Biharinath Hill is a famous attraction in Bankura district of West Bengal. It is located in the northwestern side of the district and stands tall at a height of 448 meters being the highest in Bankura. It is a part of the Chotanagpur Plateau and was deemed to be the center of Jainism in ancient times. The area is known for its natural beauty and diversity. The lush green and dense forests are covered by blossoms of shimul, palash and kaash flowers spreading the beautiful fragrance to the surrounding. Biharinath Hill is flanked by River Damodar on one side and by Purulia district on the other.

This picturesque tourist destination also boasts of a diverse fauna and animal life. One can get a glimpse of fox, hare, wild boar, pangolin, hyena, racaphorus, chameleon and hear the twittering of colorful birds while walking along the trail. With its natural richness and Paleolithic origin the Biharinath hills have gained the attention of the archaeologists as well.

Apart from the flora and fauna, the place is also known for a famous Shiva temple due to which it is sometimes referred to as the Biharinath Dham by the Hindus. A leisurely walk around the winding roads of the hills through the forests while the sun rises and sets will compel you to extend your sojourn. For tourists who love adventure Biharinath hill offers loads. Have a nice time scaling the hilltop within 1-2 hours. While climbing the hill, you can explore the diverse flora and fauna of the region closely and you will be surprised by the diversity. Also take a ride on a boat along the lake close to Biharinath Temple.

When to Go


If you are fortunate enough to arrive during festive season, then you will be able to witness the grandeur of the festivals during Saraswati puja and Shivratri puja. People from in and around the village gather at the temples to offer prayers with fruits, flowers, milk and various other things. These are quite colorful. Rich and thick Palash blossoms during the months of February through March covering the region beautifully.

How to Reach


Reaching Biharinath Hills is easy with the availability of trains and cars through Madhukunda road. If you have your own transport, then of course take the Madhukunda road from Raghunathpur and if you are travelling by train, then you have to hire a taxi. Remember, to negotiate the rates.

Nearby Places


There are many other tourists attractions located nearby. The Ureshwari Temple is on the western side of the hill and is quite popular. The Joychandi Hill and Binodpur Dam are located within 15 kilometers of Biahrinath Hill. Joychandi Hill is the place where the famous film Hirak Rajar Deshe from the Goopi Gayen Bagha Bayen trilogy was shot by the world famous film director Satyajit Ray. Other nearby spots includes Sushunia, Maithon, Boranti, Panchet Dam and Shaltora. All in all everyone will be able to enjoy a trip to the highest hill of Bankura. The Biharinath Hills are an asset of this district.

Back to Bankura

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A hill, situated in the southern portion of West Bengal (on the north western part of the district of Bankura), Susunia is your archetypal idyllic gateway to unparalleled calmness. Situated 13 kilometers from Bankura is Chhatna. Susunia is situated 10 kilometers away from Chhatna. Its rich flora and fauna, holy spring and the rock faces are its highlights. This place is a centre for rock climbing and a place of archeological interest. In fact, many trekkers are believed to have started their journey from here. It’s a 440 metres hill that dates back before Himalayas.

Placed on a 1500 feet tall hill, Susunia can act as the perfect holiday destination with family and friends, especially if you are looking to unwind after a hectic week. It is believed to be built by King Chandravarman. The beauty of the place is accentuated by river Gandheshwari, flowing down the hill and by the plenty of greenery. There is a very curious collection of small and large stones, as a result of which it is also known as the Poppins Peak. Amlaki, arjun, palash, and mohua are the prime highlights of the vegetation. Artworks from President medal winners’ studios can be viewed as well.

Attraction


Susunia is known as a fossil site as well. You can check out the fossil remains of giraffe, lion, hyena as well as other species. While taking a round of this famous site, do make sure that you are taking a tour of the notable attractions like:

  • The oldest rock inscription of the West Bengal (do not forget to check out Shilalipi, the fourth century stone inscription of King Chandravarman —- he was the king of one the kingdoms of Jodhpur, Rajasthan who conquered Bengal and built a castle at Aranyak Susunia hill. He died at the end of the fourth century in a war against Samudra Gupta.
  • The Narasingha Stone (carved stone)—it graces the place where the spring water pours out of a carved projected spout. Besides, trekking, tourists are also encouraged to camp or organize picnics here. You can also buy the wonderful stone carvings at affordable prices.
  • Two nearby villages of Dhokra craftsmen Bindhyajam in the Chhatna police station area and Netkamla in the Saltora police station area
  • There is a temple of Goddess Kali as well (visited by tourists from faraway places)
  • Dhara. The spring water which is believed to have medicinal properties
  • Biharinath is highest peak of bankura (448 meter) with Biharinath temple at top of the hill.

