Ghatshila: A Hidden Gem of Jharkhand
Ghatshila: A Hidden Gem of Jharkhand

The Chronicles of Ghatshila: A Hidden Gem of Jharkhand

Tell me—are you feeling the unbearable weight of city life? Do you need a snug, cosy, serene, and quiet retreat to recharge your soul? Then Ghatshila could be your go-to place to spend a relaxing weekend!

The town of Ghatshila is a hidden gem in eastern India — full of unexploited nature, history, mystery, and fascinating local legends! This is someplace where you can forget about city life for a couple of days, and escape into a haven!

Yes, I’m referring to a budget-friendly tourist destination in Jharkhand that you should definitely visit!

Ghatshila may not be as famous as Kolkata, Ranchi or any other location in the eastern part of India. But it is more than enough to pique your interest as a tourist in more than one way.

But hey, you don’t have to take my word for it, though. Once you’ve read the full article, you may decide whether or not Ghatshila is calling out to you!

So, here you go!

Whether you don’t have enough budget to visit a popular destination or are looking for some low-key places to explore, here’s your chance. Ghatshila, a small town in Jharkhand, is no less than any famous tourist destination in India.

About Ghatshila

The picturesque town of Ghatshila is situated 60 km from Jamshedpur, 249 km from Kolkata, and 166 km from Ranchi. The beauty of this place will surely blow your mind if you’re into both forests and hills.

The name Ghatshila itself has a meaning that can interest you more. Ghat means the ‘wharf of a river’ while Shila indicates ‘rocky land’. So, Ghatshila is where the river meets or lands on rocks. Fascinating, isn’t it?

Visiting Ghatshila means you are in for a variety of exciting experiences. Whether you want some alone time in nature or to celebrate like hell with the locals, you can have it all!

Ghatshila offers you a chance to visit dense forests, cascading waterfalls, ancient temples, and rocky hills as well.

This means, that regardless of what exactly your calling is, you are bound to enjoy your time here.

What is Ghatshila famous for?

Situated on the bank of the Subarnarekha River, Ghatshila is famous for not one but multiple different reasons. You will know about each reason in detail, as this article is meant to dig deeper into those.

In the past, this place used to be the usual spot for Bengalis for a change of scenery. However, time has passed, and travellers around the country are now familiar with it.

Copper mines

The Hindustan copper factory is located in Ghatshila. This is where the very first copper mine was found in Asia. It is the second-deepest copper mine in the world as well.

Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay

If you possess an exceptional literary mind, you may find this place a little more fascinating. Why? Ghatshila intrigued our famous Bengali poet Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay in so many ways that he mentioned the place over and over.

In case you are not familiar with his name, let me introduce you to him.

Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay is the author of ‘Pather Panchali’ for which Satyajit Ray won the Academy Award. He also penned famous novels like ‘Chander Pahar’, ‘Aranyak’, ‘Aparajito’, and many more. He lived here from 1938 to 1950 until he died.

The author wrote ‘Pather Panchali’ while he was living in Ghatshila. Surprisingly, he spent the last days of his life here as well, in a place he loved and adored.

What is the population of Ghatshila?

Ghatshila is not a vast location when compared to the other places in Jharkhand. As per the census report published in 2011, the population of Ghatshila was 40,624. In 2023, the estimated population will be around 54,000.

How to travel in Ghatshila?

One of the main privileges Ghatshila has is that the place is very well connected to the main cities in India. Whether you are from Delhi, Mumbai, or Kolkata, you can easily access the place.

How to reach Ghatshila from Kolkata?

From Kolkata, you can easily rent a car and reach Ghatshila within 5 to 6 hours. You can also take a train to Kharagpur, 98 km from Ghatshila, and then hire a cab from there.

There are buses available from Kolkata as well. Take a bus from Kolkata to Jamshedpur, and it will stop at Ghatshila.

How to go to Ghatshila from Howrah?

Ghatshila is 213 km from Howrah station, and there are direct trains available on this particular route every day.

List of Trains

Check out the list of trains here:

  • Howrah-Barbil Jan Satabdi Express
  • Howrah-Titlagarh Ispat Express
  • Howrah-Kantabanji Ispat Express
  • Howrah-Ghatsila MEMU Express
  • Howrah-Ranchi Intercity SF Express (via Tatanagar)
  • Shalimar-Mumbai LTT Express (PT)
  • Steel Express
  • Kriya Yoga Express

Make sure to check the available trains here before arranging your departure.

