Friday, January 19, 2018

In search of Organic food revolution in Sundarban (West Bengal) - field report in short


Lakshmikantapur or Namkhana local from 4.30 am - every 1 hr - from Ballygunge Station/ Sealdah

We took 6.30 train to go to Baruipur and took another train to Joynagar. Since today there is Gangasagar Mela - there is some disruption of normal trains.

1. Get down at Joynagar 

2. Take Trekker/Auto to Dhaki Kheya Ghat @ Rs 24 per head or reserve an auto for Rs 170/- - road condition - good ( Nimpith is only 7 Km from Joynagar station). We reserved our auto.

Auto driver was very co-operative - Nilratan - Mobile number

# You can buy Joynagar Moya from Goju's shop - Rs 10 (do not buy the one for Rs 7)

3. Cross Dhaki river @ Rs 2 - the time between 2 ferries is approx 25 minutes

4. Then take another auto to Baikunthapur Tarun Sangha (BTS) - auto reserve Rs 160 + 20 = 180/- (for share @ 20/- per head ) ; total time taken is 1.15 hours - the road condition is really bad

Auto driver was very good - Ratnakar - Mobile number (8670 723848)

We reached Baikunthapur at around 11.15 am

Alternate route to avoid ferry crossing (by car) 

1. take auto to Jamtala ghat @ 12/- (from there 3 roads are going - one towards Piyali , one towards Kaikhali and one towards Moipith) . Go to Moipith

From Moipith go to Petkulchand bridge by auto

From the bridge take local auto for Rs 10 to reach BTS

On the way to BTS fall Raidighi.

We had our breakfast of Luchi and Alur dam at the "hospital". Then we kept our luggage at the "guest house" in the School (Patha Bhavan) and  left for Boat ride by the same auto.  Boat for 2 hours is 700-1200/-   (contact Prashanta - 99 32 989847 )

After returning from Boat ride, we had our lunch at 4 pm and took some rest in the guest house.

Tips : There is low tide in the afternoon, so possibly it is better to go to the forest in the morning.

Had dinner in the hospital with the fresh crab and local (deshi )chicken and local organic vegetables. Our great "Dog-da" enthralled us with his fascinating stories of  snakes.


Today we had parota and alur dam in the breakfast. Then we left for the fields to see the organic farming first hand. We learnt how the organic farming is done on Dyke or "Aal" ; various types of vegetable plants are planted at almost the same place (with roots reaching different level in the soil) , instead of only one kind of vegetable farming , we are used to. We also learn that flower plant beside the dyke has a purpose - it acts as a mild insect repellant.

We also saw, how they are using vermicompost (or earthworm manure) for manures. They are also using mixture of dead fish and jaggery etc for using it as an insecticide. We visited three different fields. Poly escorted us to all the fields. Initially Prashanta Giri (his Brother Sushanta was the real driving force behind all this. He is an English Graduate !) took us to Poly's farm. Poly is really an empowered woman. We were really impressed. We also went to the field of  Gouranga Maiti . Most of them are from Medinipur. We learnt a lot about Banomala brinjal (begoon), Kata begoon. I planned to buy the Banomala brinjals from them.

We then went to see the Thakuran river - one of the big 3 of Sundarbans - other 2 being - Matla and Bidyadhari. It is possible to hire boats for around Rs 10,000 - 15,000 for 2 days ride to Kalash and Bonnie camp.

Normally people go to Sundarban either from Canning or Sonakhali (near Basanti).

Another route to go to Sundarban is via Kakdwip.

We bought some vegetables at the farm to have it in the lunch. It is literally farm to fork ! Then after our lunch we left for Kolkata at 2 pm and reached Kolkata at 6.20 pm.

It is also possible to work as volunteer in BTS. For that you may contact/Whataspp Nilendra Bhowmik  +919903 900 900 . He is very well known to me. There is adequate accommodation facility in the village.

Bangriposi te teen rattir ...Three nights in Bangriposi ! - report in brief


source :

Dhauli Express from Howrah at 6.00 hours. It is 3.5 hrs journey.

You will reach Balasore (231 k.m. from Howrah) at 9.35 A.M. (Thereafter 78013 DEMU passenger at 10.05 A.M. from Balasore to Bangriposi in 2 hours @ Rs 25 )

## By bus : Services is available from Kolkata to Baripada and it will start from Dharmatala Bus terminus near Press club. 

You can reach Baripada or Bombay chauki in about 4.5 hours.  Please call (Das & Das : 09831 342895) for all the related information.

