Durgapur (Bengali: দুর্গাপুর DOOR-gah-poor) is an industrial city in the Rarh region of West Bengal, India. The "Ruhr of India" was a dream child of the great visionary Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy, the second Chief Minister of the state.
The well laid out industrial township was designed by Joseph Allen Stein and Benjamin Polk. It is home to the largest industrial unit in the state, Durgapur Steel Plant, one of the integrated steel plants of Steel Authority of India Limited. Alloy Steels Plant of SAIL is also here. There are a number of power plants, chemical and engineering industries. Some metallurgical units have come up. It also has National Institute of Technology, Durgapur, and Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute.
Aside from Durgapur's interest as a place of impressive industrial plants and good urban design, the City Centre is turning out to be quite a hotspot hangout place, complete with a bunch of shopping malls and arcades, a cineplex, a host of eateries (some great food and darn cheap at that), with manicured spots where youngsters hang out. If you want the ambience of a good restaurant, you can visit one of the many such as Peerless Inn, Pathik, Luxor, City Residency. Some people prefer the roadside smaller ones that serve both purposes: watching beautiful people and awesome food.
Due to the heavy rainfall it has received in the late 2010s and early 2020s, for almost five months of heavy rainfall every year from mid-May to mid-October, locals often refer to the city as "Chhoto Cherrapunji" (ছোট চেরাপুঞ্জি).
- 1 Kazi Nazrul Islam Airport (RDP IATA, Andal Airport), Andal (about 11 km (6.8 mi) from City Center), ☏ . Daily flights from Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai.
- 2 Durgapur railway station. Six trains per day, except Sunday, travel to Durgapur directly from Howrah, one from Sealdah and three from Delhi.
- 3 Andal Junction railway station. Another major station within Durgapur agglomeration, closer to Andal Airport.
Buses ply regularly between Kolkata and Durgapur (see the schedule and additional information here)[dead link]. Ordinary buses, as well as AC Volvo coaches and Mercedes-Benz buses run by the South Bengal State Transport Corporation (SBSTC), West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC) and private operators, depart from Esplanade and Karunamoyee in Kolkata to reach Durgapur's City Centre. Besides, buses from Bardhaman, Bankura, Asansol, different places in North Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, etc. also go to Durgapur.
There are buses run by the South Bengal State Transport Corporation (SBSTC), but their services are infrequent. Minibuses are generally too crowded and often go around circuitous routes. Nearly all minibuses and SBSTC buses travel between the railway station and Prantika in Benachity through different routes.
Just like the taxis in Kolkata, the Ambassador taxis in Durgapur are painted yellow and blue. They are readily available at the railway station and certain other fixed points. These do not operate on meters but on arbitrary fixed rates. Therefore, bargain properly before you move out. There are a few companies operating e-cab or bike taxi services like Ola, Rapido & BroomBoom.
Auto rickshaws, like the taxis, charge arbitrary rates and operate from the railway station and certain fixed points. Those on business travel generally hire out a car for the day. Rickshaws are available for shorter trips.
- 1 Bhabani Pathak’s Tilla. Made famous in the novel Devi Chaudhurani by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay. An unbelievable network of tunnels starting near the City Centre region right up to the Damodar river. Legend has it that unless you know the map of the tunnel system, it would nearly be impossible to navigate. Nowadays, it is a protected monument (the entrance of the cave). But you would be able to visit the place.
- 2 Durgapur Barrage. Definitely one of the best places to see, if you are interested in one of two things: nature and man's effort to control its fury. And if you really are game, you should be there at the height of monsoons. Try peering over the railings to watch water being let out of the lock-gates. It is a phenomenal sight. A few yards away from the main barrage is the canal. There is a short foot bridge over it. Try crossing with a lock gate open. It is dizzying. And finally, get down by one of the sides (Bankura or Durgapur - prefer Durgapur), the beaches. It is really pretty. Finally, there are a few fishermen who fish in those waters. Pay a few bucks and ask them to give you a ride. Earlier it used to be a great spot for bird-watching in the winters. But the birds have decreased although if you go in the early morning you can still see lots of birds. One bit of advice: Wear warm clothes.
- 3 Durgapur Steel Plant (Main gate shown in the map). The steel plant is one awesome thing to see. It is hard to imagine the scale of things that happen and how the heck all of this works together. You need a permit to visit, which is easily obtained from the Administrative building, outside the plant, near the main gate of the plant.
- 4 Rarheswar Shiva Temple. According to the Archaeological Survey of India, this temple is more than 800 years old, with a unique architectural style. It is built in the style of Rathas of Southern India.
- Durgapur Club, Aurobindo Ave, Steel Township, ☏ . It is a fraction of its former colonial self. Yet, with swimming pools and the who’s who of the Durgapur Steel Plant, complete with its British era high-nosedness, is still a hotspot.
