So, it was 235 days. I don’t really remember NOT going out for such a long duration in any of my recent years. It was lockdown due to the Covid-19 virus and finally, it was in October 2020 that we made our first steps out of quarantine. Yeah, time for some travels again, this time with family and a friend’s family. Destination? Not very far away, just about 250 kms from home. So, let’s begin our journey from 9th of October.
No wait, let’s rewind a day.
October 8, 2020: One day left for our journey and I get a call from our host that our two day trips to Mukutmanipur and Jhilimili have been reversed and we are visiting Jhilimili first, which was not the initial plan. There were some confusions (as there always are) but finally, we settled down to first visiting Jhilimili, the forests before going to the waters of Mukutmanipur. Packing started.
October 9, 2020: Six in the morning, camera gears packed, front seat beside the driver, 92.7 Red FM, and little jokes and cackles of the two mothers in the middle row - what a perfect morning it felt after such a long time. Our first break was at Kolaghat for breakfast, Kachori and Sabji, as usual. It was while having this food that I received a call from the Jhilimili Resort host asking for our lunch menu. After everything was sorted, we resumed our journey via Kharagpur, Jhargram, Lodhasuli and finally reached Jhilimili around 1 pm. Lunch was done, and now we are planning our afternoon trip, and it was finally fixed to be Talberiya Dam. This is the place where I have got my most favourite landscape yet.
Talberiya Dam was a few kms from our resort and it took just about 15 minutes to reach the place and WHOA - WHAT A PLACE! It was less of a dam and more of a mirror, with every nook and corners of it serving to be immensely beautiful reflections. There was a tree with yellow leaves and all the other trees around were green, and it served to be a brilliant subject for photography. We winded up by 5:30 in the evening and went back to our guest house.
Snacks - Chicken Pakora and Tea/Coffee along with a brilliant view of the night sky amidst the trees in our yards. We had a simple dinner and went off to sleep with the hope of getting even better photos the next day.
October 10, 2020: It was quite early in the morning when my friend and I went out for a photo hunt in the nearby woods and I found a very interesting tree there. I tried out various angles and finally found one angle worthy to make a great shot. That photo is still one of my personal favourites.
After breakfast, we started our journey for our second destination - Mukutmanipur. Through the beautiful meadows and lush green fields, we went on to Mukutmannpur via Sutan forest. There is a watchtower in the forest but there is not much exciting there, other than the beautiful rice fields. When the car took the turn just around the famous Mukutmanipur dam, I was mesmerised by the view. It was vast and almost unending. I was very eager to get into it on boats in the afternoon. You get a 2 hour slot to be inside the dam, and we had a boat ride and a slow long drive around the dam in those two hours. In one of the islands there, I got a spooky photo as well.
The day ended with a sumptuous dinner and a walk around our guest house, accompanied by their pet dogs.
October 11, 2020: The day of return. We started for Susunia Hills very early in the morning, after just coffee and a couple of biscuits. We had a trek and had to be prepared, and prepared we weren’t. As a result, we couldn’t finish the trek but I managed to capture some flora and fauna there. We returned home via Bishnupur and enjoyed the terracotta there and lunch (read Biryani) at Banalata Resort, Joypur.