Khoai is a geological formation of small canyons resulting from constant erosion caused by wind and water. The Khoai Shantiniketan region in Bolpur is characterised by a patch of dry forest of Sonajhuri (Acacia Auriculiformis) trees on an eroded landscape of red laterite soil. This unique look of the forest was immortalised by Rabindranath Tagore in many of his compositions. The Sonajhuri forest in Khoai is surrounded by the famous Kopai River (Tagore’s Amader Choto Nadi) on one side and Ballavpur Forest and Bonerpukur Adivasi Village on other sides. BOOKING DETAILS OF KHOAI
The Sonajhuri Forest is probably the cleanest forest you would ever visit, so your early morning forest walks would be a grand success. However, the star attraction of Khoai is the weekly market of Shanibarer Haat (Khoai Boner Annya Haat) held every Saturday, where local artisans sell their creations.
Places to see in Khoai Shantiniketan: Shonajhuri literally means “droplets of gold.” In winters, the Sonajhuri trees shed their tiny yellow flowers and the whole forest seems to have a downpour of gold. You can take long walks along this Sonajhuri forest of Khoai region and visit the adjacent Bonerpukur Gram dotted with the mud houses of the Adivasis (tribals). These houses have walls decorated with paintings of daily life.
Khoai Shantiniketan attractions: The Kopai River is just a kilometer away from Khoai. This meandering river with its knee-deep waters inspired Tagore to compose his famous “Amader Choto Nadi“. You would find some Bauls, stringing their Ektaras and singing to the tune of the winds on the banks of Kopai. You can surely visit Rabindranath Tagore’s Ashram – Santiniketan to witness his works. Few things you shouldn’t miss out are the Kala Bhawan, Vishwa Bharati University campus, Geetanjali Theatre, Uttarayan, Shantiniketan House, Chatimtala, Kalo Bari, Rabindra Museum and the various installations of the great sculptor Ramkinkar Baije and others. If you are fond of bird watching, then try to make a trip to the nearby Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary and for the religious minded a visit to Kankalitala should also be on the cards. The Kankalitala Temple located around 10 kms from Khoai is considered one of the 51 Shaktipeeths of Sati.
Things to do at Khoai Shantiniketan: A visit to the Shanibarer Haat (Saturday Weekely Market) is one of the prime attractions of staying at Khoai. The weekly market officially known as “Khoai Boner Annya Haat” is a platform for local artisans and small goods traders to showcase their works. The usual items include ethnic jewelry, showpieces, local artworks, garments and even local ethnic Bengalee dishes like pithey and payesh. The Haat starts to gather from around 03:00 pm and ends at around 06:00 pm. Apart from the Shonajhuri Haat, the early mornings are really nice for village walks along the tribal villages and the Khoai region. Bird watching can be enjoyed at nearby Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary and Baul programs can be arranged on request in the resorts of Sonajhuri in the evenings.
How to reach Khoai Shantiniketan: The nearest railway stations are Prantik and Bolpur. There are regular trains from Howrah. Guests can also reach Bolpur by bus from Kolkata. There are regular luxury bus services connecting Kolkata and Bolpur. If you are taking your own car then the shortest route would be taking NH19 first and NH114 from Nababhat.
Lodging and dining facilities in Khoai Shantiniketan: Located just beside the Sonajhuri Forest, this resort is equipped with all modern amenities and is counted as the best facilitated resorts in this region. The regular facilities include attached western bathrooms with hot water geysers, 24-hour power, in-house restaurant, television, parking, lawns, AC deluxe rooms, conference facilities with comfy beds and balconies. The Sonajhuri Saturday Haat is just a minute’s walk from this resort.