Friday, August 30, 2013

Kolkata Getaway: Mukutmonipur

Had enough of Digha, Mondarmoni and Bakkhali on the weekends? Go ahead and take a new weekend feel amidst the red-soil hillocks, lush green forests and unending stretches of rippling waters at Mukutmonipur just about 250 Kilometers from Kolkata.

Mukutmonipur is a less explored tourist destination at the confluence of the Kangshabati and Kumari rivers in Bankura district, West Bengal; a quaint, serene place with a treasure trove of natural beauty. Incidentally the dam project here is reportedly the world's longest man made mud-banked, fresh water barrage (at 10.8 kms)
Watching the sun set here, over this beautiful lake is a treat in itself. The lake is surrounded by hillocks, the most prominent one being the Baroghutu (Baro translating as the number 12 and Ghutu meaning hill/ stone). Scattered amidst this vast water body are a few verdant islands of varying sizes, including one with Bankupuria Mrigadab, a deer park. A 'must do' of the trip has to be the boat ride around these islands, also a unique way of local sight seeing.
In the surrounding areas a few tribal hamlets also provide good opportunity to soak up the tribal flavour, with music and dance, especially if you happen to be there during one of the local festivals like Tusu or Vadu.

Reaching there from Kolkata:
By Train: The Rupashi Bangla Express from Santragachhi (6.25 am) reaches Bankura at 10 am. Return at 5 pm from Bankura. Also morning Purulia Express. From Bankura, Mukutmonipur is 1 hr by car. The resort you are staying in can be asked for pick up and drop services.
By Car: From Kolkata drive time is about 5.5 hrs. Route 1 (241 kms) Kolkata-Tarakeshwar- Arambagh- Bishnupur- Bankura- Mukutmanipur. Route 2 (270 kms) Kolkata- Dankuni- Burdwan- Durgapur (till here NH2)- Bankura (SH 9)- Mukutmonipur. ROute 2 is longer but with better road conditions.

Stay and Food:
The best option seems to be Peerless Resort. The cottages overlook the lake, making it an ideal spot to spend your vacays. The grounds itself are well maintained and quite spread out with indoor and outdoor games. We found the service quite satisfactory. However we recommend you stick to the Bengali cuisine when you eat here, both veg and non-veg options. Dont forget to sample the Bong speciality Posto (poppy seed), especially the postor bora. A few other hotels like the Sonajhuri Resort of the Forest Dept, and Hotel Aparajita are budget friendly.

What to do:
You probably came here to enjoy a weekend break, so do nothing, if you so please. Just sit in the lap of nature with your glass of chilled beer or cuppa. Take an idle stroll around the place and along the elevated road to the dam. You can drive along the dam. Dont miss a boat ride. You can visit the deer park too. 
Within the resort, you may find game options for all ages. 
You may also go for a day trip to Bishnupur, which is about 1.5 hrs by car, to marvel at the excuisite ancient terracotta temples and relics of the Malla Dynasty. Go souvenir shopping whilst you are at it. Bishnupur is famous for its Baluchari and Bishnupur silk,, so some saree shopping is essential.

By Prosenjit
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1 comment:

  1. This is really very informative. Thanks a lot for sharing this.