Saturday, January 29, 2011
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Bike ride to Falta.
Well, this account has to begin with a description of how this trip was conceived of. The date was the 25th of January, 2011 and time 11.30pm. Was on facebook chatting with Pinak, a friend of mine, when suddenly an idea chaged the course of the next morning to be. We decided to head out along Bakrahat road which begins at Thakurpukur and then decide where to go. Pinak, being as crazy as I am, was quick to accept this proposal and the next thing we knew.. It was 4.30am on Republic Day and Pinak , Pooja (his siter) and I were off to an unknown destination. Our rides.. the Hero Honda Hunk and the Bajaj Pulsar 200, dTSi.
Now, what we encountered was something we did not expect much, given that winter is well on its way of biding a nice goodbye to the city of joy, for this year atleast. Dense fog enveloped us moments after we took to Bakrahat Road. With visibility barely a few metres, it was very difficult to ride the bike at a high speed. But then just as God had said, “Seek and you shall find.”, we were seekin’ , and we found the right start to this small little adventure. So through the fog our bikes went, gingerly and skeptically… not knowing what was ahead of us… literally! A great feeling for a biker, makes you feel as if you are one with your surroundings, cutting through the clouds on your machine. Yes it does feel like God!!!
A little further the desire for some tea overtook us and we took our first little stopover at a roadside tea stall which had just opened shop. Nothing like a hot cuppa early in the morning to get your spirits going! It was all the more romantic because of the fog and the feel… cold but soft, like a woman’s touch. Feeling nostalgic? Well, we just cant help it…. Can we?
Well then, after this brief stopover, off we went further along the road, having no idea where we were going, seeing nothing but fog and the road before us, till we came to a place where the fog cleared up a bit. Finally we decided to check… where the hell were we? So out came the mobile phones with GPS and we began tracking the route we had taken. We were at Mullickpur, and we glimpsed Falta on the edge of the map. It was then we decided, Falta it was! Off we went down the road, marveling nature’s beauty and bounty, when we suddenly came across a beautiful section of the road, all covered with a beautiful canopy and receding fog. A perfect place for a few “cinematic” shots! It is hard to believe that you can see such scenes in India as well, not only in the European countries. It is just that we gotta be up for it (well cant express myself with a smiley here.. limitations of the blog, but well, you get it).
After the photoshoot it was directly to Falta, a small fishing harbour on the banks of the Ganges, which is being slowly converted into a SEZ (Special Economic Zone). We went as close to the river bank as possible with our bikes. A beautiful place with a lot of people already present there, getting ready for some great picnic fun. The air was filled with Munni and Sheila, and we didn’t mind. Well that’s the party spirit, the spirit of being free and dancing. We got in a few very good shots here and then proceeded to have some more tea and some breakfast. French toast at Falta… nice eh?
Breakfast done, we decided to head back home. Time : 9.30am. Along the treaded path the wheels turned once more. We felt truly independent. A very happy but belated Happy Republic Day to everyone! This was by far the best Republic Day morning for us.
Information & Writeup : Vivek Mukherjee
Monday, July 12, 2010
Gour-Pandua is the medieval capital of Bengal. They are twin towns located to the north and south of Malda town, 340 km from Kolkata, in West Bengal. Malda is the base for a visit to Gour-Pandua. The area saw three eras of glory - the Buddhist Palas, the Hindu Senas and the Muslim Nawabs. The Senas, the last Hindu kings of Bengal, were displaced by the Muslims in the beginning of the 13th century. They ruled till the Battle of Palashi in 1757. There is no trace of any shrine or structure of the Buddhist or Hindu periods. Even those of the Muslim period are virtually in ruin.
Rocket service from Esplanade for Siliguri.
The normal route is to take NH 34, which links Siliguri with Kolkata, but the longer route via Durgapur Expressway from Dankuni, Grand Trunk Road from Saktigarh to Panagarh bypassing Bardhaman town, and then taking the Panagarh-Moregarm Expressway up to Morgram on NH 34 is a more comfortable and enjoyable option.
