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Being an ideally beautiful unavoidable part of Bengal’s Koylanchal, Maithon is considered as “Kashmir of Koylanchal”. It is the ideal destination for enjoying a happy holiday with family and friends. Despite being a part of a coal-belt region, the air of Maithon is still unexploited. In its calm scenic landscape, you will get a chance to inhale fresh oxygen and your eyes would be relaxed to get glimpses of greenery. If you are looking for an escape from the busy chores of the city then take a break and treat yourself with the surprises of Maithon. Its name was derived from Mai-ka-sthan whose literal meaning is mother’s abode and the ancient Kalyaneswari temple of Maithon was established in 16th century by Barakar’s king.
In West Bengal – Jharkhand border, Maithon is located as a small township which is centered on the renowned Maithon Dam. It belongs to the coal-belt of India on river Barakar and the dam is considered as the biggest dam of Damodar Valley Corporation. Although the dam, reservoir, and natural landscape are the major attractions of Maithon you may also pay a short visit to its nearby popular places:
- Kalyaneswari Temple,
- Deer park,
- Chamach pahar (Spoon Island),
- Millennium park and Phoolbagan,
- Kaali pahari,
- Pahari baba mandir,
- Maithon Hydal power plant and
- Maithon thermal power plant.
All these destinations are easily accessible by local transports.
- Although Maithon could be reached from major cities (Delhi, Derhadun, Patna, Jabalpur, Howrah and many others) by road, train, car and air; but I opted for the train journey. I booked a ticket of Black-Diamond Express to reach Kumardhubi station from Howrah (Kolkata). Kumardhubi is at a distance of around 9 km from Maithon Dam. On the scheduled date, I arrived at Kumardhubi station in late afternoon and took an auto to reach at Maithon town.
- Maithon town is 30 km away from Asansol and just 40 km far from Dhanbad. Nearest functional airports of Maithon are – Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Airport (230 km) and Bhagawan Birsa Munda Airport (190 km). The destination is easily accessible from both of the airports by private car or public transports.
- Plenty of hotels and guest houses such as Majumder Niwas, Maithon Hotel, Aparna guest house etc. are available to give the tourists a comfortable stay in Maithon. I reserved a double bedded room earlier for me in Maithon tourist Lodge of WBTDC.
- Customized meals (Indian, Bengali, Chinese and other cuisines) are served in the hotels and local eateries at an affordable price.
Arrival DayOn scheduled date, I reached Maithon just after the sunset. The majestic orange view of the evening sky over the dam attracted me at first glance. At the door step of the tourist lodge, I was cordially welcomed by the authority and after completing check-in formalities, I quickly went to my pre-allotted room. The spacious room was neatly arranged and equipped with all modern facilities. I freshened up and ordered a cup of ginger tea to recharge myself. Then I went outside to take a stroll around the surrounding area. While strolling around the area I got a chance to know more about this small township, its history of evolution, tradition, culture and lots more. On my return, I requested the hotel authority to arrange a private car for me for sightseeing. Finishing a healthy hygienic dinner at lodge’s dining hall, I dozed off early.
Worship DayAs per my request, the car was about to come to the lodge’s gate at 9 am so I woke up early in the morning. My morning started with a pleasant walk along the dam area and the walk was accompanied by cool breeze as well as birds’ song. I took a seat on the hired car on time and headed towards Kalyaneswari temple. As the temple is generally remain crowded with rush of devotees so it is recommended to visit the temple early in the morning. As I wanted to explore the beauty of the temple while conveying my worship to the Goddess Maa Kali so I took a dala (puja ki thali) and stood in the long queue to reach to the main temple. After standing for more than 2 hours, I came out of the temple with Maa Kali’s Prasad. Then I along with the car driver had lunch at one of the famous restaurants of the town and moved towards our next destination – Deer Park. This beautiful is surrounded by two streams (originated from the dam) and its third side is occupied by the dam itself. It houses more than 50 deer and they play happily around the whole park (under surveillance of the forest authority). As photography is prohibited here so I captured this eternal beauty in my heart. I also paid a short visit at the Millennium Park. In the late evening I returned back to lodge passing through the main reservoir.
A memorable boat rideToday’s foremost destination was Spoon Island or Sabuj Dwip. It is actually a giant spoon shaped island in the middle of the reservoir lake. After breakfast, I headed to the Govt. run boat harbour of Maithon dam from where I opted for a long boat ride that took the tourists on a tour around the island and the wide spread lake. This around 2 hours’ boat ride was truly an unforgettable memory for me. The scenic beauty of the lake, colourful attire of uncountable unknown migratory birds made me spellbound. Then I took a local vehicle and rushed towards the Hydal and thermal power plant. The mechanism use here to produce power is really appreciated and you would be able to know about the plants while having an interaction with the plant supervisors. After paying a quick visit at the old-aged Pahari Babar Mandir and Kali pahari (another hill top temple of Maa Kali), I returned back to my lodge.Completing a delicious lunch, I bid goodbye to Maithon and boarded on my scheduled train towards Howrah from Kumardhubi station. At the end of this beautiful trip, I finally understood that Maithon is really Kashmir of Koylanchal as it has been succeeded to retain its purely natural beauty amidst the pollution and hurdles of Koylanchal.
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