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Next weekend you can be at ... Manoharpur

Apatch of green surrounded by hillocks near the confluence of Koel, Karo and Koena. That's Manoharpur for you ' a great place to spend a weekend when winter's on the wane.

Despite its many charms, Manoharpur has not been popular among Calcutta tourists.

It's one of the entry points to the Saranda forest, into which the languid Koel flows. A tribal village and scattered growths of sal, mohua, segun and sonajhuri add to Manoharpur's beauty.

The best part of the day is the evening. Trek to the top of a hillock to enjoy the spectacular sunset over Koel.

Only the whistle of long-distance trains punctuates the silence that envelops Manoharpur. There's not much to do, but let your senses be captivated by the heady smell of the soil and the delicate rustle of leaves.

Close by is Durduri, where Karo and Koena meet. There's a small bridge from which one can see the rivers emerging from the forest and becoming one. A fantastic picnic spot, had it not been for the wild animals. If you stay long, be prepared for encounters with an elephant, bear or wolf.

If you find the time, make a trip to the SAIL iron ore mine at Chiria. The hilltops there offer a bird's eye view of Saranda. You can even spy leopards and wild boars deep in the forest.

Going

Take Ispat Express, Sambalpur Express or Kurla Express. There’s no direct road link

Staying

Santoor Resort (24403403)

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