##  By car : Take the NH6 route from Kolkata and drive straight to Bangriposi. 230km from Kolkata.


It is equi-distant from Jamshedpur and Kharapgur. It is not very far from West Bengal Order. The nearest big town is Baripada (around 40 Km). It is in the North East of Orissa.

Pick up car by Bablu - 8763 200 392  . He stays just beside our Bungalow. 

We missed the pick up car due to communication gap. So we took the DEMU  or Diesel train at 10.00 am to reach Bagriposi train station in 2 hours time (train fare Rs 25). Our resort is only 2 Km from Bangriposi rail station. Our resort is beside Khairi Resort.

We took an auto (Rs 70 for 7 people )  to reach our resort at 1230 hours. We are 7 people (Subri da, Karmakar da, Tutuda and my family). The famous author Buddhadeb Guha wrote his novel "Bangriposite dui rattir" at the resort. There is a Munda family residing inside this resort in Thatched hut - who are taking care of our needs and also making lovely lunch and dinner for us. This is unique.

Bangriposi is a quaint tribal hamlet nestled at the foothills of the Thakurani hills in Mayurbhanj, Odisha. It is almost within Simlipal Forest range.

After taking our lunch, we went to Bisoi Hat (only Saturday at 3.30 pm) from resort - 18 Km - Duarsini Temple (is on the way)- @ Rs 800/-. The cock fight has stopped because of gambling related problem. Sampling the local fermented rice-wine or haanriya is a must! You will find tribal woman selling Haariya.


Simlipal (65 Km) - not recommended

We started at 7.00  hours and come back at 2000 hours @ Rs 3500/- . It is a whole day tour.There is no

need to book any tour in advance. Entry fee per person is Rs 100. Guide fee is Rs 300, lunch @ Rs 100 each inside the Park. You can take your own car (we had Balero) inside the forest.There are 2 entry points. We entered through Jashipur, which is 65 Km from Bangriposi. One can also enter from Baripada side (Pithabata (22 kilometres from Baripada)). The whole tour is a big disappointment. No wonder there is any interest. It starts in the morning and ends at 5.30 pm. It is more of 5 Point tour kind of thing these days.

The real highlight of the tour in Simlipal National Park is waterfalls like Joranda and Barehipani. The second one is really worth seeing.

After lunch we went to the core area - Chahala, which is also a big disappointment. All we saw is spotted dear. The whole area is out of bounds of tourists. Naxalites has caused a big wound to this famous forest. Even the road to Simlipal is really bad. our average car speed was around 33 Km.


Bangriposhi    ----Sulaipath Dam----- Bankabal dam @ Rs 1500/-  - recommended

We did not go to Badampahar (65 Km).  Since we had time, after taking nice lunch at a road side dhaba, on the way back, we went to see Buribalam (7 km from resort).  We paid extra for that @ Rs 300/-. It was on the banks of the Buribalam river, where the encounter between Bengali freedom fighter Bagha Jatin and the then British commissioner, Charles Tegart, took place.

We did not go to Kanchinda (20 km) - Brahmi Kund (38 Km) , which is on the route of Buribalam - 5 hours @ Rs 1500


Resort  - Kuliana : Dokra village (24 Km from resort -- recommended) - Balasore (100 Km) - @ Rs 2000/- 

Today we left our resort at 12.30 hours. On the way falls Kuliana village - where rural artisans still struggle to keep the dying art form of Dokra or Dhokra alive . There is a potter in that village too. We bought lot of Dokra at Kulina village from Jagannath Sahu's house - which is really VERY cheap. We could not see many house holds making Dokra.

Dhokra is non ferrous metal casting using the lost-wax casting technique. This sort of metal casting has been used in India for over 4,000 years and is still used. The more famous cousin of them stay at Bastar, Madhya Pradesh. Apart from that you will find Dokra in Jharkhand ,Bikna, Bankura, West Bengal and Dariyapur, Burdwan .

sourabhdg - Click for pictures

The we left for train at which is at 1621 hours from Balasore. However we reached home at 11 pm !

Hotel website:

Breakfast Tea + Biscuit - Rs 8           +            Luchi/veg curry/double egg curry - Rs 45/-

Lunch - Fish Thali 120/- , Veg Thali - 70/- , Egg Thali - 10/-

Evening snacks - Tea, Biscuit - 8/-   +    Muri Chop - 15/-

Dinner  - Chicken Thali - 140/- , Mutton Thali 200/-

Approx 300/- per day food.

For urgent information call Sintu @ 9836 83 03 42

Rent for 3 rooms with attached bathrooms and a common dining room is Rs 2000.
Rent for 1 cottage for 2 people is Rs 1000. There is also tent for Rs 800 for 2 people with a separate bathroom.

One can read this nice write up in Bengali :

Chronological order