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sb-alto

Travelogue - Nawab-e-Shanti.

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..this time it was planned. Dad was ready with some plan which I was completely unaware of. With 15 days left of my going back to Hyderabad and with the welcome shower of monsoon, we are out on roads, again.

I was told that some sort of resort was pre booked in my absence and dad promised that it will be an experience that I never had. The packing started a day before and cameras were the top priority as we will experience a village like a village. So a village it was.

Where?

"About 150kms"

How do we go ?

"Easy, NH2 till Burdwan, then to a place called Bolpur"

But we have already been to Bolpur !!

"No, this isnt the Bolpur everyone visits, its beyond the reach of "Tagore"

This was not the end of the trip. The plan was to reach a place called Murshidabad about 120km more from Bolpur where the last of the nawabs ruled in Bengal just before the British took control over bengal.

(Yon can read about Bolpur and Murshidabad here http://www.bolpur-santiniketan.com/ and http://murshidabad.net/ )

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Edited by sb-alto

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Wow youre back with another travelogue. Looking forward to your next posts :)

Thanks PH. I hope everyone likes it.

Day minus 1

The day before the journey (4th of June) was spent packing cameras, filling up the petrol tank, checking tyre pressure and cleaning the car. Google map was referred before as I do not have any GPS device, nor can depend on my Micromax Canvas A100 for navigation as mobile tower will not be available after about 100kms from my place. Dad gave me a brief idea about how remote the village is going to be. The resort is lit by solar lamps and electricity is considered some substance before the era of Benjamin franklin. So charging all electrical devices was on priority. 3 light travel bags and a dedicated camera bad was our companion and all these got comfortably in the boot of our Alto. The bags were even loaded the night before to avoid delay in leaving early. We went to bed by 10pm to make sure we have a good night sleep, so that we can start by 5 in the morning.

Day 1

Tripmeter set to zero, we start our journey at exactly 5 am in the morning. Within 15 minutes we reach airport and take left towards my favorite road NH2. The first stop was at Shaktigarh again (like all our trips) for light breakfast and tea.

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Edited by sb-alto

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After our first stop, we moved on till Burdwan, where we took a right to Bolpur-Shantiniketan highway. The road is a two lane with marker divider. The freshly laid tarmac is a delight to drive, but one can only do around 40-50kmph due to sudden appearances of cattle and unsafe commuting vehicles. From burdwan it is an hour's journey to Bolpur. But our so called place to stay is 9km away from Bolpur. The village is called Kamarpara, where there is a guest house which is established on 4-5 acres of village land. The road soon showed where it leads.

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After reaching Bolpur at around 8:30am, we took the village road towards our destination. The "kachha" road is 1km till we reached "Aro Aakash", our guest house. As we enter the village, silence struck us. Dad was so right! Remote is the word. No electricity, no concrete house, no bricks, no mobile networks, no dish Tv, no nothing. Acres of trees and greenery surround us at any point. All houses in the vicinity is made of mud with thatched roof and tribal paintings.So is our guest house. Curious eyes of the villagers were fixed on our car as if it was a rolls royce phantom or so.

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The village road

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The guest house

After we settled in for the day in our hut, we decided to visit the University campus in the afternoon. The day was hot and humid with partly cloudy sky. The university was established by Rabindranath Tagore and around 3000 students are part of this university. The unique nature of this university is that, there are no classrooms, but tree shades where classes take place. There is a huge garden and mango orchard where the classes are conducted. Most of Tagore's work were inspired by the nature of this place.

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Edited by sb-alto

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Dad was right about the camera part as well. This place is a photographers delight. Not many time people get to experience nature so close and so pure. Many of us visit the mountains and seas and brag about how beautiful places these are, true, but a place so beautiful without commercial tourist establishments is a delight.

When was the last time you heard the sound of silence, seen the starry sky, followed the butterflies and walked on dew filled grass? What if there was no android, no clubs, no internet, no BBM and all that we live with.? Questions like these are answered here.

Let the photographs do the talking.

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At night the guest house looked even more beautiful with a few bulbs and darkness all around. Some pictures of the guest house at night

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With nothing to do and roam around lazy, I got the perfect opportunity to brush up my photographic skills. The flora and fauna will amaze all. Let the pictures do the talking

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Day 2

The second day was more or less the same. Me and my dad spent most of the time photographing the nature while my mother enjoyed roaming around, doing nothing. In the afternoon we had a quick visit to a small riverside which the locals call "kopai". We decided to head towards Murshidabad by the end of the day. After 2 days of roaming around in Bolpur, at 5pm we left for Murshidabad.

The road towards Murshidabad is worth talking about. The road is the widest single lane road I have ever seen, which heads towards Darjeeling, Bhutan etc. The road is between dense forest and has very few traffic. A few years back this place was unsafe at night, but with the increasing traffic and use of this road, due to the worse condition of NH34, the road is of no worry now.

So we leave Bolpur and head towards Murshidabad

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More pictures of the road that lay ahead of us.

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Edited by sb-alto

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Murshidabad was the capital of Bengal before the entry of the British. Nawab Siraj was the last ruling emperor of Bengal before he lost to the English soldiers because of conspiracy. Hazar Duari, meaning 1000 doors is the name of the building where the king used to live. There are a lot of mosques and some antique buildings which are popular shooting spots for the Indian film industry.

Another attraction is the river Ganges that flow just beside the royal palace and our hotel. Our hotel called Manjusha is one hotel which is on the banks of the Ganges. The hotel is not luxurious, but its location makes it the most desirable hotel to stay in Murshidabad. We took rooms on the ground floor facing the river as the first floor was occupied. From the roof top the view of the royal palace is awesome and the sound of the flowing river water makes it even more beautiful.

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Some more pictures of the surroundings.

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Other places to see are multiple mosques with mughal architecture and beautiful carvings. Some of these buildings have been subjected to ill maintenance before ASI took over.

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Edited by sb-alto

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Those are awesome pictures. I love your attention to details. Superb. Waiting for more.

Awesome Pics!

@sb_alto

Amazing set of photos, well captured and thank you for sharing. I must say, you have maintained this black beauty very well. :)

Thanks PH , Hersch and Sstar I enjoy clicking pictures :). I am glad that all of you liked it.

Visiting here and there, sitting beside the Ganges and an escape from the city was the only purpose of the tour. Got some good pictures to share and some experience which I will not forget in a while. On the fourth day we took NH34 all the way back to Kolkata, in a 5 hours journey. The road is better than before, although not the best one to enjoy driving.

Some pictures of the road and the end of one 637 kms of journey.

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Edited by sb-alto

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