From one of the many ecstatic tourist destinations, West Bengal has to offer Garpanchkot is a serene natural grandeur of woods, greens, and hills. The panchet (panchkot) hill is about 2000ft high and looks lush green in the rainy season owing to the abundance of tropical trees. Damodar River flows right below the hill and at a distance of 500 meters rising uphill from the main relics lies ‘Dhara’ a perpetual spring channeled through a cow mouth made of stone. The forest walkthrough inhabiting countless trees and flowers, the aroma of these flowers, and the fresh air of the hills make this place an ideal weekend getaway to rewind and rejuvenate.
A visit to this place takes you back to the era of the Singh Deo dynasty when the Garh was built alongside the temples and remains of which stand today to narrate the untold stories of their time. One can observe the beautiful architectural styles of the temples of this place, Panchratna temple accompanied by others namely ‘ Jor bangla’ and ‘Priha’ type showcases of the marvelous work of stone. The Panchratna temple exhibits pre-muslim terracotta work on its arches and pillars. Michael Madhusudan Dutta, the great poet mentions Panchkot in three of his literary works ‘Panchkot Giri’, ‘Panchkotoshyo Rajasree’, and ‘ Panchkot Giri Biday Sangeet.’
Multifarious Flora-fauna :
The sal forest houses a superfluity of medicinal plants and herbs and is known for its biodiversity. Amloki, Hartoki, Behera, Kalmegh, Neem, Bel, etc., to name a few— whose therapeutic values are revered by many. Flowers of different hues ranging from the yellow of Galgali flower to the red of Palash – ‘The flame of the forest’ as it is called.
The driveway alongside the forest gives tourists a chance to encounter groups of langur, jackal, porcupine,s, and snakes. The nature lover can also take interest in the wide variety of avifauna and butterflies that this area is a haven for.
Culture & Heritage:
Purulia is endowed with customary rich tribal heritage and culture. Garhpanchakot offers you a closer look at the life of the tribals which is not an everyday opportunity for the metro residents. The sought-after ‘Chhau dance’ and ‘ Chhau mask’ of Purulia can also be experienced during the stay. The tribal fairs and festivals can make one’s stay more enjoyable.
Tourist spots in Garpanchkot
Raghunathpur a town nearby is famous for its silk fabric works and is a must-see for tourists. Kashipur Rajbari 50 kms from Garhpanchkot is an impeccable work of architecture and stands tall combined with red bricks, stone, concrete and wood. Panchet/Panchkot dam where you can enjoy the view and a heart-touching fresh air coming from the Damodar river basin. If time permits one can avail of the boat ride facility. Kapista garden is a name synonymous with natural beauty and nearby is a water spot where one may come across some tortoises. Adra, Muradi Dam near Baranti village, Bero village, Maithon Dam and Kalyaneshwari temple, and Joychandi hill where some scenes of Satyajit ray’s award-winning movie ‘Hirok Rajar Deshe’ were shot are other attractions.
In essence, Garpanchkot evokes the dormant poet in you, the place takes you away from the city worries and leaves you refreshed and thoughtful coming back for more.
Reach & Stay:
The place is best to visit during monsoons as the greenery is more alluring, you can also visit between October and March. One can reach there by trains that patrol from Howrah to Asansol-Black Diamond, Shatabdi, Janshatabdi, Coalfield, How- Dhanbad, and Agnibina Express.
By Car: It is 256 Km from Kolkata, one has to drive through the Durgapur expressway till Asansol. Then, you’re supposed to take the right turn from Sitarampur to Disergarh Bridge. the straight road leads you to Satbari. Once again, take a right turn from Satbari to reach Garpanchkot via village pathways.
By Bus: Take a bus to Asansol or Barakar. From there a bus or minibus can be boarded near Garpanchkot. The rest of the road can be traversed by rickshaw or car.
- Garpanchkot Forest Bungalow(WBFDC).
- Panchet Residency.
- Eco Resort.