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West Bengal : Mukutmanipur
Mukutmanipur, a small town, situated 250 km off Kolkata, is one of the best picnic spots in West Bengal and the surrounding areas look really beautiful, especially in moonlight. Kangsabati River which is the main attraction of Mukutmanipur has a 38 meters tall and 11 km long dam. You can also enjoy the facet of greenery around the beautiful lake which is attracting tourists with its 86 squares km area. You should definitely take a boat ride in the lake if you want to refresh your childhood memories.
You can go to the place where the river Kangsabati and Kumari confluence to see Parshanathswami temple, built by Clorite stones, situated at a distance of 6 km from Mukutmanipur. Banpukuriya Mrigdab, about one and half km away from Mukutmanipur, crossing the River Kangsabati, is a popular tourist spot where you can also enjoy boating with your family at an expense of 25 to 30 rupees for a boat ride of 40 minutes. If you are enthusiastic to see the architectural presentations of India then you must visit the palace of King Rai Charan. Ambika nagar, about 4 km off Mukutmanipur, is another place where you can look at the rich Jain culture. The eyes of Devi Ambika are very prominent and bright. Chendapathar, a hill surrounded by lakes, was the place where the weapons of the freedom fighters Khudiram, Nareb Gosai and Prafulla Chaki were kept. Chendapathar, about 19 km away from Jhilimili, can be reached by bus from Mukutmanipur.
There are many places near by which are worthy to visit.
Ranibandh: Ranibandh, lies about 40 km away from Bankura towards Jhilimili, is a place famous for its beautiful forest of 7100 hectors spread over a dozen hills. Ranibandh is known for the presence of many backward communities. Talberiya, the forest village can also be reached from Ranibandh for enjoying the serenity of the forest.
Lodging facilities are available at the Ranibandh Forest Rest House and the Zilla Parishad Bungalow.
Sutan: Sutan, lies 32 km off Mukutmanipur and situated at a distance of 6 km inside the deep forest, is popular to those who enjoy the natural beauty of forests. The silent and dark forest of Sutan looks even more stunning with its Shaal, Mahua, Pipul, Palash trees spread over the area. A touch of gripping greenery of nature along with the experience of listening to the music played by the backward community people are the specialties of Sutan. You can also be able to see animals like elephant, forest hen, deer, and pig roaming inside the forest area. The exquisiteness of Sutan Lake at night is definitely an attraction for the tourists especially to those who are staying at the adjoining Bungalow built for them. There is a 40 feet tall watch tower inside the forest compound where from you can enjoy the beauty of the dark forest. You can also get an opportunity to see the animals of the deep forest of Sutan from the watch tower. We can only hope that tourists coming from different parts of India can enjoy the beauty of the nature for many more years, as the political scenario of this place is not that conducive now for tourists.
Atop hill the forest bungalow with 12 beds should be booked before hand calling [(03242)-250307] on this number.
Jhilimili: Jhilimili, a place as sweet as its name, has many things to offer you. Jhilimili is a quiet place, and a pleasant getaway for city-dwellers. The sight from the watch tower inside the forest is an experience to remember for ever. Shaal, Mahua, Haritaki, Bahera are the trees of the forest which make the forest very rich for their values. However, at times elephants come down to the forest in winter and seeing them from the watch tower is a charming experience for the tourists. The twitter of birds emphasizes the silence that enfolds the place. The gently rippling Kasai River playfully meanders through the forest. If you are a keen music lover then listening to the sound of “Madal”, a musical instrument of backward community will be an over whelming feeling for you. You can also be a part of Tusu utsav which is generally celebrated in the month of January. Trekkers can trek to the Shiva temple in Mashak hill. On the way to Bankura from khatra you can see the dam on the River Silabati in Kadam Deul. Jhilimili is accessible from Mukutmanipur by bus.
Lodging facilities are available along with foods at Rimil Parjatak Niwas, which is 5 minutes away from Jhilimili bus stand.
So, what are you waiting for? Make your arrangements and plan your trip to take snaps of the beautiful nature in your mind for ever.
How to reach: Bankura can be accessed from Kolkata both by railways and by road transport. Then getting down at Bankura you have to take a bus to reach Mukutmanipur from Machantala Bankura. Buses are available in every one hour.
Where to stay: Kangsabati Bhawan, Amrapali hotel, Central public welfare tourist lodge, hotel Green Park are some good hotels in Mukutmanipur. You can also have many more options in Ranibandh, Sutan and Jhilimili. Rest house of Ranibandh, forest bungalow in Sutan, Rimil Parjatak Niwas in Khatra are other places where you can stay.