South Bengal, India @ Content
Neempith & Kaikhali
Mr. Debashis Bose,
We, a group of seven senior citizens visited Neempith & Kaikhali
in South Bengal. Here is a short description. We left Uttarpara
by a local train on 28th November 07 at 07.08am for Bally. We went
to Bally Halt to avail the next train for Sealdah. Then
we moved to Sealdah South to avail the next train for Joynagar-Majilpur
on the Laxmikantapur route. Just outside the Joynagar - Majilpur
railway station, there were van rickshaws and we boarded two of
them - reached Shri Ramakrishna Ashram, Neempith,
at about 11.15 am.
Shri Ramakrishna Ashram, Neempith
we had spoken to the Secretary Maharajji over the telephone.
We received a very warm welcome, almost as if we were well
known to them. We were given a room to take rest and get fresh,
offered tea and biscuit. After a while we were asked to have
Prosad (lunch). At
2.30 pm, Secretary Maharajji was going for an official business
to Jamtola by a Tata Sumo and asked us to accompany him. Maharajji
got down at Jamtola
after 17 km and the driver took us to Kaikhali,
for another 14 km and reached there at 3.20 pm.
At Kaikhali, there is a Tourist Lodge (Paryatakaabaas),
made by the Tourism Deptt. of West Bengal Govt., but somehow,
it is maintained and looked after by Shri Ramakrishna
Ashram, Neempith. The caretaker
Shri Joydeb Gayen, a thorough gentleman had instructions from
Maharajji and was waiting for us. Four double-bed rooms were
allotted to us.
lodge - it has been built on
marshy land with the ground floor having many concrete pillars
and may be used as a garage. The connecting road is about
8/10 feet high from the surrounding area, and as such, it
is on the same level as the first floor. The entrance to the
building is in the center of the first floor - there is a
wide passage which ends up in the dining room and adjacent
kitchen. There are five double bed rooms with attached bath
on either side of the entrance with corridors on both in the
front as well as in the rear. On the first floor, there is
an open terrace, just on top of the dining room and kitchen.
On the second floor, there are similar 10 rooms and finally
one may go to the roof of the second floor, to have a wide
view of Mother Nature - one river in front flows to the left
to join another (river Matla), coming from rear and flowing
to the south. Other than the rivers, there are ponds, trees,
bushes, wetlands etc., no human habitat is visible, except
a very little part of the nearby temple could be seen through
the trees. The whole lodge including the rooms etc. are well
maintained, clean and tidy. There is no electricity, but there
are generators for lights from 5.30 to 9.30 pm. and thereafter
hurricanes kept lighted in the inside corridor.
had snacks and tea and then left for sightseeing. Here, also there
is a Shri Ramakrishna Ashram and close to it is a small 'kutia'
where Swami Budhanandaji, founder of both the Shri Ramakrishna
Ashrams at Neempith and Kaikhali,
lived and meditated. Nearby, there is a school and a hostel for
children from far away villages, students from nearby villages attend
the school as day scholars. On the banks of the rivers, there are
good paths made and maintained by the Ashram. There is a Research
Center of Jadavpur University for research on electricity from unusual
sources. Then we met three teachers and a few students and we exchanged
good wishes etc.
Ramakrishna Ashram, Kaikhali
We had a good meal and enjoyed calm & quiet surroundings
with clear sky full of bright stars which seemed to be at
a very close range. 29th Nov
: We had bed-tea and then after morning duties, there was
breakfast and tea.
left by a small motor-boat, better known as 'Bhutbhuti',
at 09.30 hrs, and after 50 minutes reached Jhorkhali,
which is also connected with a road from Kolkata via Canning.
Here, there is a Watch-tower approx. 50/60 feet high
and provides an all round view of beautiful nature.
Close by, there is Childrens' Park and a lodge maintained
by the Sunderban Development Authority, for which booking is done
at the Mayukh Bhaban, Salt Lake, Kolkata.
This lodge is built on a number of wooden beams. We returned to
Kaikhali lodge by 1200 hrs. and had a nice meal. In the afternoon,
as usual, there was snacks and tea. We went on a stroll to enjoy
nature. All our meals were served on time. This was our second and
last night at Kaikhali.
30th Nov :
Once again, we enjoyed the sun-rise. Bed tea and breakfast were
in time. The same driver came with the same vehicle, with large
bags of potatoes, cabbages, papayas and other green vegetables and
kerosene for the generator, as 60 persons from Barddhamaan were
expected that day as guests. We left for Neempith at 09.55 hrs with
Shri Shri Saroda
arrival at Neempith, swamiji
instructed the driver to take us to a few places to see some
of the activities of the Ashram. We saw a school for boys, school
and ashram for girls, soil testing center, cultivation and training
center of fancy colored fishes for aquariums, training center
for handicrafts etc. Here, at Neempith, Swamiji had made arrangements
for a Bank, Post office etc. The activities of the ashram
are huge and manifold. We had prosad, met the Swamijis and others
to bid good-bye and left by van-rickshaws for the railway station.
Just outside the station, there are a few sweetmeat shops, and
each of us purchased a special sweet of this locality, known
as 'Joynagar-er moya'.
So, that was the end of our trip and we headed to our respective
"Homes, Sweet Homes".
is the address for contact and booking :-
Rev. Swami Sodanandaji Maharaj, Secretary, Shri Ramakrishna Ashram,
Post Office – NEEMPITH ASHRAM, Dist.:- South 24 paraganas, West
Bengal. PIN – 743 338. Phone – 0321 8226001
About Contributing Traveller:
Mr. Debashis Bose is a 72 year old retired Railway employee
whose hobbies include travelling & tourism, photography and
amateur radio. He is a nature lover and prefers to visit little
known places as opposed to big cities with the aim of enjoying nature
in abundance. Before going on his regular tours with family and
friends, Debashis spends time in studying different places and collecting
information about them. On returning from the visit, he prepares
a travelogue, with sketch map & photos, so that he can inspire
others to visit these places and enjoy nature. [email protected]
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