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Do you want to experience the Mini Shimla trip in Bihar? Do you want to enjoy your winter vacation in the lap of the hills? Certainly, you have found the right place. Stay here!
Simultala, popularly known as the Mini Shimla of Bihar, is situated in the Jamui district of Bihar. Here, you can feel the experience of hills, waterfalls, forests, valleys, historical villas of Bengalis, etc. It offers a scenic landscape away from the hustle and bustle of city life. This place can be memorable for all who want to see the Bengali culture, architecture, and nature closely without any restrictions. Basically, in this blog, I am going to share some places that I have travelled to during my studies in the Mini Shimla of Bihar and how you can stay in Haveli (Kothi) for accommodation during the tour.
How to Reach Simultala?
There are several ways to reach the Mini Shimla of Bihar (Simultala) from the capital city of Bihar, i.e., Patna. Depending on your budget and preferences, here are some options.
You can fly from Patna Airport to Deoghar Airport, which is the nearest airport to Simultala. The flight takes about an hour and a half. Afterwards, you can take a taxi or a bus to Simultala, which is about 50 km away from it.
You can take a train from Patna Junction to Simultala Railway Station, which is near Jasidih Junction. It will hardly take 6 hours. If you want to go back in time to the 90’s train travel experience, then change your train from Jamui and take a local train. Every day, 4–5 trains run daily from early morning to noon.
You can also take a bus or drive your car from Patna to Simultala, which is about 210 km away. The route goes through NH31, NH333A, and SH10A, which are well-maintained highways. The road trip takes about four to five hours and requires a well-trained driver. On the way to the journey, you have to cross several tunnels and climb high-altitude roads.
Things to Explore in Simultala
Explore the Rajbari Complex/Naldanga Palace
It is the ruins of the palace of the Zamindars of Simultala. This masterpiece palace has grand architecture and was built in the 19th century. It was also the venue for many cultural and social events. There you will find one of the rarest minerals, mica, in its soil. During my studies, I collected it due to its lustre, as I was unaware of this mineral. Later, my geography teacher told me about its significance. There is a pond a short distance away from it that is in the shape of an Indian map. This phenomenon of nature shocked me. The different types of flowers in it symbolize India’s rich heritage and culture. Now Rajbari Complex is dilapidated due to a lack of proper care.
It is situated in front of the Rajbari Complex. You can hike to the Lattu Pahar Temple, which is perched on a hill 1,000 feet above sea level, and enjoy the panoramic views of the landscape. It is a perfect place for meditation. Swami Vivekanand visited here for health benefits in 1887 and 1889. He was extremely influenced by Simultala’s magical, herbal and medicinal nature. Swami Vivekananda meditated for several hours on Lattu Pahar and called it “Lord of Shiva” due to its Shivlinga shape.
Dulari Bhawan is one of the oldest and most haunted villas in Simultala. This is situated near India’s best government boarding school, Simultala Awasiya Vidyalaya, where I have studied and explored all of these. There is a well on the premises, too. Local people remarked on this haunted place as a house of ghosts and told more stories about it. You can see the sign of red fingerprints on its wall.
Cuisines of Simultala
You can interact with the villagers and learn about their traditions and lifestyle. They speak Khortha, Santhali, and Magahi, which are almost similar to Hindi. Additionally, made local Bidi (cigarette) Khaini and eco-friendly disposable Dona, Pattal of Sakhua leaves. They get 25 rupees per 80 pattals, which is too low for their hard work. Although they are poor, their hearts are big. They freely meet outsiders and help them. You can see the impacts of Christian culture and Christmas Trees in many houses. After all, you can taste the famous Simultala sweets like chhenna-murkhi, rasgulla, lengcha, and Gulab Jamun. You will find these sweets in their purest form.
Explore the Nature
Simultala has hidden its beauty in hills, villas, flora, and fauna. As far as you can see, there are continuous ranges of mountains and forests. It brings peace and great pleasure to our minds. Here, you will encounter plenty of beautiful birds and animals. I have also seen peacocks here. You can feel the potential of nature and how it has survived and irrigated its scenery and landscape in sandy and rocky topography. As an illustration, a picture is here.
Anandpur Ramkrishna Math
Swami Bhramanand Ji founded the Anandpur Ramakrishna Monastery of Simultala in 1916, setting up a cultural, historical, and spiritual heritage. You may find it surprising to learn that this monastery came into being before the establishment of the Belur Monastery. I am sure that if Vivekananda had not died, Ramakrishna Math and a massive Missionary would have been in Simultala.
Haveli of B.N.Sarkaar
The Renaissance Man of Indian Cinema Birendranath Sircar (Sarkar) has also visited and made his haveli in the Mini Shimla. His son was fond of trains, and B.N. Sarkar was also attached to this place. It was also near Kolkata, which helped him with film work. That’s why he made his haveli near Simultala Railway Station. At present, this haveli is closed to outsiders. Bhawesh Chaudhary, a resident of Simultala, takes care of this place. Fortunately, he works at my school, and due to him, we visited this. He told me that there is an old fridge in the room that works on candles. I didn’t know how true it was, but everyone there was completely amazed. After that, we saw a huge generator outside the house. It can be a great pleasure to see the Bengali architecture and amazing facts about B.N. Sarkar.
Accommodation in Havelis
There are more than 400 Kothis here. Many of them are unclaimed and owned by local people. As I have already told their economic conditions are poor. That’s why they rent it for tourist travellers at minimal charges. Along with this they also provide food service of your choice. If you don’t want to live old fashioned life you can visit Ananya Resort. My personal experiences have been good there.
Places to explore Nearby
- Dharara Waterfall, Simultala
- Maa House near Lattu Pahar
- Swasto Kothi (Captured by Simultala Awasiya Vidyalaya)
- Lachhuar Jain Temple, Jamui
- Nakti Bird Sanctuary, Jamui
- Jain Temple Lacchuar, Jamui
- Nagi Bird Sanctuary, Jamui
- Baba Baidyanath Temple, Jharkhand
- Naulakha Temple, Jharkhand
Best time to Visit Simultala
Simultala faces extreme climatic conditions in the summer. People have to wander for water due to the area’s rough terrain and low water level. The best time to visit Simultala is from October to March when the weather is cool and pleasant. The temperature ranges from 10°C to 25°C during this period. You can also witness the festivals and fairs of the region, such as the Chhath Puja, the Makar Sankranti, the Simultala Fair, and the Community Aadivasi Dance.
I disagreed with the idea that it is a Naxalite area. I have lived here for four years, and I have never heard of such an incident. As I have noted, the entire Simultala is a unique museum containing infinite legends in which about four hundred Havelis and Kothis, one after the other, speak of the grandeur of this place and tell countless stories! These hundreds of centuries-old mansions are a unique example of Indian architecture and the pride of Bihar. So, what are you waiting for? Book your tickets and pack your bags for Simultala, the Mini-Shimla of India!