Tag Archives: kharagpur tourism

Jakpur- Journey to The Valley Of Rose Garden

It is a non-descriptive Railway station located 5 km from famous destination of engineers IIT Kharagpur. Hardly any people know that this place is famous for many flower nursery gardens. There are at least 4 to 5 gardens are located here supplying varieties  of flowers to many national and international destinations. Most famous of these gardens is Puspanjali Nursery in Jakpur.

If you have few free hours  in the evening, planning to spend in a flowers gardens located in rural environment, then this is really a good hang out place for families during weekend.

Today is 26 the January, 2017. We plan to spend some free time in rural village for enjoying rural environment. I got some reference of this place from my friends. We set out from IIT Kharagpur campus by 3 pm and reach Kharagpur bus stand. From stand we take private auto to reach Puspanjali Nursery by 4 pm.

Jakpur Puspanjali Flower nursey

Jakpur Puspanjali Flower nursey

Puspanjali Nursery is build over a 20 acres land. It is big nursery and house of hundred varieties  of rose. There is no formal entry tickets. You just step in and local nursery people helps you to locate different types of flowers. We found 2 rose gardens full of various types of roses. Besides you can see how nursery people are treating  various types of flowers including roses.

Flower decorated house inside Nursery

Flower decorated house inside Nursery

Varieties of flowers in the garden

Varieties of flowers in the garden

Sapling of flowers

Sapling of flowers

We located a big pond located right in the middle of garden. Left side of the pond, there are many small gardens with varsities of flowers. On the others side we find fields cultivating saplings of flowers.

Big pond inside the garden - nice village environment

Big pond inside the garden – nice village environment

It is really worth to spend 1-2 hours there. We came out from nursery by 5:15 pm. We found a small village market near nursery. We finished our evening snacks there. While coming we could not find any transportation.we walked about 2 km to reach Jakpur station. And returned Kharagpur  by Medinipur local.

We spent some time in local market in the evening

We spent some time in local market in the evening

Travel tips to reach Jakpur

1) It could be a popular picnic destination during winter.

2) You can reach Jakpur from Kharagpur/ Medinipur by local train and get down at Jakpur station. From here nursery is about 1.5 km located along the road connecting NH2 and jakpur station. You can reach there by 20 min walk or by auto. But we have found  very few autos there.

From Jakpur, you can get up Medinipur local at 6 PM evening for Kharagpur, There are very limited trains stop at this station. Only slow Medinipur and Kharagpur local train stops here.

3) Pushpanjali nursery opening time till 5 pm

4) Best time  to visit : during winter (December and January)

5) Other side of Jakpur station, you can visit  famous Maa Manasa mandir. This is a popular pilgrimage destination.

Hence, if you have half day time, you can enjoy following things in Jakpur

A) Maa Manasa temple

B ) Puspanjali Nursery- a famous nursery

C ) Enjoy bucolic simplicity and village life during village walk.

D) Off course a popular picnic spots during winter.

For Jakpur Maa Manasa temple visit, please look into this blog post:

https://gobindaroy.wordpress.com/2016/10/31/its-my-journey-to-connecting-with-rural-mythology/

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Visit to Kurumbera Fort:Life beyond IIT kharagpur campus

A bunch of clouds was negotiating for space in northern part of the sky behind IIT Kharagpur campus. It was 4:30 PM then, and environment was afresh with a splash of rain showers. So, we decided to go to Kurumbera Fort tucked away by 33 km from IIT Kharagpur campus. My friend Sayan and I set out on a Scooter for 33 km ride through Hijli forest.

Kurumbera Fort Entrance

Kurumbera Fort Entrance

If you like history and like to listen and mingle with local culture, it’s a perfect hangout location for students and family persons. Before our journey, we have taken all detailed road directions and history from Internet and  local people.

It’s a straight road from IIT Prem bazaar towards Salua. To reach Kurumbera Fort, you need to drive exact 23 km from IIT Prem Bazar gate to Keshiari, Road condition is very good. On the way we observed village life and a small fair showing nautanki; we also enjoyed 1-2 km forest journey (it reminded me journey experience through Lodhasuli forest). When we reach keshari , it was 5:15pm. We took left turn towards Belda and reached Kukai after 5 km drive. At Kukai, we turned right and took soiled road. Since, there was no rain that time, journey was cool. But, this road could be slippery during heavy rain. We drove about 3 KM along the red soiled road  to reach Kurumbera Fort.

It was 5:25 pm evening, and we reached Gaganeshwar village. While taking left turn along the red muddy road, we saw the distant view of fort located just other side of a big pond. We found a small market at the entrance of the fort. A big banyan tree guarding the fort welcomed us there with a big sigh. The fort looked like a small version of Lingaraj temple from outside. Some clouds were hovering over the fort. We parked our scooter outside the fort gate and searched for official detail of this place. But, we located only an ASI board outside without any historical details of this place.

