the way you will cross around 3 fantastic dhabas a little after crossing the exit towards Dhanekhali (roughly 30 kms after toll tax). The first one is a HP gas station with clean “fleurs” toilets and a CCD, next comes the Azad Hind dhaba at the BP petrol pump, next comes hotel Hindusthan dhaba. All of these are on the left side of the road and you should not have any problems locating them

Then you will reach the toll tax at Palsit (same denominations as before). Keep going straight to cross Shaktigarh (Langcha place) and Burdwan. Around 64 kms after burdwan you will reach Panagarh. The divided highway disappears here due to whatever reason. Only in WB it can happen that a few traders at Panagarh can stop the administration from completing the GQ. Anyway, just be ready to spend 15-20 mins in some form of traffic jam to cross this stretch. After crossing the jam and the marketplace at Panagarh, you will reach a 3 way crossing with a broad road going to the right from here. This is known as “Darjeeling More”. From here leave the highway and take a Right turn. This road goes towards Ilambazar. You will understand that you have missed the right turn if you get a divided highway once again.

From Panagarh (Darjeeling More) you will have to reach a place called “Egaro Mile” (11 Mile). Now I was instructed that this is 11 Kms from Panagarh. But eventually I found out that its 17 kms and not 11. The name 11 Mile is literal – it means 11 Mile and not Km from Panagarh. You can identify this by the KM reading on your car or by a cluster of small shops and a narrow road from “Pradhanmantri Gram Sadak Yojana” going in to the left. Another indication is, this is just after “Sunder Ray Hindu Hotel” which you will see on your right

From “Egaro Mile” take the left into Pradhanmantri Gram Sadak Yojana road. Keep following the tarred (sometimes concrete) road. Roughly, you have to take a right (first confusion) – then a left – then another left at a choumatha (4 road crossing) – then keep going straight. At 8 Kms from “Egaro Mile” where you took a left, the tarred road ends. For the next 1.5 to 2 Kms drive down a road made of red mud (Moramer Raasta) and you see the glimpse of a tall temple. Keep going beside the temple and you will reach the gate of “Deul Park” and you have reached your destination. The entire stretch from Egaro Mile till here is very scenic and we just loved driving on this stretch.

Time Taken: It took me 3 hrs end to end – from my home in Laketown Kolkata to Deul Park. I took one tea & smoke break near Burdwan and total distance was approx 200 Kms

Accommodation & How to book
Once inside, Deul Park looks like a well maintained place with greenery, park and flowers all around. There is a main building (green colored) where there are several non-ac and ac rooms. Apart from this there are 4 AC cottages (recommended). We booked for the AC cottage for Rs 1100 per night. They informed us that they have booking offices at Gariahat and Shyambazar in Kolkata, but I was not aware of that. I just called up a no. that I got and reached there. The place is occupied during the weekends, so it might be a good idea to book in advance and come. So for booking, please call +91-983-155-5594 (Amit).

N.B: For acco, please remember to carry a family proof. Now an interesting incident happened here with us. My wife retains her maiden name for which we had to face various issues starting from voter card to ration card. Here after we showed our ID separately, we were asked to furnish a proof for us being a family . Fortunately I was carrying my laptop bag where I had my passport. So for people who share the same problem that I do, please carry a “family proof"

What to do there
I have already mentioned about the temple. This is a famous temple known as “Ichai Ghosh-er Deul”. This is a 70ft tall temple (deul) built by Ichai Ghosh, a feudal lord and the details can be found in “Dharmamangal”. It was built using bricks in the mid-18th century and a Shikara style temple which does not have any deity. The temple has several holes that most likely contained terracotta sculptures, which right now are inhabited by our green parrot friends. This temple is just beside the river “Ajoy”. For photography, the ideal time will be the morning when the sun will be right in front of the temple. The river adds to the charm of the location.
Kenduli (birth place of Baishnav poet Joy Dev) is nearby and one can drive down there. There is this famous Kenduli mela which one can visit from here. There is no proper accommodation at Kenduli.
If you keep going after Deul, there is a Kali temple. If someone is interested, they can go (ask the locals). We did not go there. Me being mostly an agnostic person, I need a compelling reason to go to any temple / religious place (it has to be of historical significance).

