500 miles and beyond

Jharkhali- Gateway to Sundarban

on Jul 22, 2016

One fine morning of Sunday in March my alarm clock didn’t rang (of course, who sets an alarm on a Sunday morning?) but was awakened by a cuckoo. The sky was crystal clear and the clouds, somehow, reminded me of Durga Puja days and instantly I craved for a vacation. As in the middle of the month vacation was not possible,I made up my mind for an outing. Suddenly as I looked on my phone found it was 27th March, my Dad’s birthday. I told my mom for preparation of lunch to postpone and make a heavy breakfast- ” We are going somewhere….don’t know where to…but definitely “. Birthday gift to my dad…an outing.
Started asking Mr.Page and Brin’s child for prospective destination.
After sometime discovered “An easy to reach weekend gateway is Jharkhali, which is being developed and promoted by the WB Govt. as the fourth entry point of Sundarban. It is the nearest one to the core area of Sundarban. By car it is a 3 hours journey from Kolkata”. Open the Maps. Noted distance…116km from my home…Yeahhhh…we are going..really going…and that’s a trip with my mom and dad after years. At 10 am, we were set to go. We could take Basanti Highway but the high inidence of accidents in that road with pathetic surface condition refrained me. Rather chose a better and safer road through Baruipur. Though the road is excellent via E.M.Bypass-Baruipur-Canning-Sonakhali-Jharkhali, you can’t really pick up speed due to innumerable speed breakers. We took a cha-singara break at Canning. The road after Sonakhali,Basanti is very tortuous.So had to reduce speed further. We reached at around 1 pm. Went to Jhar Bunglow of Sundarban Unnayan Parshad. But those were actually closed. The employees there took us to another hotel, Subham. We didinot like ut. So started hunting(for hotels/resorts, not Tigers). After a while found Royal Sundarban Wild Resort to be the finest bet. It was excellent in all sense and extremely cheap too. Obviously of no star category, but was very comfortable. They served the lunch which was extremely extremely good. We took rest and started for the Tiger Rehab Center in the afternoon. It was1.4 km away from the resort and on the bank of the river. The bidyadhari and herovanga river provides views of beautiful sunset. The clam and quiet ambience completely rejuvenated us from the core. The wind blows here all the time is not less than ‘Jhar'(hence the name).
In the night we were the only boarders in the resort. They made roti and desi murgi curry for us. Again finger licking good. With the sesational Virat Kohli innings against Australia on the TV placed in the Garden (yes, the staffs tired every possible way to make our stay enjoyable and memorable), soothing wind and outstanding calmness, it made our evening.
The dwan was even more beautiful. The cold wind with beautifully peaceful surrounding villages asked me to forget that the King of Sundarban often come to these locality and take a toll of the people and cattle. To stop this the whole river bank is fensed by Net. We took a small boat ride across the river and a island. The larger groups out there chose a Vessel and made a full day tour of Sundarban.
Again the lunch was wonderful with fresh Parshe. The total bill came out to be very very less compared to the quality time we spend there. We really felt bad as we were leaving at 2pm on Monday. The staffs there gifted us sweet Peyaras and Gondhoraj Lebus; but they never gave us lemon.

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on Jul 22, 2016 By - Sayantan Datta

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