How to reach Susunia


  • If you are coming from along NH 2 or from Durgapur, turn right just the Barjorah morh (crossing) after crossing the Durgapur Barrage.
  • You can also get up on a Purulia bound train from Howrah and get down at Chhatna.
  • Direct buses available from Bankura and Kharagpur.
  • Only one bus is available at 7 am from Bishnupur.
  • Bus and Mini Bus are available from Durgapur to Susunia.

Accommodation


Susunia Gram Panchayat maintains well furnished guest house named Aranyak. You can book it in advance. It offers great views of the surrounding landscape. There is a total of 4 rooms, one with air-condition, another one without air-condition. Another one is a dorm with three baths and attached bath.

You can also stay at the Kole Rest House or the Forest Guest House
Telephone (for booking): 03242-234201

Green Lodge

Yuba Abas
Kolkata booking telephone: 22480626

Guest House at Biharinath hill
Deluxe room: Rs. 250, Dormitory bed: Rs. 125 
Telephone: (0343) 6419159/9647902125

Back to Bankura

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Duarsini in Purulia is located on the foothills of a nearby mound. River Satgurang flows right next to this ethnic tourist destination. In fact it is said that one can spend hours on the end sitting right next to the river bank. Its location near forests and hills makes it an ideal destination for people looking for a break from regular lives. In short it can be termed as a fantastic destination where one can spend a weekend. The forest is full of trees such as shal, shimul, piyal and palash.

During the night tourists may also hear the drum beats that come from the tribal village, which is located a short distance away. In local language this form of music is referred to as Madol. One of the major draws at Duarsini is spending a moonlit night that is accompanied by the drumbeats thus creating an enchanting experience. It is also worth to see how suddenly daylight fades and evening starts here in the lap of nature. It is said that with the exception of the rainy season one can visit Duarsini at any time.

How to get to Duarsini


Duarsini is located at a distance of 13 km from Burdwan, which is a town situated 65 km from Sadar Purulia. It is also 20 km from Ghatshila. This effectively means that the tourist spot is located at the border of West Bengal and Jharkhand. The closest railway stations to Duarsini are Purulia and Ghatsila. The trains to this destination are operated by Southeastern Railways.

One can also avail the Ispat Express that leaves the Howrah Station at 6:55 in the morning and get down at either Galudi or Ghatshila. The only advantage that Galudi has over Ghatshila in terms of getting to Duarsini is that it is only 13 km away from the tourist spot.

The distance between Kolkata and Duarsini is 178 km by road. So it is advisable to avail a car on rent from Ghatshila. The expenses should be somewhere around INR 500 to 600.

What to do at Duarsini


Duarsini offers interested tourists the chance to watch birds or study the culture and traditions of the local tribal people. The local folks observe a number of festivals across the year and this means that any time may be a good time to visit Duarsini. This region is home to a number of tribes such as Santhal, Shabaradh, Munda and Kheriya. One can visit their homes but they should be accompanied by a local person.

It also provides the opportunity to indulge in some trekking. At the nearby jungle one can see wild animals such as the following:

  • Bear
  • Hyena
  • Wild pig
  • Wolf
  • Elephants
  • Varieties of birds

Where to stay at Duarsini


The West Bengal Forest Development Corporation Limited has a bungalow at Duarsini and that is perhaps the only place where one can stay in Duarsini. The bungalow resembles a tribal cottage. The WBFDC employs local villagers in order to attend to the food and other requirements of the visitors.

In order to make a booking at the bungalow one can use the following contact details:
6A, Raja Subodh Mullick Square, 7th Floor, Kolkata – 700013
Telephone: 033-2237-0060/2225-8549/2237-0061

Otherwise you can go to Kuilapal through bus from Bandwan and take rest at forest bungalow. There are only two rooms available. For booking:
DFO: Kangsabati Soil conservation, Divn – 2, PO & Dist – Purulia
Telephone: 03252 222604

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Baghmundi is a small community development block located in the administrative division of Purulia. Every year thousands of tourists visit this place to witness the natural beauty of the magnificent Ayodhya Hills and the many dams. The picturesque landscape here consists of undulating hills, cascading waterfalls, lush green forests with rich variety of flora and fauna. Travelers can get a variety of experience from historical and archeological sites to eco tourism.

