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Old 21st February 2016, 00:03   #1
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Smile Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi

Pristine Sea Beach in Bengal – Mandarmoni – NH6 and SH4 - Tick
A place basked in history – Murshidabad – NH34 and SH11 -- Tick
A place of sun, beach, temple and a kind of “Poth Jodi na shesh hoy” drive – Puri - NH6, NH5 - Tick

The primary criteria for the drive being the same i.e to travel to a different route than the earlier one – NH2 were the chosen one this time around.
Our hearts yearned for a little bit of all in one—if you really entitle it “LITTLE” – rustic, mesmerizing hillocks, peek-a-boo feel of jungle, winding spotless roads that beg for adjectives at every twist and turn, thrilling sight of a waterfall gushing down to form a bliss-pool, serene blue water of lake, the silence of which is only broken by our feathered friends, feel-at-home hotel yet modern in facilities and a old world charm of countryside --- GIRIDIH provided all that above and beyond; with a touch of additional sentiment personally for me for being the thoughtplace (I would term it that way instead of birthplace) of the legendary fictional character Prof Shonku created by the Master – Satytajit Ray.

The literal meaning of Giridih is “The land of Hills and Hillocks” and it’s located on the south-eastern side of Jharkhand. From a flavor of alleys of Varanasi to site of people in single file pushing the cycle with chunks of coal procured possibly from nearby colliery, to deserted railway station far away from PM’s smart station dream where only a single train comes in the day, to a red-soil laden route to Khandoli reservoir amidst the surrounding hillocks, to the beautiful sight of the Usri falls gushing down to join the USri river, to the serene waters of Topchanchi lake inside the wildlife sanctuary, to the spectacular vistas of the Parswanath range and Shikharji the Jain temple – the town and adjoining areas of Giridih has it all.

My sincere thanks to BHPian Rahul4640 for giving me the courage and confidence that the place is now relatively free from maoist activity and it can safely be visited with family. I was not fully convinced and was in a dilemma until his teaser snaps about the roads and the vista fully turned on my travel ignition switch.

One of my very close friends had long expressed his desire to accompany us in one of our road trips and we were more than happy to have him and his wife joining us. Kids’ exclamation of joy were to be seen when they heard that their favourite Bagchi Uncle and Aunty would be travelling with us.

Distance from Kolkata to Giridih is about 340 km.The drive route was simple – just like knight’s hop in the chessboard : ) – 1 – straight drive from our house at New Garia to Nager Bazar to pick up the Bagchis ; 2 – Drive drive and drive straight as an arrow till Gobindpur in Jharkhand; 3 – Take right turn and drive for 50kms to reach Giridih

Here’s the Route Plan:
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-kolgiridihmap.jpg

The Tourists
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-24.jpeg

Our loving kids in the front, The Bagchis on the right and Better half and Yours Truly on the left hand side -- Near Khandoli – Thanks Mr. Tripod for the pic

The 7th Explorer..our LUV..Ertiga

Near Topchanchi Lake
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-58.jpeg

Day 1:
The cool breeze of the early February morning was blowing, the soft rays of the sun was just beginning
to spread in, the dew drops still keeping the grass fresh – our beloved LUV Ertiga set out towards
Giridih – it was 6:30 AM by my watch.

After picking up the Bagchis near Nager Bazar -- crossed Belghoria Expressway, Nivedita Setu and reached Dankuni Toll Plaza in no time. It’s now time to press the Turbo mode just like NFS although I make it a point to keep in check both the adrenaline and the gas pedal so that the cumulative effect doesn’t cross 100 on the speedometer.

We halted for a photobreak before Shaktigarh – one of the uncountable ones – The Men busy in action behind their cameras; the Kids being made busy before the cameras and the Women, from the awe inspiring action with elan at both ends to later on becoming Yawn Inspiring due to Over-Photoshoot

The Kids
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-1.jpeg

Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-2.jpeg

The Friendly and Perfect Companions
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The Entire Group
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-3.jpeg

Reached Shaktigarh at around 9:30 and had a relishing breakfast that could not have been completed until we had the famous sweet – Lyangcha.

Daughter sipping on “Natural Water” after tasting the sweet
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-5.jpeg

It’s time to hit the road again.


