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The Damodar Valley Corporation or DVC and their Dams like Maithon and Panchet
The Damodar Valley Corporation
Chotonagpur plateau is not a place which has flourished due to the adjoining river Damodar. Rather the flat highland has lost its grains and wealth because of the regular floods of the River. To gratis these people from this curse, the Damodar Valley Corporation was built in 1948 by W L Vourdwin of Tennessee Valley Authority. 492 km Long River had lost its wilderness due to the positioning of Bokaro plant, Locomotive of Chittaranjan and Coal of dhanbad in a well planned manner. The dam (Tilaiya, Mithos, Barakar, Konar and Panchet), water power plantations projects (Bokaro, Chandrapura, durgapur, Mejia) and thermal power stations (Tilaiya, Mithos, Panchet) have changed the lifestyle of the surrounding society. The hinterland is now full of life.
Maithon: 15, 712 feet tall and 165 feet high dam was inaugurated by the contemporary Prime Minister of India, Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru in 1957. The reservoir on Barakar River is covering an area of 66 square km. Hidel power station, at the downside of the dam, generates 60 MW of electricity. The nearby deer park is a place of interest. Bird watchers can enjoy plenty of native and migratory birds in the bird sanctuary. You need to take permission to see the projects of DVC. If you get the permission then take a guide alongside. One side of the Dam is West Bengal, while the other is Jharkhand. A walk on the dam feels great.
You can enjoy yachting on the Lake for half an hour which will cost you 50 rupees. The Lake is in Bihar which is not far away if you cross the barrage. The sight of the sunrise in Mithon is majestic and absorbing.
The Enthusiasts can try climbing up the small hillocks on the Bengal side of the dam.
The temple of Kalyaneshwari Devi is situated on the Barakar-Dendua high way, in West Bengal. Human sacrifices were also quite common in the temple earlier. The cave temple is an artificial one and the entrance of the cave is closed. The idol was built blending eight metals and is welcoming visitors at the entrance. The main idol inside the temple is made of gold. According to a tale the footprints of the deity are also quite evident on the stone, at the banks of the adjoining untamed and feral river Chalna. 14 Shiva temples and Sri Ramkrishna temple are also there in the premise of the main temple.
How to reach: The nearest railway station is Barakar. You can avail bus from nearby bus stand or take an auto from the railway station to go to Maithon. Mithan is very well connected by bus routes from Asansol, Barakar, Kumardubi, Chittaranjan and Dhanbad.
Where to stay: Hotel Samrat Dharamsala, Maithon Hotel, Majumder Niwas, Hotel Santinibas and PHE guest house are some of the noteworthy hotels nearby. West Bengal Forest Department also has a guest house there, situated on a hillock. Other than these Hotels Kalaneshwari, and Orient Hotels are there in Barakar.
Panchet Dam: The Panchet Dam, built in 1956, is an earthen dam with concrete spillway. Although Maithon is more popular and admired as compared to Panchet but Panchet is very beautiful for its natural backdrop with water and woodlands all around. Panchet dam is the largest one among all the projects of DVC. 22155 feet long dam has a height of 134 feet. The dam also has 15 gates. The reservoir can store 1214000 acre feet of water. As much as 19, 0000000 rupees were spent to build the dam. Two units of 40 MW water plants have been installed for power generation.
Visit Garhpanchakot to witness the reminiscences of the ancient era midst of the contiguous jungle of Shal, Mahua, Tamal, and piyal. Excavation at the southern side of the hill has established the presence of the ancient Jor bungalow depicting terra cotta architectures, 9 temples with five tall mounts, caves and many more sculptures.
Panchatat, situated at the foothills, is just 2 km off Gobag which can be accessed by road in one and half hours from Asansol. The nature observatory centre on the way to Panchatat offers a pleasing and gratifying sight of the natural environs. The heavenly architectural gracefulness of the white colored small Birinchibaba temple and its Shiva lingam, built by the king of Kashipur, about 10 km from the nature observatory centre, will force you to evoke the old glory days. The adjoining falls coming out from the mouth of Hanuman is beautiful to look at.
Panchet or Panchakot was an ethnic place of the backward communities. Even though the history of the Panchakot Garh or fort, located at the southern side of the Panchet hill, is gloomy but it is quite evident that the fort was under the control of the king of Vishnupur in 1600. In 1872 Michael Madhusudan Dutta became the manager of Panchakot. Due to the scarcity of an adequate amount of funds, the fort was auctioned.
Ramkanali, about 10 km off Asansol, has a number of temples which are quite different with their aesthetical elegance. According to the archeologists the temples were built before the establishment of Muslims Empire in India. Due to the negligence and rashness the dilapidated temples are in ruins. But still it is possible to watch the wrecks of the temples.
How to reach: Kumardubi is the nearest railway station, located at a distance of 10 km from Panchet. Panchet is well connected by road from Asansol, Purulia and Maithon as well.
