Rest and relaxation in the slightly rugged arms of nature. That is what you can look forward to on this trip to a place around 235 km away (a five-hour drive or four-hour train journey) from the gripe and grime of Calcutta. Surrounded by hills and forests bordering West Bengal and Orissa, Galudih is a small but beautiful village in Jharkhand.
Once there, lazing around might be on top of your to-do list and idling away time surrounded by tall sal and mahua trees and flowers you don't know the names of, would be the option hard to ignore. But just in case something at the back of your mind nags that you're missing out on sights and sounds, just take a walk.
There's many a rangamatir path to take and hillocks to trek like Nekradungri, Fuldungri and Rukmini. The smaller hillocks can be climbed without any equipment. You can visit the approach to the Dalma range for a glimpse of the elephants that come down from the mountains to drink from the village pools. At the very least, you would find their footprints.
Don't miss the sunset at any cost, be it on the road or back in the village. The villagers are a warm and friendly lot, who don't seem to mind if you try to take a peek into their lives, often welcoming you with a smile.
Also on the things-to-see list is the Neel Jharna, a waterfall that forms the ideal picnic spot. The water is blue because of the copper sulphate content. The river Subarnarekha, immortalised by Rabindranath Tagore and Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay in their creations, also flows through this region. According to local lore, gold dust can be found in the sands of Subarnarekha. And standing on the Chandrarekha bridge you can stare at the shining Tata copper mines on the slopes of the hills.
For those enchanted by Pather Panchali or Aranyok, Bibhutibhushan's house, a few kilometres away, could be the shrine to visit. Satgurum, 13 km from Galudih, is the other river worth a watch. It follows a meandering path. The Burudi lake is a large stretch of water surrounded by rugged mountains and dried trunks of trees sprouting from within the waterbody. Burudi is 14 km away.
A trip to Ghatshila, only seven km away, could also be on the cards.
Take the Ispat, Steel or Kurla Express from Howrah. From Ghatshila take a Trekker to Galudih. For the road option, take National Highway 33 (Bombay Road)
Galudih Tourist Complex and Health Resort. Calcutta contact, Himet Travels (24668937)