From Sadhana to Shreya, Rafi to Rupam, Gurdass Mann to Gayatri Iyer, Mukesh to Mohit, Pankaj Udhas to Papon, Daler to Dhanush, Nitin Mukesh to Neha Kakkar, Sonu to Sunidhi --- SA RE GA MA PA DHA NI SA --- the melody coupled with optimum bass and treble ensured that every nook and corner of Ertiga was a happy place to be in.

Took the Panagarh bypass to avoid the truckers’ jam and was initially guided by the arrow marking ‘Durgapur’ but somehow we managed to lose it after couple of turns. And then began the war of the Titans -- Google Map Vs Here Maps. Better half was giving me direction based on feed from GMap and my dear friend doing the same on Here Map. “Batman” Vs “Superman” fight ended in a tame draw as neither of them could not help us much and we were back in NH2 after asking few of the locals.

The road condition till Durgapur was like belter of a track like the usual and customary NH2 but from there on till Barakar in Jharkhand, for a good 60 odd Km, our progress was very slow due to the combined effects of under construction flyovers, diversion at prominent intersection points, heavy flow of traffic and inconsistent level of the road.

The usual NH2 after Barakar
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-v1.jpg

We stopped for a photobreak again near Gobindpur
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-6.jpeg

My daughter with her favourite Bagchi Uncle
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-7.jpeg

Took a right turn at Gobindpur and after driving for a few kms, though we did not have lunch by then, the landscape provided us the food for the heart and the mind. Here’s some pic of the road till Giridih

Belter of a track
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-8.jpeg

Trees in between
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-9.jpeg

A long stretch with greenish yellow tinge of Saal leaves
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-11.jpeg

Looking through the right window
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-10.jpeg

Looking through the left window
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-13.jpeg

Up and Down Roads
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-15.jpeg

The turns
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-v2.jpg

Soothing to the eyes
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-14.jpeg

Another stretch with Saal Trees
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-12.jpeg

The Hill range
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-v3.jpg

Barakar River
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-16.jpeg

Reached Hotel Orbit Retreat in Giridih at around 3:30 PM. For an old world charm like town of Giridih, the hotel is a modern one with large rooms and nice décor, delicious food and with excellent service and not to forget about the large parking space. However, just a single disclaimer is try to follow the approach road opposite to that of TVS showroom which is relatively better though you have to adjust your vehicle accordingly at some places to give way for the vehicle coming in opposite direction. However, please do not take the other approach road which is extremely narrow and you might get stuck in between even if a bike comes from opposite direction.

Our room at Hotel Orbit
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-801.jpeg

Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-811.jpeg

We had a very late lunch and the day ended with just a short drive around the town after that.

Hotel Orbit Retreat at night
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-62.jpeg

Stay tuned for Day 2 and 3..

Last edited by subhojitb : 21st February 2016 at 00:27.
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Old 21st February 2016, 01:21   #2
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Day 2

The day started with a sumptuous breakfast at the dining hall.
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-821.jpeg

Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-831.jpeg

Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-20.jpeg

The weather was nice and sunny, and we set out towards Khandoli which is around 11 Km from the hotel.
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-girdihkhandolimap.jpg

Once out of the hustle and bustle of the main nerve centre, we were greeted with different frames that we locked it in our memories – countryside cricket field with live action being performed by the men in white, local kids playing gilli danda by the road sides, men ferrying coals on cycles and many more. About 4 kms before Khandoli, we left the main road and the journey forayed through red-soil laden route until we reached this spot for some photoshoot.

Rocky and Rugged Terrain
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-31.jpeg

Kids give a pose
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Friends pose and the women take charge of the cameras
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Tracks by Trucks
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-32.jpeg

Another view
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-33.jpeg

The panoramic view
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-211.jpeg

The journey continued again only to be greeted by this road.
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-34.jpeg

The road though has crest and trough, but nothing to be worried about and has a fun element attached to the driving.

Finally reached the Khandoli Dam and the park adjacent to it. This reservoir provides water to the Giridih town and was inaugurated in 1957 by DVC. Arrangements for boating were there but did not oblige.

First View
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Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-35.jpeg

Another view
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-v4.jpg

Pure Natural
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-36.jpeg

The Khandoli Hill
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-43.jpeg

The adjacent park
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-46.jpeg

The National Bird
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-44.jpeg

A view of the park with hill in the backdrop
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-47.jpeg

Our next destination was Topchanchi lake. For this, we had to again come back to the town of Giridih and travel down south for about 50 km to reach NH2 again and then take left turn to reach there.

Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-khandolitopchanchi.jpg

If the road from Gobindpur to Giridih was good, this road was even better. The vista at the side of the road was filled with more greener pastures, the Parasnath range can be seen at almost every alternate turns, a small ghat section in between adding to the driver’s delight and not to forget about the several “W” stretches of the road forming ups-and-downs where easily a certain Rohit Shetty can freeze many Bajirao SIngham scenes involving Scorpios and Safrari Stormes

Here is one such stretch
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-v5.jpg

A stretch with light and shade
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-v6.jpg

View of Parasnath range from NH2
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-851.jpeg

From a fun-filled banter involving --- why a certain Jhupo Devi college has more campus area than the ISI at Giridih to why there has been no banner of any political party or leader throughout this Giridih –Topchanchi belt, but a certain Mongia Steel with a gentleman’s pic is the most famous one and pops out at every turn with a greater frequency than that of catching up the view of Parasthnath range to the possibility of getting a gun at roadside stalls in NH2 selling dagger, axe, sword, knife, kukri and what not --- we had our share of laughter -- as the car left the 5th gear in NH2 to enter into 2nd gear mode while entering Topchanchi Wildlife Sanctuary.

Inside Topchanchi wildlife sanctuary towards Lake
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-59.jpeg

Though pictures of Sambar and deer were there on the board, we were not in luck. However, I can’t complain that we did not have luck as were greeted by a large flock of different birds when we disembarked from our car at Topchanchi Lake.

Here’s the view of the lake
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-49.jpeg

Getting nearer
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-53.jpeg

First View of the Feathered Friends
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-50.jpeg

The entire gang
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-51.jpeg

A more closer look
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-52.jpeg

Different species
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-55.jpeg
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Old 21st February 2016, 01:38   #3
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My sincere apologies for back-to-back posts on same topic but since this being a travelogue and writing very late at night, found no reply on this topic even after waiting for quite some time.Mods please allow me to complete the last part

And a parting shot .Fill up the blanks.Birds of same feather ___ ___
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-56.jpeg

Our heart was contented and so was our mind. The shadows were becoming dim from the longer status and it was time to drive back to the hotel as the sun was about to set.

Back at NH2
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-v7.jpg

Forming a silhouette
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-61.jpeg

Though we did touch upon Madhubon upon our return leg, which is the entry point of Shikharji the famous Jain temple, we did not want to take chance and wanted to come back to Giridih in order to avoid driving through NH114A at night.

This is the view from the hotel room after we returned. I can assure that my friend has not done any photoshop work on this pic
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-v8.jpg

While allowing kids and better-halves a much needed break, Bagchi and I had a short walk around the Giridih town. Sipping on the fume inducing hot tea from the earthen pot we dived into the discussion about how this small sleepy town is still finding solace without any malls, plexes and department stores only to be better left alone with the following frames instead ---
“Aangoor 40 rupaiya kilo..neben”—a small roadside thela shopowner who sells only grapes

“Bahutdin pehle ek mithai khaye the. Aplog mithai pasand karte ho to acchai hoga. Humko to taste bhi yaad nahi hain Who mithai kaise thi” --- while asking a local septuagenarian

“Apnara ki Kolkata theke berate esechen? Ekhane to keu khub ekta berate ase na“ – meaning “Have you come here as a tourist? Not very people come here as a tourist” --while asking for any other attraction in a pharmacy shop which had the signboard written in bengali

“Din mein baas ek hii train aati hain yahan. Aur Madhupur ko dekhiye, kitne sare train aate jaate hain aur station bhi kitna badhiya” – while asking about which train passes through Giridih station

My friend and I were on same resonance that it is these frames that have kept the town alive to give us the same feeling as was in the pages of Ray. However, we do feel if Swacch Bharat can make it a little cleaner place.


Giridih station – clicked through mobile
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-861.jpeg

The day ended with a filling dinner with Chicken Dehati and Butter Naan and being transported into the slumber world.

Day 3

Last sip of the tea after munching on the breakfast being done, customary bill payments being taken care of, having a short session on the automatic shoe-polisher being completed, handing over a tip amount to the service boy which lit his face up being done, after he helped the luggage being placed neatly in the ertiga, a close look on the tyre and a brief caring of the workhorse to wipe-off the dust --- it’s time to bid adieu to Hotel Orbit.

