For many years, I had been under the impression that if I wanted some peace and quiet, some place with manicured parks and gardens at every other corner and roads maintained and traffic managed to the point of perfection, I’d have to leave this country and maybe plan a visit to the Emirates or Europe. My Diwali travel experience this year turned out be a rather pleasantly surprising revelation. Recuperating from a rather severe bout of what we students call ‘examinations’, I decided that the fastest path to full recovery would be to get away from the city, the noise, and most importantly, my books. And so, I set out for Jamshedpur.
Like every excursion, the journey was a delight in itself. During the four hours of my train journey from Calcutta, I watched rural India wake up, men go about their work in the fields, some women helping in the fields, while others cooked outdoors in open bonfires. Most striking however, was the sight of little village children. Humbling indeed was it to see some of them write alphabets in wet mud: here I was, seeking a break from all that which would catapult me into the high life, and there they were, yearning for another day in class. A slate they could ill- afford but they’d realized that curiosity and dreams don’t cost a dime.
When I reached Jamshedpur, I found the town surpassing my expectations. Few minutes from the train station, the change was not just visible, it was loud. Well planned and maintained by the Tata group of companies, the people of Jamshedpur can take pride in calling it home. Though not very ‘quiet’, the town does make up with Jubilee Park, a major attraction for residents here and Tata Steel Zoological Park, Chandil dam, Rivers Meet, Hudco Lake, Sir Dorabji Tata Park among others. Telco, the area initially undertaken by the companies, is a must visit at night. The Bhuvaneswari Temple, the highest point in Telco area provides a breathtaking view. One should also pay a visit to Dimna Lake, an artificial reservoir that has various water sports like water scooting and rowing. The town also has its fair share of hangouts famous for their food: Bhatia’s, Relish, Brubeck and Fakira are among the most popular.
Even though not a tourist hotspot, city planners should not give Jamshedpur a miss. JUSCO, the subsidiary of the Tata group that acts as the municipal corporation, can teach a million lessons to its government counterparts. With most of India’s cities in shambles, Jamshedpur sets a flawless example of how an uncorrupted and transparent management makes all the difference.
Contributed by Leah Sebastian