- 1 Kumaramangalam Park. This was one of the most beautiful parks around, being the first park in the entire Paschim Bardhaman district to have a musical fountain. Then due to neglect the entire infrastructure started falling apart. Durgapur Steel Plant, which oversaw its maintenance outsourced it to a private company. The musical fountain is now back and the park is back to its good old days again. Boating facilities are also available.
- 2 Nehru Stadium.
- 3 Troika Park (Anand Amusement Park). It is a fun place for kids near City Centre. It has a toy-train, a few rides and a bunch of other attractions. Adjacent to it is a deer park. You can actually walk in and touch a few of the deer. You can also find a leisure boating lake close by.
- 1 National Institute of Technology (NIT), MG Rd. It is one of the premier technical institutes in India and it is a jewel in the crown of Durgapur. The National Institute of Technology (formerly Regional Engineering College, Durgapur) was established under an Act of Parliament in 1960 as one of the eight such colleges aimed to function as a pace setter for engineering education in the country and to foster national integration. If you visit Durgapur do not miss NIT where you can interact with some of the best technical minds in the country.
Durgapur is an industrial city and you get things such as steel and carbon black. However, for general purchases Benachity is normally the place. You get the Bankura horse (terracotta and wood) and the Bishnupur Baluchari. Nowadays you can get a lot of things here.
- Benachity. With its quaintish oldish appearance is a great choice. It is really huge, probably close to 2 to 3 km in length with shops on all sides. The charm is really in its small merchant setup - not the big mall one roof thing. One of the biggest Vimal showrooms is in this market.
- 1 Junction Mall, City Centre.
Eat and drinkEdit
Most of the hotels have restaurants and some of the large hotels have bars as well. Apart from that there are good places for eating in Benachity. Banskopa Inn on GT Road, between Muchipara and Rajbandh, is a good place out of city. However, most of the restaurants serve the same food with only quality being the difference. Also try out the road side dhabas on GT Road near to NIT for some great rotis and tadkas at unbelievable rates.
- 1 Banskopa Inn, GT Road (between Rajbandh and Muchipara), ☏ . With bar and restaurant. In fair weather try the garden restaurant.
- Durgapur House (annexe), Priyadarshini Indira Sarani, ☏ .
- Hotel Preetika, Pump House More, Shahid Sukumar Sarani, Bidhan Nagar.
- Hotel Reliance, Nachan Road, Bhiringi More, Benachity, ☏ . Welcome to the world of luxury and comfort. It is one of the most popular hotels in Durgapur, with a reputation for warmth and hospitality.
- 2 Ispat Hotel, Steel Township, ☏ .
- 3 Kwality Hotel, Bhiringhi Morh, ☏ .
- 4 Pathik Motel, near Gandhi Morh, ☏ , fax: . ₹150 (dormitory) - ₹900 (AC Delux).
- 5 The Peerless Inn (Peerless Sarovar Portico), City Centre, ☏ , email@example.com.
- 6 The Riviera, Birbhanpur (near Durgapur Barrage), ☏ , , . The only resort in this area on the riverside. A.C. riverview rooms, landscaped garden, children's park, lounge bar, multicuisine restraurant, marriage & conference facilities. ₹400-2000.
Go deeper till you can see the Ajay River. Here is another amazing piece of architecture: a Shiva temple made of burnt clay bricks exactly in the shape of the famous "Linagaraja temple" of Bhubaneswar. Sadly it is in a state of complete disrepair.
- 1 Ichhai Ghosher Deul. The 800-year-old Ichhai Temple at the bank of the Ajay River. There is also a hotel-cum-restaurant near the temple to stay.
- 2 Garh Jungle (Dharma Garh of Raja Surath). If you are adventurous enough, there is the Garh Jungle on the eastern end of the city. The place is supposed to be one of the oldest places of ancient India. As per the verses of Puranas and Bhagavats, this is the place of Satya Yuga where Raja Surath performed Durga Puja at the instruction of Mahamuni Medhas. Raja Surath after being defeated by Kols and Bhils came under the blessings of Medhas Mahamuni whose ashram was there and thereafter performed Durga Puja. Jogiraj Brahmananda Giri of the Dasnami cult rediscovered the place and started Durga Puja at the same temple founded by Raja Surath. Thousands of devotees around the world visit the place at the time of Durga Puja. It is believed that the name Durgapur is borrowed from this legend.
- 3 Pandu Rajar Dhibi. An archaeological site. According to legend, the main mound at Pandu Rajar Dhibi is associated with King Pandu mentioned in the epic Mahabharata.
- 4 Randiha (Rondia). A picnic spot at the bank of the Damodar River. In 1932, the Anderson weir was constructed in the village, which resulted to the availability of irrigation facility in the lower Damodar basin before the advent of the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC).
|Routes through Durgapur|
|Dhanbad ← Asansol ←||W E||→ Bardhaman → Hooghly|
|Dhanbad ← Asansol ←||W E||→ Bardhaman → Howrah|