A parting group photo
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-63.jpeg

The last destination of this Giridih trip was the beautiful Usri falls. It is about 12km from the hotel.
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-hotelusrimap.jpg

For the last 2 km or so, one has to take diversion from SH13 and continue through a jungle trail like road which has tar but the car would surely give you rattle inside. However, when you put it in a balancing scale, this aspect would suddenly shoot up being light in comparison with the pure beauty of the Chotanagpur plateau filled with jungle, streams, hillocks and much more which being heavier dips the favour to the latter one.

Unfortunately, the pic will not be able to touch upon the other senses viz smell of the jungle and the silence of the place.
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-64.jpeg

Another shot
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-77.jpeg

Crossing a small tribal village and negotiating some bumps, turns and ups – we reached our destination – the Usri
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-65.jpeg

Some photosessions
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-68.jpeg

Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-74.jpeg

Usri river flowing down
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-v9.jpg

Another view
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-871.jpeg

It was then time to get back behind the wheels and a drive through SH13, NH2 and back to home.
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-881.jpeg

Stopped for lunch at Sripur before Durgapur and it was a good one
Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi-891.jpeg

My sincere thanks to Bagchi family for being such a wonderful companion, kids for their innumerable photoshoot poses and adjusting themselves beautifully in a self made cocoon in the last row of Ertiga, my wife for taking care of all the packing, managing the kids and inspiring me to write this travelogue. A special credit goes individually to my friend, his wife and my better half as well for their rich contribution behind the lens.

Unlike caffeine which has stimulants but is shortlasting, the trip to Giridih had some serious stimulants which has a lasting effect to fight against the routine sessions with graphs, ppts, and the unforgiving project-driven-world only to sow the seeds of yet another road trip.

It would be unfair if I miss out on my trusted companion’s contribution – the Ertiga

U
Took us IN
Took us TO
Took us BY
Took Us THROUGH
Took us UP
Took us NEAR
Took us DOWN
Took us FAR
And more importantly Took Us Safely Back Home.

Its subhojitb signing off for now. Cheers
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Old 22nd February 2016, 00:04   #4
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Default re: Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi

Great Travelogue Sir. Lovely pics as well.

You are right about people being skeptical about Jharkhand, especially interior areas. But the situation has improved quite a bit compared to the early 2000s.

The roads around Giridih are very beautiful with not a lot of traffic. The entire section from Dumri to Giridih through Madhuban forest is a pleasure to ride or drive on, with Parasnath Hill overlooking the stretch.

As great as that road is, We found the road from Giridih to Deoghar via Bengabad even more fun. We happened to take that route while returning from our Bhutan tour last year, even though the initial plan was to take Bhagalpur- bakhtiyarpur- koderma- hazaribagh route to return to Ranchi. Somebody along the way advised us to take that road. And we were really glad.

It was freshly laid tarmac through forests and some wonderful vistas with some brilliant curves and bends. For some reason it didn't have much traffic. I loved riding my Enfield there , with the cool pre-monsoon breeze and Sun setting in the distance. It was one of the highlights of that trip.

Last edited by Vivek VS : 22nd February 2016 at 00:19. Reason: Missed a word. And a wrong place name because of autocorrect(koderma got corrected to moderns)
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Old 22nd February 2016, 14:49   #5
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Default Re: Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi

Nice pictures and awesome travelogue.

I am from Ranchi myself, and hence I know how beautiful these places are and how these are neglected due to the Maoist presence. It has been controlled to an extent but there is still a long way to go before one can just crank the ignition and just leave for a trip.

If you plan for another trip, then I would suggest you to visit Ranchi (Deori Mandir, Jagannath temple, Jonha falls, Hundru falls, Dassam falls, Pahari mandir, Sun temple, Crocodile breeding centre, among others - all these are in Ranchi or within 75kms distance from Ranchi). But please make sure that u go to the waterfalls during the peak season like New Year, Christmas, for your own safety.

Another place which you can have a look at is Gumla - 100kms from Ranchi. It also has some beautiful places such as Tanginath, Anjani Gufa (considered to be the birthplace of Lord Hanuman), Palkot, Nagpheni, among others.

I believe you'll love these places. Happy driving.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 22nd February 2016, 15:05   #6
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Default Re: Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi

Nice travelogue. Liked the pictures and the description!
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Old 22nd February 2016, 17:38   #7
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Default Re: Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vivek VS View Post
Great Travelogue Sir. Lovely pics as well.

