Did you know you have more than 30 options to choose from if you are looking for a weekend destination near Kolkata? Apart from West Bengal, the adjacent state of Jharkhand also has beautiful destinations. The Asanbani tour is one such weekend trip from Kolkata which is both convenient and memorable experience.
Weekend trips are fun not only due to the beauty of the destination but also because of the journey. If your boss doesn’t give you leaves easily, just take a road trip down here. I can say that because there’s a variety of things to do for different types of people.
Why is Asanbani a Great Weekend Destination for You?
I should say Asanbani is a quiet and peaceful place. It is more appropriate for a relaxing weekend than an adventurous one. It is for both nature lovers and religious folks. Located at the foot of Dolma hills, there’s greenery, lakes, flora and fauna as well as beautiful temples to visit.
If you’re a photographer, this place is a paradise for you. Come, let’s take a virtual tour before we look for the tickets.
Dolma Wildlife Sanctuary Safari
You ideally should plan a Saturday-Sunday trip here and keep one entire say for a safari in the Dolma Wildlife Sanctuary. You’ll have to climb up the Dolma hill to get here. It’s 915 feet above the ground.
Now this is a real forest where you don’t just get to enter:
- You’ll need permits and a guide to get in.
- There’s a tourist fee of Rs 5 per head.
- They charge an entry fee of Rs 150 if you’re in a car or jeep.
- Your professional camera might cost you an extra 80 bucks, but trust me it’ll be worth paying.
If you look around the dense green forests, you’ll find mostly Sal and deciduous trees around you. Every forest has a variety of colourful birds and butterflies to look at. This one will also show you some rare wild animals.
Mainly home to elephants and deer, this forest is also a home for:
- Sloth bears
- Giant Squirrels
- Barking Deer
Find the little money worth to pay now?
Water lovers, this is the place for you. There’s lesser travelling to get here compared to the forest. It’s 722 feet high. That’s almost 200 feet below the forest.
This dam is built on River Subarnarekha. The Karkori river flows from the Hundru Falls into this dam too. You have 3 things to do here apart from enjoying the beauty with your camera’s eye:
- The reservoir is pretty big to enjoy some boating.
- There’s a museum nearby which has 200 years old scripts carved on rocks.
- You may visit the open air Sheesh Mahal auditorium.
It will be great if you come here during the evening. You shouldn’t miss the sunset by a lake when you’re on the hills. In fact, if you’re here only with your partner, a moonlit night will be very romantic out here.
Famous Temples in Asanbani
Do you like to start your morning in an atmosphere where there’s divinity and tranquillity? If yes, Asanbani has 2 temples for you:
Sai Baba Temple:
If you’re a Hindu, you’ve definitely heard of this saint. Dedicated to this godly man, this temple is a symbol of universal peace and brotherhood. Even if you’re not his disciple, you’ll love it here.
Not very far from the Sai Baba Temple, this beautiful structure is dedicated to Lord Shiva. If you come here on the eve of Makar Sankranti, you’ll get to enjoy a fair too!
Other Nearby Tourist Attractions
If you find time for more, you can take a look at some of these other places nearby:
- The Dimna Lake: It is peaceful for boating and watching the sunset.
- The Dassam Falls: They’re across the Kanchi river and just 80 km from Asanbani.
- Ghatshila: That’s 47 km from Asanbani along River Subarnarekha.
The Best Time for Asanbani Tour
The hills are usually pleasant for most part of the year. However, in summer it is hot in the Dolma Wildlife Sanctuary. Considering that you should enjoy every moment of your weekend here, the best time for this short trip is between October-March.
The monsoon brings in lush greenery while colorful flowers bloom in winter and spring. Since these are small hills, it won’t get chillier than 10-11° C at night.
How to Reach?
When your loved ones are together, the journey is beautiful no matter how long it is. If you reside in Kolkata, you’re 240 km away from the destination. If you live in Jharkhand:
- Ranchi is 120-130 km away
- Jamshedpur and Tatanagar are 17 km away.
You have both road trips and train options available.
Road Trip from Kolkata
There are 3 routes from Kolkata to Asanbani you can take:
- You cross Bardhhaman and go towards Shantiniketan. After passing Suri, you reach Ranishwar which leads you to Asanbani.
- You divert left from Bardhaman and take a short-cut to Suri. From there, the same route follows.
- You can go via Durgapur and Asansol. After reaching Chittaranjan, you go towards Ranishwar and reach Asanbani.
Availability of Trains
Now you might even be residing elsewhere in Bengal or Jharkhand which could be very far from Asanbani to take a road trip. For some of you, even 240 km might not be preferable.
You’ll get trains from any station of West Bengal or Jharkhand to Tatanagar. That’s the nearest railway station from Asanbani. From here, you hire a cab or rent a car to the Dolma Hills.
So, you’ll need a car anyway. If you’re not very fond of driving, it’s best to hire a car as well as a driver from Tatanagar.
Other Places for a Weekend Trip from Kolkata
The hills stretching along West Bengal and Jharkhand are very beautiful. They’re different from the tall Himalayan range, but are worth the visit. Apart from the Dolma Hills, you’ll enjoy the following:
Most of these are in the Purulia or Bankura districts of West Bengal. Some also lie on the border of West Bengal and Jharkhand. If you’re looking for a pleasant weekend destination, these are among the best options to choose from apart from the Asanbani tour.
Doesn’t a weekend trip spent with nature and family rejuvenate you for the rest of the week?