Panchet Dam

Now that the hunger was in control, we decided to go to Panchet Dam. There were two reasons behind it: first, the dam was very near, so it would be stupidity if we didn’t visit it. Second, we decided to take a different and direct route to back.

But true to our riding spirit for the day, we decided not to take the highway, rather another road almost touching the base of the hill and through the forest. This road too was less travelled, with minimum traffic. It took us 15-20 minutes to reach Panchet Dam. But it was past 3:30pm with no food, so we were in a hurry.

The guards

Panchet Dam is an earthen dam conatructed on the Damodar river. One side of the dam falls in the district of Purulia, the other side the Dhanbad district of Jharkhand. In terms of natural beauty or popularity Panchet Dam always stayed second the nearby Maithan Dam. Panchet almost always  remain isolated.

The dam with the Garpanchkot hill
Damodar River
The Dam

Photography was prohibited, so we could not shot as many photos as we would have liked.

After that we came directly to Chirkunda, found a restaurant and ordered some food. My friend was so hungry that he started eating salad as soon as it arrived.

The food was delicious.

Then we started from Chirkunda and rode towards Burdwan through NH2. We just took a 5 min butt break near Panagarh and reached home by 6:30pm. Total odo for the day was 375 kms.

It was a day well spent. Visited some remote temple, rode on some hilly curves, found a reservoir in a jungle surrounded by hills , witnessed some lost glory of a thriving kingdom, sat on a dam that was unique and most of all, felt some unexpected nobility by some unknown villagers. It was a day worth remembering.

I can definitely say it was a day not wasted!!


Ride to Garhpanchkot, Purulia

The hour hand on the clock had crossed 1 pm and we were yet to take any serious food. Baranti, with all its beauty and calmness was not a place to have some lunch. So we had to find some decent place to keep the burning stomach in control.

From our location it was clear that the famous Garhpanchkot Hill was nearby, so was the Panchet Dam. Since, Garhpanchkot was a popular tourist spot, and few hotels were set up, we were hopeful of getting some tasty food. Though the month of May was not the best  time to visit, we kept our fingers crossed and headed towards Garhpanchkot.

The road to Garhpanchkot from Baranti was an uneventful one. The road passed through some villages and finally met with the Asansol Raghunathpur highway. After 1-2 kms, a right turn would lead to the popular spot named Garhpanchkot.

Garhpanchkot was once a thriving capital of the local king. There were a number of temples situated here and there and also in the nearby villages. The demise of the kingdom started when the Maratha Army attacked Bengal. They invaded from the west and attacked this region several times. They set fire on the castle and also on the temples. It was also told that all the seven Queens of the king committed suicide by jumping in a deep well to avoid the invading Maratha Army. Now the only things remains there are the ruins of the thriving kingdom and its legacy.

The ruins
Abandoned Temple
On the ruins

Now only one temple is still standing there, at the base of the Garhpanchkot hill. The Indian Archaeology department had started to renovate the sole signature of the once thriving kingdom. The temple with the hill at the backdrop is a major tourist attraction in this area.

The main temple

We reached there with the hope of some tasty and good food, but only found a snacks shop. They informed us that the nearby hotels offer food on prior order basis. We took some snacks and a bottle of cold drinks. That kept the hunger at bay for some time, till we found some place to take the lunch.

So we shot some more photos and moved on.

Ek selfie to banta hai boss
Udaan with friend
Finally, the rider selfie

Ride to Baranti Reservoir, Purulia

It hadn’t rained since morning, and the sun was dissipating the clouds. The weather was getting hotter. We were resting under a tree outside the temple and searching for nearby attractions in the google map. Then a small reservoir caught my attention. Baranti Reservoir.

Google maps showed the distance to be around 25 kms, but we found traces of some ridable way leading towards the reservoir. It was going through a small forest on the side if some unknown hill, connecting a village to the reservoir.

The Google route

We asked a local shopkeeper, he confirmed our guess. He informed us that the road is used by the villagers and it was in good condition for a bike ride. But we needed to be careful in the jungle part. We agreed and moved.

The road to Baranti was more or less in good shape with occasional patch of rough patches. But the jungle part was thrilling. Although the road could be easily identified, few sharp turns and blind angles along with sandy surface made it a tricky ride. (Un)fortunately no trace of elephant horde was visible.

Somewhere on the way to Baranti

Baranti is an artificially constructed reservoir under the Baranti hill on the river Baranti. It was built to supply water to a large portion of this area where scarcity of water is common. Although the river Damodar crosses the area nearby, due to uneven landscape and higher altitude it was impossible to bring the water of Damodar river through DVC canal. Hence the need to construct a local reservoir. There is a guest house near the reservoir. People looking to spend a day in serenity amidst the forest, hill and water body would surely like this place.

The Water, the Hill and the Ride

Selfie time