The roads around Giridih are very beautiful with not a lot of traffic. The entire section from Dumri to Giridih through Madhuban forest is a pleasure to ride or drive on, with Parasnath Hill overlooking the stretch.
Thanks Vivek VS for liking the travelogue. Indeed, the roads are a bliss to drive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amit_breakfree View Post
Nice pictures and awesome travelogue.


If you plan for another trip, then I would suggest you to visit Ranchi (Deori Mandir, Jagannath temple, Jonha falls, Hundru falls, Dassam falls, Pahari mandir, Sun temple, Crocodile breeding centre, among others - all these are in Ranchi or within 75kms distance from Ranchi). But please make sure that u go to the waterfalls during the peak season like New Year, Christmas, for your own safety.

Another place which you can have a look at is Gumla - 100kms from Ranchi. It also has some beautiful places such as Tanginath, Anjani Gufa (considered to be the birthplace of Lord Hanuman), Palkot, Nagpheni, among others.
Thanks Amit_breakfree for liking the travelogue and thanks so much for giving an insight on the beautiful places around Ranchi. Yes I do have plan for Ranchi/Hazaribagh sometime in future and would definitely keep the safety aspect on the top of my list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoneRidder View Post
Nice travelogue. Liked the pictures and the description!
Thanks LoneRidder for liking the travelogue

Thanks to all those who have taken time off from their busy schedule and gone through my travelogue.

Last edited by subhojitb : 22nd February 2016 at 17:48.
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Old 22nd February 2016, 18:55   #8
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Default Re: Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi

Very nice write up and pictures to accompany.
Truly unique and one of the least visited (forget about being written about) places in India.
Thank you for letting all us know the beauty of Jharkhand
As it is fairly unknown as of now, you must have experienced a very calm, relaxing and secluded everywhere unlike any 'popular' tourist attractions in our country.
Thanks again.
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Old 22nd February 2016, 19:44   #9
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Default Re: Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi

Subhojit Dada,
Pictures in your travelogue tell the entire saga of fun, serenity and excitement. As mentioned by another bhpian you should definitely cover Ranchi and it's nearby locations for the unplugged natural experience which it has to offer. For a short hustle you can also plan a trip from bokaro to ranchi amidst beautiful Valleys. Rating the travelogue a full deserved five star.
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Old 23rd February 2016, 12:50   #10
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Default Re: Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi

Wow! I am mesmerized by this travelogue because giridih is my nani-ghar. We used to go to giridih in all our summer vacations. I have gone to khandoli quite a few times and yes, I would say that the situation has improved drastically over the last few years. I remember the time when the travel between Giridih and Dhanbad (60 Kms) was not advised at night and police convoy used to ply at few notorious places. I am not sure about the condition of this road right now. I might have to drive down to giridih in May to attend some function. If my manager gives me the leaves, would love to drive to my nani-ghar.
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Old 23rd February 2016, 13:42   #11
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Default Re: Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi

Quote:
Originally Posted by subhojitb View Post
...
Our heart was contented and so was our mind. The shadows were becoming dim ...
Subhojit, it was charming to read your new travelogue! Some of the photos are simply stunning! As a kid, we used to read a lot about these places in our story books. Your travelogue did refresh some of my imaginations. It was often said: "Poschime jao haoa bodol korte" ("go to West for a change")

Best,
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Old 23rd February 2016, 15:02   #12
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Default Re: Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi

Great write up. Hidden Gems in India catalogue is needed now to add all such out of way places in one listing.
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Old 23rd February 2016, 21:38   #13
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Default Re: Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi

Very nice write-up and pictures! Thanks for sharing. I think this is the only travelogue on Giridih on team-bhp. I have wanted to visit the place for a long time, your travelogue has added fuel to the fire.
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Old 24th February 2016, 14:42   #14
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Default Re: Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi

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Originally Posted by Orange GTX View Post
Very nice write up and pictures to accompany.
you must have experienced a very calm, relaxing and secluded everywhere unlike any 'popular' tourist attractions in our country.
Thanks so much Orange GTX for liking the travelogue. Yes, indeed, it was pretty calm and serene everywhere contrary to popular tourist places.
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Originally Posted by MDED View Post
Subhojit Dada,
Pictures in your travelogue tell the entire saga of fun, serenity and excitement.Rating the travelogue a full deserved five star.
Thanks so much MDED for liking the travelogue. Though absolutely not in league with the cult travelogues by legendary BHPians, still feels honoured having got this rating.