Ayodhya Hill, not very far from Baghmundi, is of immense mythological significance to the Hindus. It is believed that Lord Ram with his wife Sita had come to Ayodhya Hill during their exile. Lord Ram had pierced the earth with his arrow to bring out a gush of water to quench Sita’s thirst. From then, this place has been named Sita-kunda. On a Baisakhi full moon day, tribals from surrounding villages assemble here to join the game of hunting animals. They hunt small animals like rabbits and jungle hen.

Bagmundi Rajbari is a heritage building which dates back to 1733. Tourists visit this Rajbari mainly to see the Radha Govinda Temple housed inside the palace. This temple has been built in the form of ‘atchala’ or eight domed. One noticeable feature about this temple is that it is adorned by the geometrical and floral designs. A relatively new temple has terracotta figurines of Ram and Sita with their entourage placed on a podium or the ‘rasmancha’. Other terracotta figures represent the different episodes of Krishna like Krishna upholding the Gobardhan Parbat, the killing of Bakasur and Krishna surrounded by his Gopikas.

Purulia is famous for Chau dance. The exclusivity of Chau dance are the elaborate masks that the dancers have to wear. The masks used in the dance are made in the Charida village in Bagmundi area. The deft artisans known a sutradharas have been engaged in making Chau masks for generations. The elaborate mask speaks about their skills. Visit to this village is a must.

Travelers who are interested to know and learn about how tribals live and eat can visit the small tribal hamlets scattered around Baghmundi area. The tribals will welcome you to their home and even offer a cup of tea.

Tugga and Bramni falls near Baghmundi are favorite picnic spots. These dams are set in picturesque locales. The area is covered by tall Sal trees which bear testimony to the history of the place. The rich flora is the home to many varieties of birds. This is a perfect place to enjoy a lazy day with family and friends.

The Purulia Pump Storage Project is a 900 MW capacity hydro-electric project in this area. This mega project is set up in Ayodhya Hills near Bagmundi police station with assistance from Japan bank for International Cooperation. The project has been a major source of employment in this region.

Bagmundi with its surrounding areas in Purulia is definitely worth a visit and a great weekend escapade from the city hum drum. It is a tranquil and a serene place where you can replenish your energy and bounce back to the hectic city life.

Getting there and accommodation


To reach Baghmundi, one has to get down at Birbhum station and then by road to Baghmundi Bazaar. Tourists have to find accommodation in Purulia or nearby Ayodhya Hills.

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Do you feel claustrophobic and want to escape from the busy city life, the heat, the pollution?  Garpanchkot in Purulia is a great new found weekend getaway. Nestled in the foothills of Panchakot also known as the Panchet hill, in the north-east corner of Purulia district, this enchanting tourist destination is located close to the boundary of Burdwan and Jharkhand. It is the best place to relax your mind and body. Garpanchkot is an ideal mix of everything from forests, hills, water bodies and is steeped in rich history.

Reaching Garpanchkot


Garpanchkot can be conveniently and comfortably reached both by road and by train. The nearest station is Barakar. Tourists can board the Black Diamond from Howrah early morning and then reach Barakar within 4 hours. From the station, you can hire a car or an auto from the station to Garpanchkot.

However, journey by road is far more enjoyable than by train. From Adra it is only 25 kms and from Barakar it is 34 kms. From Kolkata, you have to reach Asansol and from there via Deshergarh to Garpanchkot. From Purulia it is 65 kms by road.

History


Garhpanchkot has a rich past steeped in history. The meaning of ‘Garh’ is fort. According to some trusted sources in history, garh was a part of the Singh Deo dynasty of Panchkot located at the southern foothills. The ruin of the temples and forts still stand stoic bearing testimony to the long forgotten history.

Attractions


Garpanchkot can be described as a forgotten history amongst awe-inspiring natural beauty. The vast expanse of rolling hills and verdant green forests is soothing for the tired mind and body. The serpentine roads will lead you to the old Garhpanchkot temple. Today the ruins of the temple are visible amidst the greenery.  The local people call it Raja Garh meaning the fort of the temple. The remnants of the forts and the temples remain scattered across the jungle. In their quietness one can feel the uncanny history that lies buried in these ruins. Various types of flora and fauna can be spotted in the jungle. You can also stroll down to the nearby Santhal villages to get a feel of how they lead their life in the jungle.

Panchet Dam is another favorite tourist destination near Garhpanchkot. This place is apt for nature lovers. Here one can make good sense of the natural beauty of the Panchet hills. There is a park in the dam area, beautifully landscaped and very neat and clean. One can spend time with family and friends in the park.  There is a tribal village close to the dam where you can experience trekking and walking.

