It’s a family trip, yes its summer and
temperature is 43 degrees, No one in their right mind does road trips in this
heat, Bengalis as a community love to travel
and summer do not hold us back.
My aunt is in Kolkata and planning a trip to
shantiniketan for a weekend, hearing about her trip my sister decided to join her,
my mom (all of 86, not to be left behind is all for the trip)
Another aunt( they are 4 sisters) was in Kolkata and she too
was game for the trip as was my cousin and his wife, and why would I be left
behind so I was on too and my Bro in Law.
Eight of us in two cars are off in the
summer heat, to beat the summer heat.
My cousin booked us into the most
expensive hotel he could find, presuming it would be a good enough place as we
would possibly be spending most of the time in the hotel in there café or in
our rooms, (what a bad choice as we would realize)
Morning 0700 hours lo behold it really happened
and we were on out way, so many of us all ready and raring to go. We would be reaching in 5 hours time according
We chose a path to Bolpur that goes via
ILAMBAZAR as we would be missing the rail tracks famous for long traffic snare
as the rail gate could stay closed for long and people tend to double track and
cause jams, we stopped en route at Singur seeing signage of KFC, we would gorge
on some chicken wings and popcorn chicken for breakfast, but no such luck as it
was not operational at 0900 hours,
SO this was the breakfast place:
and we had dosa and fresh lime at the restaurant
right next door, they had a good bathroom for the ladies, in spite of " toilets
for all" initiative, The travellers and roadways seem to have been overlooked,Hope our Roadways minister takes note of this.
Hopefully the next initiative for the government,
after all we all do vote, and notice where our tax money are spend.
Resources on this highway are very less
in spite of heavy traffic that we seemed to encounter along the way.
Road to the property
We reached as planned by 1330 hours and
the hotel sent a waiter to show us the way to parking, The hotel sadly has no
parking for more then 2 car, length of driveway, very cramped and the building
looked under construction (that’s the décor), the last 200 meters is a road
just wide enough for a car to go even a bicycle from opposite side would cause
traffic chaos we were in a Tata Nexon and KIa Seltos, and almost ready to scrape side of the walls
along the way.
The property exterior
The accommodation was ok; the place
seemed to resemble a huge flat with a hall on ground floor (which is the café)
and 4 rooms on top, no elevator so climbing up the only way up. I was not too
impressed as yet.
The food menu had no Indian fare so we
had to go out for lunch,
In land of Rabindranath Tagore there is
no Indian food in a premium hotel, the colonial worshipping mindset is still
alive, how ironic is that.
salad for lunch really! cant really
say I am getting impressed! do I really want to visit this place? HMMM NO a big NO , and we trooped out for lunch once more the
temperature was 43 degrees as promised. I am ready to cut out of this hotel but decided to stay put and see what else lay in front of us, how much worse can it get? AMOLI is the name of the Hotel if you are curious.
This day post a siesta we went out to
Sona Jhuri the SATurday local artisian market famous for shopping and we headed out by 1650 hours, the market operates by daylight alone, no artificial lights are allowed here so by 1745 the market was shut and we had
an hour to interact with the artisans and buy some fare.
Evening we planned to stay in and watch
some TV and eat in, but sadly no TV was working and the staff believed the
reason for such sorry state of affair is the fact no one watches TV who visits
this place. in that case I think not many people visited this place (we had gotten
the rooms in few day notice) and IPL has just finished, hard to imagine no one watches the biggest cricket bonanza of India and possibly the world.
Anyway raising a hue and cry we were
able to get the TV recharged and working, so much for fancy Rs 7000.00 per night rooms, what a
The next day early morning was cloudy and
we had a good mind to escape the heat n leave the city of Shantiniketan but
presence of some wonderful friends Bonny and Ida stopped me and we met up for
breakfast at THE MUD HOUSE a delightful place down the street with wonderful
décor and friendly service for breakfast.
Eggs and bread and coffee was on the
Breakfast for Three was Rs 350
Previous night we had dinner here menu
Mutton/ chicken/ dal/ rice/ roti/veggies/
kulfi/ freshlime soda all together cost only Rs 2000 for 8 people,sorry no pictures as we were too hungry to make images before eating.
Evening on this day was spend at my
friend Rick, Ida and Bonny’s house. Rik and me have ridden to the North east a few years back, Sikkim .
we had a wonderful dinner with them at there house and then we drove around
the city of Shantiniketan and took in the sights of this place in the evening,
on his 1964 jeep, restored painstakingly to the original condition,
Riding shotgun on the front seat of the jeep was
my mom at 86 years old was just too cool, and sarbari, me and Ida brought up the
rear as we drove around the city looking and taking in the sights .
© Rajat Ghosh, stock footage /
pictures available for licensing
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