Gangani (Gongoni), which is popularly known as “Grand Canyon of Bengal” is located near the small town “Garhbeta” of West Medinipur district in West Bengal. The place is situated on the banks of river Shilabati which is locally known as “Shilai River”. Gangani is locally known as “Gongoni Danga” or “Gongoni Khola”. The place projects the beautiful handiwork of mother nature, who has built a fascination gorge of red soil which resembles the miniature version of the “Grand Canyon of Arizona” in USA. The place got this beauty through years of soil erosion with the assistance of the river. During monsoon season the river flows through the gorge & the entire stretch becomes picturesque.
Weather around the Year:
The summers are warm with the maximum temperature rising to 42 degree celsius. The winter season remains comfortable and the minimum temperature of this season is 10 degree celsius.
Best Time to Visit:
you can visit the place Gangani, at anytime of the year.
How to Reach:
The place is 136 Km. away from Kolkata & very near to ‘Garhbeta’ a small town in West Medinipur. You can reach Garhbeta by Roadways as well as Railways.
Railways: The best way to reach Garhbeta is to board the ‘Rupashi Bangla Express’ from the Satragachhi Station and it will drop you directly to Garbeta Railway station. From there cycle Vans are available which will take you to the Gorge.
Roadway: You can reach Garhbeta by driving 133 Km. from Kolkata. You have to cross the Second Hooghly Bridge then take the Kona Expressway, cross Santragachi and then take a right turn and then again take a left turn to Ahilyabai Holkar Road. Drive straight and you will reach Arambagh. From Arambagh, you have to go left into Arambagh-Kamarpukur Road. Driving on this road will eventually take you to Garhbeta-Kamarpukur Road. Driving through this road you will reach a highway, from there you have to turn left and you will reach Garhbeta. From Garhbeta, you need to turn right & move another 3 Km. to reach Gangani.
On the way to Bishnupur from Kolkata, you can also visit Gangani, as Bishnupur is just about 30 Km. away from Gangani.
Must See Attractions:
The prime attraction of this place is the “Shilai River” & the beautiful river gorge of Gangani, but there are lots of old temples in and around Garbeta which you can also visit.
Sarbamangala Mandir – Shows the influence of Oriya architecture and is situated near Mangala lake.
Raikota Fort – The fort was excavated between 1555-1610 A.D. in the time of the Chauhan Rajas of Bagri . Some of the most prominent architectural remains can be still found in the ruins of the old fort. Within the fort there are seven large silted up water ponds & each pond had a temple on its center.
Bagri’s Krishnarai Jiu Temple – The temple is a perfect example of Bengali architecture and situated at the left bank of the river Shilabati (Shilai river). It has an idol of Lord Krishna is made of black basalt stone.
Kameshwar Temple and Radhaballav Temple – Radhaballav temple is a mixture of Oriya and Bengali architecture.
Raghunathji Temple & Raghunath Bari – It is situated at the southern part of river Silabati.
Uriyasaier Temple – It is a stone temple, made by Chouhan Singha which is now in ruins .
Jhalda Fort and Nayabasat – The remains of Bagri king Ganapati Singha’s fort.
What to Do:
You can take a walk around to observe the beautiful scenic beauty of the place. During monsoons when the river enters the gorge the place becomes more beautiful. At this time you will see fishermen around the place with their fishing nets which provides excellent photographic opportunities.
From the top of the Gorge you will be able to see the Railway Bridge over the Silabati (Shilai) River.
Where to Eat:
There is a good restaurant named “Suruchi” in Garhbeta . Also, just before the road bends towards Gangani there is a roadside food joint on the main road.
How to Get Around:
Cycle rickshaws & cycle vans are available to go for sight seeing.
Where to Stay:
There is no staying facility at Gangani but there are some good lodging facilities in Garhbeta. One can avail staying accommodations at Bishnupur also which is 28 Km. away from Gangani.
Must visit Nearby Places:
You can visit Bishnupur which is situated just 28 Km. away from Gangani .
Salboni is 27 Km. from Gangani and takes half an hour by road.
Arabari forest range is also a nearby location from Gangani. It is the habitat of wild Elephants which comes from the forest of Dalma range and enters into the Arabari Forest. It is 28 Km. away from Gangani and takes about 45 mins. by car.
Gopegarh, a beautiful Heritage Eco Tourism Park is situated 55 Km. away from here which is a nice picnic spot beside the river Kangsabati (Kansai). On the way to “Gopegarh Eco Park”, tourists can visit the “Arabari Forest”.
Ghatshila (Jamshedpur) is about 150 km from Gangani and takes about 3 hrs. to reach.
If you are going to Bankura or Bishnupur, you can visit Gangani on the way.