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Old 13th February 2022, 18:50   #331
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Default Re: West Bengal - A treasure for tourists

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post
Raipur Rajbari Palace, Bolpur

Raypur Rajbari is a perfect destination of Haunted place, I wish to spend a night here is anyone accompany me.

I visited in Dec 2020, in evening hours, it was really a good experience.

Some of my snaps of Raypur Rajbari
Soumiksett, your Raypur Rajbari mini-photologue is really fascinating for its photographs. It does create an eerie and haunted atmosphere. The one place it reminds me of is the Residency in Lucknow, particularly the cellar/basement. Even in broad daylight it feels oppressive.
Thanks.

Last edited by Aditya : 15th April 2022 at 05:58. Reason: Quote tag fixed
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Old 13th February 2022, 19:53   #332
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Default Re: West Bengal - A treasure for tourists

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Originally Posted by soumiksett View Post
Some of my collection from Purbasthali trip.......
Wonderful photographs, soumiksett! What a great collection of birds Purbasthali must have - an ornithologist's dream!
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Old 9th March 2022, 21:14   #333
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Destination: Tajpur

Distance from Kolkata: 180 kms one way. Takes between 3-4hrs.

Road Condition: Excellent 6 lane highway for the initial 70 kms, 4 lane for the next 30 kms and 2 lane for the final 80 kms

Visit For: A dip in the sea and the wonders that it brings along - sea food, balmy breeze and relax on a rickety chair as the waves crash endlessly

A couple of days back we were in Tajpur yet again. We stayed at the Mallicka resort for the third time - rooms were upgraded but service continues to be dismal.

Our routine at this place has remained the same.Reached around 12 in the afternoon and straightaway went for a dip in the sea where we spent the next couple of hours. Hungry as we were after that we tucked into Pomfret curry for lunch.

In the evening, we were back yet again in the same beach shack that we have been frequenting in all our previous travels. After spending a few hours in the cool sea breeze and packing our dinner we headed back to the resort.
The next morning we checked out from the resort around 1000 HRS and headed straight to the sea. Lunch was crab and prawn curry - again superbly cooked.

Around 1500 HRS we left and reached home at 1900 HRS. Leaving a few photos, most of them - food

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Last edited by sayakc : 9th March 2022 at 21:17.
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Old 17th March 2022, 01:56   #334
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Default Re: West Bengal - A treasure for tourists

Chasing the Palash : Ayodhya hills & Mukutmanipur



Day 1

This time I decided to take a different route rather than the regular route through Arambagh, Bishnupur or through Nituria, Raghunathpur.

I was in a mood to have some fun on the 6 lane road till Jamsedhpur!

So my route was Kolkata - Jamsedhpur - Chandil - Balarampur - Ayodhya hills.

We started at 7-30 am and reached Chandil by 12-30 pm with an hour break for breakfast and a couple of refueling. Till Chandil driving was bliss on the superb 6 lane highway. We could spot few trees with Palash bloom near Ashanbani, Dalma.

Once I took left from Chandil, road was bad for the next 15 km. After that it was a smooth sail to Ayodhya hills with Balarampur to Bagmundi stretch being red/orange with Palash!

We checked in at Kushal Palli resort by 2-30 pm. Compared to my last two stays at this place, this time I found the service and staffs much more professional and improved.

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Had a quick lunch, took some rest and went to witness the sunset at Muruguma Dam, which is 21 km from the resort. It's a narrow hill road through villages and some jungle.

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After witnessing a colorful sunset, we were back to our resort by 7-30 pm.

Odo reads 410 km for the day.

Day 2

After a heavy breakfast, we checked out and visited the upper and lower dam.

Lower dam

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Upper dam

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By the time we left Ayodhya hills, it was already 1 pm.

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Route for day 2 - Ayodhya hills- Sirkabad- Manbazar- Mukutmanipur - Bankura- Durgapur - Kolkata.

Once we reached Sirkabad, we could see the place red/orange with Palash. We stopped more than once to click the colors!

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Left Sirkabad by 1-30 pm and reached Mukutmanipur at 3 pm. Road throughout was excellent.

I knew Baroghuttu in Mukutmanipur is famous for Palash bloom, so went there directly and this place never disappoints!

