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Susunia Hills

It is a hill in southern West Bengal, with rich reserves of medicinal plants. It is known for its holy spring, rich flora, rock faces etc.
Pankaj Biswas (akash)
दोस्तों भारत के पर्यटन मानचित्र में पश्चिम बंगाल का नाम आते ही पहला नाम दिमाग में आता है दार्जिलिंग। लेकिन दार्जिलिंग के अलावा भी पश्चिम बंगाल में बहुत सारे अनूठे अनमोल नगीने हैं जिनके बारे में जानकर आप हैरान हो जाएंगे। भारत का घुमक्कड़ कम्युनिटी भी इन जगहों के बारे में बहुत कम जानते हैं।
Arnab Banerjee
On 28th November, 2021, my friend Subhashis and me did our Susunia trip. We boarded the Barddhaman-Asansol MEMU of 5:20 am, and reached Raniganj at 7 am. After having some "Kochuris" for our breakfast, we enquired some locals regarding the bus for Chhatna or Susunia. Luckily a bus for Susunia was departing at that time, and we got into it.Susunia is just 30 kms away from Raniganj, but as the road from Mejia to Susunia was under construction, our bus took a long route and the conductor told us that it would take around 2.5 hours to reach there! The price of the bus ticket from Raniganj to Susunia is ₹45. We were very surprised to see that the people there were far away from any kind of hustle-bustle, including the bus driver & conductor as well. While covering a mere distance of 50 kms, they took three haults of 20 minutes each, and one those was near a pond and a Maa Chandi Temple. The bus driver and the conductor were literally chilling in the sun, out of nowhere !At 10 am, we reached Susunia. Subhashis had some tea there, and we enquired some of the shopkeepers about the bus timings to return to Raniganj. Then, we started our trek. There was a Raksha Kali Temple, a big banyan tree and a stone idol of Narsingh from which water keeps flowing all the time since time immemorial, and the source is still unknown.The steps to the top of the hill were cut out of rocks which made the trek more exhausting. We were stopping every five minutes to take rest. After about an hour, we reached the peak of the 1st or  the smaller hill, took some rest, made a video and asked a local about the route to the highest peak. Then after a decent break for about 3 to 4 minutes, we started trekking upwards to the 2nd peak or the highest peak. It was relatively easier than the trek to the 1st hill. The temperature was gradually falling while we climbed upwards. At a point in between, we sat for around 15 minutes to chill, ate biscuits and gazed at the view around. At around 12 pm, we reached the highest peak of the hill. It was painted there on a rock by the forest department, depicting that's the highest point. There was a small statue of Lord Krishna and some other stone idols. There was a stone inscription on the other side of that hill, and the route to reach there started from a village called Shiulibona, which was around 4 kms away from the Narsingh Stone (from where we had started our trek). Most of the people either didn't know about that inscription or they simply didn't  go there !But, we were actually in a mood to do something thrilling, so we decided to go there through the forests. No one went there through the forest, but we took the risk ! I would not recommend to go via the forest. The forest was very dense and the path was rough. It took us 1.5 hours to get through. I made a few videos while walking through the forest. There was no proper path or sign board showing directions, so the only option we had was the GPS and the Google Map, and with the help of that we made it ! My friend fell down twice during the journey! It was an once in a life-time experience and i accomplished my dream of exploring a jungle without any guidance (inspired from Man vs. Wild !) My hands had become full of scratches and allergic rashes by that time, and they were itching badly.The inscription was covered by a cage like structure, to protect it from some "eternal lovers", some of whom had already scribbled their names on it and had damaged the 2500 years old inscription. That inscription is the oldest rock inscription of West Bengal, and was made on the orders of King Chandravarman. It reads : "The devotee of 'Chakkaswami' (Lord Vishnu), the King of Pushkarana, son of the King Simhavarmana, King Chandravarmana offers the revenue of the village named 'Dhoso' for the purpose of worship to his Lord Vishnu." (source : Wikipedia). There's a wheel and conch inscribed too.The view of the plain lands from that point was so soothing. That place really gave us a sense of satisfaction after that tough trek through the forest. After clicking a lot of pictures, and enjoying the view, we started descending down. It was an easy path, surrounded by uniformly planted trees, with sunrays coming through. Within 15 minutes, we reached Shiulbona. We had expected to get a toto there, but found none. The whole area looked abandoned, and we were the only two, walking on that road. There were many ponds there beside the road, full of lotuses. We covered that 4 km route in 30 minutes, and reached the bus stop of Susunia at 3 pm.By that time, we were exhausted and starving, so we entered into Hotel Annapurna. We ate Maachh-Bhaat (Cost : ₹70) for our lunch, and completed it by 4 pm, as there was a bus at 4:15 pm for Raniganj. We were expecting to reach Raniganj by 5:30 pm, so that we could catch Black Diamond Express. As the road near Mejia was under construction, the bus again took the longer route and we reached Raniganj at 5:45 pm. After reaching there, we just ran towards the station to catch that train, but to our surprise, there was no unreserved compartment in that train till then, due to COVID, and it was too late to book a ticket. The next train for Barddhaman was at 9:10 pm, which reached Barddhaman at 11:30 pm. So, we had no option left other than a bus ride . We went to the bus stand and enquired about the bus for Barddhaman and came to know that there was no direct bus from that bus stand. One of the locals there advised us to visit the SBSTC Counter at Punjabi More on the NH, and to board on an SBSTC bus which plies between Asansol and Kolkata. We took a toto and went to that place which was 4 kms away from the bus stand.It was already 6:30 pm by that time, and we found the SBSTC counter closed. At that time, we had no option left other than going to Barddhaman by that Mokamah passenger which arrived at Raniganj at 9:10 pm. Both of us decided to ask for a lift. A truck bound for Durgapur stopped, so we refused that driver.  After a few more minutes, another truck stopped to help us and it was going to Muchipara, Kolkata. So, we got into it. It was my first experience of travelling by a truck ! The driver was a friendly and nice. We had asked him to stop at Telipukur, and reached within 1.5 hours. From there we took a toto and returned back to our respective PGs. Thus, our day trip ended. Looking forward to more adventures in the future.
Samapti Rooj
How to reach: Take a bus to bankura and then take second bus to susunita hill.