Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Driving 300km through NH 43 from Raipur, the capital of Chhatisgarh, we reached Jagdalpur at about 2 P.M. It was a fortunate clear sky in the month of july in Chhatisgarh. We took this oppurtunity to see some steel grade limestone deposits around Jagdalpur of Chhatisgarh . As we were planning to work on the Limestone deposit on the following day we were looking for a good hotel In Jagdalpur a district city of Chhatisgarh. Besides many budget hotels there are 4-5 good hotels at Jagdalpur. We stopped near Rainbow hotel just at the heart of the city and there I had a different idea. I told my counterparts" If you want to see the real rainbow on the Niagara of India it is Chitrakut and just 30 km towards Northwest through a equally good road of NH 43. There is a good resort just by the side of the waterfall. It shall be a full moon light and you may view the waterfall as long as you want. Further more our limestone deposits arealso near to that" The idea sold like hotcake and we immediately started. Half an hour later we were hearing the roaring sound of waterfall even from 2 Km away. Reaching at the parking lot about 500 m away from the fall I put my raincoat and gumboot and I told them "if you do not mind wetting your dress and spoiling your shoes you may dress like me, choice is yours." Looking at the sky with little cloud some preffered not to dress like and repented later on. As we reached near to the fall, the drops of water were already wetting few of us but those who followed me enjoyed a wonderful scene. The river indravati fed by the huge catchments of rainwaters both from Orissa and Chhatisgarh is in it's youthful energy. The place near the fall is about 300m wide and forms a horse shoe shape just before the fall.

The water was falling to a vertical drop of 100feet and a nice rainbow was formed in the sky by the combinations of continual sprayed droplets of water and the falling lightrays of the setting sun .
The full moon flooded the sky and we continued till late night seeing this fall from our rooms from the resort. I saw this waterfall so many times while propecting for limestone deposits. But as our work mostly take place during winter I saw the calm waterfall. The seven distinct falls from this horshoe shaped opening is clearly seen at that time.

1. From Raipur end: Raipur being the state capital of Chhatisgarh is well connected by Air and Rail on Bombay-Howrah route Via Nagpur.
From Raipur through NH 43 the district headquarter of Jagdalpur is 300 Km. From
Jagdalpur it is only 30Km. Lots of Volvo delux buses ply from Raipur on Raipur- Bailadila route. This route offers spectacular view of the forests betwwen Dhamtari and Kanker. Between Kanker to Keshkal the drive through a spiralling high way through a hill is spectacular.
2. From the Vizag end: One may also follow train route of Jagdalpur from Vizag, the Coastal city of Andhra pradesh. Vizag is well connected by train and Air. This is a spectacular journey, the train route follows the highest broadgauge tracks of the world passing through 28 tunnels. Delux buses also run from Vizag to Jagdalpur.
From Jagdalpur it is advisable to hire a private car or Jeep on contract basis.
Stay: Jagdalpur has both budget and luxary hotels. People prefering to stay at Chitrakut may either stay at the Luxary resort just near the waterfall or few more hotels which are also at walking distance. But from these hotels the spectacular view of waterfall partcularly at night is not possible. The lighting arrangements are there to view this but nothing comparable to naturall lighting of fullmoon days. on full moon days the lighting system is kept shut.
Other places to visit near to this: There are seven such places around Jagdalpur. Three of them are very near to Jagdalpur within a radius of 35-40 Km. The rest may take 3-4 hours to reach by car. All places are connected by good road.
1.Maharaja palace and also known as Bastar palace at Jagdalpur and museum near the palace is worth seeing.The Bastar Palace, one of the splendid creations by the King Dalpat Deo of Kaktia manifesting superior art and architecture of yesteryears. In 1936 Maharaja Pravir Chandra Bhanjadeo became the first oriya ruller. He was killed in a "police action" on 25 March 1966 when he revolted against the Union Of India for the rights of tribals in his erstwhile principality, hundreds of tribals got killed in that police action defending their Maharaja, who ultimately succumbed to 13 bullet injuries in Baster Palace.
2. Dalpat Sagar lake: spread over 400 hecters in the town built by Maharaja Dalpat deo Kakatiya is also worth seeing. The evening sunray falling on this lake and the return of series of boats of fisher men and their songs of local fairy tale of Maharaja makes agreat relaxing evening. You may also enjoy the boating in this lake.
3.The Tirathgar waterfall :
This is in the kanger valley National Park and another spectacular fall, about 45 Km from Jagdalpur.
4. Dantewada Temple:

