Posted by: deblinaganguli | August 31, 2010

Ghatsila: Exploring A Known Land or Facing A Changed Reality

Trying to put my words together so that I can write about a place which is known yet unknown to me. I am talking about my trip to Ghatsila. I am quite familiar with this place as it is the home town of my aunt and my brother. This is the 6th time I have been to Ghatsila. Every time I visit the place, the  green hills, the meandering river, the lake and the small fountains sooth my eyes and rejuvenate my tired soul.  The beauty of the river or the charm of the hills are equally captivating each time, but the story is a little different this time.

Subarnarekha River, Ghatsila

Subarnarekha River, Ghatsila Photo by Deblina

I was excited when I boarded the train to Ghatsila, a small town in Jharkhand, India. At the same time I was scared too. Since the route of Steel Express is through the “danger zone”, I was worried whether my brother and I and the other passengers of the train would be able to reach the destination safely? The Maoists have disturbed the nation so terribly. The way they have troubled ordinary life was right in front my eyes as the destroyed compartments of Gyaneshwari Express were lying beside the train line, bearing the proof of the tremendous pain and the horror the victims of the accidents must have gone through. So the journey was devoid of the usual excitement of going back to nature that I have felt each time I have visited this picturesque place.

I was pleased to see my aunt after years but I knew from the beginning that this trip was going to be different. The next day three of us (my aunt, my elder brother and I) went to see Burudi, a beautiful lake surrounded by green hills.

Way to Burudi Dam, Ghatsila

Way to Burudi Dam, Ghatsila Photo by Deblina

As soon as we reached there, for a few minutes I forgot everything, forgot all the pains, all the troubles and the unresolved problems of my life. I was drinking the beauty and the serenity of the place.

Burudi Dam, Ghatsila

Burudi Dam, Ghatsila Photo by Deblina

Suddenly something caught my attention and it was nothing but the unusual silence of the place.

Sunset at Burudi Dam, Ghatsila

Sunset at Burudi Dam, Ghatsila Photo by Deblina

When I visited Burudi for the first time there was no one else other than me, my brother and my elder sister. But it was because, Burudi was not a very popular tourist spot then and we visited the place in the month of April. It was extremely hot there and not the time for a tourist to come over there and appreciate the grandeur of Mother Nature. But I have visited this place several times afterwards and each time I have found it crowded with people from different parts of India. There were small food stalls. The local people have also made some boating arrangements for the tourists.

But this time there was nothing, neither the stalls nor the boating arrangements. I have visited the place just a week ago. It is monsoon and the weather is not unfavorable. Neither is the place infamous any more. The reason that people have stopped visiting this once popular picnic spot are the Maoists who are fighting “for the right of the under privileged people!”.

There is a lovely fall named Dharagiri just a few kilometers from Burudi. Nobody is permitted to go there these days. The armed polices don’t even dare to go to this place because a month back the Maoists have blown away a police jeep that was going towards Dharagiri.

Initially I enjoyed the peacefulness of the place.  I enjoyed being there ‘alone with nature’. As soon as I realized the reason behind such “quietness” I was shocked. People will no more be able to roam around this place freely, without fear. The worst thing that I could think of was the condition of the local people whose economic life was dependent on the tourists to a great extent and it reminded me of all other places like North Bengal, Kashmir, Assam and the endless names that can be tagged as “danger zone”.

And the questions ringing in my mind remained unanswered…. How long are we going to live with these threats? How many lives are to be sacrificed to BUY PEACE?



  1. ro chhabi post kor.

  2. Nicely described and truly articulated that there are so many places where one can feel to be in grasb of nature, has now became significantly dangerous or rather fatal to reach.

    But the prob of moaist is some thing which has to be understood in depth..its only there violence and bloody game is visible , but what made this agitation to precipitate is also to be taken in considertation…these bunch of goons who has always dominated the feelings of common man and run our country, our so called political leaders is behind all this and still is supporting them to prosper and using them for for their own benifits.

    all those injustice in past is now making all citizens pay…and just think of those famalies who are loosing their son/husband/father in this agonizing act of moaist.