Pro tip: To enjoy the privileges of a comfortable journey, I suggest you hop on a rental car to reach Ghatshila.

How to reach Ghatshila from Ranchi?

You can rent a car or drive to Ghatshila from Ranchi, and the journey is not a long one. Take the NH33, and it will take around 1.5 to 2 hours to reach your destination.

Ghatshila Railway Station is also well connected to Ranchi. Check the schedule of trains that run between the two routes on the official website of the Indian Railways.

How to reach Ghatshila from Delhi?

As of now, there is no operational airport in Ghatshila. The nearest airports are Sonari Airport in Jamshedpur and Birsa Munda Airport (IXR) in Ranchi, Jharkhand.

Catch a flight from Indira Gandhi International Airport to reach Birsa Munda Airport in Ranchi or Jamshedpur Airport. From there, you need to take a bus or a cab to reach your destination.

What is the best time to visit Ghatshila?

Generally, you can pay a visit to this hidden gem of Jharkhand anywhere between February and November. The weather remains quite moderate then, so you won’t have problems exploring.

However, the monsoon season could be the perfect time for you if you don’t want to miss out on anything. Stick around to learn more about this later in the article!

Top places to visit in Ghatshila

Here is a list of the top 12 places you should visit in and around Ghatshila.

Rankini Kali Temple

Rankini Kali Temple, located around 16 km from Ghatshila, includes legends and stories. It is a must-visit for you if you are looking for one. here You get to see the incarnation of Goddess Kali as Devi Rankini.

Raja Jagannath, a member of the Dhalbhum kingdom’s royal family, founded the temple in Galudih and then transferred it to Ghatshila. As far as legends go, worshipping Kali Mata called for human sacrifices back in the day. Talk to the locals, and they will let you know how much they still respect the goddess.

Oh, and don’t forget to visit Jadugora Hills as well, which is just opposite the temple.

Phuldungri Hill

Now tell me, do you want to visit a location from where you can see the entire town? Taking your answer as a yes, I suggest the perfect location: Phuldungri Hills. Perfect for trekkers, bird-watchers, and nature lovers, this hill station might take your breath away.

In fact, the beauty of Phuldungri Hills inspired Bhibhuti Bhushan to pen ‘Aranyak’, one of his best novels. Located approx. 4 km from downtown Ghatshila, Phuldungri Hills is a hillock where you can hike. Choose a time between sunrise and sunset and reach the top to witness a mesmerising view of the surroundings.

The Sal Forest and red pebbles scattered around will surely make you feel like you’re in a mystical realm.
Also, keep an eye around you while you’re here. Wild animals might show up as well if you’re lucky.

Burudi Lake

Looking for a mystical water body surrounded by hills and dense forest? Look no further than Burudi Lake, a man-made lake located just 5 km away from downtown Ghatshila.

The place offers you activities including boating, fishing, and just relaxing in case you’re tired after a long day. Watch the sunset from here and feel the tension and stress leaving your body for good.

Binda Mela, a Santali festival, is held every October on the bank of Burudi Lake. Don’t forget to check it out if you are just in time.

Galudih Dam

Galudih Dam, located on the Subarnarekha River, is a great place for water activities. 9 km from Ghatshila, this place is located in Galudih village. The dam is not just another to the exceptional beauty of Ghatshila, but it also plays a role in irrigation. It helps channel water into canals which directly contributes to agriculture.

Apart from the irrigation part, the peaceful atmosphere of the place will surely impress you to the core. The place itself is surrounded by hills and forests, a playground for birds. You need to come here with a free mind that will automatically determine how much you’ll enjoy.

Dharagiri Waterfalls

Dharagiri Falls is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ghatshila. Very close to Burudih Dam, this place is just 9 km away from the town. Make sure to visit during monsoon in case you want to see the falls in full force from a height of 25 ft.

If you are lucky, you might find some wild elephants roaming here and there. The water is so transparent and pure that you can taste it as well.

Ratmohana Hill

Ratmohana Hill should be on your list if you want to see Ghatshila at its best. This is another place to witness the sunset and sunrise, just like Phuldungri Hills.

