Sonajhuri: Social Foresting at Shantiniketan

Kolkata is the City of Joy. It is the residential place of mine. But the daily pollution and the hectic life make me unhappy. So to get afresh air and have a good Bengali meal, I chose to go Sonajhuri in the month of October.

IMG_0684.JPGArriving at Sonajhuri, is no adventurous, but it will soothe your mind while you travel by the express train from Kolkata Station, Howrah Station and Sealdah Station. While you see the golden paddy fields, definitely, you murmur “Amar sonar Bangla…ami tomay valobashi

Sonajhuri _5Sonajhuri, famous for Khowai, Sanibarer Haat, and the social foresting, these charm your heart and soul. The village of Goalpara and the draining of Kopai river lost my feet to advance. I reached Bolpur Station, morning at 9 and hired a cab- straight to Sonajhuri, by halting Kankalitala Kali Temple for 5 minutes. The picturesque beauty of the yellow, red and green Goalpara allure me most. I mesmerized, while I visit first time.

Sonajhuri_1.jpgA silent walk in Khowai is like a treat to me after the hustling Durga Puja in Kolkata. Sonajhuri is synonymous to silence, gentle autumnal winds, untouched forests and little cacophony of local artisans joining every Saturday to sell their handmade things like terracotta idols, costume jewelleries, sarees and the handmade bags. At Sonajhuri, enjoy the lost charm of Shantiniketan with the snaking red village roads, and Khoai region.

DSC_2908.jpgSonajhuri is situated very near to the northern side of the Viswa Bharati University. Sonajhuri is between Shyambati Canal and the Sonajhuri jungle. Plenty of greenery, Santhali settlements can attracts you also.

IMG_0686.JPGIt is ideal place for having an idle vacation with Bengali cuisine at Bauler Haat. The smell of cooked rice in an earthen pot will have a gastronomic flood at 12 noon. Cooked white rice with two spoons of ghee, bori bhaja, dal, posto, begun vaja and fish invited me for lunch.

20141011_162225.jpgThe traditional life of the Santhali tribe with their local art and culture make this place a popular destination for any Bangalee. The Baul singers of Shantiniketan also perform in this Sanibarer Haat (Saturday Market)

20141011_165744.jpgThe serene atmosphere also made me to stay a hotel nearby. According to some Sonajhuri is the cleanest forest area on earth. The small canyons at Khowai created by wind and water erosion are worth experiencing here. I sat on a small hillock of Khowai with my friends for three hours. I fell in love with Sonajhuri for its own mystic rural beauty.

IMG_0697.JPGKopai River is widely remembered as Amader Choto nodi……..and the Baul singers along the banks are the cynosures. The Banerpukur tribal village inside the forest of Goalpara shouldn’t be missed as it gives a chance of close encounter with the local tribes living there.

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Sonajhuri is well connected by road. It is some 165 km from Kolkata and 40 km from Siuri in Birbhum District of West Bengal. Hire a private car or avail buses that ply on this route.

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