Ayodhya Hills Trek is a weekend trek to the mystical hills of Ayodhya. Once considered a hot spot for rock climbers, it has now become popular among trekkers and travelers alike. The unique rugged characteristics of the mountains blend beautifully with the canopy of greenery that Purulia is famous for.
These jungle trails are fantastic for people of all ages. The presence of water bodies inside the jungle makes the location perfect for camping.
According to Hindu mythology, Lord Rama and his wife, Sita, stayed in the Ayodhya Hills during their 14-year exile. Sita was thirsty. To quench her thirst, Rama shot an arrow right through the earth’s crust, out of which water gushed out. The place is known today as Sita Kunda. On full moon day, during Baisakh (April), tribal folk from nearby areas gather around the to make merry.
Vaibhav is associated with Indiahikes as a Writer & Chief Explorer. He is an avid traveler with a passion for trekking in Indian Himalayas. With his roots in Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh, the love for the mountains is in his blood. When not travelling he likes to spend time interacting with like-minded trek enthusiasts and read books on travel and mountaineering.
A note to trekkers
Indiahikes does not run the Ayodhya Hills any time during the year. However, it is a wonderful Do-It-Yourself trek
Indiahikes only runs treks in the Himalayas. You can choose a Himalayan trek that you wish to based on your experience, season and difficulty here
Ayodhya Hills Trek Guide
How to do the trek
Day 1: Reach Purulia early morning , drive to Sirkabad and trek to Ayodhya Hills
- Altitude: 330 m to 610 m
- Time taken: 7-8 hours
- Distance: 13 km
Take an overnight train and reach Purulia by 7 am. From Purulia, take the SBSTC bus to Sirkabad. It takes 40 minutes to get there.
The trail starts from Kishore Bharati Ashram School. It cuts through dense forests of shimul and palas – bright red flowers that are in full bloom in February and March. These forests are also home to several wild animals and reptiles. Herds of elephants from adjoining jungles migrate to these forests seasonally. To add to the earthly beauty, there are numerous waterfalls along the trail. Bamni Falls and Turga falls are major attraction in Ayodhya hills. The hike also takes you to an azure Tarpaniya lake. You’ll also spot several tribal villages on the trail, where the people are comely and hospitable. The villages are nothing but tiny clusters of mud huts, with simple but lovely paintings on the walls.
Day 2: Ayodhya Hills to Baghmundi and drive to Purulia
- Altitude: 610 m to 228 m
- Time taken: 3-4 hours
- Distance: 8 km
Enjoy the early morning beauty of the Mayur Pahar (Peacock Hills).The sun piercing through the dense forests below is a sight to behold. The way to descend is to trek to Baghmundi and drive to Purulia from there. Baghmundi is the western gateway of the Ayodhya Hills and the trail is an easy descent, which can be completed in 3-4 hours. You’ll find Sita Kunda on the way. Here, you can also see Sita’s hair, which is said to have gotten entangled with the branch of a sal tree. People also believe that you can see the footsteps of Sita at Sita Chatal. The rocky cliffs of Baghmundi provide rock climbers a good opportunity to hone their skills. Towering ahead, one can see Gorgaburu, the highest peak of Ayodhya hills, at an altitude of 2,250 feet. Drive from Baghmundi to Purulia. From Purulia, take a night train or bus and reach Kolkata early next morning.
Get trek fit!
The secret to ascending any trail lies in building your cardiovascular endurance. You can begin by jogging everyday. Ideally, you should be able to jog 4 km in 20 minutes before the start of the trek. It takes time to be able to cover this distance in the given time. Start slow and increase your pace everyday. Swimming, cycling and stair climbing without too many breaks in between can help too. Strength This is another area you should work on. You will need to build strength in your muscles and in your core body. You can do some squats to strengthen your leg muscles. Do around 3 sets of squats, with 8 squats in each set. Apart from this, you can add planks and crunches to your work out.
Another aspect that will help you trek comfortably is flexibility. For this, you can do some stretching exercises – stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, lower back muscles and shoulders regularly. Carrying a backpack, however light, can become a strain after a while. These exercises will help you to be in good shape before the trek. Working out indoors
If you can’t go out and jog because of time and space constraints, here’s a video you can use to work out indoors.
What to pack?
No, stuffing it all in isn’t the right way to do it Packing a backpack correctly saves precious time that you might waste trying to find your things later. It is wise to spend some time on learning what really goes into packing a backpack.
What should I pack?
On a trek, you only get what you take. Something as simple as a forgotten matchbox can cripple your cooking plans throughout the trek. So, it’s essential to prepare early and prepare well. To begin with, make a checklist. While shopping, remember this thumb rule – keep it light. “Every item needs to be light. This ensures that your backpack, on the whole, stays light,” says Sandhya UC, co-founder of Indiahikes. Balancing out heavy items with light ones isn’t going to have the same effect as having all light items. “Always opt for good quality, light items,” says Sandhya.
How much should my bag weigh?
“Your backpack for a weekend trek should weigh between 8 and 10 kg,” explains Arjun Majumdar, co-founder of Indiahikes, “To break it down, your tent should weigh around 2.5 kg, your sleeping bag, around 1.5 kg, and the ration, stove and clothes should constitute the other 5 kg.” The best way to plan is by concentrating on the basic necessities – food, shelter and clothes. Gather only those things that you’ll need to survive. Do not pack for ‘if’ situations. “That’s one of the common mistakes that people make – packing for ‘if situations’. It only adds to the baggage that you can do without on a trek,” says Sandhya.
One good way to go about it is to prepare a list of absolute essentials. Start with the most essential and end with the least essential. That way, when you feel you are overshooting the limit, you can start eliminating from the bottom. Another tip is to be smart while packing clothes. Invest in light. wash and wear fabrics. “Replace a sweater with two t-shirts,” adds Sandhya. Layering is the mantra when it comes to trekking. Refer to Sandhya’s clothes list to pack smart.
How to pack The thumb rule for this one is to eliminate air spaces. Make sure that everything is packed tightly, especially clothes and jackets, as they tend to take up maximum air space. Put in all the large items first. Then squeeze in the smaller ones in the gaps. This ensures minimum air space. A good way to pack clothes is by using the Ranger Roll method.
Where to pack
Bottom Sleeping bag: Make this your base layer. Sleeping bags tend to be voluminous, but do not weigh much. They’re perfect for the bottom of the bag. Tent: Just like the sleeping bag, even tents are voluminous and light. Keep the tent poles separately and place the fabric at the bottom of the backpack. Middle Heavy jacket: Roll up the jacket in a tight ball and place it in the middle of the backpack, close to your back. The middle region of the backpack should always have the heaviest items. You can store other things like ration or mini stoves in the middle. Other clothes: Roll other clothes and place them in the remaining space, to fill air gaps.
Top Water: Water, although heavy, needs to be easily accessible. So put it in the top most region of your backpack. Medicine box: This is another component that you wouldn’t want to be scavenging for when in need. Poncho: It could rain at any time in the mountains. So, ponchos should be accessible easily. Also, having a waterproof poncho at the top of the backpack provides additional waterproofing to items in the bag.