Ajodhya Circuit Tour
A lot can happen over a cup of coffee!
To celebrate the new year’s eve in an economic fashion a research scholar can afford, we decided a short gateway to Ajodhya. It was an easy choice as Arup, one of my junior, was heading back to his hometown Purulia. So, we planned to join him to Purulia followed by another 40 Km trip to Ajodhya. Ajodhya is a hill located about 300 Km from Kolkata in Purulia district of West Bengal. It is part of Dalma Mountain range and Choto Nagpur plateau.
We booked tickets at Purushattom Express for all five of us. Arup helped us with necessary details (like, what to see and what not, cab and hotel details) but cancelled his journey in the last minute. It was almost dawn when we caught a train from Kharagpur station. It was chilly new year night and we readily agreed for a nap. But, it was a short nap before we eventually reached Purulia station by 9 o’clock.
We had delicious dishes of “Chana-Batora” at station road before taking the cab we booked for the journey to Ajodhya from Purulia station. On the one-way trip to Ajodhya, we planned to visit places: Kumari dam, PPSP, Baghmundi hill, Bamni falls and Turga falls.
We started off late and reached Kumari dam by 11 in the noon. Kumari dam is not a visit-must place, but it lies in between. It is a lonely place with a group gathered for the feast and some local people to have a bathe. But, the place is serene and scenic. We acclimatized ourselves with the calmness of the place far from the madding crowd. We started again towards Baghmundi hill.
We relished every bit of this journey towards Baghmundi as the urban jungle was fading behind. The road, in both side, is covered by forests grown over red laterite soils lying across this region.
Baghmundi hill has a nice view to enjoy from far. Due to it’s steeped hilltop, people are generally discouraged from hiking. We enjoyed the view from running car while moving on towards PPSP.
PPSP (Purulia Pumped Storage Project) is a series of dams in different elevation levels to store water for emergency. That day, the lower dam was filled with the crowd celebrating their picnic.
The upper dam will give you an idea about the structure of the dam. We had to pass the lower and upper dam to move towards Ajodhya.
Finally, we reached the falls. The stream, while passing through two neighbouring cliffs created these two falls: Bamni and Turga. The upper one, known as Bamni, is a vertical cliff whereas the lower one, Turga, lays plain. We preserved our moments with these falls in camera-clicks. Hiking up-and-down for hours there, finally we set for our destination – Ajodhya hill.
It was about 3 o’clock when we reached Ajodhya hill. Apart from a government bungalow, one can find various private hotels and restaurants running in this place. We booked a dorm, costed us of Rs. 600 only. Afterwards, we had our lunch and hiked to Mayur hill, known as the peak of Ajodhya hill.
With the sunset, dusky fog started surrounding the peak gradually. We hiked back to our dorm and spent the evening playing cards. By late evening, we attended a dance show by local Chow dancers. It was a pleasant end-of-day busy recording the show in our hearts.
After dinner and post-dinner walk, we had sound sleep after the tiring hikes we had for the day. Next morning, we visited a local village and a natural hot spring, named as Sitakundu, near-by. Even though there are not many stories reported on this spring, Indian mythology says that Lord Rama and Sita had stayed in Ajodhya hill during their exile.
We caught the government bus by 10 o’clock and reached Purulia. With mindset for another-trip-in-Purulia in coming days, we boarded hurriedly in Hatia-Kharagpur Passenger. The one-day trip was refreshing enough to put up with boring daily ordeals for some more days until we would probably be craving for another trip.