To the westernmost part of West Bengal lies Purulia, the mystic land of wonders. The landscape is dotted by steep hillocks and lush greenery.Steep brown cliffs rises their spire over the green planes surrounding them. The land is also famous for its architectural remains. Huge temples or deul of Purulia are its prime attraction though much of it is still unknown to outer world. Once Purulia was main centre of Jainism in India. Purulia has long been a rich cultural zone of West Bengal and its heritage ranges from highly class folk arts to spectacular architecture. This happened because this land came under various cultural influences at different periods of history ranging from the 6th century BC when Jaina Tirthankara Mahavira—as reported in the Kalpasutra, passed through this land.
Temples of Deulghata
Deulghata, literally meaning “the land of temples” in Bengali, is one of the rich heritage sites of Purulia district as it bears the marks of ancient Indian history, Jainism. There were three brick temples out of which two can be seen at present. The third one which was the biggest of the three collapsed a few years back. The deuls are standing on the bank of river Kasai in Jaipur Boram village, almost 30km from Purulia town. Jaipur can be reached easily from Jhalda by a private car. The total ambience of the place is thrilling. The lone bridge over the kansai river, huge boulders, palash trees and the deul adds to the mystery and beauty of the place.
Temples of Pakbira
Located in Pakbira village, 40km away from Purulia town by Purulia-Puncha road,Pakbira or Pakbirrah is the largest and most famous archaeological spot in Purulia district. Pakbirra is reffered to as the open museum of Purulia. Out of the large number of Jain sculptures found here many can still be seen . At present three stone temples are standing here and innumerable statues, decorative stones and panels dot the whole place. A massive statue of Padmaprabha (which is considered the biggest Jain statue ever found in Purulia) is the cynosure of the place.
Temples of Banda
Banda, a village in Raghunathpur II, is 35 km away from Purulia town and 3km from Cheliyama village which is also famous for its temple or deul called Bander Deul. The temple at Banda is the finest in structure of all the stone temples found in Purulia. This stone temple is surrounded by innumerable palash trees . It has intricate stone carvings and an amalaka still on its top. A stone roofed porch with stone pillers is found at the back side of the deul.The ground plan is star shaped. One will get mesmerised by the beauty of the temple and its serene surroundings.
On the southern bank of river Damodor there stands the old jain temple of telcupi, the last of its kind from the twenty odd temples that were present at this place . The place called Bhairavstan is 10 km away from Cheliama . During summer when the damodar have no water one can take a walk and reach the temple. But during the start of winter when there is vey little amount of water of the damodar river, one can take a boat ride and reach the temple . The main idol which was worshipped in this temple is kept in the newly constructed temple of the nearby village. Telcupi is a delight to the tourists.
It is said that, at that time of exile, Ram-Chandra and Sita had arrived to this place and stayed. Sita was feeling thirsty and Ram stabbed an arrow in the earth and water sprinkled from within. The place is recognized as Sita-kunda.
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Ayodhya is a paradice to young mountaineers who come here to learn the basic courses of rock climbing. From the top of Ayodhya hill one can get a panaromic view of the rugged terrain of Purulia. The view of the water reserve(of the hydro electric project) is also breathtaking. One can have a view of the Bamni falls of the Ajodhya hills too.
Six km away from Ajodhya hills on the way to Bagmundi is Mathaburu. This hillock is situated on the side of the highway . Plantations of sal is dense on the way to the top of Mathaburu. Here localites arrange yearly ‘Mela’ . The top of the hillock has a temple. On a moonlit night enthusiasts can have a great panoramic view of the surroundings from the top of Mathaburu.
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Nearest airport is Ranchi Airport. From there one can hire a car or take private bus to Purulia.
Purulia is well connected to other parts of India via its train line. Purulia is the central station. Other stations are Raghunathpur, Adra.
Purulia is well connected to Kolkata and Ranchi . Both states have private bus service for Purulia. Kolkata has Government bus service for Purulia too.