With the mercury soaring to over 35 degree Celsius, a trip to Maithan, of Damodar Valley Corporation fame, could be the last thing on your mind.
But if you can bear the daytime heat, then Maithan by night is quite an experience. On a full moon night, the darkest corners of the valley are lit up, making it a truly wonderful spectacle.
The town itself is nothing to write home about. There's not much to do the day you arrive. The best option is a siesta.
In the evening, take a boat ride on the lake. The trip is more enjoyable in a country boat than a paddle boat. Soak in the view of the moonlit lake as the boatmen gently row.
The lake is quite deep, in places as much as 15 m. Speedboats are best avoided as the ride ends all too soon.
Back on terra firma, dig into delicious chaat and jalebi at the small cluster of eateries dotting the lakeside.
The next day, take time out for some sightseeing. Hire an auto for Rs 250 or a car for Rs 400 to take you around.
The places to visit include the Panchet dam on the Damodar river (photography strictly prohibited), an open-cast coal mine, Gourpanchakat, Millennium Park and the Kalyaneshwari temple.
Locals believe that prayers to goddess Kali, the deity in the temple, are always answered. The structure is between 800 and 1,000 years old. There are no pandas to deal with.
The park has a few joyrides, mostly for children. Try and overlook the numerous spelling mistakes on the commemorative pillars. The place offers a complete view of the dam, with its 12 lockgates.
The dam, when in full use, with the lockgates open, is a thrilling sight. Take a walk across the dam in the evening as the moon rises.
The tranquility and serenity of the surroundings, punctuated only by the murmur of the water, will bring out the poet in you.
So, if April is proving cruel in Calcutta just pack your bags and head for Maithan and its moonlight.
Catch the Black Diamond Express from Howrah at 6.15 am. It reaches Kumardhubi in around four-and-a-half hours. Autos are available to Maithan from there, for about Rs 60. Alternatively, you can hire a jeep from Asansol. The trip to Maithan costs about Rs 400
There are several places to choose from. The forest department bungalow (office at Subodh Mullick Square), WBTDC rest house (office at 3/2, BBD Bag), Mazumdar Nivas, run by the DVC (office in Ultadanga) and the Shanti Nivas (office at 9/19, Ekdalia Road) are some of the options