Friday, 19 October 2012

Garpanchkot - WBFDC Tourist Hut


It was early February. My parents were there and I need to take them for a quick weekend trip. This place was on my radar for a long time but I never thought , this will be emerged as never forgettable instance for me. Friends, this place appeared as one of my most recommended places , specially in West Bengal for quick leisure break.
This is Garpanchkot in Purulia. I know you heart stops for a moment , hearing the name of "Purulia" . But believe me , it's nothing like that.It's a safe place to spend your time. Even if you are not ready to except my words, just check the WBFDC site once . You will hardly find an accommodation there. It's always full.
If you want to spend a lazy weekend near kolkata during winters, It is a little small place in a good semi forested area, probably best place to quickly brush away your all tensions. Good for a group of friends also , but all need to do here is only "RELAX" .



"Garh Panchakot is nested in the slopes of Panchet hill. It is near to Panchet Lake.It is place with a scenic forested area with a rich history.Panchet Hill is about 2,100 ft (643m) high and occupies an area of 18 sq km. It is thickly forested. The area is located on the lowest step of the Chotanagpur Plateau.
Panchet Dam was the last of the four dams of Damodar Valley Corporation. It was inaugurated in 1959. Constructed across the Damodar River, it has a height of 45 metres (147.64 ft) and a length of 6,777 metres (22,234 ft). It is an earthen dam with a concrete spillway. The reservoir covers an area of 27.92 sq km at dead storage level and 121.81 sq km at maximum conservation pool. As a result of comparatively poorer communication links, it is less crowded than Maithon Dam, 30 km away.

From wikivoyage.org "It was a fortified area owned by the Rajas of Panchakot, the Singh Deo dynasty. Their antiquity and history are still to be ascertained properly. The family is reputed to have been established in 90 AD. They were possibly linked with the Tilkampa dynasty. The ruins of Telkupi, an ancient Jain centre, were submerged when Panchet Dam was built. It is said that the Singh Deos lost out to Bir Hambir of Bishnupur Raj around 1600 AD, albeit for a short period. The Maratha raiders, locally known as Bargis, ransacked the place in the 18th century. The Singh Deo family, ultimately, moved out to Kashipur, now in Purulia district."





This place is even very famous among st nature lover honeymooners.




Don't try to venture out in Summers , as it will be too hot- more than what Kolkata gifted with in year 2012.But monsoon can be good option. Though the approach road can be little challenging.
Food is good and homely and thank God - restaurant does not offer anything like Chiken Kadai / Masala / Kofta / Do Payaja ( These all testes same in conventional kolkata restaurants ).  They only serve simple bengali cuisine like Macher Jhol , Bhat , alubhaja & Dal in lunch time and Murgir Jhol and Ruti at Dinner.But the beauty is they only charge Rs. 40 - 50 for that.





The Main attraction of this place is the ruins of panchkot palace of 18th Century.
From Wiki "From a historical perspective Alivardi Khan had become the Nawab of Bengal in April 1740 having defeated and killed Sarfiraz Khan. Rustam Jung, Sarfiraz’s brother-in-law challenged Alivardi Khan but failed in his endeavors which prompted him to sought the help of the Maratha Rulers of Nagpur, Raghoji Bhonsle. A Maratha cavalry was sent by Bhosle who entered Bengal through Panchet and started looting the countryside. These Maratha men came to be known as “Bargi’s”. For about 10 years they looted and plundered Bengal. It ended in the year 1751 after a settlement was reached between the Nawab of Bengal and Maratha King. During one of these encounters Garh Panckot was attacked by the “Bargi” and having defeated the King’s guards they destroyed it after looting and plundering the palace. It is believed that all the 17 wives of the king committed suicide in a nearby well during the attack. Since then this place lies in ruins."



How to Go : Best option is to get down at Kumardubi ( a station before Dhanbad on Howrah - Dhanbad line). You can call the resort contact person to arrange a car from Kumardubi station.( Charges around Rs. 500/-)  It's a 1hr 30 Min journey via Panchet . No of the contact person will be there on your booking slip. You can alternatively come via Asansol or Barakar. But I opted for the Asansol route while going back.

Train  Train Name                   From Dep.           To           Arr.        Travel
22387 BLACKDIAMOND     EX HWH 06.15 KMME 10.11 03.56
12385 HWH DHN D D           EX HWH 08.35 KMME 11.53 03.18

How to Book :  Please go with online booking at www.wbfdc.com
They have AC & Non AC rooms and rates differ with the standards of the Room.
Helpline at Nature Resort : +91 9434246516
Check-in: 11 am, check-out: 11 am

WBFDC Head Office: 6A, Raja Subodh Mullick Square, 7th Floor, Kolkata- 700013,
Phones: 033-22370060/61 033-22368483/22365202.
Kolkata office: BD Market, Salt Lake, Kolkata-700064. Phone: 033-23341756.

Indicative price : Cottages - Non-AC: Rs. 1,000 -1,200, AC: Rs. 1,000 – 2,000, Conference Room: Rs. 8,000.