Inside Deul Park
Your place of accommodation has a lot of things to offer. The kids will enjoy this place a lot. There is a toy train, bumping cars (like you see in Nicco Park), Carousel, Swinging boat and a few other things that the kids will enjoy. I was pleasantly surprised to see the bumping cars out there.

What did we do there !!!
We were mostly interested in photography, birds and wanted to give “Red Rackham” the opportunity to be in it’s own elements. Now you will get introduced to “Red Rackham” in the pictures.
We took a few snaps of the temple. In the birds area, we mostly got to see Parrots, Kingfishers (many), Wagtail, Sandpiper and Hoopoe. Our interest in birds has been induced from Dr. Majumder and we took a lot of bird pics during our trip to Kaziranga in Jan this year. It takes a lot of patience, so I dint spend my time picturing the avian friends this time – only the Hoopoe was at a good spot allowing me to take a good snap. Needless to say, wherever Chandrima goes, you will find all the strays in the locality converging at our doorstep – so we had sweet canine companion all through our stay out there. They followed us wherever we went, either by foot or on car.
The most important activity to my liking is that – I was able to take “Red Rackham” on a true four wheeling experience. Red Rackham is our most beloved Mitsubishi Pajero. In the morning, we took it for a spin on the riverbed of Ajoy river. While climbing a small sand dune, I came to realize why the 4LLC mode has been provided in the Pajero. See the pictures for the rest of the story.
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Old 29th March 2012, 12:22   #2
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Default Re: Weekend trip to Deul from Kolkata - My first post

Excellent pictures. Looks like another nice weekend getaway from Kolkata which I could explore . Quick question. Can a sedan be driven till the hotel? I am not looking to drive the sedan into the river bed at all.

Last but not the least, your Red Rackham is one mean beast . Why don't you also put up an ownership thread about it? It will be lovely to know about it.
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Old 29th March 2012, 14:52   #3
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Default Re: Weekend trip to Deul from Kolkata - My first post

Thanks for sharing this, great narration and pictures. Never heard of this place before, seems to be a nice weekend getaway place. As samarjitdhar has mentioned, please put up an ownership thread of "Red Rackham".
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Old 29th March 2012, 15:50   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samarjitdhar View Post
Excellent pictures. Looks like another nice weekend getaway from Kolkata which I could explore . Quick question. Can a sedan be driven till the hotel? I am not looking to drive the sedan into the river bed at all.

Last but not the least, your Red Rackham is one mean beast . Why don't you also put up an ownership thread about it? It will be lovely to know about it.
Thanks
Yes, Of course - A Sedan can be driven all the way inside Deul Park. That is the reason I have given the picture of the interior road and the 'moramer raasta'. The Pradhanmantri Gram Sadak Yojana road is very good - even a part of that is concrete as well (I was surprised). The 'moramer raasta' is also very good and there will be absolutely no problems.
Trucks do go into the river bed to get sand from Ajoy Nadi. So you can actually venture into the river bed with the sedan, but stay of the truck tracks till the point the trucks go. Anyway its a better idea to walk down and get a feel first.

And Yes, I love the mean beast - I will put up an ownership review of it for sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
Thanks for sharing this, great narration and pictures. Never heard of this place before, seems to be a nice weekend getaway place. As samarjitdhar has mentioned, please put up an ownership thread of "Red Rackham".
Ya, It is a good place without any crowd. Its a baul sangeet centre as well. If you want to enjoy solitude and loneliness, then dont go during the Kenduli mela. I will tell you when I go next time to a similar place we will do 4-wheeling together. This time you were down with fever.
Am waiting for a month more to write an ownership review of Red Rackham, till we get back from the North Bengal trip at least. Will have to see how the car fares with the grand plan.

