Weekend Escape To Jhargram
Canonized with some of the most fetching beauties – Jhargram is located just a site of 182 kms. away from Kolkata endowed with all the natural artefacts like rivers, hills and a natural forest of Sal, Simul, Mohua, which makes it a travellers paradise for a change of weather.
Places of Interest
1) Eco-Tourism Centre : The Jhargram eco-tourism centre lies 5 km outside Jhargram town. Situated on the state highway, SH5 – enroute Kolkata to Jhargram, this beautiful forest retreat welcomes you to embrace the essence of nature. This complex also houses a tribal museum displaying the indigenous tribal culture of the district. Tribal folk performances are also held on weekends and visitors can enjoy food at the in-house restaurant.
2) Jhargram Mini Zoo: It is famous for the deer park. An exclusive big area is kept only for deer park. When we entered the park, it was raining; a peacock was spreading his wing before us. An important point about this place is that most of the animals are kept in very natural environment.
3) Jhargram Raj Palace: The Jhargram Raj Palace is the current residence of the Malla Deb Royal family, it is a structure combining the Gothic and Muslim architecturalmodes. About 20 of the rooms in the ground floor have been converted into a Heritage Hotel in collaboration with West Bengal Tourism. The Main Building and the Domes of the Palace are impressive.
The Jhargram Raj Palace is an opulent Gothic structure, set in carefully laid lawns and gardens. Built-in 1931 AD, this Palace was designed by the Calcutta Improvement Trust during the reign of Raja Narasingha Malla Deb Bahadur. In the Palace campus, it is so evocative of a regal lifestyle, the past comes alive. It has also been a host to many dignitaries right from its inception.
4) Sabitri Temple: Goddess Sabitri is the ancestral deity of the Malla Deb dynasty of Jhargram, she is worshipped in form of Durga. There is no specific idol kept in the temple but a stone believed to have divine embodiment of Goddess is worshipped here. There are many fables and myths regarding Goddess Sabitri and the temple among the local people. Goddess is worshipped strictly according to Puranas the ancient Hindu religious texts during the Durga Puja as Brahmins recite hymns from the scriptures from the Devi Mahatmyam (Chandi Path) for ten days from Mahalaya to Dashami followed by the Maha Aarti on Durga Ashtami the eighth day of this orthodox worship and the Ritual drummers(dhakis) carrying large drums( dhaks) to show off their skills. The rituals of the Durga Puja are still organized and performed by the Royal Family of Jhargram.
5) Chilkigarh Raj Palace and Kanak Durga Temple: The temple was made by King Samanta, here Goddess is worshipped in form of Kanak Durga and she is also the ancestral deity of the Chilkigarh Royal Family. Goddess is worshipped with great pomp and splendor during Durga Puja. The river Dulung gushes in between the temple and the beautiful Raj Palace of Chilkigarh. This area is surrounded by 375 different species of plants and trees many of them are unique and are used for botany research. This place is about 12kms away from Jhargram town.
Day 02: Morning Bed Tea with Breakfast – visit Kanak Durga Temple. Dulung river, Chilkigarh Rajbari ) and Belpahari. – Launch Break – Checkout 03:30 p.m. and return to Kolkata.
Wildlife of Jhargram
Jhargram has a rich heritage of wildlife such as the monkey-headed Hanuman, elephant-headed Ganesh, various migratory birds, many endangered species of chameleon, different types of mongoose and many other reptiles along with scavengers like vultures, eagles, jackals, hyenas, etc. which attract the tourists in this area at a large.
Kendua Birds Village
Kendua is a small village and a birding hotspot is situated on Jhargram-Chilkigarh road at a distance of 9km from Jhargram Town. Migratory birds visit Kendua in the month of May announcing onset of monsoon and leave by November, they hatch their eggs and fly away. A walk through the Kendua village is more like a walk through the woods in a dense forest. The diversification of birds along with change of nature from time to time is mesmerizing. For a breathtaking experience in the lap of nature, Kendua village is a must visit for nature thirsty people. So don’t waste another minute and visit this village right now with your loved ones.
Around 9 species of birds have been sighted at Kenduathey includes; Great Egret, Intermediate Egret, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Indian Pond-Heron, Indian Golden Oriole, Black-hooded Oriole, Rufous Treepie.
