Weekend trip to Maithon and Garh Panchkot

We visited Maithon and Panchet Dam in July 2017. It was a short unplanned trip as we decided just before few days. Luckily got the accommodation in famous Majumdar Niwas at Maithon for 2 nights and booked the train tickets for Barakar railway station.

Day-1: Five of us(family members) started on Saturday early morning by Black Diamond from Howrah and reached Barakar at around 10:15 AM. We took a cab from station for Rs. 150 to reach Majumdar Niwas. It was approx. 8 KM away from Barakar station.

Earlier, while searching for the accommodation, we found good reviews about Majumdar Niwas. When we reached there we realized that the positive reviews we saw were actually correct. There was a narrow foot bridge connecting the main road and the guest house as the guest house is on the river, in front of the Maithon dam. A really nice view from every corner of the well maintained building. After completing the check-in formalities, we were shown our rooms.

We took some time to refresh and went for lunch as we were hungry. They provide quality food in a very reasonable price. You have to order the meal one day before your journey.

Sobuj Dwip (Green Island): The weather was really nice. It was raining in the afternoon. Then we saw clear sky out there. There was a boating area near our hotel with pedal boats, speed boats and regular hand driven boats. We booked a regular boat for 2 hrs. which took us to the Sobuj Dwip (Green Island) and came back to the starting point through Maithon Dam. The cost for the entire boat in a non-sharing basis took Rs. 500. It was indeed a very nice ride on the river. We started in very nice weather and in the middle of our trip, it suddenly started raining. We came out of the shade and enjoyed the rain. We took some pics of all the small islands around us. After 30 mins. we reached Sobuj Dwip. This island has been converted into a park with few fun activities, sitting areas etc. Normally the island gets crowded during winter season but for us it was almost empty. We spent 15 mins. to roam around the island and took some photos and again started for coming back. We saw many fishing boats always floating on the water. Boat driver told us that DVC authority cultivate various types of fish in the dam water and those fisher men catch fish on a regular basis and supply those in the local market. While coming back, we requested the driver to take us near Maithon dam within safe distance. Due to safety reasons, we were not supposed to go near the dam but got some clear view of the dam from the boat. We spent near about 2 hours on the water and finally came back to the starting point. We really enjoyed the ride, the weather and mostly the beautiful view surrounded by small islands.

Maithon Dam: After boating, we went to the road-side snacks stalls and had tea along with pakoda and biscuits. There are many snacks stalls on the road side near Majumdar Niwas with good sitting arrangements. We spent some time there and decided to visit the dam on foot. The scenic road to the dam took 15 mins walking to reach the dam. I took my camera but photography was prohibited in that area so no visuals of the nice view. There were few security check posts mainly for the ongoing vehicles. We crossed the DVC Hydro Power Plant and continue walking towards the dam. Maithon dam is the first dam in independent India having 12 gates. You will definitely love the soothing weather during sunset. Tourists gathered near dam and sat on the river bridge to enjoy the beauty of this place.

It was almost evening, we came back to our guest house and saw people were standing on the Majumdar Niwas connecting bridge. We decided to come back to our room as we were a bit tired. We finalized the plan for the next day and booked a cab for visiting Kalyaneshwari Temple, Garh Panchkot, Panchet Dam, Nehru Park and Snake Park. The plan was to start at 7:30 AM and come back by afternoon.

Day-2: We started the day at 7:30 AM, exactly as per plan. All the places we were about to visit was not more than 30 KM far from Majumdar Niwas.

Kalyaneshwari Temple: This is a very famous temple of goddess Kalyaneshwari (Shakti worship) situated about 5 KM far from the Maithon Dam in Asansol. This temple is more than 500 years old and newly constructed by Panchkot Raj. We were empty stomach from the morning to devote puja at the temple to fulfil our wishes. It was not much crowded as we reached the temple before 8AM but it used to get very crowded if you reach late. We had to wait for 1.5 hrs. to complete all the rituals. We were hungry when we came out of the temple and heard that there are many breakfast options available outside the temple. We had Kachodi, Sabji and Jilebi at breakfast and really liked the quality of food.

Garh Panchkot: Now we started for Garh Panchkot which took us around one hour to reach from the temple. The place is famous for the ruined Panchkot Palace which was destroyed during Bargi attack. There were ruined fort, queen’s palace and temples surrounded by the beautiful green foot hills. Truly a very beautiful and soothing place. There are tribal villages nearby so found few young children roaming around and started explaining us the history of Garh Panchkot. It was very informative and they tried to show us all the small ruined palaces and temples. There was a guest house nearby beneath the hills. We really liked the place maybe for its natural beauty and knowing the history.

Panchet Dam: Next destination was Panchet Dam. This dam is a bit bigger than the Maithon Dam and having Nehru Park beside to attract the tourists. We got down from the car and went to the lower area of the dam and saw the giant lock gates. It has 15 lock gates whereas the Maithon dam has 12. We were not lucky enough to see the water flow through the dam gates. Winter season will be perfect to experience the water release.

Nehru Park: There is a small park near the Panchet Dam which was built during the inauguration ceremony of the dam in 1959. Park was well organized with a small building where the inauguration happened.

Snake Park: A small place near Panchet dam having various other species along with snakes. It is being driven by Mubarak Ansari, known as snake saver. We met him and asked to pose with snake. He is a very famous guy mostly for saving the snakes. Whenever people saw snakes around, they call this guy to catch and save snakes.

Finally we came back to Majumdar Niwas at around 1:30 PM. We didn’t have any specific plans for the rest of the day but to roam around the Maithon dam. Overall it was a nice short weekend trip. In case anyone wants to visit this place, I would recommend to plan in the winter season rather than rainy season. The dam will be full of water and you might be lucky to see water release through dam.

 

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