Monday, May 2, 2011

Ghatshila

Ghatshila is a town in East Singhbhum district of Jharkhand, India. The city is located on the banks of River Subarnarekha (meaning golden streak). It has been a popular place frequently visited by people from West Bengal, who have been going there for a change of place and climate as a weekend break.

Reaching Ghatshila is not a big problem. It is a railway station on the Kharagpur-Tatanagar stretch of Howrah-Mumbai track, 215 km from Howrah. The famous trains people prefer are Steel Express (Go @Morning) and Ispat Express (Return @Evening). There are also many local passenger trains connecting Jamshedpur and Kharagpur with Ghatshila. It is also well connected by Roadways.

Out of all the other places to visit in Ghatshila, sitting in the evening at the banks of Subarnarekha is a wounderful experience by itself. One can also cross the river by the local motor boat to the other side to enjoy the evening. You will be able to see the local people prepare "Hariya" - local drink made of Rice.



The noted Bengali writer Bibhuti Bhusan Bandopadhyay of Pather Panchali fame was a resident of the city. So for some house of Bibhuti Bhusan is an attraction.

Other than the banks of Subarnarekha people also like to spend their evening on the Phuldungri Hill.
It is true to be called a hillock rather than a Hill. One can enjoy the scenic beauty of Ghatshila from the Hill. Other places of attraction includes Rankani Temple in both Jadugora and Ghatsila.

Way to Jadugora
Ghatshila is a place where adventure lovers would love to visit. One can take an auto to visit the places nearby. You need not bother about bargaining about the auto fares since there is a fixed fare for the auto. The fare list is present in the Auto Stand outside of the Railway station.

We took an auto and set out in the morning to cover the areas to the north of Ghatshila. Burudih Lake and Dam is located 6 km to the north. It is a natural reservoir and a good picnic spot. The scenic beauty is amazing. Boating can also be done in the lake water, but be careful not to go beyond the flags posted or you might be stuck in the boulder under the water. We also overlooked the flags and got stuck at one; thankfully we could back-paddle and come out of the boulder. One side of the Dam is covered with small hills. We could not resist to climb a part of the hill but since we had a lot in store for us, we decided to come down and carry on with the rest of the trip.

We set out further north travelling through the slopes of the hills to Dharagiri. It is located 10 km north of Ghatshila. The Dharagiri Falls is 20 feet high. One can try a hand of rock climbing at the sides of the waterfall, but be careful not to fall from the steep sides. We loved the place more than Burudih and spent more than an hour relaxing besides the waterfall just to cool ourselves after the tiring climb. By the time it was noon and we had a wonderful lunch at a roadside Dhabba. While returing from Dharagiri, our auto driver took us to the Galudih Barraige which was about 8 kms from Ghatshila. Galudih means 'Smell of Nature'. This is a prominent tourist place.



The place which I loved most was Jadugora. It is around 24 kms from Ghatshila and the road goes past the famous Rakha Mines(copper mines). Jadugora is famous for its Rankini Temple. Rankini Devi is a another form of Maa Kali and is very jagrat and popular among the local people. Opposite to the temple, is the Jadugora hills. The surrounding look amazing from the top of the hills. Route to the top is also very adventurous. Be careful when you step on the rocks as there are scorpions in the bushes and in a rainy day it can be very slippery as well.

On our way back from Jadugora, we visited the Naroa Forest and had a glimpse of the famous Jaduguda Uranium mines at Narwapahar from outside of the protective walls. There are several other places nearby like Baghmundi Forest, Kokrajhar forest etc, but these are little sensitive nowadays and tourists are not willing to go. Jamshedpur is also around 50 kms from Ghatshila.

Places to Stay: Ghatshila is flooded with hotels near the railway station so getting a hotel would not be a problem at all. You can also choose to stay in any Holiday homes.

I already have been to Ghatshila twice and would be longing to have more.