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Finally we left Mukutmanipur at 3-45 pm, had a late lunch/ early dinner at Baba Hotel Panagarh, a tea break at Shaktigar. To avoid the traffic snarl at Dankuni toll, I took the old Delhi road from the Singur exit. We reached home by 9-30 pm. Road throughout was excellent.

Odo reads 401 km.

Covered 811 km in two days.

Last edited by Samba : 17th March 2022 at 02:05.
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Old 17th March 2022, 05:14   #335
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Bhalki Machan - Burdwan

Past & Present: Once upon a time during the Zamindar Era this place was popular hunting ground for bear (Bhaluk / Bhalki) and other wild animals where the Zamindars used to sit high on platforms built on trees (Machan) or on Watch Towers during their hunt. This is how it got its name. Now there are absolutely no bear but may be at most fox and rabbit at the most in the surrounding forest area.

Best season to visit here is during the winters, although we visited July last year and felt the wrath of the summer heat and humidity.

The favorite destination here is Aranya Sundari Resort, not that well maintained in spite of being a private property. They offer rudimentary lunch if you are a outside guest so better reserve your meal in advance over phone if you wish to have lunch here on day outing. For boarders the menu can be customized. During winter lot of additional services are offered by the resort like fishing, tent stays, boating, bonfire, etc. Adjacent to the resort is the Machan Pond, otherwise gated but has a entrance through the side of the resort, and on other side of the road is a forest where the old watch tower is located. There are terracotta temples in the area.

Google Plus Code: FJ87+G2 Pratappur, West Bengal

Route: Kolkata -> Dankuni -> NH-19 (Durgapur Expressway) -> Right turn from Kolkol more, after crossing Pursa -> Abhirampur -> Pratappur -> Aranyasundari Resort

Distance from Kolkata: 160 KM

Time taken to reach: 3.5 to 4 hours depending on traffic (without breaks)

Another place to visit is Jamuna Dighi (Amrapali Tourist Complex), a man made fishing complex under state fisheries department which has boating and restaurant apart from lodging options.

Google Plus Code: CJJF+34 Mankar, West Bengal

Starting from Kolkata by 9 am, taking a hour long halt at Nabanna Hotel of NH-2 for breakfast we reached the Aranya Sundari resort before 2 pm.

We had our lunch and set out on foot for a tour of the forest and watch tower nearby and by 3-30 pm we left for Jamuna Dighi which was just 10 minutes away. By 4-30 pm we headed back to Kolkata although did not miss to have excellent Rasogolla and Singara (samosa) at local sweet shops who were most welcoming folks from Kolkata.

Stuck in traffic near the Paraj Railway crossing
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Approaching Pratappur
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The Aranyasundari resort at Valkimachan
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Lunch at Aranyasundari resort
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Bear statue, symbolizing the place
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The Machan Pond adjacent to the resort
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The path surrounding the pond
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Clay animal idols for puja
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Crossing this road landed us in the jungle
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The Watchtower in the Jungle
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Entry point of a supposedly ancient underground tunnel below the watch tower
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The Jungle, be advised to take caution against insects / reptiles.
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On the way to Jamuna Dighi
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Crossing a canal
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Jamuna Dighi Complex
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The paddle boat at Jamuna Dighi did not seem to be in running condition
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The best place in Jamuna Dighi is sitting beside the pond and enjoying the evening breeze hearing the rusting of trees
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Last edited by libranof1987 : 17th March 2022 at 11:34. Reason: As requested
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Old 21st March 2022, 13:56   #336
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Nice and brief travelogue. Beautiful pics. Thanks for digging out and visiting the hidden gems of Bengal . Waiting for your North Bengal travelogue.
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Old 23rd March 2022, 13:15   #337
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HOLI CELEBRATION in Matha Forest, Purulia

This time our team was big, 20 adults, 8 children, with 8 cars. We decided to start from Kolkata at 2 am on 18th March 2022, but unfortunately my little son got sick from 17th March 2022 morning. So I decided to avoid the night journey, and started on 17th March 2022 evening at 6 pm. I thought to proceed up to Jhargram, and stay at hotel so that my son get rest for the full night. But being the HOLI festival the roads were full of congestion, I started from Park Circus area at 6 pm, experienced a huge traffic jam till Kona Truck Terminal, after I hit NH-6, surprisingly Dhulagarh Toll was clear but after that again a huge traffic jam was there till Panchla. When I reached Kolaghat it was already 9:15 pm. Felt hungry but didn't get extra time, took just a 10 minute tea and toilet break, and again started to run, lastly reached Jhargram hotel at 11 pm.

