When time gets tough and we have every provocation to escape, then what else could be better than a perfect weekend getaway in the lap of nature. Today I will tell you about a travel destination in India which is easy to travel, hassle free and most importantly easy on your pocket. As far as beauty is concerned, the place is tucked away in a small scenic village of Bolpur in Bengal. Known as Sobujbon, the place is a beautifully maintained cottage resort where you can submerge yourself in the peace and calm of nature.
Bolpur is already famous for Shantiniketan which has the Vishwabharati University established by Noble laureate Rabindra Nath Tagore. From Kolkata it takes around 2 hours to reach Bolpur by train. I suggest you take the Shantiniketan Express from the Howrah Station . You can also prebook a car from the resort over a telephonic booking and it will recieve you from the Bolpur station.
Be prepared for some exciting sights and sounds while your car maneuvers through the hustles bustles of the narrow market lanes. But soon you will leave behind all these and enjoy the serene beuty along the 13 kms journey up-to the Sobujbon Resort. This resort has great arrangements for a comfortable stay and house around 13 mud cottages with thatched roof. Each of these rooms are minimally furnished with a bed made out of bamboo, a set of chairs and a table so as to give a clutter-free feeling.The cottages offer the facility of attached bathrooms, which are quite well maintained with basic modern facilities.
However, the major attraction of this resort is the complex which surrounds each of these cottages. This resort is spread over an area covering over 180 bighas or roughly 36 acres(approx.) and has several gardens which are being painstakingly maintained by the staffs. I am putting up few pictures which will tell you, how beautifully this resort is maintained.
This is the dining space is a common dining area amidst the nature . You have to follow a natural trail from your cottage to reach the spot and it gets quite interesting during dark quite of a Bengal night. The part of the resort serves the main meals of the day. Nearby is the kitchen where the food is being prepared by the locals who are working here in this resort. The food includes the essential bengali dishes like Bhaat (Rice), daal (lentil soup), aalo posto (a potato dish cooked along with poppy seeds), begun bhaja (deep-fried aubergine), sorse bata diye macher jhol (fish prepared in a mustard sauce), tomato chutney and papad (poppadoms). Those who are serving always do make sure that you are completely filled by persisting you to have some more servings of each of the items! Do not worry if you find yourself eating more that your usual…. it might be the effect of the fresh and pollution free air on your encouraged appetite.
The resort also supports eco tourism and doing its bit with limited resources. While you are there at the resort, you will find several items that have been made out of either bamboo or wood. As I said earlier, the beds inside the cottages have been made out of bamboo itself nailed together. Here, in the picture towards left, a bark of tree has been modified into a washing bowl which empties automatically through an outlet built in its base. Such things connect you even more with the nature. It makes you feel that actually you have been provided amply by nature itself!
Sobujbon Resort is an ideal getaway destination for those who want to relax and rejuvenate for 2-3 days and the best in terms of travel getaway packages. Those who are especially interested in ecotourism in India should definitely give this place a try. The cottages are available at a rate of Rs. 1000/- or Rs. 700/- per night. The food is also very cheap and each meal costs around Rs. 150/- at most. However, please note their servings are very generous. As in our case, me and my husband could barely finish one set of meal together at a time. Every morning at 7.30 AM they gave us Tea in our cottage. Later breakfast and lunch was served at the dining space. But since we visited in the month of January when the temperature drops low after sunset, evening tea and snacks and dinner was served in our cottage.
The resort has another story to tell. The resort is developed on a land with a historic past and this 200 years old remain of a Hindu temple is clearly the witness of this.
Please note that this resort is being managed and maintained by a small team of staffs, who despite working very hard, may not be equipped to provide comforts as per the standards of luxury. So, those who feel that they cannot stay away from television or internet for long, should not think of visiting this place at all. There may not be centrally air conditioning facilities or 24-hour room services, but there is the serenity of nature which beckons you towards your roots.
How to reach: There are several trains running from both Howrah Railway Station and Sealdah Railway Station to Bolpur Railway Station. once you reach Bolpur Station, you can ask the resort to send a car (Maruti Omni…yes, they still exist!) for you which will take you straight to your destination. They will charge Rs. 300/- extra for this.
Also, you can go via roads by Durgapur Expressway. Follow your GPS Navigation system for better direction.
Contact: For Sobujbon Resort, Mr. Firoz is the one who arranges for everything. You can always reach him at +91-9153193458 and make enquiries about availability of cottages. Also, while we stayed there, he was available all the time and always ready to help.