The unwavering beauty of the Subarnarekha River is to look forward to, along with the mysticism of the Sal and Amla trees. After you spend a tiring day exploring popular locations, this is your chance to unwind.

Narwa Forest

Just 10 km away from Rankini Kali Temple, Narwa Forest might seem simple enough when you first see it. But the view of the river flowing in the middle can blow your mind. It is a peaceful place where no one will disturb you, and you can enjoy some alone time.

If you’re with your family, arrange a small picnic. Watch for the lizards and the butterflies, and make sure to capture some moments.

Pancha Pandav

Ghatshila is a place full of legends, and there are five stones lying still to vouch for it. Go 5 km north-east, and you will see the amazing erosion of ancient stones. But don’t tell the locals that; they believe these are the incarnations of five Pandavas from the Mahabharata. They also believe that the five brothers were here while they were in exile.

Regardless of the legends, you will enjoy the place more when a train runs through the field. You will relate to it a lot if you’ve already seen ‘Pather Panchali’.

Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay’s Cottage

As I already wrote, Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay lived here for quite some time. His cottage, Gourikunj, is now a heritage site. Just in case you are a fan of either him, Satyajit Ray, or both, this place is a must-visit.

People who visit Ghatshila don’t want to miss such a location, which used to be the birthplace of a few of his notable works. A few years ago, the state government of Jharkhand renovated the house and turned it into a tourist attraction. Just 2 km away from the heart of the town, this place also includes a monument dedicated to Bhibhuti Bhushan.

Ram Krishna Math

Founded in 1922, Ram Krishna Math in Ghatshila is an exceptional place to visit for any visitor. Just 2 km from Ghatshila, it is an educational hub where you can see what real discipline looks like. Take a guided tour to visit the auditorium, campus, buildings, temple, and library.

Pro-tip: Don’t forget to bring a good-quality camera wherever you visit Ghatshila. You never know exactly when you might stumble upon a stunning landscape.

Where to stay in Ghatshila?

Ghatshila offers you all kinds of comfortable accommodations, ranging from resorts, guesthouses, and luxury hotels. Choose wisely, depending on your total budget.

Here is a list of some popular lodging options.

  • Hotel Aakashdeep
  • Hotel Bibhuti Vihar Ghatshila
  • Hotel River View
  • Hotel Subarnarekha
  • Nirvana Inn Ghatsila
  • Bagan Bilas Homestay
  • Hotel Meridian
  • Resort Atmosphere
  • Suhasita Resort
  • Devi Rani Devi Lodge
  • Hotel Anwesha

Where to shop in Ghatshila?

For obvious reasons, you don’t want to return from any tourist places empty-handed, do you? In that case, shopping in Ghatshila is another essential activity to look forward to.

Ghatshila has several local shops and markets where you can buy different items. However, this place is not really known for any particular items. But you can always buy Santhali handcrafted items, footwear, jewellery, souvenirs, traditional clothing, etc.

Head to the main road, and you will find a variety of shops there.

Is Ghatshila worth visiting?

To find an answer to the question, you must take it from those who’ve already been there.

Luckily, my brothers recently visited Ghatshila in August. Before writing this piece of information, I asked them about their trip.

And guess what happened next? They couldn’t stop telling me about their unique experiences in Ghatshila.

I also made them spill the beans about the things they’d found unique. Their answers were Desi Chicken (they are foodies), the scenery, and the greenery!

They also highly recommend visiting the place during the monsoon season as the rain enhances the experience. It highlights Ghatshila’s natural beauty in the best way possible.

So, the answer is yes. Ghatshila is a must-visit destination that will not disappoint.

Conclusion

Have you ever heard about people going on a luxurious trip which eventually backfired? In short, they wanted to be surprised, but the location fell short of their expectations.

A visit to Ghatshila, on the other hand, will be a totally different experience from what you’re used to.

Whether you are aiming for a weekend getaway or a family tour for a couple of days, go for it. Without a doubt, this trip will be worthwhile for you in terms of both time and money.

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About Adrija Mukherjee

Adrija is a full-time freelance writer these days after completing her M.A. in English literature. For her, writing is therapy and travelling is the reason to live. Currently, she lives in Kolkata with her family. When Adrija is not working, you might catch her watching cricket, reading thrillers or playing with her cats.

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