Jaichandi Hills, Purulia, West Bengal
Jaichandi (Joychandi) Hills
A hill, by definition is an elevated land formation, often with a distinct summit, but less than 600 meters (2000 feet) in height .
Jaichandi (Joychandi) hill, locally known as Jaichandi Pahar, is a group of rocky hills with an average altitude of 155 metres in the district of Purulia in West Bengal, India. It is a popular spot for rock climbers, as the hills offer a variety of rock-faces for development & honing of rock climbing skills. It is also a popular tourist spot, as the place offer panoramic view of the undulating hills amidst green surroundings. To boot it, there are also some religious attractions, as the hilltop has two popular temples, one dedicated to the goddess Jaichandi & the other the Monkey-god Hanuman-ji.
There are two groups of hills in the area, one consisting of four hills with the Chandi Hill (on top of which are the two temples just mentioned) & Jogidhal, the highest (altitude about 240 metres) of the lot standing majestically side by side. From one side, Jogidhal looks strikingly similar to an AATCHALA (Eight-roofed) temple.
The other group is located a little to the west, consisting of Ram-Sita & Hanuman hills.
The hills, made of Igneous rocks, offer various types of rock-faces including boulders, slopes of different gradients, chimneys, walls & even overhangs. Rock climbers gather here usually in the winter to learn & hone their climbing skills. Rock climbing camps are regularly organized here by several Rock climbing clubs . All types of climbing are practiced here like Trad climbing, Free climbing, Aid climbing etc.
There is a staircase leading to the top of the Chandi hill, where the two temples are located. Many people take the trek to go to the temples. Near the top, there is an old & abandoned watch tower previously used by the soldiers of Kashipur King.
The view from the top of Chandi Hill is breathtaking to say the least. On one side is the steep Jogidhal Hill with its bare rock-face. On the other side, a steep boulder raises its head from the top of a neighboring hill. The valley side gives a bird’s eye view of the area , with the temple-shaped Jaichandi Pahar Railway station is visible in clear days.
One can reach Jaichandi Hills by road or by rail from Kolkata via Adra or Asansol. Nearest town is Raghunathpur .
The picturesque Jaichandi Hills should receive more exposure so that people can go there to enjoy its pristine beauty & the challenges of the rocks.