Hired cars are available.
- Ramkeli – 14 km south of Malda- contains footprints of Sri Chaitanya on stone.
- Chamkati Mosque - Noted for enamelled bricks in its cornices. This small mosque with a single dome and a three extranced verandah in front was probably built during the reign of His Majesty Sultan Shamsuddin Yusuf Shah (1474 - 81 AD). It may have some association with 'CHAMKATTI' (Skin-cutter) class of Muslims.
- Bara Sona Masjid – Half a kilometre from Ramkeli, it is also called Baro Duari Masjid. It was, started by Allaudin Shah and completed by his son, Nasiruddin Nusrat Shah in 1526. The Indo-Arabic style of architecture and the ornamental stone carvings make Baroduari a special attraction for tourists.
- Dakhil Darwaza – Built in 1425 and also known as Salami Darwaza it was once the main entry for the fort. It is more than 21 metres high and 34.5 metres wide.
- Feroze Minar – A kilometre away from Dakhil Darwaja, it was built by Sultan Saifuddin Feroze Shah during 1485-89. 26 metres high and 19 metres in circumference, it resembles the Qutub Minar of Delhi.
- Chika Masjid - Sultan Yusuf Shah built the Chika Mosque in 1475. The beautifully ornate carvings on the walls and the images of Hindu idols on the stonework of doors and lintels are still partly visible.
- Kadam Rasul - Half a kilometre from the Feroze Minar, this mosque was built by Sultan Nasiruddin Nusrat Shah in 1530. It contains the footprints of Hazrat Muhammad on stone.
- Tomb of Fateh Khan - Opposite the Kadam Rasul Mosque this 17th century tomb of a commander of Aurangzeb's army is an interesting structure, built in the Hindu chala style. Who was sent by the Emperor to kill Saint Shah Nimatullah suspected of advising Sultan Shuja to rebel. On arrival at gaur, Fathe Khan is believed to have vomit with blood and died on this spot at 1707 AD.
- Gumti Gate - Built by His Majesty Sultan Hussain Shah (1493 - 1519 AD). This single domed structure embellished with enamelled bricks was used as an eastern gate into the citadel of Gour.
- Tantipara Masjid – a short distance away has intricate terracotta work.
- Lukochuri Darwaja – Located to the south-east of the Kadam Rasul Mosque, this is a place where the sultans played hide and seek with the begums. There is a difference of opinion as to who built this gate, some say that Shah Shuja built it in 1655, others opine that it was built by Allauddin Hussein Shah in 1522. The innovative architectural style makes it an interesting place to visit.
- Kotwali Darwaja (Between 1235 and 1315 AD) - About 30' high and 17' wide, this arched gateway now in ruins was the southern entrance into the outer ramparts of Gour. Approximating in style to early Delhi architecture. it was probably built between the earliest inscription found at Gour (1235 AD) and His majesty Sultan Alauddin Khilji's death (1315 AD) when influence of Delhi predominated at Gour. Eventually this gate is situated at the No Man's Land of India and Bangladesh now.
- Mahadipur Indo-Bangladesh Border – International border and No man's land of INDIA and BANGLADESH. You can reach upto the N-M-L without BSF or BDR permission. But remember, in this high sensitive zone, photography is strictly NOT allowed and even for media reasons too. If you are keen to capture some photographs there, you'd have to get permission from the Indian Foreign Ministry at New Delhi.
There are a number of other places that one can visit if one has the time.
Situated 15 km north of Malda town.
- Adina Masjid - built in 1369 by Sultan Sikander Shah it was one of the largest mosques in India. Carved basalt masonry from earlier Hindu temples is said to have also been used.
- Qutb Shahi Masjid - locally known as the Chhoto Sona Masjid, built to honour Saint Nur Qutb-ul-Alam. The ruins of his shrine are nearby, along with that of Saint Hazrat Shah Jalal Tabrizi, collectively known as the Bari Darga.
