For people who are tired of their worldly woes and mundane office work this could be a welcome break. Just a few hours drive from Kolkata is the beautiful tourist spot, Garhpanchkot, which could be an ideal place to visit if you are looking for peace, quietness and a dash of romance.

The History − Legend goes that the place was inhabited once by a king who stayed amidst these idyllic surroundings with his 17 queens. As per the story the coward king fled when he was attacked by the Portuguese pirates leaving behind all his queens at the mercy of invaders. As per the local myth the queens were massacred in the attack and till today at times their cries can be heard in the darkness of the night.

Travel Back in Time − Well true or not it cannot be denied that the Garhpanchkot fort indeed has an eerie feel. To reach the fort you have to traverse an earthen road within the Jungle and walk for a few miles before a completely ruined yet monstrous structure looms large before you. What is striking about the fort is that despite being in ruins it still exhibits the intricate designs which clearly points out to the fact that the rulers were culturally enriched people. However if history does not enchant you Garhpanchkot would still manage to mesmerize you with its idyllic natural surroundings. Green forest around you paved with red mud roads can prove to be an ideal path to take that hand-in-hand walk with your beloved. Far away from the hustle and bustle of the city life this place would allow you to take that much needed break amidst the lap of nature.

Accommodation − One word of caution when you are visiting this place – book your accommodation in advance. There are limited places to stay.

The West Bengal state government has a lodge with a few rooms so it is for the best that you book your accommodation well in advance before you visit the place. There is also the Panchet Residency, a 3 star hotel, a 10-minute walk from the old fort; or try the Garhpanchkot luxury tent houses with luxury cottages on the premises.

Photo Credits: Pallab Mandal
Photo Credits: Panchet Dam - CSE IIT KGP

Close to the place are two beautiful dams − the Panchet and the Maithon dam. When you are in this area you can plan a short tour to both these dams and revel in its exquisite natural beauty. However if you enjoy neither history nor natural beauty but would rather like to indulge in shopping even then the place has something in store for you. Close to Garhpanchkot is Raghunathpur which is famous for its silk sarees. Try out the cooperative shops in Raghunathpur and buy the finest tussar silks. Whatever be your taste for a quick weekend getaway this place is the best. Not only is it easily accessible by car but also it has myriad attractions which would allow you to enjoy a fun-filled weekend at a beautiful location.

Details: Garhpanchkot is situated at the foothill of Panchet Hill and is located in the north east corner of the Purulia District. It borders with Burdwan and JharKhand. Garhpanchkot is 252 Kms by Road (via Asansol) from Kolkata.

Photo credits: Banner Left – travelescapes.in; Banner Center –blogspot.com; Banner Right – Nomadic weekends