We often look for places like Puri ,Digha, Darjeeling Gantok near West Bengal to spend our vacation. However being a born and brought up in Kolkata, I was not aware of Garh Panchkot . Till I heard of this place from my friends recently.
In The Valley of Garpanchkot
Garh Panchkot is a devastated fort placed in the feet of the hills of eastern part of India.The Hills of Panchkot falls in a district in the state of West Bengal in Purulia . The ruin left out of the Palace speaks of the attack made by the Bargi in the 18th century.The name Garpanchkot was derived from the ‘forts’, locally called the ‘garh’. These forts were constructed by the King of Kashipur, he also constructed the Temples in hilly region. 2000 ft long stands the Panchkot hill,filled with tropical and the river Damodar flowing down the hill. In the raining season the lush green land gives a magnificence treat to the eye,having the blue shy the splendid greenery of the tree and the blue river water flowing beneath. One can easily visualize the scenic beauty, an ideal place for a vacation and relaxation.The Sal ,Tamal,Palas and the Sonajhuri trees in the forest spreads the aroma of their flower all around the forest.As this place lies in the tropical region, so the weather in the summer and winter is very prominent.
Places in and around Garpanchkot
- The culture and religion history is very rich in this Region. The survival of the Kings family, who still recited in this region since 940-1750, had to shift their acient fort to Kashipur because of the Mughal attack. Some scattered parts of the temple in the Teracota style are still found in Garpanchkot. One of them are the famous Panchratna Temple.
- Panchkot dam is the dam built on the Damodar river, this dam provided boat ride facility.
- The Place of Kashipur-this palace is about 50 KM away from Garpanchkot. Unfortunately there are no document to ensure the period in which this Palace was constructed.But from the architecture, which is following the colonial pattern done in the late 18000 century, can suggest that this Palace was built during that period. The Palace is built with red bricks stones and wood.
- Darbesh is a sweet, ladoo made from Gram flour and jaggery and is very famous in Kashipur and nearby.
- Kapista Garden, is the apt place of nature loving visitors to preserve the endangered tree a forestation is made by the state government.For visitor travelling by their own transport there is a water spot before Kapista, and if luck favours one may find some tortoises roaming in the sand of the River bank.
- Rani Mahal- This is said to be a Palace built for the 17 Queens of the King. The crafting of the palace is a blend of Mughals and the traditional sculpture of that era.
- Adrathis is the biggest Railway Junction built in 1903 by British government. The steam Engine still exist in this junction, the colonial water reservoir 3 KM from Adra Station is also a adventurous place to visit.
- Joy Chandi Pahar- The Temple of Chandi Maa and the two rocks of the hill(hill) is located on the top of the highest peak. The movie ‘Hirok Rajer Dese’ by Satyajit Ray was shooted here.
- Maithon dam-Maithon also called as ‘Kashmir of Koyalanchal’ as it is situated in the belt of coal belt of India. A famous spot for picnic and weekend destination near the Barakar river. This is the biggest Dam of the Damodar valley. It achieved its name from the Mai-ka-sthan or maayer sthan, meaning mothers abode. The old kalyaneshwari temple in this region was built by the king of Barakar in 16th century.
- Ayodhaya Pahar – One of the popular destination is the Ayodhya Hill, the inhabitant of this region practice mountaineering and rock climbing, the natural beauty of the hills with water spring and stream enhance the beauty.
Temples is Garpanchkot
- The temple of this region are of a different architectural styles, they follow the same style as the Bishnupuri temple with use of stone blocks. As the Bishnupuri temple are devoted to Lord Krishna , so the followers are mostly vegetarians.
- Figure of Kali are sculpted on the stone of the Temple. They also practice is animal sacrifice. The King also believed in other religion too, as Jain cave are also present in the temple.
- One more old Temple devoted to Lord Rama is found in the region of Garpanchhkot. Most of the Kings of the Hindus in India were the descended of Rama or Raghu-Vanshis , they were considered as the ancient king of the Ramayana.
The Fort of Garpanchkot Valley.
- The blend of natural and man made construction are the example of the Fort of Garpanchkot. A semi circular moat is constructed beginning from one side to the other side of the Fort hill. This was used as the only path to get into the fort by boat. And the other area was not accessible to enter because of the huge bamboo bushes which had grown thick and wild making the area difficult for anyone to trespass along the stone wall constructed.
- The guard’s quarters-In the middle of the Panchkot above 600 feet above, were the guard quarters. The quarter construction was in contrast to the crafting of the palace build with huge slab stones.
- With area of 500 sq meter area was the guard’s quarter. The position of the quarter was strategic planning, it was like a small fort surrounded with huge solid rock, standing as a walls with only a entry path, having a triangle shape opening gate for the entrance of the whole palace and to keep an overlook on the place and its surroundings.
- The entrance to the Fort was only through the triangle shape gate only. A Ram temple in the middle of the Fort with the Stone for Lord Rama, symbolizing bravery and courage to fight many wars. Thus giving strength to the guards to fight with the same sense of strength.
Featured Photo by stupiddream