Maa Durga’s arrival every year is a much anticipated event. But Maa refuses to stay beyond those few days at her mother’s abode. The adrenaline rush increases as the days come near. But alas. As soon as Mahalaya starts, the days seem to rush past us and to our dismay the day arrives when Maa bids us adieu and leaves with her family. It is during this time that we Bengalis have a low mood and we tend to become upset. So, to get over this bad phase, me and my family decided to go on a quick trip to lift ourselves up and start with our mundane life afresh. After much research, we found a very small city tucked within our own state, Purulia. It is within Purulia that Baghmundi is situated.
With the population just a little above 1.3 lacs, this place is a very scarcely populated place with a picturesque landscape. The train we took was the Howrah- Chakradarpur which was an over night train. We boarded at 23:00 and reach the next day at around 7:30. The station where we got down was at Barabhum station. The Homestay where we had reservations had arranged for our cars and they met us at the station itself. From there we had to take a 30 minutes road trip to reach our stay.
We stayed at the Chhowburu Tourism Homestay. It is a nice cosy place with a beautiful view of the lush greenery and the hills nearby. We had a fooding and lodging package so all wd had to do was to pay up to money and all other arrangements were made by them. They have 2 sharing and 4 sharing rooms. Not all of the rooms have an attached washroom. However there is a common washroom outside at everyones disposal. This was our tour itinerary.
After we reached Chhowburu Homestay,we had our set breakfast which had puri, aloo sabzi, egg boiled and jalebi. Then after freshening up we sat outside in the verandah which had the hills right in front of us. With warm tea, we started with our adda session. We spent the entire first half resting. Then we were called for lunch. We were served rice, dal, aloo bhaji and chicken followed by chutney and papad. We immediately left for the tour which was scheduled in the second half. We went to the khairabera lake first. It is a beautiful lake covered on two sides by hills. The weather we beautiful and we had an amazing time there. The hills were so welcoming in comparison to the hustle and bustle of the city. The winds were in pur hair and the greenery was soothing to our mind and soul. This place also has a small structure from where the excess water of the damn runs off. The sound of the water hitting the rocks beneath acts as a mood booster. We stayed there the entire evening and after ample photo sessions decided to head on to the next destination on which was the Charida village.Now this place is famous for chhow masks. The old locals make these from their homes and sell it from there as well. Be careful of the prices. We went to the shop owned by a very old man. He was an extremely nice guy and lowered the price of every single item we bought. The durga and kathakali sculptures were made were utmost perfection and we all left with a smiling face that day. We returned to the Homestay where they served us with aloo pakora and some warm tea. We had a gala time singing and dancing and chatting away. Dinner is served by 9:30. They encourage an early dinner as they close the kitchen by 10:00 approximately. We had a nice meal of chicken, vegetable and rooti.
A beautiful waterfall tucked within the hills. The waterfall has several stops if one is interested to go down to the base. But the path that leads down is extremely dangerous. The trees and bushes cover both sides of the steep slope. It is slippery during monsoon. Not everyone takes the risk of going down the falls. 5 of us decided to complete the journey and we were successful in doing so. The view from the middle of the hills is that of a beautiful lake which has a natural green tinge.
It was a lovely sight. After successfully going till the base we were greated by the splashes of the waterfall as it hit the boulders. It was so calm and quite there with almost no one there other than us. We sat and chatted on the boulders and enjoyed the spray of the cool water from the falls. We spent around 1.5 hours there at the falls. Then the next stop was the Upper Dam which was a large lake surrounded by high fences.
We couldn’t stay long as the heat had become unbearable. Then we headed to the hill top which was the highest point of Ayoudhya hills. It wasn’t much of a sight but we found a government guest house there and we could take a washroom break. A major drawback here is the lack of basic amenities. There are no public restrooms here except for the washrooms in the homestay. This is a major drawback. We had to request the manager at the government guest house to allow all the women to use the restrooms. It was a shock indeed. Never knew a place like this existed in west bengal which lacked the most basic ametinity. Anyway from there we were taken to the Mayuri Hill which offered a view of the city.
We returned to our Homestay for our lunch which was a mutton meal. We took a small break and continued with the rest of the trip in the evening. We left at 5 for the Banjara Camp which was also owned and managed by the same owner, Mr.Sujit of Chhowburu Tourism. The place is lovely. There was tents around the campus with camping activities arranged. There was a rope walk, a tire swing and hammocks. The weather was lovely with a light drizzle to set the mood.
They arranged for pakoras there and a bon fire too. The track that leads of the camping site is a amidst a dense forest. It was pitch dark and the experience was one of a kind. We returned to our abode where we had ordered some chicken pakoras separately which was outside the package. We had a dinner of tarka rooti and the end ended perfectly.
This was the last day of the trip. We were supposed to go sight seeing but we were was too tired and the weather made us super sleepy. So we quit on the sight seeing and spent the day there. We left for the station at 1:30. Our train was from Purulia at 3:00. We hated leaving the place as the scenic beauty would be missed too much. We promised to return soon as much of Baghmundi and Purulia is yet to be explored. These are hidden treasure and should be promoted and maintained by our government.
I’m attaching the list of all the places you can visit in case you are visiting. Monsoon is the best time to visit this place as the greenery is at it’s peak.
The places you can visit :
Forests of Ajodhya,Matha and Kuilapal , Waterfalls at Thurga,Bammi and Dauri khal, Tribal habitations of Ajodhya and baghmundi ,and dams of Panchet,Murguma, Keshto Bazaar and Koyrabera. There is Pakhi pahar for trekking and the joychandi pahar. There are picnic spots at duarsini, dolma and the dance of chhow and jhumur gaan shouldn’t be missed.
I have shared the contact details of Chhowburu tourism. Feel free to contact them. Visit the place, you won’t be dissapointed.