My last year ended up with lots of traveling. From Malaysia to my very own Bengal. Last month I explored quite a few places of Bengal (I know you have already been with me in my Instagram stories) and I have found certain positive changes to the whole picture of West Bengal tourism.
On my road trip from Raiganj (Uttar Dinajpur) to Balurghat (Dakshin Dinajpur) I was super excited to see every nook of the roads and roadside affairs. I traversed those roads to dig up the counter part of myself: my Bengal. While traveling to Balurghat from Raiganj, the first thing that impressed me to the fullest was the road. Simply the roads offer astounding views with great beautifications. Lately, in the evening I have seen the lights that have been used to decorate roads. But beside all these, this post is about something else. West Bengal State Government has made something really interesting for travelers and tourists.
On the way to Balurghat, I have seen a big restaurant named Pathasathi. I thought to be there and took my lunch over there. Firstly I was a bit hesitant as the building was so big and I hardly found any other person. But as I entered the place I have seen a lady in the reception. After conversation with her she told me to step up to the first floor for restaurant services. Just after entering the restaurant, I was absolutely amazed by the inner view of the restaurant: it was big, clean and the most consequentially, everything over there was run by only women. 30 women work there who were appointed by their efficiency and they were trained by different self-help group teachers. They do everything, like, managing the entire thing, cooking, packing (even they supply foods to different clients), public relations and much more. Just after entering the place they welcomed me very sweetly. They have had quite a big list of full meals. All the menus are from authentic Bengali cuisine but they have separate veg and non-veg items. I have chosen Mutton Thali. Beside mutton they given me rice, daal, potato fries (sleek French fries kind of 😀 ), papadum, mixed vegetables and salad. If I say the food was just delicious then I might be doing injustice with cook. Those mouth-watering foods were simply finger-licking and nothing but to die for. The clean yet friendly ambience literally gives the best experience of Bengal and obviously in a very pocket friendly manner. And those employees’ behaviours are as good as their food. Everything was lesser in costs. Mine was ₹120.
The Manager told me that they have also rooms for staying purpose and she showed me the rooms as well. The rooms were mostly basic with single or double beds, televisions, table-chair, fan, light etc. Room charges are also very cheap: ₹300, ₹400, ₹500 according to the room type.
After coming back and researching a bit over internet, I came to know that Pathasathi is a project that has been started by the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Smt. Mamata Banerjee with a very generous overview to pay attention to the tourists, especially women who destitute of using toilets while on the road journey. This project consists of Pay & use toilet, Waiting room, Night shelter and Restaurant under one roof at every 50 km. of National Highway, State Highway and Other important roads throughout the State.
I decisively appreciate this kind of gesture of Government which ensures to get a hassle free, safe journey in Bengal with authentic tastes of Bengali foods. So next time while traveling to West Bengal make sure to check out Pathasathi restaurant running by State Government.
Keep updated with interesting stuffs of Bengal with #RudritaExploresBengal on all social media.
Photographs courtesy: Rudra Narayan Chatterjee
[ Asstt. Director of Sericulture, U/D Dinajpur
Directorate of Sericulture , Govt. of West Bengal ]
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