Weekend Destination From Kolkata: Topchanchi-Giridih-Deoghar

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Way to the lake

An unplanned trip is way more exciting to me than a planned one. In a planned itinerary, you get an ample idea of what to expect, but in an unplanned one, your imagination has no bounds. Of course, problems may arise when we arrange everything in a haste, but let’s concentrate on the positive sides as far as this particular trip of ours is concerned.

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The lake surrounded by hills

As 2017 was about to end, we (a group of crazy friends) were planning a short trip somewhere in or around the state of West Bengal. Year-end seemed to be the time when every single person wanted to find their pace outside the comfort of home, so we were getting negative responses from all the hotel and resort officials on a prior booking for the last few days of 2017. We failed to find a single decent hotel in every possible popular tourist destination.

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Topchanchi Lake

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Giant Wasp in the Jungle

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It was the evening of 23rd December, ’17 when we gathered at a friend’s house and were mulling over the last couple of options left. Then, someone mentioned the name of Topchanchi in the state of Jharkhand immediately seconded by all. Topchanchi is not a very popular spot but as we gathered from the internet, is a beautiful place away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Fortunately, when we contacted a hotel manager in Topchanchi, he assured us that there were rooms available suiting our date and time.

So, we started our journey the next morning. Covering a distance of 320 km in less than six hours (with two breaks of 15 minutes each), via NH 19, we reached our destination at around 1.00 pm.

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Usri Falls

Our expectation with the hotel, Shaan-e-Punjab, was not very high, but as our car entered the compound of the hotel, the perfectly manicured garden with colourful blooming roses, dahlias and cosmoses, made us spellbound. We could see the small hills far away, the famous Topchanchi Lake is all surrounded by hills and just a 10-minutes-drive from the hotel, we were told. After having a scrumptious lunch in the hotel, I decided to have a stroll around the place while the others dozed off. I wanted to visit the lake right then, but as the winter sun was already losing its strength, the hotel manager opined that it would be better to go the next morning as the woodland around the 6-acre lake was quite dense at places.
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Next morning, our day-long tour started with the Topchanchi Lake. The narrow, meandering road, covered by a foggy curtain was looking beautiful as the rays of the sun were penetrating it creating a golden hue. As the driver stopped the engine at one place and we got down to have a clearer view of the lake, I could feel the loquacious silence of Mother Nature! Topchanchi Lake was once the favourite shooting spot of Bengali auteurs. With time, the glory faded away, but the lake still holds the wild beauty with thousands of enormous trees accompanying it all around.
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Spending a couple of hours by the side of the lake, we headed towards Giridih, 68 km from Topchanchi. Though the road is in excellent condition, you’re likely to get traffic while passing a few kilometres through the heart of the Giridih town. It took us a little more than an hour to reach the Usri river and the Usri falls. The name Giridih at once brings to mind the Professor Shonku stories by Satyajit Ray. The scientist, inventor and professor used to live in Giridih. Usri falls looked small yet vivacious. The locals told us that it becomes violent and roars with several streams pouring down water below during the monsoon.

Our next destination was Pareshnath/Parshwanath Temple on the Pareshnath Hill. The crowd of disciples along the road was making it difficult to drive through. However, the main temple is an eight-kilometre trek uphill and, one has to start as early as 6 am in the morning to have a darshan. We had a glimpse of the top of the temple shining gloriously in the light of the setting sun at a distance.

The next morning, we enjoyed roaming locally around for a while. It was a pleasure just sitting in the garden of the hotel and watching different birds. After lunch, we started for Deoghar. We made a mistake here and took NH114A instead of NH19. Though the journey was a pleasant one through lush green fields and through picturesque villages, it took an hour more to reach Deoghar. It was way past evening when we entered the city. The delay was not only due to the wrong choice of the road though. We visited a beautiful entertainment park named “Khandoli” on our way.

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The word Deoghar literally means “abode of gods”. It lives up to its name with numerous temples, big and small. But the most popular attraction is the ropeway of Trikut Hills. The bird’s eye view of the hills from the ropeway was breathtakingly beautiful! We also visited Tapovanand Bashukinath Temple.

As the day was slowly coming to an end, we started our journey back to Kolkata. This trip will be in my mind for a long time as a short, sweet one.

79 responses to “Weekend Destination From Kolkata: Topchanchi-Giridih-Deoghar

  1. Been to this route few times. Although NH-2 leaves a lot to desired, the moment you leave the NH and take the right diversion, rocks and woods of typical curvy Jharkhand roads conspire to amaze you. And, I must say, you’ve come a long way in photography… Darun laglo!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is the first time I am hearing of Topchanchi. I like the name, 🙂 and the pictures are just amazing. Looks like such a refreshing break on the way to Giridih from Kolkata. Early morning trek to Pareshnath temple would be an enjoyable experience. I haven’t been to either Giridih or Deoghar but have heard so much about these places that it feels familiar. Thanks to blogs that we come to know of different places and feel the desire to explore these when the opportunity arises.
    Btw, you are looking absolutely rejuvenated and all glowing. 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. बहुत बढ़िया वर्णन एवं चित्र संयोजन, मनिपरना।

    Liked by 2 people

  4. You have put the thrill of the unknown in the travelogue. Those inland tourist destinations are certainly worthy of attention. I guess the filmy fraternity has migrated overseas nowadays. Is that a bumblebee you have captured? They are called bhramar in Sanskrit. It is symbolic of your carefree meandering.

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  5. Gorgeous images and YOU are just not only so lucky to be able to travel like you are but are looking radiant! Travel agrees with you, dear Maniparna!! Thank you so much for posting this about your trip. I was enthralled! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

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  6. I have read some blog posts about Deoghar as few of my friends visited there but Topchanchi lake and places in Giridih were very new to me . You too looking gorgeous 🙂

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  7. Impromptu trips are generally more interesting as there is an element of mystery around and the feeling of uncertainties add to the fun. It’s good that you had a lovely getaway at the peak of the season. BTW, Jharkhand never disappoints. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Quite an enchanting trip this was Maniparna…..yes sometimes there are such beautiful places quite close to our homes we usually tend to miss….your wonderful review along with the lovely pictures made the trip come alive…surely will have to try this one sometimes from Kolkata…..thanks for the share.

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  9. It sounds like you had a wonderful getaway Mani, the pictures you have shared speak about the beauty and serenity of the places you visited. Offbeat places have a charm of their own and if there is a lake near by, the joy doubles! Water bodies possess an amazing healing touch. Thanks for sharing your weekend sojourn. Stay blessed!

    Liked by 2 people

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