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Originally Posted by YoungSaint View Post
Wow! I am mesmerized by this travelogue because giridih is my nani-ghar. . I remember the time when the travel between Giridih and Dhanbad (60 Kms) was not advised at night and police convoy used to ply at few notorious places. .. would love to drive to my nani-ghar.
Thanks so much YoungSaint for liking the travelogue. I am sure you will have a blissful drive as well as a nostalgic feeling enroute to your Nani-Ghar. Though the situation has improved, still observed many pockets where there are dense forests particularly in NH114A in comparison to SH13 without any trace of locality and one does have an eerie feeling at times. At very few places, observed the area being patrolled by army with barb wires.
Got the feeling that daytime drive and travel is safe but night driving should be avoided in my opinion unless required.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmhossain View Post
Subhojit, it was charming to read your new travelogue! Some of the photos are simply stunning! It was often said: "Poschime jao haoa bodol korte" ("go to West for a change")
Thanks so much Golam for liking the travelogue. Indeed, Bibhutibhushan's writing about those places attracts us in so many ways, but unfortunately the travel plan specially with family faces a blockage due to Maoist presence in many places coupled with tourism infrastructure not being developed to the extent that is required.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Great write up. Hidden Gems in India catalogue is needed now to add all such out of way places in one listing.
Thanks so much sudev for liking the travelogue. As much as I feel honoured about your statement, I sincerely feel its a brilliant idea and a separate thread with " Hidden Gems in India Catalogue" where everyone can contribute would be surely beneficial to all of us here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
Very nice write-up and pictures! Thanks for sharing... ,your travelogue has added fuel to the fire.
Thanks so much BlackPearl for liking the travelogue. Please plan your trip and do let us share your travelogue as well once its done. Though summer is pretty much on, still each season has its own beauty. However, we planned the trip during Sat-Mon timeframe and though enjoyed the beauty of Usri, but felt that its should be visited on Sundays to get a chance to spot some fellow travellers atleast. We visited on Monday and it was deserted to say the least. That would not have been a problem for customary places, but still I have my doubts regarding safety about these places and one should not take chances.

Couple of other points that might be of interest to someone planning for Giridih
  • Apart from Hotel Orbit, Hotel Ashoka International is another good staying option with comparable rates. We booked Hotel Orbit directly though its listed on popular travel sites and got a better deal than those. Superior room with breakfast inclusive of tax comes to 2200/- nett approx. Another option but an economy one is Hotel Galy International
  • Please carry a small amount of cash as many of the Oil pumps don't accept Credit cards in SH13 and NH114A area.
  • Though we did not climb up to visit Shikharji, the Jain temple on top the Parswanath hill, there are options like carrying-chair by local porters to help you on that
  • Net service in the entire Giridih belt is pretty inconsistent and its better to ask locals for the route or downloading the maps ahead so that can be tracked offline. From our experience, we found Gmaps finding most points but were getting intermittent service due to net issue. Here maps failed to identify some spots and were pretty generic in nature but the offline functionality were helping us at times.
  • For lunch options we thought about Gobindpur Khalsa Dhaba. There are two Dhabas situated adjacently. One doesn't look very hygienic but serves non-veg and the other seems more polished atleast from outside but serves only veg. However, we drove straight on and had our lunch at our hotel in Giridih.
    For food option near Topchanchi, Shan-e-Punjab Dhaba right on NH2 just crossing the entrance to Topchanchi Wildlife Sanctuary seemed a good option (from the looks of it) though we did not try out.
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Old 24th February 2016, 15:03   #15
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Default Re: Drive to the hidden gems of Jharkhand; Kolkata to Giridih, Khandoli & Topchanchi

[quote=subhojitb;3919495]

Net service in the entire Giridih belt is pretty inconsistent and its better to ask locals for the route or downloading the maps ahead so that can be tracked offline. From our experience, we found Gmaps finding most points but were getting intermittent service due to net issue. Here maps failed to identify some spots and were pretty generic in nature but the offline functionality were helping us at times.

ha ha ha... In 2011, when I was in Giridih, I had to look some place up on google maps and pressed the 'My Location' link and my maps conveniently helped by displaying "Google Maps cannot locate you. Please try later."

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