A personal travel blog by Ms. Reetwika Banerjee
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Joypur forest is not very far from the city of joy Kolkata but rarely visited by luxury minded tourists. They perhaps believe there is nothing much to do amidst the green lush of Teak, Sal and Eucalyptus trees of Bankura district. We always had a flair of trying less known, less visited, less crowded, less modernized and above all less littered places for our weekend getaways. Joypur Forest being one of those types, we decided to spend a night in the forest during a recent monsoon weekend.
It’s about a five-hour drive from Kolkata to Joypur Forest along the State Highway. We took the Ahalya Bai Holkar Road via Kotulpur. Road conditions were really pathetic, especially at places where construction works were going on. Otherwise, simply distance wise (140 kilometers) it should not ideally take more than three hours in a standard SUV.
Drive through Joypur Forest, Bankura
Our room was pre-booked at the Banalata Resort (resort mostly by name, more like a rural lodging facility with in-house restaurant cum bar), so we did not face much trouble checking in. Seemingly, there were no marks of any apparent sophistication amongst the staffs as they were more of local employees than typically trained hospitality professionals.
Our stay at Banalata Resort
Thatched Roof Cottage Rooms of the Resort
Emu within the Banalata campus
After having a splendid lunch with Koyel Kasha and Ghee Rice, we thought of going for a brisk walk inside the forest. However, we were strictly told to come back before sunset as with the growing darkness, there were chances of losing our way amidst the greens. Also it was demarcated as an elephant corridor by the Forest Department.
Brisk walk inside Joypur Forest
From the resort, we could visibly see two paths – a wide motorable one for the jeeps and the other was sort of a by-lane, apparently used by villagers to walk on-foot. We chose the latter and promenaded for the unknowns…
Walking deep inside Joypur forest greens
It was afternoon quarter past three, exactly when we took our first stride – our first jungle trip together and we both were enjoying the blissful natural biota at its best.
After walking for about half an hour, the path we were following so far bifurcated to two opposite directions. The demarcation on the right did not seem to be very prominent, while the one on left appeared a frequent walkway. In no mood of electrifying adventure, we took left.
Waling inside Joypur forest leaving aside motorable road
Nevertheless, the forest was not as thin as we expected reading those handful online reviews. Within another hundred meters, there was a Y-junction, meaning another bifurcation. This time the right one was more conspicuous than the other. In a mood to enjoy the surrounding natural foliage, we chose to walk further.
Way ahead after the Y-junction
As we strolled slowly deeper into the forest, we came across numerous discretely located indigenous tribal inhabitations, merrymaking at the onset of monsoon in their naïve style, rumbling at the beating of ethnic musical instruments. With no touch of sophistication they are still enjoying their life splendidly and celebrating seasons in their own way.
Tribal settlements inside Joypur Forest
Tribal Monsoon Celebrations
We returned with a big realization – Life was never so complicated. In the name of modernization, we ourselves have made it so complex, so critical to relish. Instead of madly competing each other, cannot we too live a simple life together, like them?
Way back to Banalata