Do you like taking road trips? I do.
I am never in a hurry to arrive anywhere, and would rather soak in my journey and marvel at life passing by, than quickly reach my destination. I like to make frequent stops, drink the occasional chai from roadside shacks and pause to capture anything that pique my fancy in my camera or my heart.
However, there’s one aspect of a road trip that I absolutely dread.
Let me explain this…say you’re going to Darjeeling…You get down at New Jalpaiguri if you’re travelling by train, or Bagdogra if you prefer to fly, hire a car and settle down comfortably for an approximately three hours journey that’s breathtakingly beautiful, and…if you’re like me, you stop drinking water!
Call me picky, but I really want my toilets to be clean and the ones in the roadside eateries or (gasp!) petrol pumps can’t exactly be called immaculate, can they? So I prefer to dessicate myself for as long as it takes to reach my hotel, and by the time I use the requisite facility, the title ‘Toilet- Ek Prem Kathha’, takes a whole new meaning!
So I was very pleasantly surprised when I came to know of the ‘Patha Sathi’ initiative by the Government of West Bengal. It is really an answer to prayers of all travellers like me, specially women for whom a long journey without any toilets become even more difficult. The Patha Sathis are like rest areas that one finds in any highways abroad- facilities comprising of toilet, lodging, a restaurant or cafeteria and car parking area.
You can find information of all the Patha Sathis here- http://www.wbhousing.gov.in/pathasathi. Check these out in your next road trip and you don’t have to give your water bottles a miss!
Here’s a district wise list of Patha Sathis-
At Birpara, Chowpathi, Madarihat, Birpara Block. Beside NH-31D along the way to Holong, Jaldapara, South Khairbari, Jayanti, Hatipota, Bhutanghat, Phuentsholing
at Salgara, Barjora, Bankura-722202. Beside State Highway 9 along the way to Susunia, Bankura Town, Bikna (Dokra), Chhatna, Bishnupur, Susunia, Mukutmonipur and Ayodhya Hill
at Khayrabuni, Illambazar-I. Beside State Highway-14 along the way to Khyarbuni, Bolpur, Panagarh, Burdwan Jaydev, Durgapur, Suri.
at Jamaldah. Beside State High Way 12A, Jamaldah, P.S – Mekhgliganj, Pin 735303
at Hilli. Beside National Highway 512, Pathasathi : Hili, Panjul GP, Hili
at Bagdogra. Beside State High Way in Siliguri
at Kodalia, Chinsurah. Beside G.T. Road between Kolkata and Bardhaman
at Munsirhat. Beside Howrah Amta Road between Amta & Udaynarayanpur
at Chalsa. Matiali Road 1.5 Km from NH-31 C along the way to Malbazar, Rocky Island
at Lodhasuli, Jhargram. Beside NH-6 ( Howrah to Mumbai) in between KGP Chak to Chichra
at Old Malda. Narayanpur (Beside-BSF Camp) on NH-34 along the way to Raiganj, Dalkhola, Islampur, Siliguri (North) and Farakka, Baharampur, Krishnanagar, Kolkata (South)
at Andi, Barwan Block (Kandi Sub division). Sainthia Road near Andi Bustand
at Haringhata. 500 Mts from NH-34, From Jaguli More towards Kampa More
NORTH 24 PARGANAS
at Berachampa. Beside State Highway along the way to Chandraketugarh
at Barakar Ins Bungalow. PWD Inspection Bungalow Campus on Asansol – Barakar Road
at Debra. Beside NH-6 ( Howrah to Mumbai) near Debra Harimati Saraswati Vidyamandir
at Karjona. Beside Burdwan-Katwa road at 13 Km. Along the way to karjona Stack Yard
at Chasmore, Joypur. Beside State Highway-4H along the way to Purulia (17 KM)-Jhalda (27KM)- Ranchi (113KM)- Bokaro (31KM)- Dhanbad (60KM)- Ajodhya (40KM)- Joychandi Pahar (54KM) – Garh Panchakote (68KM)
at Nandakumar. at the Crossing Point of NH-41 & NH-116B along the way from Nandakumar towards Digha – Left Side
SOUTH 24 PARGANAS
at Dalan Ghata, Diamond Harbour. On NH-117, Diamond Harbour Road along the way to Kakdwip (South bound) and Diamond Harbour (North bound)
at Islampur, Stackyard. Beside 31 National Highway along the way to Islampur