After reaching Panchalingeswar for the fourth time, I felt the place equally refreshing like before. This time the team was a little bigger, almost ten persons. If you go for a trip with such a big team and the members are of equal mindset, the actual place become less important. Though this time I visit Panchalingeswar after long eleven years, still I was in a little doubt that how much I would enjoy my once very favorite place. But in reality Panchalingeswar proved me wrong.
Like all previous time we took Dhauli Express in morning and reach Balasore by 9:30 in the morning. Earlier we used to have bus / auto rikswa to reach Panchalingeswar Pantahsala from Balasore. This time, the team being considerably bigger, we booked a Bolero and straight reach to the guest house. I found this OTDC Panthasala has been renovated a lot and a new section has been added. But rooms in the old building are externally same as it was. The memory of our past tours started haunted me.
If you ask me why I visit this same place for four times, probably I would not have a very clear answer. But there are few characteristic of Panchalingeswar which are very attractive to me. Firstly because you don’t need any specific tour plan to enjoy the beauty of the place. Better you allow yourself to enjoy leisure time in the middle of nature and refresh your mind with view of small green rocky hills around. People used to visit a temple over there which needs around 3 KM walk from Panchalingeswar Pantahsala. The route is almost plain except few hundreds steps at the end. To me, one of the attractions of Panchalingeswar is the jungle behind the temple. If you walk into the jungle for 10-15 minutes you will find yourself in a place without any visible trace of any human activities.
As Chandipur is only 45 KMs from Panchalingeswar, and it being a very popular sea beach area with much option for Hotels/Shopping, lot of people stays in Chandipur and visit Panchalingeswar only for few hours. I believe they miss the best part of Panchalingeswar. If you really want to feel the charm of the place you should spend at least one night, I would rather suggest for two. The moment the sun goes down and local people in the village goes back to their hut, it becomes a different place. The quietness of the place is sure to strike you. This dark, quite, solitary mood of Panchalingeswar attracts me the most. And if you are not very unfortunate, you can expect to hear elephant’s call coming from the far away while walking in the dark road of Panchalingeswar in the night.
Rupark is another lodging option at Panchalingeswar. Though the location of this is quite nice, but a little bit confined within its own limit. Staying in the Panchalingeswar Pantahsala will give you much freedom to enjoy and plan your days with nature. Any time in the year except summer is good to visit the place. Only problem of that place, as I see, is Malaria. Make no mistake to carry and use mosquito net and mosquito repellent like Odomos.
A real excellent place to enjoy weekend and very near from Kolkata. It is quite easy to reach Panchalingeswar from Kolkata within 4-5 hours by train. By road also it is just above 250 KM and mostly through wonderful NHs.
- 180 KM from Kolkata by road
- Reachable within four / five hours from Kolkata
- Best train is Dhauli Express
- Hire a car / auto ricksaw from Balashore station to reach OTDC Panthasala. Or can take local bus service and walk last one and half kilometer.
- Electricity available.
- Cell phone connection available, VSNL is most stable
- Best accommodation is Panchalingeswar Pantahsala. For other options like dormitory and four bed rooms need to contact Utkal Bhavan, 55 Lenin Sarani, Kolkata- 700013. Ph: 22493653
- Another option is Panchalingeswar Shakuntala Nivas. Contact No 9938450160 / 9338632694 / 9338844282
- Best time to visit is winter. But any time, except Summer, should be fine
- You must use mosquito net at night