This at a distance of 87 km from Jagdalpur at the spectacular confluence of Dankini and Sankhini river.Parts of the dead body of Goddess Sati were scattered to fifty-two different places, which were consecrated as Shakti Pithas by different names. It is believed that a tooth of Sati had fallen here and Danteshwari Shaktipith was established. Resurrection of the present construction of temple was done before Independence of India. The temple is divided into four parts such as Garbh Griha, Maha Mandap, Mukhya Mandap and Sabha Mandap. Garbha Griha and Maha Mandap were constructed with stone pieces. It is said that several statues were brought from Barsur and were established here. A Garud Pillar has been erected in front of entrance of the temple, which was brought from the temple of Barsur.Chalukya rulers were the dedicated devotees of
5.Barsur : 75 KMs from Jagdalpur on the way to Dantewada a small town Geedam is situated, 24 KMs towards North of Geedam village Barsur is located on the banks of Indravati. The present small sleepy village was once the capital of Gangawanshi rulers in 840 A.D. It is believed that there used to be 147 temples and equal number of ponds here in the towering days of Barsur. Some of the temples worth mentioning are Mama-Bhanjaa temple, Chandraditya temple, Battisa temple and a mammoth statue of Lord Ganesha. Apart from these temples one vast pond of pre-historical days is worth visiting.
6.Bodhghat Sath Dhar : - 6 KMs from Barsur, river Indravati divides into 7 parts to form one small waterfall. This spot, fully covered with dense green forests stands to explain the beauty of the combination of the river, water and the mountains. With all its beauty and peaceful locality Sath Dhar is an idle picnic spot.
7.Kutumsar cave and the musical Kailash Gufa: Both situated in the Kanger Valley National Park, stand at 38 km and 40 km from Jagdalpur respectively. The Kutumsar Caves which are 1327 meters long display magnificent formations of stalactites and stalagmites and are probably the darkest of their sort, 35 meters below the ground level. These are possibly the world’s second largest caves formed naturally and house five natural chambers and quite a few blind wells.
The Kailash Gufa is situated on a small hillock and looks similar to the Kutumsar Caves. A 100 meters long cave, it is also pitch dark and has a narrow entrance. Discovered in 1993, the cave houses stalactites and stalagmites galore. There is a special stalagmite formation which can be seen at the end of the cave in the shape of a Shivlinga. The reverberations caused here are strangely musical.
People coming from Vizag end enjoying the serene beuaty of the hills,valleys and tunnels may stop over at Arraku for a night to see this wonderful hillstation.
35 km from Dantewada, Bailadila is the largest mechanised opencast mines of iron ore where N.M.D.C is currently mining. Essar and Tisco are also likely to put up their mines shortly and at present detailed exploration is going on. Myself and my team are working on this. We enjoy the beauty of this place and quite often take rest beside this fall.People interseted in seeing these may also visit. Permission to see the mines may be obtained from N.M.D.C Authorities.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


It lasts for usually for 35 minutes if not delayed by proper signals and handling lever problems of level gates. It blows entirely hot for many times, seldom cold but occasionally enjoyable when it is a mixture of both.  This is my regular "daily passenger's ignoble and grueling strife of  the local train journey. But  I prefer and enjoy this daily forward and return journey from my residence to office and back.
I stay at Barrackpore,  a suburb of Kolkata, about 35 Km distance  from the main city and my office at Park street. Barrackpore, a historical cantonment town is also a terminus station has few advantages. At least at the time of forward journey a comfortable seat near the window is almost guaranteed.

I am a   newcomer in this city who lived in deep forests for most of his professional life. But now being posted at H.O I stay at Kolkata and gradually started learning to live here and the most important part of it is how to go in a local train minimizing the troubles. I learnt few  thumb rules.
The most coveted seat is near window facing in the forward direction of train movement. The most beneficial standing is standing between two rows of benches, no pushing and occasionally if luck showers,  you may get a seat.

