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
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
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
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
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
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 !
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
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 may be nearby , saurav got frightened
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
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
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
Bears – the best friend of team member Saurav
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 .