Meanwhile other members started from Kolkata at 2:30 am, and they crossed Jhargram at 5:30 am. Immediately I woke up and started to get ready. My son woke up and I found him fully fit and cheerful. So we started from Jhargram at 6:30 am, target was to reach Matha Forest at 10 am. Distance was 180 km.

After crossing Banduan found lot of Polash flower in both side of the road, took numerous photography break, reached resort at 11 am. Our booking was in Swapna Neer Pahari Resort, inside Matha Forest, in the base of Gorgaburu Hill. Huge premises, lots of Polash trees inside the premises only, back side of the resort was dense forest. It was hot and humid weather, but who cares, we all started playing with colours, children started to run here and there. This time our agenda was ADDA, ADDA, and only ADDA. So we did not do any local side seeing.

We booked a 1 hour slot of famous Chou Dance on second day evening. It was a wonderful experience. After dinner we full team went for a leisure walk inside the dense forest. After sometime I noticed the time, it was 1:10 am, all other tourists were sleeping, 3/4 street dog accompanying us, everywhere pin drop silence prevails, moonlit night, wind flowing inside dense forest, it was an awesome ambience. We started to return, I was walking in front of the team with my son, suddenly found the dogs stopped walking and started barking, their eyes were still towards a tree around 10/12 feet far from us. I noticed something white colored tall object hide itself behind the tree. I got feared but did not get afraid, continue my walk straight 4/5 feet more. Suddenly that tall object took shape of human being and jumped in front of me. I noticed height was around 6 feet, totally white dressed and face was abnormally burnt. It was nothing but a GHOST. Now my son took shelter behind me, all ladies started shouting and children started to run in opposite direction. Within 3-4 second I realized the situation and preparing to run in opposite direction, but suddenly one of our senior dada came forward and jumped on that ghost and attacked him. Surprisingly I found neither attack happened from the side of the ghost, nor the ghost disappeared like horror story. Rather the ghost started shouting “HELP HELP’. Now I got courage and moved forward, by that time the ghost opened his mask and with utter surprise we all found he is one of our team member and friend. He revealed the total plan in front of us, bought the white colored dress, ghost like mask from home, moreover he has done couple of rehearsal session in home. The main planner was another senior Dada, who has done perfect acting like all of us, so that we do not doubt anything. Now we called the other members who ran away from the spot and revealed the story. Next five minutes we all members laughed jointly, and returned to our rooms.

Next day we checked out at 11 am, took Balarampur Chandil road. Visited Chandil dam, but weather was too hot and humid. Then our destination was Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary. It was a nice experience to drive the cars on Dalma roads. After visiting the top we took late lunch at a Dhaba on NH 33. Started return journey at 6:30 pm, reached Baheragora at 8 pm, took a short tea break. Then we took dinner break at Kolaghat at 10 pm. Lastly reached home at 12:05 am after crossing the traffic jam at Santragachi.

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On the way to Purulia
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Swapna Neer Pahari Resort
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Our cars
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My son in Holi Festival
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Famous Chau Dance
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Our Team
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Last edited by Rudra Sen : 24th March 2022 at 09:09. Reason: Removed pic with alcohol bottles
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Old 10th April 2022, 22:22   #338
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Destination: Shantiniketan

Distance from Kolkata: 180 kms one way. Takes between 3-4hrs.

Road Condition: There are two routes to reach Shantiniketan.
  • Tourists usually avail the Calcutta - Burdwan - Guskara - Shantiniketan (170 kms) route. which is an excellent 4 lane highway for the initial 110 kms and 2 lane for the next 70 kms.
  • BHP-ians however take the longer (and scenic) route via Panagarh - Ilambazaar forest - Shantiniketan which is 4 laned for the first 170 kms and 2 lane for rest of the way.

Visit For: Be it for the cultural potpourri of melas right from the Pous Utsav or Basanta Utsav or the Kenduli Mela. Or for searching the lanes at night to see if indeed Tagore still lives in Shantiniketan. Or to see the green paddy fields of rural Bengal in monsoon and Mustard fields in winter. Or the Saturday Haat. Or a steaming plate of hot rice with melting ghee on it.