Chilkigarh Sacred Grove
The Chilkigarh sacred grove is the third biodiversity heritage site in West Bengal and the twelfth site over India for conversation of biodiversity. It is a traditionally protected forest maintained on social and religious grounds, which is situated in Jamboni about 15kms from Jhargram.
The grove occupies around 60 acres of land and is composed of relict forests in its near-climax stage along the east of the Dulungriver. The landmass is considered sacred as it harbors the historically eminent temple of Kanak Durga, the ancestral deity of the Royal family of Jamboniand the Raj Palace of Chilkigarh. Interestingly, the Chilkigarh Kanak Durga temple complex is the largest sacred grove in West Bengal, which has not yet attracted much media attention. Additionally, the grove has protected 26 species of animals including amphibians and reptiles.
Khandarani is situated at a distance of 49km from Jhargram and 11km from Belpahari. The myriad-faceted nature comes in its fullest magnificence when one happens to visit Khandarani water body, cuddled up in captivating forests and ubiquitous expanse of mountains. The murmuring water currents mingled with shimmering sunlight finding their way into the vast swathes of agriculture land through the Dam channels make the onlookers gaze spell-bound at the mystifying marvels of nature.
This lake snuggled in the lap of pristine nature, is only 15 minutes car ride from Belpahari, is one of the most attractive places. The multi-colored migratory birds such as Northern Pintail, Common Coot, Lesser Whistling Ducks, Cotton Pigmy Goose, Little Grebe, Pheasant Tailed Jacana, Bronze Wing Jacana, Purple Heron, Shikra, Indian Cuckoo, Indian Roller Bird, Green Bee Eater,etc. defying man-made boundaries swarm to Khandarani and spend their winter in utter abandon and rant the air with their incessant flap and flutter. The luxuriant growth of flora and foliage around Khandarani leaves one with speechless wonder.
Kankrajhore & Mayurjharna Forest
Kankrajhore is situated at a distance of 61km from Jhargram and 23km from Belpahari. It is enveloped with verdant forest and amazing skyline leaves one mesmerized by the sheer chastity of nature’s elegance that allures visitors by its abundant growth of woods and undulating hilly terrain. Mazy paths criss-crossing wild greenery with Sal, Pial, Kendu, Simul, Bohera, Haritoki etc. leading to Kankrajhore without even the notion of travelling a distance of 23km which is something one can cherish forever.
MayurjharnaElephant Reserve is the only elephant reserve in Eastern India. The reserve is situated on the border of the states of West Bengal and Jharkhand and is about 70 kms from Jhargram. The area of this elephant reserve is 414.06 square km. and the nearby 1436 square kilometres of land is known as the ‘Zone of Influence’. The elephant population in this elephant reserve is 118. This area was declared as an Elephant Reserve in 2002.
Jhilli is located about 10 kms on concrete and village road from Jhargram via Gopiballavpur. You can wake up early as the sunlight is just appropriate for a great session of birding. Find yourself welcomed with the chirping/twittering by huge gangs of migratory birds in the lake. As you explore the place, find that the place contains a large water reservoir surrounded by lush greenery. Paddle boating facility is also available in the reservoir. You can use the boat to its best to sail through the reservoir and get as closer as possible to our feather friends.
Around 19 species of birds have been sighted at Jhilli Pakhiralay they includes; Cotton Pygmy-Goose, Gadwall, Northern Pintail, Little Grebe, Purple Heron, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Indian Pond-Heron, Black-shouldered Kite, Eurasian Moorhen, Gray-headed Lapwing, Barred Buttonquail, Common Kingfisher, White-throated Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, Asian Pied Starling, Jungle Myna.
How To Reach
By Train: The distance from Howrah to Jhargram station is 157 Kms and the journey takes three hours by train from Howrah.
Jhargram Railway Station is on the Kharagpur-Tatanagar section of Howrah-Nagpur-Mumbai line which is an express train route.
By Road: Jhargram is also very well connected by roads / highways with other nearby cities like Medinipur, Kharagpur, Durgapur, Asansol, Bankura, Purulia, Haldia, Contai, Digha, Kolkata / Howrah.
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