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Old 27th January 2009, 10:13   #1
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Default Deoghar down memory lane

Deoghar is not on the destination list of the yuppy crowd any more. But then who cares? I am not part of the yuppy crowd in any case. Although urban all my life, but at 44 I am neither young nor very professional!!
My connection to Deoghar stretches for more than sixty years and three generations. My grand father had made a house there in the mid 40s to spend his retired life and my father maintained it, against a lot of odds, till the 90s when it was finally sold off. Although it has been close to 20 years now that the house has been sold off, I have yet to come to terms with that sense of loss that still engulfs me when I think about those days.
I spent all my childhood and teenage Puja vacations in Deoghar and have very fond memories of the place.
The Deoghar I knew is completely lost. Vast stretches of open land have made way to an entire new township, unplanned and ugly. The cute little hill where we used to run up and down for fun in the afternoons has now become an entertainment park with a large ugly concrete slides and swings and a cafeteria with a huge Coke signage. There is hardly any tourist there.
The greatest shock came when I went looking for the small little river that used to flow behind our house. The dirt track remains the same. The river is also quite the same. I had no problem finding my way there through the now barren paddy fields. But where once the vision used to run free for miles on end we have a brand new railway track coming up there now, complete with a giant bridge over the river!!
I am not anti-development. Perhaps some of all this is actually good for the locals. But for me it’s a very personal loss that I cannot explain in words.
Funnily enough, the main town has remained more or less intact. But the wilderness that we used to associate with the outskirts of Deoghar is completely lost.
For the drive I chose a rather unconventional route. I went via Burdwan-Guskara-Bhedia-Sriniketan-Suri-Massanjore-Dumka and while coming back I chose to take Dumka-Massanjore-Suri-Ilambazaar-Panagarh-Burdwan route. If I have to advice anyone, I would say take the second route. Though 30/40 km more, you save about an hour because you avoid driving through the congested town of Suri plus the bad road between Sriniketan and Suri.
The route through Guskara-Bhedia upto Sriniketan is quite good. In fact for going to Shantiniketan I would prefer to take this route now. But I wouldn’t take this route again for going to Deoghar.
In Jharkhand the roads are pretty decent, except for one stretch (Pattabari to Dumka) of around 15 km where it is quite broken. The Massanjore dam is really very pretty. In the space of last four/five months I have been to Panchet, Maithon and now Massanjore. I would give Massanjore the top crown among these three.
I am posting just a few pictures of Massanjore for now. Will post the other pics later.
If someone is really interested to know the route I can post the log book too.

The first view of Massanjore from the road


Yet another view of Massanjore dam

The same Massanjore from another angle
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Old 27th January 2009, 19:16   #2
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I will indeed waiting for this Sudipto da. I would have sent you a PM had you not post the travelogue today.
I didnot know that Shantiniketan - Suri road has gone bad. I did it 2 years back and it was damn good. It took an amby 35min for that 35kms from Bolpur to Suri home.

Which road did you take once into Suri town? After crossing Suri RS, that road will lead you to a BP petrol pump, left from there is Dubrajpur Road (leads to other end of the Suri BP towards Ilambazar) and straight goes past bus stand and reach other end of BP near Tilpara barrage. Ya, daytime it does get a bit crowdy but Suri traffic is not that bottle neck.

Keep the pics coming.

Abhi

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Old 27th January 2009, 19:59   #3
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AK
Thanks for your comments. I don't remember exactly what I did once I was inside Suri but I guess I just followed the natural main road as it went through the town. I asked for Tilpara barrage to a few people and they all showed in one direction only. I found the bus stand on my right hand side. Once on the highway (a T-junction) I turned right towards Tilpara barrage. Further up the road came a left exit near a place called Seorakuri. This one went to Massanjore.

The town of Suri on 23rd January was quite busy and it took quite a while to cross. The road from Sriniketan to Suri surprised me as well. My experience with Birbhum roads has been generally excellent.

Another menace on this road was the frequent road blocks put up by teenagers to collect Saraswati Puja chanda. They are happy with just a one rupee coin but the average speed of the vehicle gets affected. In one place a few adults also wanted to collect chanda in the name of the "party". I just drove fast through them.

Even inside the forest before Massanjore a few tribal boys were doing this by placing logs on the road. They could as well have robbed us off but they were happy with just a rupee.

I am posting a few pics of the landscape of the outskirts of Deoghar on the way to Tapoban - a popular tourist destination. This landscape of vast open field is gradually disappearing. I clicked a few shots of this apparently meaningless landscape for posterity. A few years down the line we might well find a brand new township here.
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Old 28th January 2009, 00:18   #4
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I have been to Deoghar when I was very young, may be 6-7 yrs old and faintly remember things.

