Winters are perfect for long drives. No wonder Wheelers look forward to Drive Tours when the mellowed wintry sun makes driving a real pleasure. And this time the wishes of the Wheelers for a really long trip came true when Team WHEELS decided to organised a road trip to Purulia in the laps of Ajodhya Pahar.
On January 24, the participating members met at Rabindra Sarobar and made their way through the early morning city traffic to Dunlop and accessed NH-2 from there. After relishing the huge spread for breakfast at Sinclairs Bardhaman at the Nawab Haat Morh on NH-2, the convoy headed straight to Jubilee Petrol Pump at Asansol for a tea break.
A few kilometres through Asansol city led to SH-5, one of the best stretches of State Highways in West Bengal. This road meandered through the fields and Ajodhya Range for almost 80 km and ended right in front of our hotel, Akash Sarovar. Wheelers spent the rest of the day relaxing and knowing each other.
The next day brought lots of excitement with the entire convoy visiting the mask-village at Charida and driving up the Ajodhya Hills, nearly 2500 ft above. The team visited the lower and upper PPSP dam and Pathar Khadan- a lake formed after marble blocks were quarried from it. Surrounded by hills on all sides, this man-made lake forms a lovely serene spot. The approach way to this location is all the way more exciting with the narrow roads and lots of undulations and the convoy had tremendous fun driving through the route. The Ajodhya Hill Top restaurant had readied a lovely spread of Bengali cuisine for us.
The return trip to the hotel gave us great photo-ops with the entire convoy, forming multiple tiers and the setting sun as the backdrop. Back at the hotel, it was a time for some great performance by one of the best local Chhau dance troupes who staged Mahishashura Mardini in their inimitable style.
The tremendous display of their skill and agility left everyone mesmerised. On January 26, it was time to head back home but not before celebrating the Republic Day with a flag hoisting ceremony and setting off for Garpanchakot. This was followed by a short drive around the Panchet Dam and a visit to the historical site at Garpanchkot. After an exhilarating drive we were famished and had lunch at Panchet Residency. The lush lawns and surrounding hills offered a wonderful setting. Finally, it was time to head home after traversing some 850 km and spending 3 days on the highways of Bengal.