Staying there


There is a wonderful resort built and managed by the West Bengal Forest Development Corporation (WBFDC). The resort spans a large area with small cottages or houses. The rooms the big and squeaky clean. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is served in the spacious dining hall in the middle of the campus which is a round building made of glass.

Garpanchkol is all about distant hills, quiet nature that will refresh and energize you.

Booking: Phone – 033-23350064

Photo Courtesy: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travelogues/51408-christmas-vacation-garpanchkot-surroundings.html

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Ayodhya Hills in the district of Purulia, West Bengal is an amazing tourist destination known for its natural beauty. Ayodhya hills are an extension of the Dalma range in Jharkhand. Each year hundreds of tourists visit the hills to witness the scenic beauty of the forests in and around Ayodhya hills. The hills are covered with dense forests with a variety of flora and fauna. The dense forests are a home to different species of wild animals. Gorshabru is the highest peak in Ayodhya and stands tall at an altitude of 610 meters. The presence of numerous waterfalls amidst the forests makes them even more beautiful.

Reaching the Forests of Ayodhya Hills


Ayodhya Hills are located at a distance of 42 kilometers from the Purulia town. From Kolkata Purulia Sadar town is only 260 kilometers. Everyday buses from Kolkata will take you to Purulia. There are several trains connecting Howrah and Purulia.

The Forests


The forests cover the undulating hills as a green blanket. The forests of Matha Hill are known for their scenic beauty and the place gives you a feel as if it has been painted on canvas. Small tribal villages are nestled in these forests. Visit these small villages to feel the lifestyle of tribal people. The tribes are known for their friendly nature and hospitality. They welcome all tourists and even offer them tea and talk to them.

pakhi pahar

Hill of Birds

Pakhi Hill which means the ‘Hill of Birds’ is one of best tourist attractions. Bird watchers and wildlife enthusiasts can spot different species of migratory birds and wild animals such as Pangolin, Leopards and Madras Tree Shrew. Elephants can also be spotted occasionally when the elephant herds cross the forests seasonally.
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Akash Balaka

 

Mayur Hill

Mayur Hill

If you do not want to miss the panoramic hilltop views a trip to Mayur Hill is a must. From the top of the mountain the view below is just amazing. Trekking and rock climbing are popular outdoor activities enjoyed by the visitors.
Photo Courtesy: https://myspace012.wordpress.com/2013/08/12/down-a-hill/

Trekking in purulia

Trekking in purulia

Trekking trails are interesting as they walk the trekkers through beautiful sal and palash forests. Palash is also known as Flame of Forests. When in full bloom you can see the whole forest transform into a riot of colors.

 

 

Rock climbing in purulia

Rock climbing in purulia

Purulia Ayodhya Hills with the surrounding forests is also a favorite among rock climbers. Baghmundi a small block is the base camp for the rock climbers from where they start. Dams have been built to harness power from the waterfalls. Dam sites have been into exotic locales for picnic. It is relaxing to spend a day with your family and friends just loitering in the forests and soaking up the natural beauty.

Where to Stay?


 Since Ayodhya Hill and Purulia is fast developing as an important weekend destination. Wide range of accommodation has come up in this area suiting the needs and the budget of the travelers. The Tourism Department of West Bengal Government run many guest houses such as Niharika, Malancha, Bihabari, Anamika and Upekhita. There is a Forest Rest House in Ayodhya Hill that can be booked.

 

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Not very far from Kolkata, is Ayodhya Hills in Purulia district of Kolkata fast gaining popularity as a weekend tourist destination. Standing at an altitude of 610 meters, the beautiful Ayodhya Hills is a part of Dalma hills in Jharkhand and extended part of the Eastern Ghats. The natural beauty of the hills lies in its lush green forests, roaring waterfalls and different species of flora and fauna found here. Visitors come here to enjoy a weekend of tranquility and serenity in the lap of nature.

According to Hindu mythology Ram along with Sita had stayed in Ayodhya Hills during their exile. During their stay, Ram is said to have pierced the earth’s crust with his arrow to bring out water to quench Sita’s thirst. The place is known as Sita-kunda.

Reaching Ayodhya Hills


 Ayodhya hills can be reached from Kolkata very easily. Several buses are available. You can also take a train from Howrah and reach Purulia town. From there Ayodhya Hills is just 42 kilometers. Durgapur Expressway connects Kolkata to Ayodhya. Regular buses ply from the main town to the top of Ayodhya hill.

