We were looking for a short weekend trip close to Kolkata. That is how we found Mukutmanipur in Bankura. It took us about 5 hours to drive the distance of 216 kms at a steady speed to reach this spot. We did not actually mind the time spent as it was fun all along the way. Searching for locations on Google Map, losing our way occasionally, and then finding our way back was all a part of enjoying our journey.

Once we reached our destination, it was just as we had expected − a quiet, peaceful, nature resort. Not wanting to waste any time, we parked quickly and spent little time fussing about luggage or allotted rooms but instead, dashed out after some quick refreshments.

Mukutmanipur is made for travelers like us who want a quick easy getaway from the city. There is so much greenery all around and the azure reflection of the blue sky is reflected in the waters of the dam. We just stood there absorbing the place and filled our lungs with clean fresh air. There were small hillocks close by and we set out to climb them and found it enjoyable racing each other to the top to claim the winner. It sure tired us and built up our appetite. Absorbing the beauty of the place and exercising ourselves soon made us ravenous as for the good quality food served to us with lots of care.

Whilst enjoying our lunch and talking to the staff we discovered that Mukutmanipur shares its borders with Jharkhand and is the meeting point of two rivers − Kansabati and Kumari. The dam built on the river is the second largest and the water is used for irrigation. You can actually drive along the road close to the dam which gives you a great feeling. It sure was some drive to remember for a very long time. The Kansabati dam made sunset look surreal and we stood there amazed at the natural beauty at the end of the day.

On the following day we had to visit the Bankupuria Deer Park first as the kids insisted on this. So we took a boat there and not only saw a herd of deer but also various species of birds. Unfortunately, none of us had carried a pair of binoculars with us and that is why we missed some of the more distantly located varieties that were pointed out to us. While we were engrossed in our deer-watching the monkeys chattered high up on the trees. Luckily we had no food or snacks with us else it would have been a different story!

In the evening we visited the Parasnath Hills (located in the Giridih district in Jharkhand) as suggested by the people in the resort. We discovered almost 20 temples here which were about 2,000 years old. Parasnath was a Jain pilgrimage hub and was named after the 23rd Tirthankara.  Unfortunately as we were short of time we had to cut our visit short however, making a quick stopover at another Jain pilgrimage site in the vicinity − Ambikanagar. The surrounding area was known for its tribal population and culture and there some handicrafts made from bamboo and grass that we brought back along with us.

As we drove away, the beauty of Mukutmanipur and its surroundings left an indelible mark on us and we felt refreshed and ready to take on our hectic city lives. We had planned this trip at very short notice but were happy we did so and got to enjoy every minute of it.