Last edited by aah78 : 29th March 2012 at 19:45. Reason: Posts merged.
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Old 29th March 2012, 18:01   #5
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Default Re: Weekend trip to Deul from Kolkata - My first post

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Originally Posted by debarshim View Post
Ya, It is a good place without any crowd. Its a baul sangeet centre as well. If you want to enjoy solitude and loneliness, then dont go during the Kenduli mela. I will tell you when I go next time to a similar place we will do 4-wheeling together. This time you were down with fever.
Am waiting for a month more to write an ownership review of Red Rackham, till we get back from the North Bengal trip at least. Will have to see how the car fares with the grand plan.
Please try to do a single post if you are replying withing 30 minutes of the last post and use the multi-quote functionality. Otherwise the mods will give an infraction.

Last edited by BlackPearl : 29th March 2012 at 18:02.
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Old 29th March 2012, 19:24   #6
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Default Re: Weekend trip to Deul from Kolkata - My first post

debarshim , Thanks for sharing ,never knew of this place , it looks like a nice property.
This seems to be the link for the Hotel , just Googled it out.
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Old 29th March 2012, 19:25   #7
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Great travel report @debarshim!! It's good to know that there are such wonderful places of interest, perfect short adventure trips for automobile enthusiasts, around Kolkata. It would be a great idea to bring all such places under a common thread for the wanderlust who's got the desire and means but is absolutely clueless about where and how. The Red Rackham is absolutely gorgeous and looked super cool on the red soil.
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Old 30th March 2012, 08:38   #8
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Default Re: Weekend trip to Deul from Kolkata - My first post

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Originally Posted by debarshim View Post
Am waiting for a month more to write an ownership review of Red Rackham, till we get back from the North Bengal trip at least. Will have to see how the car fares with the grand plan.
Expecting an equally nice trip report from you, Please also share with us the latest condition of the roads. Best wishes for your trip to North Bengal.
Quote:
Originally Posted by samarjitdhar View Post
Excellent pictures. Quick question. Can a sedan be driven till the hotel?
I think Sudipto drove to this place sometime last year in a sedan. Please see this:-http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...tful-deul.html (A quick weekend out of Calcutta. Delightful Deul)
Regards,
Rahul
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Old 31st March 2012, 01:01   #9
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Default Re: Weekend trip to Deul from Kolkata - My first post

Excellent. Short but well narrated travelogue. Ironical too, as I was trying to get a last minute booking at the Deul cottages last weekend but everything was booked .

Will look forward to more nice travelogues from you. And definitely, an ownership thread of the Pajero.
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Old 31st March 2012, 11:45   #10
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Default Re: Weekend trip to Deul from Kolkata - My first post

Thanks for the nice information about this unheard place.

Congratulations also for the Red Rakham.

Please can you elaborate a bit more about the food available at the hotel ?
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Old 1st April 2012, 10:41   #11
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Default Re: Weekend trip to Deul from Kolkata - My first post

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Originally Posted by DriveTrain View Post
debarshim , Thanks for sharing ,never knew of this place , it looks like a nice property.
This seems to be the link for the Hotel , just Googled it out.
Quote:
Originally Posted by swagatadutta View Post
Great travel report @debarshim!! It's good to know that there are such wonderful places of interest, perfect short adventure trips for automobile enthusiasts, around Kolkata. It would be a great idea to bring all such places under a common thread for the wanderlust who's got the desire and means but is absolutely clueless about where and how. The Red Rackham is absolutely gorgeous and looked super cool on the red soil.
Thanks for liking Red Rackham . And yes, it will be great to create a weekend getaway section for Kolkata. Probably the mods can help!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rahul4640 View Post
Expecting an equally nice trip report from you, Please also share with us the latest condition of the roads. Best wishes for your trip to North Bengal.

I think Sudipto drove to this place sometime last year in a sedan. Please see this:-http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...tful-deul.html (A quick weekend out of Calcutta. Delightful Deul)
Regards,
Rahul
For North Bengal, surely I will share the road conditions. But I have planned to take the route of NH2B from Burdwan through Gushkara>Bolpur>Sainthia. From there I will take NH60 and meet NH34 at a later stage. As per my information, this route should take less time (fewer traffic) than taking the NH34 all the way from Kolkata - its a pain to drive there anyway.

