The West Bengal Government’s efforts to develop Jangalmahal as a tourism hotspot have now focused on three places in Paschim Medinipur and Joychandi Pahar in Purulia.
During the recent administrative review meeting in Paschim Medinipur, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had announced that three new places in the district would be developed as tourist spots – Kurumbera in Gaganeswar village in Keshiary block, Karnagarh in Salboni block and Gongoni in Garbeta block.
Kurumbera and Karnagarh have ruins of forts, with the latter place also housing several old temples. Gongoni is known for its unique land formations and is often called The Grand Canyon of Bengal.
The chief minister made a few other announcements too at the meeting, related to tourism – lighting decoration of the Jangalkanya Bridge over the Subarnarekha and a modern bus stand in Beldah.
In Purulia district, the State Forest Department is planning to set up an eco-park on Joychandi Hills, popularly known as Joychandi Pahar.
The eco-park will draw more tourists to the hills, and will gradually turn it into an eco-tourism hotspot, just like the Ayodhya Hills is turning out to be.
Incidentally, on these very hills was shot the 1970s Bengali classic, Hirak Rajar Deshe, whose massive popularity has lent Joychandi Pahar its nickname, ‘Hirak Rajar Desh’, or ‘The Land of Hirak Raja’.