Jangalmahal : Jhargram an inescapable mystery and a natural wonder
It has been almost a month since we got back from a splendid trip of China, Tibet & US. While I have written about the China trip, yet to pen down our US experience. The trip to US was extraordinary to say the least and it will take me some time to consolidate and publish our memoirs. Meanwhile, here is an update on our recent trip, in line with our mission to explore our local region i.e. the vast collection of natural beauty of East & North-east, through short weekend getaways.
Jangalmahal ( Jhargram and beyond) has been in news recent years. It is also very well known for its mysterious forests, rivers and tribal life ... in short ....abundant natural wonder. The desire to experience the diverse beauty of Jahrgram, turned into reality during Sep17-19, 2017. A quick check of WBTDC website, got us our rooms at the Rajbari Tourist Complex. For local exploration we sought help of Sumit Dutta (Jhargram Tourism). Sumit was extremely helpful in chalking out an itinerary based on our interest i.e. Forest and Birding. Though not a good time for birding, but extremely good for exploring the forest .... post monsoon.
For an extended weekend, Jhragram is a good destination and undoubtedly during winter and spring it would be fascinating.
We (Runa and I) started at 7am on Sep17, and reached Rajbari Tourist Complex by 9.30 am a distance of roughly 170Kms covered in 150 minutes. Its the road that helped us get there quickly, not my driving! The road is definitely in good condition, minor repair work here and there, not just the National Highway, but the state highways too. To me, roads are one of the key indicators of the development. Jharkhand in particular and the adjoining areas all have seen significant improvement in social infrastructure - hospitals, sports, stadiums, schools, etc. which is a very positive measure of up-liftment. That's a big achievement by the Government. These regions have been neglected and exploited by the people who mattered for many years, and it is good to see the current Government making efforts to plug the gap.
Jhargram Rajbari Tourist complex is a new initiative of the Government, to give a fillip to tourism.
|Jhargram Tourist Complex our abode at Jhargram|
|Cottages at Jhargram Tourist Complex|
The stay at Jhargram Tourist Complex was comfortable. It has all the basic comforts. And overall it is good value for money, including the food served.
|Cottages at Jhargram Tourist Complex|
Jhargram Rajbari, a major landmark, is adjacent to the Tourist Complex. I am told the ground floor of the Rajbari is rented out to tourist too. And is supposedly CM's abode whenever she visits Jhargram.
|Jhargram Rajbari (it is adjacent to the tourist complex)|
Sumit Dutta (Jhargram Tourism - +91 95938 33711) had worked out the itinerary
for us, he also provided the vehicle and driver. Since I was'nt very
sure about the infratstructure, and the law and order, felt it necessary
to use local experts and that where Sumit's advice was very valuable. Though I must say that Law and Order is in completely safe. Even though police pickets are at all over, we did not overhear any incidents in the recent past. And we did explore into quite a few remote areas.
Our itinerary - Day1 > Kendua, Chilkigarh, Kanak Durga Temple,
Medicinal plants nursery, Deer park. Most of the places except Deer Park
are good birding spots, I was told by Sumit and the driver. I was not too keen to go visit the Deer park, but my local friends insisted that it is a must see (I do not like to see life enclosed in cages, and was reluctant, the condition of enclosures are appaling to say the least).
monsoon season, as a matter of fact, is not very comfortable, it was raining
intermittently and extremely, extremely humid. My handkerchief was drenched in sweat within half an hour of walk.
Day2 of our adventure took us to > Belpahar and beyond, Ghagra falls, Gurrasini hill, Khandarani Lake. Here are some snaps from our 2 days pf exploration -
|Path through the Jangalmahal Forest|
|On our way to Belpahari|
|Near Gurasini Hills|
|Ghagra Water Falls|
|Khandarani Reservoir - migrating birds make this lake their home in winters|
|Streets lined with Kash flowers in full bloom .... reminder of Sharod utsav|
|Local Fishermen trying out their luck in the raging waters of Dulung|
|Bathing beauties on the banks of Dulung River|
|Fun time for local kids|
|A family of Indian Langur at Kanak Durga Temple|
|Indian Roller (Neelkantha) - quite abundant at this time of the year|
|Scaly breasted Munia|
|Indian Bee Eater|
All photographs taken using Nikon D750 and Nokior 70-300mm Lens. The sky was largely overcast both the days, which gave a different flavor to the snaps. We barely covered exploring a fraction of the beauty that of Jhargram in our 2 days. Certainly another visit when the birds come calling is called for.
Hope you enjoyed. Do share your feedback.