Red muddy road in Gaganeshwar  village

Red muddy road in Gaganeshwar village

Architectural beauty of Kurumbera Fort

Finally, we entered the fort and observed a huge courtyard ringed by pillared corridor. In the middle, we saw a three domed structure over a platform along with a sacrificial altar. Backside of the dome, we found major quarters are in dilapidated state.  Archaeological Survey of India has taken some efforts to protect the structures from further collapsing by using series of cement and lime mortar for holding the external pillars. Major rooftops are decorated with engraved flowers.

Three domed structure over a platform along with a sacrificial altar

Three domed structure over a platform along with a sacrificial altar

We also observed some traces of regular cleaning activities in corridors, but very slippery now because of rainy season. There is also some kind of an altar in the middle, and local youth were sitting there and observing us from there. We sent about 30 min and come out from fort for a tea break.

Engraved flowers on rooftop

Engraved flowers on rooftop

History of Kurumbera Fort:

Despite being a protected monument under the ASI, no written details found on ASI board oursdie fort. I have checked with local people and they are also clueless about this fort.  As per Wiki, this fort was built in 1438-1469 (written in Oriya inscription) during the rule of Surya Vamsi king of Orissa Gajapati Kapilendra Dev.

Huge courtyard ringed by pillared corridor

Huge courtyard ringed by pillared corridor

Some sources shared the fact that Mohammed Tahir(stone inscription).build this fort during   Aurangazeb’s period.  As per local legend, people believe that the fort was built in a single night, when Ram, Sita visited the place, during their Vanvas.

Whatever might be the story of this fort; we enjoyed our 40 min time at fort and savored mouthwatering Jilabi and chops from nearby snack shop.

Shiva temple at Gaganeshwar:

This is a newly built temple located in the middle of the village and 1 km from fort premises. Local people informed it has been built one year back and now a very popular pilgrimage spot. We visited this spot and it’s a small temple surrounded lush green village landscape and ponds.

Shiva temple at Gaganeshwar

Shiva temple at Gaganeshwar

It was 6:16 pm; Sun God was taking day off behind the paddy field and reminded us about home returning. We are again on seats for back to IIT kharagpur. After a 50 min drive, we reached campus safely and loaded with all sweets memories of village fort, bucolic charm of rural Bengals, and off course taste of local snacks.

How to reach Kurumbera Fort?

From IIT Kharagpur Campus: It’s 30 km journey from Prem Bazar gate. You can go by Bike or by own/rented car. Road direction: Puri gate —>(23 KM through Salua)—->Keshiari (take left towards Belda about 5 km from  Keshiari crossing )—->Kukai ( take right turn and take mud road : 3 km )—->Gaganeshwar village ( fort area).

From Kharagpur Station: There is no direct buses from Station, you can come Prem Bazar by local auto and take bus from Prem Bazar for Keshiari. From Keshiari, you can hire local auto or van. From Kukai, you can take local van for fort.

Other tourist spots near Kurumbera Fort:

We cannot visit 2 more tourists spots located near Keshiari. First, Sarbamangala Mandir – a famous mandir in this area and second spot, Bhasara Ghat along Subarnarekha River, located about ten kilometers from Keshiari which enables one to travel to Orissa. There is a bridge over Subarnarekha River and Keshairi gained importance after the construction of the bridge over this river.

References: 5th August,2015

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurumbera_Fort

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keshiari

Week end tour at Chilkigarh : life beyond IIT Kharagpur

Winter chill is still refusing to retreat and IIT Kharagpur campus is vibrant with festive mood. Today is the last day of Kshitij festival. Out IIT team is out for day long picnic at nearby places in Jhargram . Many star performers in our batch are on cloud nine. Many of them have already put 9 hours to impress someone and somewhere. Shayaris are practiced with high baritone . I am reaching Kharagpur station by 8:30 am and our team has started from kgp campus to pick me up from Kharagpur station . Finally , we are on a mission – tour Chilkigarh.

Chilkigarh temple-ancient temple was reconstructed in 1348

Chilkigarh temple-ancient temple was reconstructed in 1348

If you are in IIT Kharagpur  and fell stressed while studying or working hard , it’s time to fan out some stress by visiting nearby tourist places . Options are many for one day hang out from IIT campus such as Digha , Chilkigarh in Jhargram , Jhargram , Khalar bonpatna and many other small places near IIT campus.

Out team at Chilkigarh

Out team at Chilkigarh

Today our destination is Chilkigarh in  Jhargram . We are 11 people in our team so we hired Tata Winger.  I was waiting at Kharagpur station for 15 min when my friends came to pick me up from Station .

As usual, Joyti , the angry young man ( ? ) in our team took the front seat . He promised not to get upset at every teasing salvo toward him. From Kgp Station our car took Giri Maidan road and after 20 Km drive we reached Lodhasuli crossing. While on journey, we were enjoying every moment listening songs and watching  jungles whispering with us along the road.

On the way to Chilkigarh - jungle is welcoming us there

On the way to Chilkigarh – jungle is welcoming us there

After tea break at Lodhasuli junction, we took left turn from NH-6  toward Jhangram . Driver informed us we are about 25 km away from Jhargram town.

