This was my last road trip in my Beat, hence such title. I don't write well, so pardon me for any grammatical and silly mistakes.
I have always loved driving in the monsoon. We have planned for Garpanchkot way back in July, but due to unavailability of rooms we had to shift our plan to August, which also happened to be the wedding anniversary of the friend who was going with me on this road trip, seemed like a perfect weekend to spend a rainy holiday. I booked the rooms from Saltlake, Kolkata. There is only 1 staying place in Garpanchkot, maintained by West Bengal Forest Dept.
Our plan was to start from Kolkata on Saturday and come back the very next day. Due to rain entire Kolkata was waterlogged, weather forecast was worst for the next 2 days. Not only Kolkata entire south Bengal was flooding. My parents started worrying about my road trip in this situation. But the route we were supposed to take was not affected by the rains, so we didn't cancel our plan.
Day 1 - Kolkata > Dankuni > Bardhaman > Panagarh > Durgapur > Asansol > Gobag > Garpanchkot
We started at 5:45 am from my flat at Rajarhat. The first stop was at Panagarh at 9am. Total distance was 158 km.
The stretch at Panagarh has worst roads and is already famous for that. Not only the condition of the road but also huge traffic almost made us stand still. It took 20 minutes to cross that 3-4 km stretch.
After having breakfast at Panagarh we started at around 9:30 am. After that we only took a small break at Asansol to buy an anniversary cake. We reached near Garpanchkot at around 12:45 pm. Nokia navigation was working properly till here, but couldn't show the exact location of the hotel.
The first sight of Garpanchkot Hill
Yes we were lost, the "nokia here" navigation was not working and the locals were not able to tell us the exact location and direction to govt. cottages. So we wandered around, asking almost every human being we encountered. It was all raining but the roads were quite nice. Finally I called up the hotel manager and he directed us properly. Few more pics-
Because of monsoon the entire region was green, the roads from Gobag to Garpanchkot was narrow and beautiful.
Finally we reached our cottage at 1:30 pm. Total distance covered including the round trips on the same road was 290 km. We had booked a 4 bed room. The cottage was beneath the hill and covered in green. The rooms were clean and big. We were charged 4000 per night for a 4 bedded room, which is pretty costly, but the surrounding view was worth the money. The food was good too, like home-made Bengali food.
Had our lunch and went to see the "Garh". It is a ruin of a temple, because it was raining heavily I didn't get chance to get proper picture of it.
Came back hotel in the evening and spent a wonderful time with friends and family.
Day 2 - Garpanchkot > Panchet Dam > Maithon Dam > Asansol > Durgapur > Gurap > Mogra > Tribeni > Kalyani > Barackpore > Birati > Rajarhat
We didnt start early, had our breakfast at 10am, started from Hotel at 11:30am. Our plan was to visit Maithon Dam. We had to go till Gobag and then there was a left turn after 5-6 km which was supposed to take us to Maithon Dam. But the road was closed due to water logging. We took u turn and a new route to Maithon, we came to know this new route would take us via Panchet dam, which was not in our list. Some info on Panchet Dam
View of Panchet Hill from Panchet Dam
The other side of the Dam
After visiting Panchet dam we headed toward Maithon. It took around 20 mins to reach there. Photography and parking on Maithon dam was not allowed. Due to monsoon and flood like situation in Bengal DVC was releasing more water than usual.
Rain didnt let us spend much time there. Took few photographs before knowing that it was photography prohibited area, then a police came and stopped me and asked me to leave. We headed for Asansol/Durgapur to have our lunch. Time was already 4 pm and total distance covered was 373 km. After having lunch in "Theque" before Durgapur we headed towards home. I had to drop my friend at his native place in Tribeni, so took a left turn from Gurap NH2. Till this time rain has stopped in Kolkata. Reached Tribeni at 8pm and reached Kolkata at 10pm. Nothing more to write about our return journey. Total distance covered was 620 km.
Garpanchkot is very beautiful, specially in the monsoon. But the rain stopped us to do a small trek to the top of the hill. I might be planning to visit this place again in winter.