Nestled in the Bankura district of West Bengal, this less-explored tourist destination is a paradise for shutterbugs. If you are looking for a short break, you can give a thought to Mukutmanipur.
After a road journey of more than six hours, we found ourselves in this serene place which is home to the second-largest earthen dam in India. We were a bit exhausted but the charming ambiance of Sonajhuri Resort, where we spent a night, was reason enough to not succumb to our tiredness. Surrounded by tall lush greenery, it has cottages named after trees like ‘Taal’, ‘Tamal’, ‘Sal’, and so on. Amidst the tall trees, you will also find a staircase, which leads to a hilltop. Excitedly, I climbed the staircase, only to find the mesmerizing view of the Kangsabati Dam. Oh my gosh, I wasn’t expecting this. To note, only those who are staying at the resort can enjoy this view.
After lunch (food is decent, don’t keep high expectations), we stepped out to explore the dam and other attractions of the place. On weekends, cars are not allowed to ply on the dam road. You will have to hire toto (e-rickshaw), vano (motorized van), or auto-rickshaw. On one side of the road is the dam and on the other side is the land adorned with homes, small water bodies, Palash trees, etc. So, the ride itself is exciting. We first visited the Musafirana Viewpoint from where one can enjoy the breathtaking view of the dam, which was built under the administration of the then Bengal’s Chief Minister, Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy. One can spend hours here simply gazing at the graceful water and the lush greenery surrounding it.
Our next stop was Pareshnath Shiv Mandir. It is an open temple of Mahadev. We were informed that the idol was found by digging the earth during the construction of the dam. Climbing the stairs to get a glimpse of the idol of Lord Shiva was a bit adventurous for me. I enjoyed the experience. From here, we also enjoyed the sunset. Also, in the vicinity of the temple, you will come across many stone idols. It is believed by many that some of the idols were Jain deities.
Deer Park is another tourist attraction in this place, but for some unavoidable reasons, we could not explore it. Better luck next time.
Our return journey was quite eventful. As we left the resort, we were greeted with a spectacular view. The dazzling sky, the hillocks, and the vibrant Palash flowers (Butea monosperma) made the landscape pretty as a picture. The natural beauty of the place will inspire anyone to wear the hat of a photographer.
While we reached Mukutmanipur via Kolaghat- Kharagpur- Jungle Mahals road, we opted for Bankura- Durgapur- Bardhaman- Saktigarh road for our return journey. And when you are returning via this road, how can you not pay a visit to Bardhaman Rajbari (now Bardhaman University) and taste Saktigarh’s Langcha?
Overall, it was an exciting and eventful trip!
If you have not been to Mukutmanipur yet, you can think about it.