Saturday, May 13, 2017

Panchet Dam en route to Garh Panchkot

Panchet Dam en route to Garh Panchkot
Garh Panchkot is a ruined fort located in the Western part of West Bengal at the southern foothills of Panchkot/Panchet Hill in the district of Purulia. Ruins of the fort, palace and a group of temples are is still standing as silent witness of the rise and fall of the Singh Deo dynasty and also the Bargi attack during the 18th century. It has been almost two years since I rode to Garh Panchkot and blogged about its historical ruins. Somehow I missed showcasing the glimpses of beautiful Panchet Dam en route to Garh Panchkot, but better late than never.

Panchet Dam en route to Garh Panchkot
Panchet Dam is the youngest among four inaugural multipurpose dams built by DVC (Damodar Valley Corporation) in 1959, as a part of its noble venture to salvage Damodar basin by converting the erstwhile Damodar from a "River of Sorrow" to a "River of Opportunities". Being closest to Maithon Dam in the tourist map of Bengal-Bihar-Jharkhand, Panchet certainly compels its tourists to draw comparison with the former. Well, both of these dams are extremely scenic; If the monster green lake is the highlight of Maithon, ethereal vista plays the trump for Panchet!

Panchet Dam en route to Garh Panchkot
Panchet Dam is located at Panchet over the Damodar River, where it forms the natural boundary between Indian states of Jharkhand and West Bengal, a little above its confluence with the Barakar River. Jharkhand lies on the northern bank and Bengal lies on the southern bank of Panchet reservoir. Panchet Hill rises above the Panchet Dam to earn few more brownie points for this already gorgeous landscape. As I mentioned in the beginning- architectural ruins of Garh Panchkot dating back to 1st century AD lures thousands of travelers throughout the year. Close proximity to NH-2 is probably the concluding reason to justify the high tourist influx at Panchet.

Panchet Dam en route to Garh Panchkot
Thankfully, prohibitory regulation on photography at Panchet Dam was not so stringent like that of Maithon, and I could easily park my motorcycle over the bridge to click few photos of the picturesque surrounding. It was late morning. Sun was too luminous to allow me preserve the goodness of my captures. But for me, travel photography is all about clicking photos on the go, capturing a panorama as I see it, rather than how others would fantasize. I'm sure that an early morning drive up the dam would be quite an experience in itself, with well maintained lush greenery at left to sooth your eyes and the Panchet Hill rising over the reservoir at right to tease you at the same time!

Panchet Dam en route to Garh Panchkot
Although I visited Panchet in the month of August, it wasn't exactly the time when gates of the dam were raised, and I could not witness the stereotype monsoon view of gushing water. Winter is the most comfortable season to visit Panchet Dam. Avoid the second half of December and first half of January though. Usually, tourists with minimal love towards the environment flock around the dam at that time simply to litter the area in the name of picnic. You might be interested in checking out the Nehru Park at Panchet before heading onto Garh Panchkot. I won't recommend a night halt at any of those places. You better visit Panchet as day-trip and finally stay overnight at Maithon, provided you have two days in your itinerary.

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