It was another trip to Shantiniketan, during Holi. The last two days of this trip were reserved for visiting Purulia and returning to Kolkata.
The district of Purulia contains ‘hills’ which are actually segments of the Chhotanagpur plateau. A few years back I used to think that Purulia is a hill station and like all hill stations, it is cooler than the plain lands.
It was hotter than Shantiniketan and additionally, it was humid! However, the terrain was similar to that of hills. In fact, the compound within which our hotel was situated (a part of the forest reserve of India) was entirely located on a slope. We lodged at a resort in Garpanchakot.
We reached Purulia by 2:00 PM, had lunch and headed out towards Muradi dam (after an hour of laziness).
We obtained directions from one of the staff of the resort and continued obtaining directions from the locals. Their clear directions ultimately managed to confuse us, and we reached one of the several villages of Purulia.
We then remembered that our pocket devices could provide directions too. Ultimately, Google maps led us to the reservoir.
I started clicking random photographs.
As the sun started to set, the clouds in the sky started to get dramatic and soon, we saw this:
We stayed at the dam for half an hour and then seated ourselves inside the car.
The return journey to Garpanchakot was much easier. We followed everything the voice inside Google Maps had to say. When the sun’s rays were no longer illuminating the road for us, and we were still on a road which we couldn’t identify, I became a wee bit worried. The road was empty. So were the surroundings. It was almost pitch black.
We had no option but to trust Google Maps. In spite of the slight anxiousness, there was a thrill and a slight chill in the air. Occasionally, the fragrance of unknown flowers would flow into the car. What accompanied us all the way till the point we reached the main road was the scent of the grassland and the trees.
Everything contributed to making the entire ‘journey’ to and from Muradi dam memorable.
I woke up at 4:50 in the morning. Gunja woke up at 4:50 in the morning.
Both of us consider 7:00 AM to be early morning. So, you realise how easy it was for us to wake up before 5, get ready and walk down to the parking area. The driving force behind us was the possibility of watching the sun-rise (from Panchet dam).
Again, we put our faith in Google Maps and soon reached the dam.
The entire landscape was foggy!
We couldn’t watch the sun rise clearly because of the fog and the cloud cover, but the four of us breathed in more oxygen than we do in two consecutive mornings in the city. As the heat started to build, we headed back to our hotel.
We had tea once we reached our bungalow.
Gunja wasn’t so interested in leaving Shantiniketan and coming to Purulia, and to some extent, even I wasn’t (after our three days there). Now all of us agree that this one-night trip was rejuvenating and somewhat necessary (we haven’t been to the mountains for almost two years).