Shantiniketan is a place of every reason and season.

We visited Shantiniketan during the Holi weekend and saw seas of Palash and Simul trees in bloom. For the past few years we have been frequenting Kharimati Restaurant/Resort for their authentic Bengali lunch. This year too we did the same on the first day but the quality of the food (possibly impacted by the large crowds) were a turn off.

Post lunch, we visited the Saturday Haat where we spent the next couple of hours. The Haat, over the past few years, has grown in size and unlike only Saturdays, the Haat extends to Fridays and Sundays too. As the sun came down, we retired to Mohor Kutir, our stay for the night.

Mohor Kutir was a great experience for us. Its food, service and professionalism yet with a personal touch - made our stay one to remember. And I think, it was one of our best stays at Shantiniketan.

The next morning, after the buffet breakfast and a dip in the pool, we went to explore rural Bolpur where we saw many Simul and Palash trees in bloom.
For our lunch we had booked Bonolakshmi - again a delightful experience. Bonolakshmi's Mutton curry, which I tasted for the first time can be sole reason to visit Shantiniketan. That, and the ghee are must purchases.

The return was not as fast as we hoped - because of the returning revellers. It took us 4 hours.


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Polash flowers in bloom

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Mohor Kutir Resorts - a great experience.

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A detour into the forests.

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At Bonolakhsmi
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I believe that the mutton curry can be a sole reason to visit Shantiniketan.
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Old 24th April 2022, 05:15   #339
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Prayag Film City
Famed the second biggest film city in India, this is an excellent day outing choice and even attractive for accommodating in weekend tours in and around Midnapore. Its a huge area and recommended to visit during winters to avoid burning out in summer or navigating through inconveniences in monsoon. The touring is not recommended to be done without a vehicle as some of the sets placed are quite distant from one another. We did see several people touring in rented Totos / eRickshaws.

The place, although not utterly well maintained, allows hosting of official events with full catering based on prior booking and has day dining and staying options which we did not opt for. Instead we booked a hall (as rooms were sold out) at the nearby popular Arabari Resort and they accommodated us fairly well with good food and hospitability. Their manager Raju Tewari was very helpful and even guided us to provide the resort reference which waived off a single head entry fee into Prayag Film City. While visiting from Kolkata the Resort actually comes before the Film City and is also having proximity to the must visit Arabari Forest, a good late afternoon drive.

A few areas of the film city were closed including the 7D theater, Wonders of the World / Mini World but the place was a nice visit during December 2021 and our little one enjoyed it.

Google Plus Code: M8X9+P37, Duki, Chandrakona Road, Prayag Film City Rd, Duki, West Bengal 721253

Route: Kolkata -> Dhulagori -> NH-16 -> Kolaghat -> Right turn at the Kharagpur Bypass bifurcation to take Mohanpur Road -> Bhadutala -> Jamboni -> Left Turn from NH-14 towards Prayag Film City Road -> Prayag Film City

Distance from Kolkata: 165 KM

Time taken to reach: 3.5 to 4 hours depending on traffic (including breaks)

Entry Fee: 150 rupees per head, vehicle is free

Road conditions were excellent throughout, especially the final leg over NH-14
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The Arabari Resort
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The film city
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The Arabari Forest (do not expect animal sighting)
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Last edited by vb-san : 24th April 2022 at 09:32. Reason: As requested
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Old 26th April 2022, 00:51   #340
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A weekend drive to Santiniketan

In April the temperature in Birbhum district hovers around 40 degree Celsius.
So our plan was to book a nice resort, spend the evening at the poolside, and spend a gala time among ourselves with some good food! So we zeroed on at 'The creek boutique resort' in Santiniketan.

Day 1

The check-in time was 1 pm. As Kolkata to Santiniketan is a less than 3 hours drive, we leisurely started at 11 am.
We took the road via Panagarh as the this road is more fun to drive.
Road condition till Santiniketan was excellent and the earlier broken stretch between Panagarh to Illambazar is now repaired.
We were at our resort by 2 pm. Had a heavy lunch. The food here was really tasty.

The afternoon was spent at the Sonajhuri hut.

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The evening was spent at the poolside and we had a gala time enjoying among ourselves with some good food.

