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Old 24th November 2019, 13:06   #1
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Default Weekend trip to Tarakeshwar, Kamarpukur & Jairambati

Early November I made a weekend trip to Tarakeshwar, Kamapukur and Jairambati with my wife, kid and in-laws. After the last beach tour to Puri (Long weekend trip to Puri Beach in an Innova Crysta) time for rejuvenating our religious self.

A Brief Background about Taraknath Temple in Tarakeshwar
Built in 1729, The Taraknath Temple located in the Hoogly district of West Bengal is one of the most holy places of worshipping Lord Shiva in West Bengal. The place is also having an adjacent water body termed as Dudh Pukur (pond of milk) which is regarded as a place where everyone's prayer materializes if the same is made after a dip into this pond. A huge number of pilgrims visit this place daily and this place is well connected by rail and roads.

Day-1 (Kolkata to Tarakeshwar and night stay - total 84 KM)
We planned for an early morning start since the first puja session of the Tarakeshwar Temple closes by 10 am (starts at 4 am) and is less crowdy whereas the next session starts from 12 noon and remains crowded. So we started from home in Kolkata at around 6 am and followed GMaps diligently all the way which guided us to take the Ultadanga --> Airport --> Belgharia Expressway --> Nivedita Setu (New Bally Bridge) --> Dankuni Toll Plaza route. It was smooth with minimal traffic and soon we entered Durgapur Expressway.

Weekend trip to Tarakeshwar, Kamarpukur & Jairambati-img_4004.jpg

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Beware there are speed cams near Bally Halt.

From Singur, we took a left turn and followed along the Baidyabati - Tarakeshwar Road. It is good for most of the part and except a few KM of bad roads in between.
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Finally, we entered Tarakeshwar around 8-30 am and reached our hotel WBTDC Tarakeshwar Tourist Lodge by just before 9 am.

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But there was a glitch in reaching there. When we arrived at the crossing of Thana Road / Post Office Road in Tarakeshwar from where we needed to go straight to reach our hotel and to the right is the entrance road to the Tarakeshwar temple we met a NO ENTRY sign and had to take a left turn and go via market beside the Railway Station and come around again to reach the hotel. It was very congested in the morning hours. In the map below, the red route is the intended route as shown by Gmaps when we had set the destination as Tarakeshwar Tourist Lodge, but due to the NO ENTRY, we took the revised route as shown with blue on the map. The GMap automatically adjusted its course soon after we took the left turn.

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In Tarakeshwar, the WBTDC hotel we found to be the best for staying as it is just opposite to the holy DudhPukur and one can see the temple on the other side standing on the Hanuman Ghat in front of the hotel.

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Also, there is a children's park just adjacent to this hotel. Just beware of mosquito bites and take necessary precautions (covering bare areas of the body, applying repellents, etc) if you intend to take kids there.

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Since check-in time was 12 noon at the hotel we parked our car inside their premises and accompanied the hotel appointed priest (we requested) to the Temple for completing our Puja.

Weekend trip to Tarakeshwar, Kamarpukur & Jairambati-img_20191116_142931.jpg

He arranged a Toto for us and we were able to complete guided tour of the Temple and the Puja fairly quick, note you cannot enter with your car in the Temple approach road, Toto or walking are the only two options. By 10 am we completed our Darshan and Puja and returned to Hotel via the same Toto. There is an evening Arati in the Temple at 6 pm which we skipped in spite of the warm invitation from the priest. A famous item of this place is the wide variety of Achars (Pickles) widely available across the shops mostly in and around the Temple road. You can taste and buy as per your need, sold on a basis of weight.

Weekend trip to Tarakeshwar, Kamarpukur & Jairambati-img_4022.jpg

The rooms were still not ready as previous day guests had not checked out so we completed our breakfast in their restaurant on the first floor and by 11 am we got access to our rooms at the same floor.

Weekend trip to Tarakeshwar, Kamarpukur & Jairambati-img_4035.jpg

The corridor (can act as the balcony) is excellent for strolling and playing for kids.

Weekend trip to Tarakeshwar, Kamarpukur & Jairambati-img_4040.jpg

The WBTDC hotel is under renovation and they have very efficient and professional staff who are cordial and co-operative and allows customization to the food menu as per feasibility especially when ordering for kids or elders. The AC restaurant and new AC rooms are of 2-3 star hotel standard, for example, every room has 40 inch LED TVs and well-decorated interiors with Split AC. They are still under renovation and expansion with new single cottages coming up on the backside. Even on the kitchen side, they are soon to open Tandoor menu all day long, for now, its Bengali and Chinese cuisine on the table. Also, we found several families who had made a halt only for lunch post-Darshan at the Temple. The compound is secured, there is ample power backup which can pull along ACs in the rooms too, CC Cams are still getting installed across the premises and there is Wifi too apart from physical security personnel at the main gate. Overall it is a reliable place to stay as well as a short stopover.

