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Photo Courtesy : Vaibhav Chauhan

Biharinath Hill Trek

 

  • The Bankura district, where Biharinath Hill resides, is a quiet and refreshing gateway to several weekend treks.
  • Being the tallest hill in sub-Himalayan region of West Bengal, Biharinath has a natural attraction for trekkers.
  • Sandwiched between the Purulia hills and Damodar River, Biharinath Hill towers amidst charming tribal villages, refreshing water bodies and a plethora of trees and fields. 
DIFFICULTY:

Easy

TRAIL TYPE:

Forest cover

DURATION:

1 days

ROAD HEAD:

It is situated about 60 kilometres (37 mi) north-west of Bankura town and 14 kilometres (9 mi) north-east of Saltora town.

BASE CAMP:

N.A

BEST SEASON:

All Year

Biharinath Hill Trek in the Bankura district, where Biharinath Hill resides, is a quiet and refreshing gateway to several weekend treks. Being the tallest hill in sub-Himalayan region of West Bengal, Biharinath has a natural attraction for trekkers. Sandwiched between the Purulia hills and Damodar River, Biharinath Hill towers amidst charming tribal villages, refreshing water bodies and a plethora of trees and fields. 

Winter and spring are the most impressive seasons to trek there. With a rich variety of flora and fauna, the region blooms with Palash and Shimul flowers. Enjoy the beauty of the Palash and Shimul flowers, something that is not available everywhere. To add to the country-side charm, traditional mud huts of tribal folk dot the scenery. Its not just the scenery but also the beautiful culture that the trekkers will come across. The beauty of the near by local villages and the amazing hill views is definite to leave great memories in the mind of all the trekkers!

Beautiful Village setting
Beautiful villages with Biharinath Hill in the backdrop. Pic. Credit ‎: Hasinur Rahaman‬

Biharinath hill trek is surely a refreshing getaway from all the city tension that people come across and a must go for any individuals of any age.

Author: Vaibhav Chauhan

The Bankura district, where Biharinath Hill resides, is a quiet and refreshing gateway to several weekend treks. Being the tallest hill in sub-Himalayan region of West Bengal, Biharinath has a natural attraction for trekkers. Sandwiched between the Purulia hills and Damodar River, Biharinath Hill towers amidst charming tribal villages, refreshing water bodies and a plethora of trees and fields. 

Winter and spring are the most impressive seasons to trek there. With a rich variety of flora and fauna, the region blooms with Palash and Shimul flowers. To add to the country-side charm, traditional mud huts of tribal folk dot the scenery.

How to do the trek

Day 1: Shiva Temple (Biharinath) to Biharinath Hill Summit and back to Biharinath 

  • Altitude: ­­­­­80 m to 450 m
  • Time taken: 3-4 hours, 7 km approx. 

Arrive at the Shiva Temple in Biharinath, which is at the base of Biharinath Hill. There is a small lake near the temple. Spot a trail from the temple climbing up the hill. 

The initial part of the trail goes through a tribal village and then diverges through a thick canopy of forest. The whole approach to the summit of Biharinath Hill meanders through this jungle.

Biharinath hill trek
Enchanting water body on way. Pic. credit : Guruprasad Kundu

The dense nature of the trail is devoid of clear views of the summit. The flowers of Palashtrees brighten the trail with vibrant colors. The white Kans Grass is also seen consistently at the foothill. The tropical Shimul (silk cotton) tree is also seen in plenty here. 

The trail winds left in a series of switchbacks, with a steady incline. After around 30 minutes, the trail takes a sharp bend. From here, the real climb to the summit begins. 

The trail gets narrow and finding the route could get tricky. The thumb rule is to avoid the thick forested trail towards the west side of the hill. It is advisable to hire a local villager as a guide to take you through the most practical route.

During monsoon season the trail gets slippery especially over the rocky trail sections. Look out for a few sections from where you get view of the area around.  The whole trek is a forested one so not many opportunities for clear open vantage points. After an hour of trekking, look out for a point from where one can see Susunia and Joychandi Hills. Both these hills are also approachable by foot.

The last section takes you to the tabletop of the summit. You will know once you reach the summit when the enter a levelled forested field. Look for open spots in the periphery of the summit for view of the region. The sunrise and sunset view over adjoining  Ledhi and Sharpahari Hills is a spectacular sight to see. The tabletop summit of Biharinath has a wide expanse of forest. There are no open land clearing on the summit.

Head back to Shiva Temple at the base taking the same trail. It takes about 50 minutes to descend from the summit of Biharinath Hill.

If you’re interested in some more trekking locales, you could trek to other hills nearby, such as Susunia or Joychandi Hills.

Cover Picture credit : Tarun Roychowdhury

Cardiovascular endurance

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.

Flexibility

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.

backpack

Since it is just a one day trek, you will only need the following things.

  • Small 20L backpack
  • Two litre water bottle
  • A jacket or poncho in case of rain
  • Snacks/Lunch

 

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Trains are running from Howrah to Raniganj. It takes around 3 hours to reach Raniganj from Howrah. From there you have to reach Biharinath hill via Damodar Bridge, Mejia and Saltora. Biharinath is 25 km from Raniganj.

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Vaibhav Chauhan

Vaibhav was 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.