The Ganges Retreat

The most random trip I  ever made was to the  Diamond Harbor Resort Punyalakshmi. It felt like the other day, I was chatting with my friend and casually proposed an outing and voila, our mother’s made it come true. Thus, five of us set off on an exciting journey last Sunday to Diamond Harbor with great expectations from the place and hopes of getting our heads into some wild adventures (which sadly did not happen!).

We set out at 7:30 am on a beautiful (and not so sunny Sunday morning) to greet our destination. We had gone on a package tour, and I must add here that the staff knew how to take care of their guests. After a very warm welcome and breakfast, we went ahead with exploring the place.
PATHWAYS INSIDE THE RESORT 

PATHWAYS LINED BY VILLA 

A STATUE 
BRIDGE LEADING TO A VILLA

Punyalakshmi is a very beautiful and most importantly open resort. It overlooks the Ganges at such proximity which I have never seen or felt in the other water-side resorts I have been to in my life. The resort itself has a variety of rooms and cottages to make everyone’s stay happy and comfortable. In fact an extension work was in progress when I visited.

The playground was occupied by children and teenagers both. The swings, see-saws and the slip were temptations enough to engage everyone for a long time. Once in a while kids even brought in water to make sand castles which ultimately did not formulate and they left feeling irritated but finding something else to engage them soon after.

The well maintained lawns saw many a footballs trampling it. If not footballs then many pairs of feet  who were either peacefully crossing it, or posing in front of the camera for a group photograph or else playing badminton. Some were more interested in clicking pictures of the flowers and bushes that lines the lawn. I tried chasing a yellow-orange butterfly for at least thirty minutes before I finally gave up pretty disheartened.

SWIMMING POOL
The swimming pools were a special feature of the resort. Being available from 7 am in the morning right till 8 pm, both the adult and the children’s pool were engaged by the guests throughout the day.
VIEW FROM THE RESORT

MEN AT WORK

ROWS OF BOATS

MEN AT WORK

The best part of the resort, however, was the benches placed overlooking the Ganges. The cool and fresh air, the never ending waters, lush greenery and rows of streamers, cargo ships, boats and occasionally men doing something really important (though I could not figure out what ) near the river banks; were sights that were common and could engage one for hours in the end. In fact the Kolkata Port Trust had set up regular streamer facilities for daily commuters. In fact many of the small fishermen boats were also at rent to be taken across the sea. Though my friend and I had the wild ideas of trying both of them or either one at least, our puppy faces were returned with those of a roaring tiger by our seniors and our adventurous plans went for a toss in the Ganga waters.


We were told that near the resort was an old English fort which was now in ruins. I was extremely excited and curious to see the fort. But sadly, all I saw was a chunk of old brick peeking its head out from the waters. That was all that was left of the huge fort. Instead what intrigued me was a goat kid that was wondering near the shore.

No one knew when time flew by and we found ourselves sitting in the restaurant for lunch. Lunch in this resort was an elaborate affair. Ranging right from salads, roti’s, flavored rice to mutton, chicken, Chinese, fish and chutneys, sweets and ice creams for desserts. And yes all cooked to perfection!

After lunch, it was time to laze around the Ganges water banks. I found a nice and comfy seat and settled with my camera and started talking to my friend. We saw numerous streamers and boats pass by and also an occasional bird which we were sometimes lucky enough to capture through our lenses.


Soon, it was time to leave. By six the place became dark and lanterns were lit up in the lawn and the garden areas. The resort looked prettier. In fact, the reflections of these lights falling on the Ganges made the river look like a prettily dressed up bride. It felt really sad leaving the place. But I left it with great memories and a promise of being back again in the future- maybe with family or maybe with friends (to try our luck in those unaccomplished adventurous plans of ours) . . . . . . . .
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