How about spending a weekend far from your busy schedule and the restless beeps of Mobile? Mukutmanipur is the answer. I am going to explain & share my experience in my blog post. Do take out time and visit Mukutmanipur & Jhilimili in your next outing.
Tucked amidst the greenery and earthly beauty, located about 55KMs from Bakura district of West Bengal, the ravishing Mukutmanipur is a perfect place for those who wants an elegant amalgamation of nature at par with architectural marvels. Mukutmanipur is less crowded as compared to the cities. Its inclination towards spirituality and faith makes it a major hub amongst the spiritual followers, as Mukutmanipur is an abode of beauteous temples dedicated to Jainism.
Parashnath hill, considered as one of the most vital pilgrimage centers of Jains, is the highest peak in this area at 1350 meters. A vacation here is largely about spending some moments of peacefulness in nature. In Mukutmanipur, the vast bluish tract of water body enclosed by the green forests and the hillocks comprise a picturesque and you cannot elude but continue clicking tireless so long your gadget gives you warning of shrinking storage.
Mukutmanipur is a small serene town alluring many tourists who come in the search of a peaceful vacation. Besides the natural beauty on offer, this place creates a spiritual environment for its visitors. As the sacred environment mixes with the gorgeous views, the town in the Rarh district of West Bengal becomes truly breathtaking.
LARGEST EARTHEN DAM
Sharing its borders with Jharkhand, Mukutmanipur is located at the confluence of Kumari and Kangsabati river. Mukutmanipur is a home to the Kangsabati dam, which is said to be the second largest earthen dam in India of about 10.8 km long. This man-made mud-banked fresh water barrage canalizes Kangshabati and Kumari rivers into the three drought-stricken districts of Bankura, Purulia, and Midnapore for irrigation.
The height of the dam is 38 meters with a lake of 86 sq km. Moreover, it makes up for the indispensable sunrise and sunset view. The view of the sunset with the lake in the foreground is breath-taking. One must also experience the moonlit night around the reservoir. A long silence, followed by a romantic walk with dim lights and tranquil breeze with your loved ones is what you deserve here.
A drive over this dam must be taken, to enter the road. The length of the motorable road over the dam is 14 km. Plenty of auto rickshaws and cycle rickshaws are available here. However, the only drawback which we faced here was the limited options regarding cuisine, as we were used to more happening places. The tribal handicraft of this place is famous indeed to compensate for this. Local tribes use terracotta, bamboo sticks, and grass to make the craft.
THINGS TO DO AT MUKUTMANIPUR
You can relish the views of the ethereal beauty of nature along with rare species of seasonal birds at the breathtaking Bonpukuria Deer Park, which one can visit by crossing the lake having some tiny rocky islands in the water which gets submerged during monsoon. One can also take a ferry ride in this lake to enjoy the scenic beauty at Rs. 50 per hour. The tour can take you incredibly close to nature.
The vastness of the lake extends as far one’s eye can reach. The surface of the static water turns into a shiny silver plate gifted by God. The undulating terrain along the edge of the Kangsabati Water Reservoir is dispersed as a three-dimensional necklace of blue and terracotta color. The stand-till water of the reservoir resembles a large blue tinted glass depiction reflecting the vast expanse of sky over it. Owing to its splendid spectacle, the area has formulated into an attractive weekend spot with thick virgin forest and abundant hillocks flanking the azure lake.
HOW TO REACH MUKUTMANIPUR
Airways: The nearest Airport is Kolkata’s Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport from where you need to hire a cab from your deboarding spot or ride a bus to reach Mukutmanipur
Roadways: Mukutmanipur is well connected by bus to nearby cities. Kolkata to Mukutmanipur distance is about 230KM and the fastest way to travel is via NH6. It will take around 7 hours to reach Mukutmanipur by bus. SBSTC and private buses run at regular intervals to Bankura and Mukutmanipur from Kolkata. Besides, taxi and car are available on rent from the city to make it easily accessible by travel seekers.
Railways: Bankura railway station is the closest to reach Mukutmaniupur. You can board the Rupasi Bangla express from Howrah to reach Bankura and from there you can hire a cab or take a bus to reach Mukutmanipur. It will take around 2 and a half hours to cover the 45Km distance to Mukutmanipur.
