With hills and forests surrounding a huge water body that changes its color in different seasons, Mukutmanipur is the right place for those who are looking for some adventure along with absolute relaxation. Nestling at the confluence of two beautiful rivers – Kumari and Kansavati, Mukutmanipur is located in Bankura district of West Bengal. This wonderful destination is also a favorite picnic spot, attracting hordes of picnic crowds. This serene place is also famous for housing the second largest water barrage across India that canalizes Kumari and Kansavati Rivers into the 3 districts of West Bengal – Midnapore (West), Purulia and Bankura to facilitate irrigation of 8,000 square kilometers during the scorching summer.
A boat ride to the middle of the huge water body almost gives you the feeling of being in the middle of ocean. The vast bluish tract of water surrounded by the green forests and the hillocks comprise a picturesque and you cannot resist but continue clicking tireless so long your android gadget gives you warning of shrinking storage. Besides, you can enjoy the views of ethereal beauty of nature along with different species of seasonal birds at the Bonpukuria Deer Park – where you
can reach sailing some hundreds of fathoms of water stretched across a thousand acre-feet. There are some tiny rocky islands in the water which gets submerged during monsoon. You can hire a motor boat and a van rickshaw to visit the Bonpukuria Deer Park nearby which is often flanked by varieties of seasonal birds. The entire length of the dam is 11 kms. You can hire a trekker or auto rickshaw to travel over the dam top road for 6 kms to visit the confluence of River Kumari and Kansavati. This earthen dam was built with the sole purpose of providing irrigation facilities to agricultural land. The dam measures 38 meters in height with a lake spanning 86 Sq km. Thick virgin forest and verdant hillocks flanking the azure lake create really a breathtaking view at the site. Owing to its splendid spectacle, the area has developed into an attractive weekend spot. This colossal dam nestles 2 km away from the Bangopalpur Reserve Forest. The famous Bangopalpur Reserve Forest is the haven of different species of flora and fauna and is worth exploring.
You will find the ancient town of Ambikanagar, around 4 kms away from the dam. In ancient time, this town was the pilgrimage center of the Jains. Remnants are still found at the site. The place also houses the Ambika Devi Temple, where sandhya-arati (evening-worship) begins at 7 p.m. Set out early, so that you can also visit the Rajbari (king’s Palace) of Ambikanagar. The descendants of the royal family – King Raicharan are still there and you may meet them without any hesitation.
Pareshnath hills and the Jhilimili tourist circuit is also within reach. You can make a trip to Jhilimili from Mukutmanipur, another attractive tourist spot. Cradled in nature’s bounty, the natural beauty of Jhili mili offer feast for the eyes. The place attracts hoards of tourists every year. Ambikanagar is also famous for its exotic tribal handicraft. Local tribes make wonderful handicrafts using bamboo sticks and grass, which you can buy as gift or souvenirs. The state had exploited Rs 80 lakh UNDP fund in 2007 for Mukutmanipur. The project was conceived to promote tourism and improve the living status of the artisans devoted to craft works with bamboo sticks and saboi grass.