From Howrah Station, you can board the Rupasi Bangla Express in the morning or the Purulia Express in the afternoon to reach Garbeta station. From there, hire an autorickshaw to reach Gangani field. Buses are also available from Howrah, Kharagpur or and Midnapore.
There are a few private hotels for meals and rooms.
Either itís nothing or itís something more than extraordinary. Thatís what I was thinking as I stood mesmerised on the field overlooking the colossal ruins of Gangani. Itís natureís creation at its best. If you havenít been to the US ever and want to see The Grand Canyon in miniature form, visit this place, about 179km from the city, at Garbeta in West Midnapore on any sunny day.
With the Shilabati river flowing through a 70ft-deep gorge and the adjoining places taking the form of different shapes and figures because of erosion, itís a treat to the eye. The formations on the wall of the gorge spreading from east to west are something similar to the archaeological sculptures of Ajanta and Ellora but the only difference is that the ones at Gangani were not created by human hand. There was a pagoda-shaped formation that caught my attention even from a distance. Unless known beforehand one would never be able to identify that it was an effect of erosion on rocks, not a manmade shrine! Itís really astonishing how effortlessly nature can make such creations.
After taking a birdís-eye view of the area for some time, I decided to get a closer look. The steps carved into the side of the hill made of red laterite soil took me down.
As I moved slowly on the grassy field, various structures and sights came into view. All the structures, namely fort, lion, ship, pillar and more, appeared very much alive. When I stood below the fort, I got the feeling that the guards from the pillars were shouting at me, forbidding me to move ahead. The lion sitting on the top of the wall seemed to be guarding the main gate of a palace.
As I was walking through the ruins, I felt as if I was transported to a historic age in a time machine. I went in front of the pagoda-like structure seen from the top and even a critical look up close could not disperse my feelings that it was not a real pagoda but a natural lookalike.
After wandering for some time we sat on the bank of Shilabati, which was running almost dry. We saw some local people catching fish in the knee-deep water.
Afternoon had already passed and evening was approaching fast. The red colour of the walls of the gorge was further deepened by the rays of the setting sun. The whole place seemed to be on fire. Slowly the light died and soon an absolute darkness engulfed the place. We sat there wondering whether any modern laser show could match the lighting effect of nature we just witnessed.
Besides the field of Gangani, there are some other places like the Sarbamangala Mandir and Radhaballav Mandir that you can visit in Garbeta. History and myths are attached with all of them.