Love is the feeling that joins two souls and brings two hearts together; and, the day of love - we call Valentine's Day! When it comes to romantic times of the year, Valentine’s Day is number one on many people’s list. Traditionally, everyone goes all out to let their special someone knows how much he/she is appreciated on this day and every day. Some will say it with flowers while others will bring on the bling! Others will get creative with customized dates while some will play it low-key with an at-home dinner date and together time. I can suggest you, this year, go for an outing to a totally romantic and calm place; and Express the wonderful feeling of love to your partner on the Valentine's Day!
If you ever want to get away from urban life, try ‘Baranti’ for a refreshing change. Baranti is a small picturesque hamlet surrounded by hillocks. It is situated in Purulia district, West Bengal. It takes just 4-5 hours to reach there from Kolkata.
Baranti, due to its effortlessly serene and peaceful environment has become one of the most famous gateways for people who seek to indulge in the virginity of nature and rejuvenate their souls by becoming one with the Mother Nature. It is a perfect spot for a short break from the hustle and monotony of city life. This place is one of those very few locations which remain fresh and evergreen in the memories of people who witness its beauty.
Baranti is located in the midst of two hills; Panchet hill at one side and Biharinath on the other. A water reservoir has been constructed by erecting a small earthen dam between Muradi Hill and Baranti Hill. The tribal village is named after the Baranti hill and the lake is named after the Muradi Hill. The water of the reservoir look like a large blue painted glass mirror reflecting the vast expanse of sky over it.
The view of the sunset at the lake is awesome. The area is shrouded with trees like Sal, Mahua, Piyal, Palash etc. the lake is filled with seasonal birds in the winter.
The hilly forest often transforms into different colours during the change of seasons. It is intensely thrilling to hear the wild cries of nocturnal birds wafting out of the hills in the dead of night. A walk through the villages like Jibanpur and Dandahit is a pleasant experience.
If you have some extra time, visit some interesting places near Baranti:
It is About 12 km away from Baranti. The hills provide good terrain for a moderate trek. The hills were where a portion of Satyajit Ray’s ‘Hirok Rajar Deshe’ was shot.
Panchkot was a part of an ancient East Indian kingdom known as Rajchakla Panchkot, locally known as Panchet. Damodar Sekhar, established Panchkot Raj probably during early 90 AD with the help of Sardars of Jhalda and expanded his kingdom over several other parganas. To give recognition to the main five (panch) clans (khunt) of the locals, the kingdom assumed the name Panchkot. A group of temples are still standing as mute spectators of the rise and fall of the dynasty. The Pancharatna temple still carries some depleted but exquisite piece of presumably pre-muslim period terracotta work on its arches and pillars.
Maithon also known as 'Kashmir of Koyalanchal’. The Dam is Independent India's first Dam Project (one of Nehru's dreams). The Dam is the biggest dam of damodar valley corporation and was built for flood control and power generation. It is a very famous picnic and weekend destination.
The Kalyaneshwari Temple is famous as the “Temple of the Lady of Fulfillment”. It is a 500 years old centre of Shakti worship. The present temple, however, is not very old and was constructed by Panchakot Raj. The temple of Goddess Kalyaneshwari is believed to fulfill the wishes of childless women. The worshipped deity in the temple is Maa Kalyaneshwari, who is present in the form of Shakti or Goddess Kali.
Also, you can visit some more places like Panchet Hills, Panchet Dam, Susunia Hills, Kashipur Rajbarij (palace), Raghunathpur Tasar Silpa.
It is surprising that this unique tourist spot is not much known to tourists, even though it is located so close to Kolkata. If you are a nature-lover, you must have a trip to Baranti
How to reach:
At first, reach Kolkata by train or flight. Then reach Asansol by any train from Howrah/Sealdah/Kolkata Railway Station. You can find so many cabs at Asansol Railway station. Hire one of them to Baranti. Also, you can go to Muradi Station and reach Baranti village either by Cycle Rickshaws or by hired vehicles.
Many buses are available from Kolkata to Asansol. They depart either from Dharamtala or Salt Lake Bus Stand (Karunamoyee) to Asansol in the morning. Tourists can avail either Volvo service or any other Express bus service to reach Asansol within 4 hours and can proceed described above.