I usually prefer the super packed up Kalyani Local of 6.30P.M and deliberately reach the platform just at the optimum time of 5 minutes before the leaving. Time earlier and later than this I miss many things.

Pushing a bit and taking the elderly man's advantage I placed myself standing near the door. Just a minute before leaving, the great push placed me luckily in the corridor just below a fan. The train started moving, the people standing near the doors extended their hand to pick up the some passengers running in the platform to make the last minute dangerous effort.

One young man sitting just near to me offered me a seat but I pushed another deserving one. Another young man went further. He vacated his seat giving more comfort to the sitting rest but stood near the window blocking the fresh air.

One of his friend said" Nothing unusual, his party is also vacating Bengal."
" This is our policy. We are ready to suffer for the comfort of others. Our party's defeat is temporary one"
" That was not a temporary one, it shall continue. You lost because you people desperately started snatching the fertile lands of the Villagers. You people thought that you can force the villagers to bow down before you, but they braved the booth jams and kicked you back."
" Oh why can't you people keep cool man. Saurav never mind these naughty bums. "
" No you see those EVM machines are...."

It is too hot here and not very interesting to me. The train left Bidhannagar and with a greater push I was shifted to another position in the corridor.

This time I was in between two sitting rows facing opposite to each other. On my left were kids returning from the same school and on my right there were young boys and girls probably from the same college.

" You know today the smartest boy Subham was caught."
" Subham! How come?"
" You know he wrote in his home work copy We get milk from packets. I corrected him. I told him the cows give us the milk and while milking the milk in the bucket is hot. He corrected and went a step further. He wrote we get milk and Curd from the Cow. Mam asked him to explain. He said that while milking the milk is hot. So if a piece of tamarind is fed to cow you can straight way get the curd." People standing with me also laughed a lot.

In the other side in the row of young boys and girls also there was an IDEA MASTER.
" One should propose a girl taller than him. You know why? In future there shall be peace and love in their small nest. Her yells will be over your ears. She has to lower her neck to talk to you and you know that is only when they whisper and blush."
with common roars of laughter some one from them said " What an Idea Sir ji!"
 SirJi is very popular and he is also known as Guruji. A "Bhakt" of him came near to him
 " Guru, that day the song you are singing aiming to flirt that hippo ..."
 " Yes Go On"
You were singing " OH Hansini, Oh Plussini, but I did not quite get you"
" Oh that day, another thin bird was also by her side. Aarre  Buddhu! Hans means  Duck. So Hansini is 'Duckini' and Plus means Yoga. So Plusini means Yogini. I was actually calling them Dakini- Yogini " Now even the elderly people sleeping in the  comfortable seats of window compelled to get up from their evening dosing with the roars of laughter.

Stoppage "Sodepur" came and the crowd became little thin. Two more stoppages to Barrackpore and I was proceeding towards the gate.
I had a glimpse of a middle aged person who was still running in the platform. The young men near the doors picked him up. The man instead of thanking was roaring. 
" Aare what sort of people you are? "
" We only helped you Dada and you are angry."
" Why should I not be. I was only two compartments before you. I could jump out of the Compartment at the last moment and I was running so that I do not fall. Now for the sake of you people I am back in the train."

A gentleman known to him came near to him controlling his laughter and consoled" Dada get down at Barrackpore, you shall get an empty up train. "
"I shall be more than half an hour late. And these flowers from Mallickghat, with so much heat they may get spoiled."
" Flowers for Boudi. Dada I forgot. Wish you a happy marriage anniversary. Dada be a little late carry a big packet of famous Biryani From "Dada Boudi" Restaurant just near the Barrackpore Station. Boudi shall forget her tempers and be too happy."
" That's an Idea"the man now no longer grumbled.

While he was at the platform the young men who lifted him from Sodepur Said" Happy Marriage anniversary Sir. Show this token card at "Dad-Boudi". We contacted the manager from our cell. A gift packet is getting ready for you. Please accept our gift of Special Biryani in Hot pack ."
Proceeding to No 14 level crosing gate I looked at a big hoarding and mumbled " WHAT AN IDEA SIR JI!"