Certain things, at times, specially where you have fond childhood memories, are better not to be explored later. Its really painful to see these places change and the old charm is gone.

Do you know of any decent place to stay at Massanjore?
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Old 28th January 2009, 07:48   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saurabh M View Post
Do you know of any decent place to stay at Massanjore?
There is no decent place to stay there other than the govt. bungalow. It is better stay at Suri and explore these places like Masanjor, Bakreshwar, Tarapith etc.

Abhi
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Old 28th January 2009, 17:26   #6
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Indeed there is hardly any place worth staying in in Massanjore, except government bungalows. I suppose they are irrigation bungalows. But we did see a group of college students there though I am not too sure if they were staying there or were on a day trip only.

Meanwhile, here are a few pictures of the river in Deoghar I was talking about. Locally it's called Dharwa. I think it meets Mayurakshi somewhere downstream.
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Old 28th January 2009, 18:27   #7
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how is the Road from Guskhara to Bolpur.
Last time i went there, roads was under construction.
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Old 28th January 2009, 22:04   #8
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Sudipto-da, excellent pic of the lady carrying the pitcher.

Its sad that there is no staying option by the lake. I guess the Irrigation bungalows can be booked from Kolkata but needs to be vacated when some official arrives?
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Old 28th January 2009, 22:39   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebagchi View Post
how is the Road from Guskhara to Bolpur.
Last time i went there, roads was under construction.
The road is fine, except for that stretch under the rail line - about 50 feet, as usual. But since it's dry season now even that stretch is negotiable. In rainy season that part remains submerged and you are never too sure if something will scrape the bottom of your car.
The culverts are in poor shape on this stretch between Burdwan and Bolpur and you have to be careful there. But you can easily drive at 100 on most sections.

Regarding the irrigation bungalow in Massanjore - I am not too sure whether it is government of West Bengal or govt of Jharkhand. To me it seemed Massanjore is in Jharkhand because we crossed an interstate border much before Massanjore. Someone told me that Massanjore has some Maoist problem and it's not advisable to stay there overnight. But I am not too sure about that. The jungles around Massanjore are lovely and worth exploring in greater detail. Such an exploration would require a stay there. A good compromise of course is staying in Suri.
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Old 29th January 2009, 21:29   #10
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Here is the Deoghar trip log for those who might be interested in future. As mentioned before - went via Guskara/Bhedia/Sriniketan/Suri/Massanjore and Dumka. Came back via Dumka/Massanjore/Ilambazaar/Panagarh.

Also attaching a few pictures of Kundeshwari temple, which is one of the 52 mahapeeths. Apparently there is some body part of Sati that fell here in the pond.

The penultimate photograph in this series is of a heritage shop of Deoghar. Any Deoghar old timer would identify with this place, which is standing tall for the last more than a hundred years.

The absolute last picture is of me and my colleague who accompanied us.
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File Type: xls Deogharlogbook09.xls (37.5 KB, 515 views)
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Old 29th January 2009, 21:40   #11
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Sorry about goofing up with the pictures in the previous post. Here they are again. Requests mods to merge the two posts if it's possible.
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Old 2nd April 2009, 14:57   #12
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Sudipto,

What are the staying options in "Deoghar" ?
I have to take my mother there to visit
during sometime late April . any suggestions
please .

Cheers
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Old 2nd April 2009, 18:19   #13
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@sudipto-s-team: Just saw the comments about Masanjore and thought I would chip in. Had a wonderful visit there and have actually stayed in the irrigation bungalow in Masanjore.

Masanjore is in Jharkhand, but the dam is technically West Bengal (somewhat like the vatican in rome!). The Irrigation bungalow is booked through contacts in the WB irrigation department. It is amazingly located
Quite a few rooms there. So if you book in advance through proper channels you dont need to vacate.

Here is the proof:

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There is one other hotel in town which i think is pretty sad.

We found Masanjore perfectly safe even at night!
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A photoblog of my masanjore visit can be found at

Genesis - soumya.org: Monsoon In Masanjore
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Old 2nd April 2009, 19:02   #14
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Genesis
Thanks for reviving an old thread that I had thought had died its own death !! The information about Massanjore is invaluable. Thanks for sharing it. Will find out contacts in the irrigation department.
@ Capt Dey. Sorry I didn't notice your post earlier. There are quite a few decent hotels in Deoghar near the Tower. Hotel Baijnath is fairly well known and decent. There are a few more in the vicinity. Approximate tariff will be 1 to 1.5k. Deoghar will be fairly hot now.
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Old 2nd April 2009, 22:38   #15
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Sudipto: I heard you can book it from DVC tower in Ultadanga.
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