Local Transport: Auto, cycle rickshaws are available within the city. You can also hire motorcycle on rent.
RECOMMENDED STAY AT MUKUTMANIPUR
The West Bengal Forest Development Corporation Limited has its resorts at Sonajhuri, Mukutmanipur, which is perfect for relaxation amid a forest on a hillock. You may book your rooms online from their website subject to availability. There are around six cottages with two non-Ac cottages. Amlaki, Hartaki cottage offers the best view of the Kangsabati dam.
Other cottages named Sal and Piyal offer spacious rooms and bathrooms. Staff is all courteous and the canteen offers homely food at a reasonable rate. If you drive your own car, you need to park your vehicles down below where there is a lot of parking space without shade and you must climb up the small steps of the hillock to reach your cottage.
There are other lodges in Mukutmanipur which includes Pearless resort, Hotel Aparajita which is near to the Pearless resort, Hotel Amrapali, Sonajhuri Resort, Pancha Pally Tourist complex and so on.
PLACES NEARBY MUKUTMANIPUR
There is a small town called Ambikanagar which welcomes a significant amount of Jains on regular basis due to it being a pilgrimage center for Jains. You can also visit Bishnupur from Mukutmanipur which is famous for Indian heritage sights and Dalmadal Canon. Baluchari saree is a notable item to buy from there. If you want to rest for a day in Bishnupur, you can get in touch with WBTDC tourist lodge. The same can be booked online. Besides, there are plenty of other private hotels which have mushroomed in Bishnupur.
THE MAJESTIC JHILIMILI
Jhilimili is situated around 15 km away from Mukutmanipur also known as the ‘Darjeeling of South Bengal’, located exactly at the borders of at the border of Purulia, Bankura, and Midnapur. SBSTC buses ply from Mukutmanipur to Jhilimili at regular intervals of time. A travel from Ranibandh to Jhilimili offers a marvelous exposure to the spectacular woods of varying heights on both sides on the route, and finally reaching Jhilimili mounted at top of a hillock is an outstanding experience. Jhilimili is a place is situated amid thick, dense forests.
The forest cover is so thick in some places that even sunlight has a challenging time making its way through the labyrinth of vegetation. The Kangsabati streams right through this forest and its banks are a perfect spot for the picnic. Moreover, the soil here is micaceous, which appends to the beauty of the place.
The watchtower here offers a spectacular view of the surroundings, including that of the descending elephants from the Dalma Hill during winters. The quiet banter of gently flowing breeze combined with the charming beauty of this land is only elevated to another dimension by the effervescent waters of Kangsabati river. Jhilimili has a serene and tranquil climate, which makes it a clear gateway for city dwellers in search of some peace in their hectic schedule. This destination is a must visit to capture nature in its more pristine form.
ATTEND TUSU FESTIVAL
One of the most essential events that are held here in Jhilimili is the annual ‘Tusu’ celebration, which is also a main attraction in the region. The tribes in Jhilimili celebrate ‘Tusu Utsav’ during mid- January during the festival of Makara Sankranti, where they worship Goddess ‘Tusu’.
The festival is celebrated on the bank of River Kangsabati. Tribal groups from all over different places flock here to sell various items and enjoy the music and dance. The gleeful clamoring of people singing and dancing coupled with the hustle and bustle of the market convert this serene natural beauty to a hub of activity and colors.
RECOMMENDED ACCOMMODATION AT JHILIMILI
Being a popular weekend destination, quite a few options of lodgings are available here. The most popular one is the ‘Rimil Lodge’, which is situated right in the middle of the forest itself and overlooks the marvelous scenery of this attraction.
The staff is quite amiable and delicious cuisine is available in the lodge though the prices are a bit towards the higher end of the spectrum. There are similar lodges in Jhilimili which include Hotel Amrapali, Peerless Resort, Sonajhuri Prakriti Bhraman Kendra, Hotel Aparajita, Ahla Lodge, Charulata Resort and Charulata Panchapally Tourist Complex.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Winter months of November to February is the best time to visit Jhilimili and Mukutmanipur. However, if you want to watch the water flows from the dam then you can visit during August and September.
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