Yes, I read the travelogue from Sudipto after I had posted mine. The pictures over there are very very good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by predatorwheelz View Post
Excellent. Short but well narrated travelogue. Ironical too, as I was trying to get a last minute booking at the Deul cottages last weekend but everything was booked .

Will look forward to more nice travelogues from you. And definitely, an ownership thread of the Pajero.
Thanks 'predatorwheelz'. Yes, they had informed that weekends are filled. For me it was an impulsive decision (like many I do). I just called them, they told they have a cottage and we left home in the next 30 mins .

Yes, I will create an ownership thread for sure. As of now, I have covered 6000+ kms in 3 months, with a few long runs. Have more driving trips planned for North Bengal & Zanskar/Ladakh this summer. Plans are to push the vehicle before the warranty gets over .

Quote:
Originally Posted by mitrajdeep View Post
Thanks for the nice information about this unheard place.

Congratulations also for the Red Rakham.

Please can you elaborate a bit more about the food available at the hotel ?
Thanks mitrajdeep. Ya, it was love at first sight with Red Rackham - I dint bother to check with any competition, when I bought it. Love the old school Jeep looks. My dream vehicle is a Jeep Wrangler / Rubicon, unfortunately which we will probably never get to see in India.

Food in the hotel is pretty good. The kitchen has some good staff. It was an impulsive decision for us to go there and it was pretty late after lunch (3:30PM) and we were mighty hungry, when we reached. So they had cooked some tadka and roti for us only. The tadka was very good, even better than some well known dhabas.
When you ask for tea/coffee tell them to give the sugar separately, then you can save yourself from the sugar syrup and enjoy the hot drink. In the evening we had chicken pakodas (without drinks ). The pakodas were excellent - boneless juicy chunks of chicken - ekdom solid baniyechilo. So I was having pakodas and trying my hand at night photography.
Dinner we had asked for simple chicken curry and rotis - the chicken curry was average - light - not too masala but good.
Morning we had luchi and 'kancha chola aloo-r tarkari'. Luchis were not too good but manageable.
Also there are a few gumti shops just outside the park where you can find tea, biscuits, cold drinks, snacks throughout the day.
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Old 3rd April 2012, 23:31   #12
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Default Re: Weekend trip to Deul from Kolkata - My first post

Welcome to the Forum Debarshi. Your Red Rackham looks worth of a treasure hunt in these settings!!

Had been to Deul last year for a day.

Had just set out on a drive to celebrate the 7th Birthday of our "KITT" and soon we were hurtling down the "morrum", though it was just post monsoon.

Came back by the evening.

Some captures

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Old 5th April 2012, 11:09   #13
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Welcome to the Forum Debarshi. Your Red Rackham looks worth of a treasure hunt in these settings!!

Had been to Deul last year for a day.

Had just set out on a drive to celebrate the 7th Birthday of our "KITT" and soon we were hurtling down the "morrum", though it was just post monsoon.

Came back by the evening.

Some captures
Thanks. I am sure that the place will look absolutely wonderful during the Monsoon with the greenery all around and the red roads. Your pictures are wonderful. But I do not get to drive on the riverbed with the Ajoy in full flow

I have come to know of a few more places in Orissa where acco is basic but the locations are just wonderful . Will verify how safe are those places and will let others know after I go there.
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Old 5th April 2012, 18:55   #14
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I have come to know of a few more places in Orissa where acco is basic but the locations are just wonderful . Will verify how safe are those places and will let others know after I go there.
You may quote those names on the forum. I've done quite a bit of travelling in Orissa, as have other Kolkata bhpians, and plenty of threads abound. We might be able to help you out.
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Old 18th December 2013, 13:11   #15
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Went on a solo drive to this place. Impulsive.

Debarshi, thanks for the impeccable directions :-). There are now a couple of small direction boards pointing towards 'Deul' at the last right and left turns. It's a lovely drive. More so since I went with my good old friend, the Baleno !

Didn't stay. It was a day trip.

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