What is the first word that comes to your mind when you hear the name ‘Baresar’?
Well, as for me, I think that it is a very serene and calm place, ideal for a solo travel, weekend gateway, family holiday and so on.
So in December 2016, me along with my parents and another family of my father’s friend, embarked upon a train journey from Howrah to Daltangonj station on Shaktipunj Express at 2:30 PM.
We reached Daltangonj the next day at 1:30 AM. It was chilling cold there. As it was quite early, we had to spend the night in the railway waiting room. Later that day, early morning at 6:00 AM our car came to pick us from the station and drop us on our destination – ‘Baresar’. There was hardly anything visible because of the heavy winter fog lurking around on the barks of trees and on roads.
On the way to Baresar, we came across many famous locations such as Kechki, Betla, Kerh, Garu and Marumar. Advancing towards Baresar, we stopped at a tea shop in Betla and had tea and some refreshments. While entering Kerh’s bridge, we saw a very sorrowful site of a fox runover by a car.
But, on the other hand, we also saw a breathtaking view of the ‘Koel’ river flowing underneath the bridge and the surrounding looked mesmerizing with sunshine reflecting on the riverbank, and the perpetual stretch of greenery on both the sides.
When we reached Baresar Forest rest house, we settled down and looked at the interior décor which was made of teak wood. The Forest rest house had a colonial structure marking the British rule in India.
After that we freshened up, and went out to explore the forest. We went to Betla and had a safari there by the assistance of a known friend of my father- Aslam Uncle.
We saw peacocks, bisons, spotted deers, barking deers etc. We also saw an old watchtower which had become very frail, yet attractive.
Next day, we went to a fort which was owned by a Chero king(tribal king). We were awestruck when we reached the top of the fort. The whole forest could be seen from the top along with the Auranga river which seemed to divide the forest like a hair ribbon.
We also visited Netarhat, which was a picturesque tourist spot, some 150 kms away from Baresar. It had tree houses, wooden cottages, beautifully decorated rest house, and a vast variety of flora. We collected pine fruits fallen on the ground which could be decorated and kept as showpieces.
When we returned at dusk, we stopped at a local tea shop, few paces away from Baresar FRH. We had tea , gulab jamuns and light snacks there. Everyday, we used to have our evening snacks there.
Early next day, we got up and got dressed to visit ”Kujrum”, which was a core zone, unlike ‘kechki ‘which was a buffer zone. We entered kujrum, with the permission of the beat officer and saw that a part of it had been fenced by electrical wire, for the upcoming ‘Tiger safari’.
It had mixed deciduous type of vegetation. There were tall trees like sal, teak, mahua etc. which covered the whole region not leaving a bit of space. The only thing that could be seen was greenery and pug marks of different animals. We returned to our rest house at dusk. There was a light breeze blowing around the tree tops.
To warm up the atmosphere, we lit the fire and started a barbeque in the kitchen which was some 50 mtrs away from the rest house.
Here, I had a spooky encounter.
I was told to bring ghee from the rest house and as it was pitch dark outside, I was given a torch.
As I was making my way to the rest house, I suddenly heard low squeaky noises from behind.
I stopped dead on my tracks. There were tall trees bordering the campus. My heart was pounding like anything. Nevertheless, I took courage, turned around and flashed the torch. And guess what? there was no ghost, but 3 little puppies who were following me. I let out a heavy sigh. We enjoyed a mouth watering meal and retired to our beds.
The following day we packed our luggage and went to “Ranchi” (capital of Jharkhand state ) as we had our train from the ranchi station the next day . We checked in ‘Hotel Embassy’, and went to see “Deori Temple”, where the former Indian cricket team captain M. S. Dhoni worships.
We had our lunch at a road side dhaba and came back to the hotel at evening. We spent the night chatting with each other about the tour, and early next day catched the ‘Ranchi-Hatia Express’ and came back to the, “City of joy “.