Sonajhuri makes the traveller enjoy the lost charm of Shantiniketan as one journey across the winding village roads, untouched, unspoilt forests, adivasi village of Goalpara, the Kopai River and the Khoai region.
Location of Sonajhuri
An oft ventured destination by the city dwellers Sonajhuri is situated very near to the northern side of Visva Bharati, Santiniketan. Tourists who hardly like the crowded Visva-Bharati area but are in love with the peaceful Shantiniketan then Sonajhuri is but the choice. The area is between the Shyambati Canal and the Sonajhuri jungle. With an assortment of blushed greenery along with Santhali settlements and the famous Khoai region a canyon that is created by water and wind erosion this is an idle place to look out for peace that one otherwise misses in the busy city life. The traditional life of the Santhali community with their local art and culture make Sonajhuri a heritage destination. Moreover, one can find the local crafts along with the traditional delicacies being sold at the famous Shonajhuri Haat (weekly market) on every Saturday. The famous Baul singers of Shantiniketan also perform in this Haat.
Attraction in Sonajhuri
The main attraction here is the Sonajhuri jungle that offers a serene atmosphere and is the perfect place to take a leisure walk. This is probably the cleanest forest area on earth. The Khowai region - canyons created by wind and water is worth experiencing here. The hanging trees and the view of the roots at the edges of these rifts within the forest area will make one fall in love with the region. The slow flowing Kopai River (Rabindranath Tagore's Amader Choto Nadi) and the Baul songs of the singers along the banks are special attractions. The Banerpukur tribal village inside the forest area shouldn't be missed as it gives a chance of close encounter with the local tribes living there.
Shantiniketan- The Abode of Tagore
Shantiniketan thrives to be Rabindranath Tagore's "Abode of Peace" is just a kilometre from here where one can indulge in a whole lot of sightseeing options. Some of the places one shouldn't miss out during ones trip are the University campus of Vishva Bharati, Kala Bhawan, Uttarayan, Geetanjali Theatre, Chatimtala, Shantiniketan House, Bichitra Bhawan or Rabindra Museum and others. There is also the Ballavpur Abhayaranya or Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary or the Deer Park set on a total area of 700 acres with a variety of trees, animals and birds. One is even sure to find a watch tower here to view the surrounding landscape from top of it. Located some 3 kms from Shantiniketan is the Vishwa Bharti's Rural Art Centre, which is a great place to collect some local artefacts. The tourists can also find amicable pleasure if they visit Sriniketan to buy handicrafts. There is also a brick kiln of 7 lakh bricks nearby. Even Amar Kuthi is a brilliant abode for the art shopaholics.
The 14th century old Surtheshwar Temple is only 8 kms from here on the way to Illambazar whereas Nannoor - the birthplace of the famous poet Baru Chandidas is just 23 kms away. One can also visit Dangali Kali Temple nearby. Another popular destination - Kankalitala Temple, which is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas of Sati is around 9 kms from Sonajhuri. Again one even visit the famous Gar Jungle from here located 30 kms via Illambazar. Other popular nearby destinations include Kenduli, Bakreshwar, Maithon, Tarapith and Durgapur Barrage.
Leisure morning's stroll through the Sonajhuri jungle to enjoy the beauty of the surrounding is truly mind boggling. The jungle is clear and devoid of wild animals so one can take their children with them. A trip to Sonajhuri Haat that takes place on every Saturday that can aid one to grab certain remnants of local art and craft. Plus, a chance to indulge in some local delicacies can definitely make one's day. A nature walk along the banks of River Kopai and the Khowai region is something one needs to do for shrugging off ones stress. However, the best stress buster could be the Baul singers, who often sing to the tune of nature along the banks of River Kopai. A village walk around the Banerpukur Adivasi Gram inside the Sonajhuri Forest is something one would cherish.