People who love to trek need not go to areas in north Bengal or the Darjeeling Hills every time any more. The state government has decided to create a trekking route in the Kakrajhor area of Jhargram – once a hotbed of Maoist activities.
Claim to fame
On the 16-km stretch from Bhulaveda to Kakrajhor, an area under Belpahari police station in West Midnapore district, the state government also plans to use local youths as guides for trekkers.
The fully green terrain was once a favourite destination of tourists, especially in winter. The scenic beauty of the place was captured in several films, including Char Murti, a laugh riot based on a story by Bengali novelist Narayan Gangopadhyay, in which Chinmoy Roy played the role of Tenida.
An eco-tourism spot
There is a tourist bungalow in the midst of the dense forest. But people stopped coming there after the rebels started getting active in the area, when they killed eight policemen in a landmine blast in Daldali, between Bhulaveda and Kakrajhor, in February 2004. The Maoists later also destroyed the tourist bungalow. Now, the bungalow is used as a shelter for the CRPF personnel engaged to combat the Maoists in the area.
An eco-tourism centre also existed in the area covered with dense forests and many different species of trees, birds and animals. But as the entire zone became a Maoist hotbed, several policemen and common people were killed, and tourists avoided the spot. But after the death of top Maoist leader Kishenji and the arrests and surrenders of other rebel leaders of the region, the Maoists are on the backfoot now, and Kakrajhor is back on the tourism map.
Kakrajhor, 253 km from Kolkata and 73 km from Jhargram, is a
trekking wonderland in the tropical, hilly forestlands of Midnapore.
'Kakra' means 'hills', while 'jhor' means ‘jungles’ or ‘forests’.
Kakrajhor comprises of 9,000 hectares of hardwood trees including
kusum, sal, segun or teak, mahua and akashmani. Cashew nuts, coffee and
oranges are cultivated in Kakrajhor.
The forests of Jhargram