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Day 2

After a heavy breakfast we checked out at 11 am and went to Raipur Rajbari.

Okay, that's Bhpian DogNDamsel12. Must be the first Bhpian witch!

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The whole gang

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From here we visited Banalaxmi at Illambazar, spent around an hour over there and started our return journey.

Bhpian DogNDamsel12 & Bhpian Mountain_deep had some fun pushing their cars! This time I enjoyed the whole trip from the co-passengers seat!

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On the way back we took a small break at Shaktigar, a late yet heavy lunch at Kitchen Sutra near Chinchura and we were back to our home by 7 pm.

Last edited by Sheel : 27th April 2022 at 08:34. Reason: As requested.
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Old 26th April 2022, 01:31   #341
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Default Re: West Bengal - A treasure for tourists

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post

Okay, that's Bhpian DogNDamsel12. Must be the first Bhpian witch!

Bhpian DogNDamsel12 & Bhpian Mountain_deep had some fun pushing their cars! This time I enjoyed the whole trip from the co-passengers seat!
It takes a witch to dislodge Samba out of the passenger's seat onto the co-passenger's. No mean feat that!

Aptly written travelogue. The trip was too much fun, albeit a short one.

Loved the food in The Creek - elaborate menu but each dish was very well prepared. Missed out on the pizza coz we were too full from the lunch, but have heard rave reviews of the same.

The haat was nice and a non-shopper like me ended up buying quite a few things off the sellers.

Also, the lunch at Kitchen Sutra was great, especially the Guchi mutton which was a rendition of the North Indian Rara mutton is a must try!
Kitchen Sutra Ambience:
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Banalakshmi, Creek and Raypur Singhabari :
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Last edited by DogNDamsel12 : 26th April 2022 at 01:46.
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Old 6th June 2022, 12:33   #342
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Jhilimili Forest, Talebera Dam and Mukutmanipur Dam



Hello Folks!

Since this thread has a sweet mission of highlighting a few lesser visited places in West Bengal, thought this would be the right place to add my bit.
Recently have been back from a quick trip to Jhilimili Forest and a short visit to Mukutmanipur Dam.

My primary interest was to visit a nearby cozy place to relax a bit. Wanted to visit the Forests of Orissa, Simplipal etc but could not get a suitable place to stay. Plus I was feeling quite lazy for that drive. Same with Purulia, when Kushal Palli turned us down with zero vacancy.
On one hand people were discouraging us from visiting these places in the summer, while on the other, we were finding it difficult to get ourselves a room. Quite confusing! Finally zeroed down to Jhilimili Forest mainly due to the good reviews and report of the only place there to stay - Rimil Lodge.


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The route chosen was as such -
Kharagpur - Lodhasuli - Salboni - Jamboni - Chilkigarh - Belpahari - Jhilmili.

This route was suggested by fellow bhpian Mr Niladri Sarkar. And this was perhaps the greatest highlight of the trip. Butter smooth roads, flanked with dense forest on both side and garnished by occasional village roads and huts straight from a kid's drawing book!
I'll leave you all with the very amateurish video that I compiled from my dashcam... Hope you like it.






Starting at 7am in the morning, we reached our abode right before lunch time and had one of the tree house to ourselves. The evening turned fantastic as the place was hit by a storm, with cool breezes, a beautiful golden hour created a mystic environment followed by thunder showers later.
Some pics of the evening...

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The Forest came alive after the storm...

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The next morning, started for a nearby place called Talebera Dam. Took a shortcut village road and Newton really struggled to walk through that treacherous part. Its better if one taked the road from Paradi to Talebera. I took the same one while returning and I think that is the sane choice to make. Some pics from the Dam...

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Later in the day, Headed to Mukutmanipur and drove along the 11km stretch on Mukutmanipur Dam. By this time The heat was really taking a toll on us and we hurried back to our resort.

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All in all a very relaxed stay and mesmerizing drive.. One can even do Purulia from here , Ayodhya Hills etc, around 120 kms from Jhilimili.

The elephants that came to greet us..

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Thanks a lot for reading!
Cheers..

Been long since I posted on the forum and hence the mistake.. Would like to thank bhpian ABHI_1512 and Mile_Breaker for their valuable route and destination suggestions!

Last edited by Sheel : 6th June 2022 at 17:14. Reason: Back to back posts.
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