Where to stay: Two forest bungalows of Panchakot nature observation centre is the best available option where you can stay overnight. Another beautiful place to stay is the nearby Garpanchakot Forest resort of West Bengal Forest Department.
Tilaiya Dam: Tilaiya dam, the first DVC project, is a 1200 feet long and 99 feet tall dam. The reservoir here has a capacity of reserving 320000 acre feet water. 4000 KW of electricity are generated from four water power plants. The garden, swargadweep, beside the reservoir, is located on the dale. Visit Whispering Island riding on a yacht and get the pleasure in bare boating with your family. Chacha Nehru Dweep (island), the largest island according to the volume of water was previously recognized as the Whispering Island. The crocodile project is an attraction of the wonderful island. It’s a delightful place for picnic and outing lovers. Go for a walk to the adjoining deer park.
Surajkunda, situated at a distance of 39 km from Tilaiya dam, on NH-2, is widely known and esteemed for its hot springs. The temperature of the spring water is 88 degree Celsius. Sitakunda, Lakhikunda, Bharotkunda, and Brahmakunda are the hot springs of the place. You can also see the nearby Suraj (Sun) temple.
A bungalow with three rooms is there near to the hot springs where you can stay for a night.
Bokaro and Konar are the nearby cities which you should visit before coming back to Kolkata.
Avid and passionate tourists can also visit Tourist Complex Urwan, located at a distance of 12 km from Kodarma rail station, for a nice picnic. See the crocodile project and enjoy a boating ride on the Lake.
Itkhori, situated at a distance of 19 km from Tilaiya, is a pilgrimage spot for Hindu, Buddha, and Jain. Itkhori was previously known as Itkhoyi. Bhadrakali temple, Buddha shrine, and the footprints of sitalnath, the 10th Tirthankar are the coveted destinations of Tilaiya.
How to reach: The nearest railway station Kodarma, about 382 km from Kolkata, can be accessed from Kolkata by railways. Tilaiya can be reached by road from Maithon, and Dhanbad.
Where to stay: Tourist Bungalow of DVC, Hotel Sheetal Chhaya, Sundar Hotel, and Tourist complex.
Bokaro thermal power: Bokaro thermal power plant, built in 1953, is situated at a distance of 43 km from Gomo and 73 km from Hazaribag. The natural environment around the place will greet you with its arms wide open. Plant of SAIL is located at a distance of 90 km from Bokaro thermal plant.
How to reach: Howrah-Ranchi Satabdi express, Howrah-Jabbalpur express, and Shaktipunj express are the available trains from Kolkata to Bokaro. Bokaro can also be reached from Dhanbad by road.
Where to stay: Hotel Blue Diamond, Bokaro Hotel, Hotel Malti Mahal, and Hotel Hans regency.
Konar: The dam on Konar River, built in 1955, is about 30 km off Bokaro thermal power plant. The earthen dam is 12080 feet long and the reservoir is covering an area of 17 square km. It has a capability of storing 273000 acre feet of water. The stored water is helping farmers, especially in dry seasons.
How to reach: Avail trains from Kolkata to Gomo or Bokaro. Then take a bus or hire a car to go to Konar, about 117 km from Kolkata. Buses are going to Konar from Hazaribag city as well.
Where to stay: Rest house of DVC and Forest rest house are two notable places. But these rest houses are mainly reserved for officers of DVC. So, it is advisable to stay back at Bokaro.
Durgapur: The durgapur dam was built in 1955 on Damodar River. The 692 feet long dam is supplying water to the farmlands through a 2480 km long canal. The beautiful place is really soothing and suitable for a jaunt. The thermal power plant of Durgapur is also very famous in the proximity.
Durgapur is well connected to Kolkata both by railways and by road. A number of trains and buses are regularly going to Durgapur from Kolkata.
A lot of expensive and budget hotels have also come up in Durgapur where you can stay overnight.
Mejia: Mejia thermal power plant is the newest of all the DVC projects. The mejia dam is located on the river Damodar in Bankura district of West Bengal. It is 200 km away from Kolkata and 15 km away from Durgapur barrage. The capacity of Mejia plant is 3*210 MW.
Chandrapura: The thermal power plant of Chandrapura has a capability of generating 1600 MW of electricity. This project of DVC helps to reduce air and water pollutions in the vicinity.
Chullapani: This is one of the lately built tourism attraction in Jharkhand, situated at the border of Latehara and Lohardaga districts. The destination is covered with river, hills and woods all around. On 16th June every year the Damodar Utsav is celebrated here. Amble in and around the city slowly and enjoy the scenic beauty of the city.
There is a guest house for you if you want to stay here for a night.
Sindhri fertilizer factory: Sindhri fertilizer factory is biggest in Asia, situated at a distance of 27 km from Dhanbad. Ammonium surfeit is the main product of this fertilizer factory. Sindhri has a beautiful Lake which is another attractive spot of Sindhri. If you take the permission then you can visit the factory.
Sindhri is very well connected to Dhanbad by road and by railways.