- Eklakhi Mausoleum is the most elegant monument in Pandua, with a carved Ganesh on the doorway. It is a tomb of the son of a Hindu Raja, who converted to Islam.
- Dear Park - Around 5kms from Adina Masjid.
Relax in your place of stay - the visit to the historical sites will be tiring.
Nothing special about Malda but those who are very keen can look for Murshidabad silk. Those who are traveling by car can look for fresh vegetables, particularly extra-large aubergines.
There are some good sweet-meat shops with local varieties. Rajani Gandha(Continental Lodge, Purbanchal, Fiza (Kalinga Hotel), Rojgere (Chanakya Hotel), Payel restaurant...
Normally drinks are available in the hotels but those who are particular about it should preferably carry it.
- Malda Tourist Lodge (West Bengal Tourism), Telephone +91 3512 220 123, +91 3512 220 991, Rooms Rs. 150-600, Dormitory Rs 80.
- Purbachal, Telephone +91 3512 220 183, Rooms Rs. 250-650
- Continental, Telephone +91 3512 220 388, Rooms Rs. 200-500
- Hotel Purbanchal, Telephone +91 3512 266 183, +91 3512 267 187
- Hotel Landmark, Telephone +91 3512 221 184
- Hotel New Heaven, Telephone +91 3512 252 735
- Hotel Chanakya, Telephone +91 3512 266 694
- Hotel Meghdoot, Telephone +91 3512 266 216
- Hotel Kalinga, Telephone +91 3512 283 567
- New Circuit House, for booking write or fax to: District Magistrate, Malda – 732101, Telephone +91 3512 252 330, Fax +91 3512 253 092, +91 3512 253 049
- Hotel Mallika, Telephone +91 3512 258345 / 273594
- ROYAL PARK, Near Rabindra Bhavan, Telephone +913512 252178 / 220723 / 645723, FAX +913512 220723. Please scroll down to see Royal Park's hospitality.
Out and About
- Farakka Barrage – about 35 km south of Malda. It is on NH 34 and those travelling by road from Kolkata will cross it.
- Murshidabad – about 140 km from Malda
- Siliguri – about 250 km from Malda
- Kolkata – about 347 km from Malda
Information: Mr. P. K Neogi & Sumanta Chattopadhyay
Photography : Sumanta Chattopadhyay & Kinjal Chakrabarty
Editing : Vivek Mukherjee & Sumanta Chattopadhyay
We the tourer with our machine
Talented local boy busy with his RAP
Design at the walls of Kadam Rasul
Kotwali Darwaja (Between 1235 and 1315 AD) - About 30' high and 17' wide, this arched gateway now in ruins was the southern entrance into the outer ramparts of Gour. Approximating in style to early Delhi architecture. it was probably built between the earliest inscription found at Gour (1235 AD) and His majesty Sultan Alauddin Khilji's death (1315 AD) when influence of Delhi predominated at Gour. Eventually this gate is situated at the No Man's Land of India and Bangladesh now.
It is situated beside of Malda Rabindra Bhawan at Krishnakalitala, N.H 34, Malda - 732101. Telephone +913512 252178 / 220723 / 645723, Mobile 9434052195. FAX +913512 220723.
Royal Park is offering you the ultimate hospitality and the wooden designed suits with pure taste of Nawab's suite.
- Cost of suites are around Rs.1800 - 2200 per day with 24hrs check in/out facility.
- Also this lavish hotel is offering you Deluxe rooms, Double / triple bed AC / non AC rooms with corporate meeting hall.
- Cost of Deluxe rooms are around Rs.1000 - 1500 per day with 24hrs check in/out facility.
- Cost of Double or Triple bed AC rooms are around Rs.700 - 900 per day with 24hrs check in/out facility. And the cost of non AC Double or triple bed rooms are around Rs. 500 - 700 per day with 24hrs check in/out facility.
- Royal park owns a delightful restaurant with really tasty foods and beverages.
- Car parking is available.
Nawabi Suite Baithak Khana (Common room) 1st angle
Corporate Meeting Hall 1st angle