Durgapur projects an image of an industrialized India. It is the third integrated steel plant of Hindustan Steel Limited and occupies an area of 6.47 sq. kms. Founded under the Colombo Plan Mission which visited India in April, 1955, the plant has been instrumental in changing the rural face of Durgapur into a vast industrial complex comprising public and private sectors.
As usual with Bengalis the Durga Puja is the biggest festival around. Some of the pujas known for their lavish artistic renditions:
1. Nabarun: Right beside the National Highway, it is huge. With cash flowing in from the business community of Benachity, it is undoubtedly one of the best pujas around.
2. Marconi: Critics say, it is the local party leader that makes sure money pours in. This undoubtedly is a great puja.
There are scores others....
The Rath Fair is an old style fair organized every year at the fairgrounds near the Chitralaya theater. Fun place to go and buy stuff you really do not need. Takes place for seven days during the RathaYatra festival.
Industrial Fair : Most Durgapur-ites hard working people and generally believe in industry and technology. Industry plays a major role in the Ruhr of India(thats what they call Durgapur) and hence this fair, held in November generally, is of vital importance. It seems that in 2005, industrial investments to the tune of Rs 30,000.00 crores were promised during the fair.
Apart from these, cultural events are organized all throughout the year in pockets. Pujas and the Autumn-Winter season sees the most.
Get on a mini-bus to go where you are going. Generally quite frequent to most parts of the city. One thing to remember is that Durgapur is a sprawling city much bigger in area than Calcutta. So do not dream of walking. Generally, most mini-buses ply through the City Center region
Hire a taxi. Mind you, taxis do not ply on meters. The rates to various areas are fixed. and displayed on a big board. So know where you are going. Most of the taxis are in real bad battered shape.
Almost in all places, have car-hire stands (dont get to drive - they have drivers). The general rates of hire I believe is Rs 50/hr or Rs5 /Km whichever is higher. This is your best bet - cheap and you get a car all day-that too cheuffeur driven.
The other choice is min-buses. You can ask anyone for directions and bus-routes. People are extremely friendly and will help you out. Bus service used to be really bad; but nowadays, I hear it is pretty good.
As far as connectvity from the East and West goes, it is fantastic. You can travel the 120 miles from Calcutta in under two hours by road (Yes! and I have done it recently), or hop on one of the multitude of trains that leave Howrah and Sealdah. Same from the West side, all trains (except for a couple running on the Howrah Delhi line) stop at Durgapur. We do not have an airport - something I am fighting for with the state govt.
Durgapur, Gaya, Gorakhpur
Durgapur Projects Limited
Attractions and Places to Visit in Durgapur
City Center is turning out to be quite a hotspot hangout place. Complete 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 (like Peerless Inn, Pathik, Luxor). I would prefer the roadside smaller ones that serve both purposes: watching beautiful ladies and awesome food.
Benachity with its quaintish oldish appearance, is still my choice. It is really huge probably close to 2-3 Kms in length with shops on all sides. The charm is really in its small merchant setup - not the big mall one roof thing. And once again some great food joints (like Koh-i-noor: dont get fooled by their appearance-they make some of the best Biryani around).
KumaraMangalam Park: A shade of its former beautiful self. The lovely lake (where I have spent a lot of time boating), is simply filthy. DSP has not done a thing in the last 10 years for its maintenance. Would love to see it back to what it used to be. so dont go there as yet. Heard the are coming up with some sort of a plan for its maintenance.
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 feeding the Hooghly. There is a short foot bridge over it. Try crossing with a lock gate open. It is dizzying. And finally, get down by one 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. Throwing that net is an experience of a lifetime....
The Steel Plant is one awesome thing to see. It is hard to image the scale of things that happen and lets you wonder how the heck does all of this work together. Hats off to the staff of the place. You need a permit to visit: easily obtained from the Administrative building at the main entrance of the Plant.
The Troika Park is a fun place for kids near city center. Its got a toy-train a few rides an bunch of other attractions. Adjacent to it is a deer park. Soothing sight: you can actually walk in and touch a few of the deer. You can also find a leisure boating lake close by.
How to Reach Durgapur
Air : Nearest national and international airport Calcutta is 176 kms away.
Rail : Durgapur is the railway station on the Eastern Railway.
Road : Durgapur is connected by good motorable roads with Calcutta 176 kms, Patna 414 kms, Asansol 50 kms, Shantiniketan 62 kms, Vishnupur 72 kms.