It’s a place you would love to go back to. Again and again..
Shantiniketan Express reached Bolpur at 12.30 PM. It was dot on time and I was impressed. Then the escalator and the no effort slope down to the platform number one. Mightily impressed. Railways were progressing fine I thought and being an ex-Railwayman’s son I felt good and proud.
And then this experience. Toto lagbe Dada? Toto neben Sir? Toto debo? Toto neben to? Amarta boro Toto. Arame jaben. At least twenty of them, if not more (Different versions of ‘Do you require a Toto? Hire my Toto’ etc. Toto is an eco friendly vehicle which runs on battery). I was a little pissed by now and rattled out ‘Aare lagle to bolbo, lagbe na. Lagle bolben kintu’.( I’ll tell you if I do. I don’t need. Please do tell me if you need). What he said made me realize that each one of them were living on hopes. To earn a living. Like you and me. At least they had ventured out. Now I felt for them and felt good again.
Shamu was there and almost next to me when I called him. We smiled at each other. But his smile was special, as if he was seeing a lost friend after years, and it was right from his heart. I knew I was heading towards something special. An experience I had heard of and read about. I was on my way from Bolpur station with the Manager of the resort to Upasana – The Eco Resort 🍀🌿
It was a short drive and soon we were there. I had expected it would probably be a huge place spread over a few acres. Surprisingly it was not. It was cute and small. And that I felt was the beauty of the resort. It reminded me of my childhood home. Flowers, plants, trees, green all around and a sweet little home.
The next few moments truly bowled me over. The staff and Deep, who owns the place, were all there to welcome me with a Uttariya (scarf) around my neck and a cool drink. This a welcome gesture from them for all guests. Then the room with its view & the little thoughts when I looked around made me feel even more special. It was a little out of the ordinary.
Freshened up and went down for lunch to Panchforon, the restaurant. Deep was there again supervising everything and then what followed was like complete ‘Jamai Adar’ as we say in Bengali (Very special treatment only reserved for son-in-laws in the Indian state of Bengal). Check it out for yourself.
Rice, Ghee, Posto Bara, Alu Bhaja, Moong Dal, Mixed Veg, Alu Posto, Tangra Macher Jhal, Ilish Mach Begun Kanchkala diye, Aamer Chatni followed by Papad and Rosogolla. Uff ki khelam (O God, how much I ate). Each of the preparations was so tasty. The best part of this resort is that most vegetables are home grown organically in a nearby farm and the best of fish is transported all the way from Calcutta.
After a little relaxation, it was time to explore the town. Shantiniketan is a small town in the Birbhum district of West Bengal, India, approximately 165 km north of Kolkata. It was established by Maharshi Devendranath Tagore and later expanded by his son Rabindranath Tagore, whose vision became what is now a university town with the creation of the Visva-Bharati University. Come let’s go and see some prominent places.
This is a place visitors flock to for some wonderful local handicrafts. And on Saturdays this place is full of people and sports a very different look and feel. The main characteristic of this Market or Haat is that the local people bring hand made items like dresses, sweets, jewelry and other home made delicacies to sell. Local Baul singers add color and music to the place and visitors even enjoy singing along. Let’s look around.
And now let’s have a look at the famous Tribal dance of Shantiniketan which was being performed by the Santhali women.
The weather was awful. It was cloudy but very hot and humid. While we were on our way back to the resort, I prayed for some rain. And it did start raining as soon as we were back. What a beautiful evening it turned out to be thereafter. The peace, the darkness, the sound of the raindrops, the sound of insects and the green all around. Life could not be better, I thought. In my home away from home.
As I sat in the veranda outside my room enjoying the rain over a couple of drinks, the snacks arrived. I had opted for a Mutton Cutlet and chips although the options were many.
After so much of food in so short a time, I had requested for a simple meal for dinner. The Mutton curry was just awesome.
You could of course order for anything under the sun. You just have to ask. It could be these or more.
Got up early the next morning to soak in the beauty of the resort and the surroundings. Come let’s enjoy nature together.
It was now time for breakfast. As I headed towards the restaurant, it had to be my favorite Luchi Tarkari and Omelette followed by a strong Black Coffee without sugar.
After a bit of lazing around, it was lunchtime and once again an awesome spread of Rice, Ghee, Buiri Dal Posto Bara, Alu Bhaja, Musur Dal, Mochar Ghanto, Jhinge Alu Posto Chingri Tarkari, Katla Macher Jhol Alu patal diye, Aamer Chatni, Papad, Sandesh.
Does all these look and sound exciting? Then what you waiting for? Come over. Shantiniketan is just two and a half hours from Calcutta. And those of you who stay outside Bengal, Air India has a direct flight from Delhi and now SpiceJet a direct fight from Mumbai to Andal Airport in Durgapur, which is just an hour drive from Upasana.
Deep will work out some great packages for you which includes buffet breakfast and pick up and drop to Bolpur station. And if you wish, there are packages also available which would include your meals and sightseeing. And there are discount packages as well, for large groups and off season bookings.
So get in touch on these numbers and book your Monsoon, Durga Puja or Winter packages now. Call 9433055036 / 9831073626 / 9831276339.
It was now time to move back. I wished I could have stayed for another day. But then I told myself, I’ll be back soon. And before leaving how could I not thank this awesome team for their wonderful hospitality. Great people with big hearts, who make you feel special.
Care, love, hospitality and this little piece of paradise created by Deep & his wife Mohua. With focus on the minutest details. That’s Upasana for you and me, the Eco resort 🌿🍀