At Purulia

It was another trip to Shantiniketan, during Holi. The last two days of this trip were reserved for visiting Purulia and returning to Kolkata.

The district of Purulia contains ‘hills’ which are actually segments of the Chhotanagpur plateau. A few years back I used to think that Purulia is a hill station and like all hill stations, it is cooler than the plain lands.

It was hotter than Shantiniketan and additionally, it was humid! However, the terrain was similar to that of hills. In fact, the compound within which our hotel was situated (a part of the forest reserve of India) was entirely located on a slope. We lodged at a resort in Garpanchakot.

Purulia Forest Reserve Hotel

This is one of the shortcuts to the bungalow from the dining place

Day One

We reached Purulia by 2:00 PM, had lunch and headed out towards Muradi dam (after an hour of laziness).

Purulia Grasslands

Cows doing their daily work is a common sight at Shantiniketan. Place a mountain in the background. We have Purulia.

We obtained directions from one of the staff of the resort and continued obtaining directions from the locals. Their clear directions ultimately managed to confuse us, and we reached one of the several villages of Purulia.

Purulia Cyclists

There was a small span of road with ‘Khejur’ (date) trees on both sides

We then remembered that our pocket devices could provide directions too. Ultimately, Google maps led us to the reservoir.

I started clicking random photographs.

Muradi Dam Purulia Boating

There was a single man who was ‘boating’ in the reservoir in a tire who caught everyone’s attention as everyone was confused about his medium of transport.

As the sun started to set, the clouds in the sky started to get dramatic and soon, we saw this:

Muradi Dam View (Purulia)

The entire landscape was calm, except for the wind. [See my watermark? The dam’s controllers are situated in that region.]

Purulia Dam Onlookers

I successfully used the internal flash of my camera for the first time!

We stayed at the dam for half an hour and then seated ourselves inside the car.

Purulia Google Maps Directions

Google Maps didn’t fail us

The return journey to Garpanchakot was much easier. We followed everything the voice inside Google Maps had to say. When the sun’s rays were no longer illuminating the road for us, and we were still on a road which we couldn’t identify, I became a wee bit worried. The road was empty. So were the surroundings. It was almost pitch black.

We had no option but to trust Google Maps. In spite of the slight anxiousness, there was a thrill and a slight chill in the air. Occasionally, the fragrance of unknown flowers would flow into the car. What accompanied us all the way till the point we reached the main road was the scent of the grassland and the trees.

Everything contributed to making the entire ‘journey’ to and from Muradi dam memorable.


Day Two

I woke up at 4:50 in the morning. Gunja woke up at 4:50 in the morning.

Both of us consider 7:00 AM to be early morning. So, you realise how easy it was for us to wake up before 5, get ready and walk down to the parking area. The driving force behind us was the possibility of watching the sun-rise (from Panchet dam).

Again, we put our faith in Google Maps and soon reached the dam.

Purulia Fog & Cyclist (Panchet Dam)

There was almost no one except for a few people cycling or walking or exercising.

The entire landscape was foggy!

View from Panchet Dam (Purulia)

Looking from Panchet Dam (Purulia)

Maa was clearly glad. She kept walking by the sides of the road and stopped at points to breathe in and watch the adjacent villages slowly wake up.

Muradi Dam (Purulia) View

On the right is the village

We couldn’t watch the sun rise clearly because of the fog and the cloud cover, but the four of us breathed in more oxygen than we do in two consecutive mornings in the city. As the heat started to build, we headed back to our hotel.

Purulia Village (2)

On the way, we could see people brushing their teeth, washing or dusting their shops, some of them starting their bikes and heading in different directions.

On the way, we could see people brushing their teeth, washing or dusting their shops, some of them starting their bikes and heading in different directions.

We had tea once we reached our bungalow.

Gunja wasn’t so interested in leaving Shantiniketan and coming to Purulia, and to some extent, even I wasn’t (after our three days there). Now all of us agree that this one-night trip was rejuvenating and somewhat necessary (we haven’t been to the mountains for almost two years).

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