We spent the rest of the day at the hotel including the evening and went to bed early considering we have to start quite early on the next day for Kamarpukur.

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 2nd December 2019 at 00:50.
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Old 24th November 2019, 15:56   #2
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Default re: Weekend trip to Tarakeshwar, Kamarpukur & Jairambati

Day-2 (From Tarakeshwar to Kamarpukur & Jairambati and return to Kolkata) 159 KM

We started from our hotel in Tarakeshwar around 7-15 am setting up the Gmap (the correct destination should be "Ramkrishna math Parking Zone, Kamarpukur, West Bengal"). We started this early because the Prasad distribution at Kamarpukur happens at 11-30 am and its coupon distribution which is based on limited seats starts earlier so we have to target reaching there by 10 am in order to secure coupons for us.

The route we took was via Tarakeshwar --> Champadanga --> crossing Damodar river twice (two tributaries)--> Panipet --> Jairampur --> Arambagh --> Pashchim Shibpur --> Dwarkeshwar River --> Goghat --> Kamarpukur

Considering that the route is via Arambagh and our past experience of traversing via Arambagh (A trip to Bishnupur : Revisiting the history of the epicentre of Mallabhum) we knew it would be a big pain to cross it due to the road discipline of the drivers and the congestion due to loads of commercial vehicles plying through this area.

Early morning roads in Tarakeshwar was empty with limited early risers to work
Weekend trip to Tarakeshwar, Kamarpukur & Jairambati-img_4060.jpg

The road was not bad for some time
Weekend trip to Tarakeshwar, Kamarpukur & Jairambati-img_4062.jpg

But when it came to crossing the rivers prior to Arambagh, there were huge jam caused by never-ending queues of trucks
Weekend trip to Tarakeshwar, Kamarpukur & Jairambati-img_4068.jpg

Weekend trip to Tarakeshwar, Kamarpukur & Jairambati-img_4070.jpg

We made our breakfast halt around 8-30 am at a small shop in Arambagh, it was easier to park by the side of the road here.

Background about Kamarpukur
It is a village in the Hoogly district of West Bengal and is famous for being the birthplace of Bhagvan Sri Ramkrishna, the mentor of Swami Vivekananda. The place has been henceforth adopted by Ramkrishna Mission and they have executed marked infrastructure development in the area starting from schools, free dispensary and hospital, farming, children's park, playgrounds, the guest house where people willing to stay overnight while on pilgrimage can avail free accommodation and meals from breakfast till dinner. The area surrounding the ancient huts which have been restored to keep the same looks has been converted into the Math with well-maintained garden, sparkling clean walkways, bookstall and office building apart from residential places for the inmates. There is also a decent parking lot just outside the main Math where at a time. Last but not the least there is a place for serving Prasad to masses in a hall where at a time 500 people can dine.

We approached Kamarpukur around 9-50 am and parked our car in the designated lot.

Weekend trip to Tarakeshwar, Kamarpukur & Jairambati-img_4072.jpg

Weekend trip to Tarakeshwar, Kamarpukur & Jairambati-img_4073.jpg

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The entrance to the children park
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The entrance to the guest house
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Approaching the Math
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Inside the Kamarpukur Math
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After paying our homage at the Math we collected the coupons for Prasad and since there was still time left for the distribution to start we took a Toto and headed for Jairambati which is 5 KM from here. More details on that later in this post.

We came back to Kamarpukur by 11-20 am and waited in the queue of the dining hall. There were separate queues for ladies and gents as they will be seated apart. By 11-45 am sharp the gates opened and everyone followed the queue and the guiding announcements over the PA system. There were organized placements of tables and benches made of steel and for everyone a plate and a glass full of water is already kept at each seating position of the tables, such is the order and process being followed here. It was over by next 30-40 minutes with an orderly serving of Prasad and at the end, we are required to take our plates and place them in the cleaning area outside before washing off our hands.

Weekend trip to Tarakeshwar, Kamarpukur & Jairambati-img_4102.jpg

by 12-45 pm we came out of the Math and before starting for Kolkata we bought the famous Sada Bonde of Kamarpukur which is said to be the most favourite sweet of Bhagavan Sri Ramkrishna for our homes and boarded the car. Several shops can be found selling this just outside the Math.
Weekend trip to Tarakeshwar, Kamarpukur & Jairambati-img_20191117_123849.jpg

Before narrating about the return let me quickly cover the tour about Jairambati

Backgroud of Jairambati
Situated in the Bankura district of West Bengal this place is famous for being the birthplace of Sri Sarada Devi, wife of Bhagvan Sri Ramkrishna. The central attraction of the place is the Sri Sri Matri Mandir built exactly at the birthplace of Sarada Devi. There is also a big water body named Punni Pukur where Sarada Ma used to take bath. This place is frequented by pilgrims most of them being followers of Sri Ramkrishna.

