Saturday, October 11, 2014

A Dam good escape - Maithon

Hemmed by hills, Maithon dam is a place to loll in the winter sun, enjoy the boating facilities and click the variety of migratory birds during this period. The birds throng in the submerged island that sneak a look up the surface. Though it looks like an densely vegetated island, this is actually a submerged hill which acts as a temporary shelter to Common coots, Teals, Wagtails, Pintails etc, and can keep the bird watchers busy all day. The gushing water from the lock gates on the opposite side can be an awe inspiring sight. If you can acquire permission from the PRO of DVC, you can visit the hydel power plant below the dam. It produces 60 mega watt of electricity. 

Hemmed by hills

Maithon got its name from Maithan, or the abode of the goddess Kalyaneswari. It lies in the border of West Bengal and Jharkhand, upon the Barakar river, a tributary of Damodar. The Barakar River flowed through the Damodar valley, devastated its catchment area in monsoon while relegated it to barren lands in dry summer. Finally it was harnessed by the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) in 1957- 12 km before its confluence with Damodar- by a 44m high 4700m long dam which has a water surface of 65 sq km. The presence of the goddess gave the dam its name- Maithon.

Those having a religious bent of mind can visit the famous Kalyaneswari temple, rebuilt by the Panchakot raj 500 years ago. The original was built by one Maharaj Hari Gupt. The deity is a variety of Goddess Kali, worshipped as Shakti. It is said that body parts of goddess Parvati fell here. The devotees are mostly childless women who come to this place to pray for fertility. Hundreds tie knot to fulfill their wishes. Hundreds come here to redeem their pledge after achieving their coveted aspirations.

Finally Maithon dam at a full moon night is amazing

The main place of stay is Maithon tourist lodge (WBTDC, 3/2, BBD Bag, Kolkata), CPRO of DVC for Mazumder Lodge 033-2355-0647, Forest Department Bunglow ( 6A, Raja Subodh Mullic square, Kolkata, ph-), Neptune Holdays-033-40229591).  

Maithon lies in between Asansol (26km) and Dhandad (52 km). Numerous express trains like Black Diamond Exp, Coal Field Exp, Shatabdi Exp are available in this main route. One can hire a car to get to Maithon from each end. Alternately one can alight at Chittaranjan railway station which is closer to the dam. Volvo and AC busses are available upto Asansol. The 230 Km journey (from Kolkata to Maithon) will take 4 hours through the Durgapur Express way by car.
  pics : Dilip Banerji


  1. Wonderful pics & writeup. Been there way back in 1974.
    Picked up all the wrong kinds of reputation on account of antisocial activities.
    'Trip Advisor' will cherish such posts.
    Please give it a thought. Am a member. Have submitted photos and brief description of places, hotels and restaurants. They not only published all but also awarded a 'badge' on merit of public response. Am too lazy to comply with their request for another post since more than a year!

  2. You have visited recently I think. The pictures are awesome.

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