Along the journey, we were watching jungles, tribal villages, and local people. Many of our team members did mimicry of others . Before 3 km from Jhargram town, we took left turn towards Chilkigarh .

Chilkigarh is famous for Kanak Durga Temple : It was about 8-10 km journey through villages to reach temple area .

Kanak Durga Temple : It’s 11 km from Jhragram . But we have reached here from IIT kharagpur direction , so distance is about 60 km. It’s really a nice place. From parking lot, we have walked 300 meter through jungle type park to reach mandir . On way we have found a Tilla made of mud as if Saint Balmiki took sadhana here. He is not there anyway , but Saurav went close there to find whether any snakes are there!

Jungle pathway to Kanak Durga Temple

Jungle pathway to Kanak Durga Temple

When we reached Kanak Durga Temple ground , we found two temples , one is brand new temple and another is very old temple in dilapidated state .This old ancient temple was reconstructed in 1348  . We entered in main new mandir . Few of our team members already took seats inside the temple and started chanting Maa durga name. They were so engrossed that they forget to take breakfast. I spent some time inside and took darshan of Golden Durga Pratima .

Chilkigarh old temple

Chilkigarh old temple

New Kanak Durga Temple

New Kanak Durga Temple

As per local information this new temple and bridge was set up in 1994 by Basudev Bhagat , an prominent social leader  .We took many photos . Many of our friends became busy in taking photo session with monkeys  . Rohit put lal dhagha ( red rope ) in nearby tree with a hope to fulfill his wish . Joyti suddenly disappeared in  the woods and when he came out , we found 2-3 monkeys were chasing him . He might be trying some foods inside the nearby jungle. As this place is surrounded by jungles .

Team members crossing Dulung river  - really tough task !

Team members crossing Dulung river – really tough task !

After finishing puja , we set out for darshan (visits ) . After few steps walk inside the jungle , we spotted Dulung river flowing nearby . The river is almost dry, and dotted with patches of water stream hiding behind the rocks on the river bed. We all crossed the river and climbed the river bank and reached a plateau type land . Views are awesome from here ! We found rocky terrain decorated with small bushes and hilly cliffs. We feel that we on a hill top with one side Dulung river is flowing and at the other side a narrow hilly road meandering through rocks and bushes.

Watching local village

Watching local village

We took that road to reach a village , 1 km from river bed. We spotted a big tree decorated with terracotta idols . It looks very strange  and uncanny silence reminds us that  some unknown village God from  watching us from top . Red sindur and presence of some clay works were intimating . We moved along the village path . I noticed villagers were working in rice peeling ,so tried my hand in a traditional way .

Terracotta idols - tantrik baba many be nearby , sourav got frightened

Terracotta idols – tantrik baba may be nearby , saurav got frightened

Pure village life - birds twitters following us from tree tops

Pure village life – birds twitters following us from tree tops

Then we turned back towards riverbank walking though plateau . And finally reached Temple area for lunch . We have found only one good restaurant near mandir . They charged  Rs 75 for veg and Rs 90 for fish plate . You need to place order at least 1-2 hours before lunch . This homemade foods are very tasty .

Doing some research -traditinal way

Doing some research -traditinal way

We finished our tour Chilkigarh tour by 3 P.M and set out for Jhargam . We decided to visit only 2 places in Jhargam as time was limited . Post lunch , it was a 30 min drive to reach Jhargam . We first visited Jhargram Raj Bari .

Jhargram Raj Palace : In 1570 AD , Raja Sarveshwar Singh Chauhan came to conquer Bengal and set defeated mall chieftain and assume name Malladeb . Architecture of this palace is a combination of Muslim and European culture. There is a beautiful garden in front of palace and many of our members again  became busy in taking selfie for Facebook . We asked local admin people for any possibility of  Museum visit ,but we have not found any further access to know about this place .

Architecture of this palace is a combination of Muslim and European culture

Architecture of this palace is a combination of Muslim and European culture

History Jhargram Raj Palace

History Jhargram Raj Palace

Jhargram Mini Zoo : It’s 8 Km from Raj palace . We reached there by 4:30 PM . We are really surprised to see this small , but nicely maintained zoo. It’s a perfect place if you come with kids . We researches have kid mind inside , so few of our team members used unusual ways to hobnob with bears and monkeys . Especially Joyti was great admire of Monkeys . Sujit was showing branded shoes and Ts to Peacock . Sourav was after bears for a close photo shots .

Jhargram Mini Zoo - sujit checking price and if any CCD nearby

Jhargram Mini Zoo – sujit checking price and if any CCD nearby

Bears - the best friend of team member Saurav

Bears – the best friend of team member Saurav

Jhargram Mini Zoo - dear park inside

Jhargram Mini Zoo – deer park inside

We sent about 40 min inside zoo. When we came out it was 5:15 PM. Our day long trip ended with a cold drinks partly with light songs . Everyone tapping feet with local tunes . We are on the way back to IIT Kharagpur .