Situated in the heart of the Raniganj coalfields, the town of Asansol lies mid-way between Chittaranjan and Durgapur. It is an important coal-trading and railway centre, with large railway workshops. The major industries of Asansol include iron, steel and textile factories.
Close to Asansol, on the banks of the Ajay, is Churulia. This was the birthplace of poet Kaji Nazrul Islam. One of its attractions is the Nazrul Academy. Every year a seven-day fair is held here towards the end of May.
The Maithon and Panchet dams of the Damodar Valley Corporation should be included in a tour of Asansol and its outskirts.
Kalyaneswari temple near Maithon is one of the most visited
temple in the area.
Train services are available from Bardhaman and Howrah Station.
Asansol is also connected to Kharagpur, Purulia, Jamshedpur,
Bokaro via Adra (a major railway junction in the South Eastern
Railway). Private and state owned bus services are available from
Bardhaman town. The town also has bus-links with Kolkata, Durgapur, Haldia, Digha, Siliguri, Malda, Berhampur, Jhargram, etc.
The traveling time on road is around two hours from Bardhaman.
Private hotels are available throughout Asansol. The notable ones are Hotel Arti,
Hotel Athithi, Hotel Taj Residency and Hotel Asansol International.
The industrial town of Chittaranjan is at a distance of 135 km. from
Bardhaman. It is 25 km. from Asansol and 73 km. from Durgapur.
Railway engines are manufactured at Chittaranjan Locomotive Works. This is India's biggest locomotive factory, producing diesel and electric locomotives. Visitors may take a look at the workshops only on weekdays, after obtaining permits from the Administrative Officer.
Train services are available from Howrah Station, via Durgapur and
Asansol. Buses leave Calcutta from the Shahid Minar terminus. Road travel to Chittaranjan takes seven and half hours from Calcutta.
Both private and government buses are available from Bardhaman.
The road travel from Bardhaman takes three and half hours.
There are a few private lodging facilities at Mihijam and
Rupnaryanpur. Railway guest houses are the only lodging
facilities available at Chittaranjan.
The modern industrial town of Durgapur is at a distance of 62
kms. from Bardhaman. Its main claim to fame is its steel plant. Durgapur also boasts of a heavy engineering plant, an alloy steel project, a coke oven project, a mining and alloyed machinery corporation,
two major cement plants and numerous small industries. Coke gas produced at Durgapur is conveyed to Calcutta through pipelines.
The Durgapur Steel Plant was built in 1957. Visitors have to obtain permits from the P.R.O. to take a look-around.
Only six kilometres from the Durgapur railway station is the Durgapur Barrage, which is part of the Damodar Valley Corporation. The dam is 692 m. long. It supplies water to 2480 km. of canal-length.
The charming dam site is worth a visit. During winter, birds migrate from far-off lands and congregate at the lake. On the other side of the dam is the district of
Kumarmangalm park and Troikas park, with a lake, a garden, a deer park and a toy
train are the main center for leisure in the town. The Durgapur Township is extremely
Buses for Durgapur leave the Shahid Minar bus terminus at Calcutta, from morning to evening. The journey takes six hours.
The city is also linked by regular bus services to the towns of Asansol, Siliguri, Malda, Siuri, Berhampur, Digha, Jhargram, Tarakeswar, Mukutmanipur, Krishnanagar, Mayapur, Nabadwip, etc.
Numerous train services to Durgapur are available from Howrah Station throughout the day. There are also a few from Sealdah.
The WBTDC maintained Durgapur Tourist Lodge offers comfortable lodging facilities. There is also a Youth Hostel near the rail station.
Apart from the three-star Peerless Inn, there are numerous private hotels, offering varying rates.
The town of Kalna, 50 kms. from Bardhaman, is one of the Shaktapiths.
Popularised by the sage Bhaba Pagla, the Temple of Debi Bhabani holds a special puja on the last Saturday of the Bengali month of Baisakh.
Close to it is Sri Gauranga Mandir. The temple complex houses Sri Chaitanya's manuscripts and personal belongings.
A major landmark is the Siddheshwari Temple. It is dedicated to Debi Ambika, and it is after her that Kalna is also known as Ambika Kalna.
A major attraction is the Nava Kailash or 108 Shiv Mandirs. Built in 1809, the temples are constructed in two circles. One consists of 74 temples while the other circle has 34. The former has white marble and black stone shivlingas, while the latter has only white marble ones. Due to its ingenious planning, all the shivlingas can be seen from the centre of the temple complex.
The Krishna Chandra Mandir, with its 25 steeples, is another popular landmark. Scenes from the epics are depicted on its terracotta walls. Doors remain closed from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Many priavate and govenment buses ply between Bardhaman and
Kalna. Travlleing time via road is around one and half hours. All
Howrah-Katwa trains go via Kalna. Buses to Kalna are also available from Nabadwip, in neighbouring Nadia.
Apart from the tourist lodge, Panthanir, there are numerous private hotels in
Katwa was an ancient town of Bardhaman. It was earlier known as Kantakdwip or Katadia.
The Gauranga Bari is a major attraction at Katwa. This was where Sri Chaitanya earned his title. Inside is an idol of Sri Chaitanya. The doors remain closed from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Close to Gauranga Bari is the Bara Masjid.
On the other side of the town is Madhaitala. Sri Chaitanya had once rested here. Inside the walled mathbari, religious gatherings have been held for many years. The mathbari also offers modest lodging facilities.
There are many private and a few government operated buses from
Bardhaman. The travelling time is around one and half hours by
road. A narrow gauge railway runs from Bardhaman to Katwa and
the time taken is around three and half hours. Broad gauge
railway is available from Howrah via Bandel Jn.
The municipal rest house, Srabani, offers food and accommodation. There are plenty of private hotels as well.