    Any ways lets talk about ur blogs best ur rendezvous with nature..and hopefully u will find more opportunities to visit several more places and keep us posted with the intricacies from time to time.

    wishing u luck

  3. daroon…..oshadharon…….oti uttom……

  4. Great to see you finding time out of your schedule to visit such a place. It really rejuvenates you.

    By the way, pics are fabulous!

  5. Wonderful shots… Deblina! I heard a lot about Ghatsila. Thanks for the pictorial depiction of natural beauty of the place. But it is truly unfortunate, that the place is not anymore a popular tourist spot where people used to roam around freely. 😦

  6. I myself belong to this place ,and i am really happy to know what position this small town hold in mind and heart of yours.

    • Is it safe to visit it now

      • Yes, it is safe to visit Ghatsila now.

  7. Could u plz tell me the current status of Maoist activities in Ghatshila?Will it be safe if we plan a weekend trip to Ghatshila this Christmas?

    • I would suggest you better find out some other place to visit because most of the places in Ghatsila are not allowed to visit because of the Maoist tension. Have a happy & safe Christmas 🙂

  8. […] Ghatsila: Exploring A Known Land or Facing A Changed Reality August 2010 8 comments 4 […]

  9. nice blog.
    I am planning to go there in coming March ( holi time) with my wife. Can you please suggest me a good place to stay there. ( the scenic beauty is most important).

    internet search showing hotel Bibhuti Vihar as an option. do you have any idea about that.

    • Actually, my relatives stay there and I stay at their place whenever I go. But I have heard about hotel Bibhuti Vihar. I think this hotel is ok, though you can not expect much luxury. But the hotels are descent. This hotel you are talking about is quite close to the river.

  10. thanks deblina for the update !! i have done my schooling from mosaboni , so the thots are very nostalgic …by the way i will be driving down from kolkata to ghatshila this april …shall update on the present situation …a must visit to Rankini mandir in jadugoda .

    • Not very sure about the present situation. But going to Rankini mandir should not be a problem. The way to that temple is safe as far as i know. all the best.

  11. Is it safe now to vist Ghatshila, since the elections are over.

    Please reply

    • You can visit Ghatsila but I think you won’t get the permission to visit places like Dharagiri as these areas are still disturbed.

  12. hi..
    nice blog..
    i have visited ghatshilla previously.. but that was 13 years ago!!!
    there was no such problem during that time…
    im planing to visit it again the next week and il b going by road..
    is it safe???
    and is dharagiri still prohibited???

    • Thanks. I have no idea whether Dharagiri is still prohibited. But you can go to Ghatsila by road. It is safe.

      • I have never been to Ghatshila but I had the urge to be there as I went through your writing. This is what a great travelogue should be all about. Loved it.

      • Thanks a tone 🙂

  13. Dear Deblina,
    Wonderful photos. Myself I do a lot of photography, enjoyed yours.
    Also, I am planning to go and spend few days in Ghatsila, well in Jan.12.
    Would you think, the place as such is and will be Ok and safe.
    I am a sczn and I will travel with my wife as we are fond of travelling.

    • Thanks a lot. It is safe to visit Ghatsila any time. Some of the places are prohibited. You may not be allowed to visit those places. Other than that the city is safe.

  14. hello, i am local tribal men, ghatsila is safe place as i know.but for safety, after 6;00pm better 2 not visit like dam site , wt i can suggest u.

  15. Beautifully described but you missed some places i guess…

  16. exciting experience shared by you, i like to visit ghatsila next month with my family, any suggestions…

    • Have you visited ghatsiila recently ? Is it now safe for travel ? I am planing to visit there in this month with family. Please advise.

  17. Nice blog indeed. Can u plz tell me whether it is safe to visit Ghatsila nowadays?

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