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 rainy season owing to the abundance of tropical trees. Damodar river flows right below the hill and at a distance of 500 metres rising uphill from the main relics lies ‘Dhara’ a perpetual spring channelled 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 makes this place an ideal weekend getaway to rewind and rejuvenate.
Its History: A Sneek Peak
A visit to this place takes you back to the era of 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 beautiful architecture styles of the temples of this place, Panchratna temple accompanied by others namely ‘ Jor bangla’ and ‘Priha’ type showcases of the marvellous 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 tourist a chance to encounter groups of langur,jackal, porcupine 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 to the life of the tribals which is not an everyday opportunity for the metro residents. The sought after ‘Chou dance’ and ‘ Chou mask’ of Purulia can also be experienced during the stay . The tribal fairs and festivals can make one’s stay more enjoyable.
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 a 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 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, Mython Dam and Kalyaneshwari temple and Joychandi hill where some scenes of Satyajit ray’s award wining movie ‘Hirok Rajar Deshe’ was 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, Agnibina Express.
By Car: It is 256 Km from Kolkata, one has to drive through Durgapur expressway till Asansol. Then, you’re supposed take 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 for Asansol or Barakar. From there a bus or mini bus can be boarded near to Garpanchkot. The rest of the road can be traversed by rickshaw or car.
- Garpanchkot Forest Banglow (WBFDC).
- Panchet Residency .
- Eco Resort.