We took the Toto from Kamarpukur and reached via a scenic road with the smell of greens and village serene all through. Probably one should never travel this stretch in a car with windows up or else they would miss this grand experience that is absent in cities. Also travelling in a Toto had the advantage of passing via some very narrow roads to reach to the Mandir faster. But one must note that there is also dedicated parking lot even in Jairambati near the entrance of the Mandir.
Weekend trip to Tarakeshwar, Kamarpukur & Jairambati-img_4087.jpg

Weekend trip to Tarakeshwar, Kamarpukur & Jairambati-img_4088.jpg

Within 10-15 minutes we reached Jairambati Mandir gate
Weekend trip to Tarakeshwar, Kamarpukur & Jairambati-img_4098.jpg

The coveted Punni Pukur
Weekend trip to Tarakeshwar, Kamarpukur & Jairambati-img_4095.jpg

Inside the Sri Sri Mandir
Weekend trip to Tarakeshwar, Kamarpukur & Jairambati-img_4096.jpg

If one does not have enough time to wait for the Prasad they can go to the office and can get a packet of Muri offered as Prasad. Nevertheless, we stayed here for 15-20 minutes and started our return to Kamarpukur. But it is indeed a beautiful place of finding inner peace away from the loudness of the city

The Return to Kolkata (110 KM)
On the way back to Kolkata GMaps showed us the route via Arambagh --> Champadanga --> Khejuria --> bypassing Dankuni Toll Plaza to Howrah / Santragachi which has several parts in bad shape and it slowed us down. Rather we should have taken a detour by going via the initial route we had traced while coming to Tarakeshwar which is Arambagh --> Champadanga --> Tarakeshwar --> Singur --> Howrah and I am sure it will be much quicker in spite of the greater distance.

Weekend trip to Tarakeshwar, Kamarpukur & Jairambati-img_4105.jpg

Nevertheless, after covering around 110 KM from Kamarpukur we finally arrived at our home in Kolkata by 4-15 pm. It was an excellent holy tour done over the weekend.

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 2nd December 2019 at 00:52.
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Old 1st December 2019, 19:49   #3
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Default re: Weekend trip to Tarakeshwar, Kamarpukur & Jairambati

Some points to remember
  1. Start early from Kolkata by 6 am sharp in order to complete the Puja at Tarakeshwar before the temple closing time for the morning shift by 10 am. If you have kids this is the best timing to allow lunch on time. As mentioned earlier morning shift is less crowded.
  2. If you have additional days at hand like a long/extended weekend, plan the trip to Bishnupur from Kamarpukur and on the way, you can stop over at the Joypura forest resort. Even you can skip the night stay at Tarakeshwar if your puja is completed by afternoon and stay the night instead at Bishnupur or Kamarpukur. There are multiple excellent hotels in Kamarpukur / Jairambati including the Misson's own guest house where, based on pre-booking, everything is free, you can, of course, do a voluntary donation if you wish.
  3. If there are kids accompanying, per our observation, it is best to complete all road journeys in the first half of the day and avoid travel by road post-lunch allowing them a rest/sleep to recharge, and this may not be in a moving car with kids sleeping at the back seat. This was they stay better.
  4. Try to go the extra miles and stick to the Durgapur expressway / road via Singur, it is worth considering the condition of the road and I hope it will be faster too.

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 2nd December 2019 at 00:53.
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Old 2nd December 2019, 00:56   #4
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Default re: Weekend trip to Tarakeshwar, Kamarpukur & Jairambati

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 3rd December 2019, 22:38   #5
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Default Re: Weekend trip to Tarakeshwar, Kamarpukur & Jairambati

A well written thread. I am sure this will add to the list of places to visit from kolkata during weekends. Morning time is always a good time to start especially during winters. But beware of fog and invest in good fog lights.
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Old 4th December 2019, 12:37   #6
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Default Re: Weekend trip to Tarakeshwar, Kamarpukur & Jairambati

Awesome! Will eagerly be awaiting a thread from you on Dakshineswar!
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Old 4th December 2019, 22:49   #7
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Default Re: Weekend trip to Tarakeshwar, Kamarpukur & Jairambati

Quote:
Originally Posted by delix View Post
A well written thread. I am sure this will add to the list of places to visit from kolkata during weekends. Morning time is always a good time to start especially during winters. But beware of fog and invest in good fog lights.
Thanks and indeed i will add this TL reference soon to the West Bengal thread of tourist places by samba. We did not encounter any fog but very very light smog in one or two places which are from traditional coal / husk powered "unoon" (portable chulhas) that are still found in the country side. Brings back a lot of memories of childhood, as we also had the same at our homes until we switched to LPG stoves. But yes, i do have fog lights, not yet put to use on the Innova.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
Awesome! Will eagerly be awaiting a thread from you on Dakshineswar!
Thanks. Your ladakh TL is an inspiration and I wonder whether someday I would ever be able to get there. Dakshineswar is in the city only, not sure if there will be a weekend TL for that. Parking is also not easy i have heard. Best to go on cabs / public transport. But surely if I visit it will be dedicated to you
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