Attractions & Activities


Adventure enthusiasts can come to Ayodhya Hill and try out mountaineering and rock climbing. Gangabaru is the highest peak of Ayodhya towering at a height of 2,220 ft above the sea level. The place is surrounded by rocky cliffs and to climb them one must really be adept in rock climbing. Trekkers can enjoy hiking from Sirkabad to Ayodhya. The 13 kilometer trail cuts through the dense jungle of Shimul and Palash. When the flowers are in full bloom it seems that the forest is in flame. It is a sight to behold.

Early morning is the perfect time to take a brisk walk to the Bamni Falls. After spending the morning you can then return for lunch. Then there is Mayur Pahar or the Peacock Hills. You can get a beautiful view of the Ayodhdhya Hills and the lush forests below. Watching the sun set from this point is a memorable experience. The nearby Pakhi Hill is a perfect spot for bird watchers. The dense forests are home to many wild animals like leopards, pangolin and Madras Tree Shrew. Herds of elephants form adjoining jungles also migrate to these forests seasonally.

Spending a day just loitering in the forests amongst the mahua trees can be a good experience. You can even wander to the small tribal villages spread over the area. Tribals in this area are known for their hospitality. They invite visitors to their house and offer a cup of tea. Tribal villages are fascinating. They are small picturesque mud huts cuddled together in an area.  The mud hut walls are decorated with simple yet beautiful paintings

 Accommodation


 Finding an accommodation is easy. With the growing popularity of Ayodhya hills as a tourist destination many new places have come up suiting all tastes and budget. West Bengal Comprehensive Area Development Corporation has guest houses. Forest rest house is also available. Most of the hotels have dining facilities. Roadside eateries are also available.

Kumari Kannan, at its foothills, Run by WBCADC
Tamalika DAB: Rs. 300, Dormitory: Rs. 100
Kolkata Booking: 22377041-43

The best time to visit Ayodhya Hills is between March to September. So get your backpacks ready as your next weekend destination maybe the exotic Ayodhya Hills.

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Purulia district in West Bengal is an excellent weekend getaway for people who want to enjoy a few days in the lap of nature. There are many tourist attractions in Purulia. Sirkabad is one of them. It is a small village in the Arsha block in Purulia. It is located in Burdwan district in West Bengal.

Attractions


There are different tourist destinations in and around Sirkabad. Travelers come here to enjoy the beautiful forests, spectacular waterfalls, undulating hills, the variety of flora and fauna. Beautiful dams, exotic picnic spots and heritage buildings are scattered in and around Sirkabad.

To reach the famous Ayodhya Hills, you have to travel via Sirkabad. Ayodhya Hills have always been an attraction for rock climbers and mountaineers who love adventure sports. Sirkabad is the base camp for rock climbing. The village is surrounded by steep cliffs and to conquer them is an adrenalin rushing experience for most adventure enthusiasts. One has to be adept in rock climbing to climb Gajabaru, the highest mountain peak of Ayodhya Hills. The starting point of this challenging rock climb starts from Sirkabad.

Dams surrounding Ayodhya hills are potential places tourist destinations with picturesque views. These are not very far from Sirkabad. Murguma, Pardi, Ramudah, Gopalpur are a few dam sites frequented by tourists. These are places where you can spend your day leisurely without any worry. Pakhi Pahar is another tourist hotspot in the vicinity of Parda Dam. It is a paradise for bird watchers. Different species of seasonal birds can be seen here. The water body with lush green forests surrounding it makes an ideal stop for migratory birds.

Activities


Trekking is a popular outdoor activity enjoyed by tourists in Purulia. Most of the trekking trails are via Sirkabad. The trails cut through the Shimul and Palash forests. It is a sight to behold when these trees are in full bloom.

While in Purulia, one can also visit the small tribal villages scattered in and around Ayodhya Hills and Sirkabad. Tribals living in these villages are known for their hospitality to the tourists.  If by any chance you happen to wander to near their house they will welcome you and greet you and offer you tea. These small villages look like picture postcard.

There is a Nature Interpretation Center at Ayodhya Hills. This was a project undertaken by the Forest Department which aims in representing the Ayodhya Eco System and the tribal culture.

How to Reach


Regular buses from Kolkata ply to Sirkabad. Several trains connect Sealdah and Purulia station. From there, Sirkabad can be reached by road. The driving distance from Purulia to Sirkabad is 27 kilometers and it takes around 40 minutes to reach. Bokaro and Jamshedpur railway station are also nearby.

There are many budget hotels along the highway for accommodation. A forest rest house is also available in Ayodhya Hills. These hotels also serve food for their guests. Small eateries along the road also serve hot and fresh food.

Adjoining areas of Sirkabad are known for their natural beauty and is definitely work spending a quiet weekend with family or friends.

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