Maithon is a Town located in Jharkhand-West Bengal Border. Most of the township part and reservoir is in Jharkhand and the Hydel is located in west Bengal. The place is stretched between Dhanbad Dist. In Jharkhand and Burdwan Dist in Bengal.
Maithon also known as 'Kashmir of Koyalanchal' because of its location in the coal belt of india on the Barakar river is a very famous picnic and weekend destination. The Dam is the Biggest dam of damodar valley corporation and was built for flood control and power generation. It was founded by India's first prime minister Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru. Maithon got its name from Mai-ka-sthan or maayer sthan which literally means mothers abode as there is an ancient kalyaneshwari temple here which was built by the king of Barakar in 16th century.
April-June are the hottest Months in Maithon. The Maximum temperature often crosses 40 degrees. Also the Humidity from Dam reservoir makes the environment sweaty. So its best to avoid these months. Best time to visit maithon is October-February. The winters can be quite cold with the Minimum Temperature often dropping as low as 5 degree celsius. Monsoon is strong here and it lasts from July to September. Those who want to avoid peak season crowd can visit during monsoon to enjoy empty Green-Blue lake and open Dam Gates.
The native People of villages surrounding Maithon speak Santhali though now most of the People living in Maithon either speak Hindi or Bengali. Bhojpuri, Maithili, Khortha etc are other common languages. English is widely understood in the township.
Kumardhubi(KMME) is the nearest railway station to maithon Dam at a distance of 9Kms. There are frequent Express and Passenger trains to this station. There are direct trains to Howrah, Dhanbad, Ranchi, Patna, Bhagalpur, Jabalpur, Delhi, Dehradoon, Jammutawi, Ahmedabad, varanasi etc. The best train to reach kumardhubi from howrah or Dhanbad are Black-Diamond Exp, Coal-field Exp & HWH-DHN Double decker Exp. The railway station is small in size and lacks infrastructure. Local auto charges Rs-100 from this railway station to dam. You can also get share autos from Kumardhubi to Kali Pahari in Maithon from where the Dam starts. One can also come to Dhanbad or Asansol railway station from any Part of the country and from there travel by road as both are nearly equidistant from Maithon.
There are no major Bus stations in Maithon. The only Regular Bus services are From Asansol. There is Mini bus service from asansol bus stand to maithon. These Buses run at an interval of every half an hour between 5:30am to 6:00 pm. though its always better to confirm the last bus timing at bus stand as it changes during winters. Maithon By-pass Lies in Kolkata-Dhanbad bus route. you can get dropped at By pass road, from where you can take auto to Dam area.
The distance of Maithon is 30Kms from Asansol and 40kms from Dhanbad. After reaching Asansol, one can hire Taxi or Auto. If you are Driving, The roads are decent and it takes nearly 35 Minutes. From Dhanbad its a 1hr drive. The NH2 stretch is really good and after that DVC roads too are decently maintained once you enter the township. From Calcutta its approx 230Km oneside drive. Roads are good,except the Panagarh stretch.
The closest functional airport is Bhagwan Birsa Munda Airport Ranchi (190Kms). Though its more convenient To Come to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Airport Kolkata(230 Kms) and From there travel By road or Train.
Maithon town is developed around the Maithon Dam and reservoir. The main attraction ofcourse is the Dam, Reservoir and naural Beauty around. The Dam is Independent India's first Dam Project(one of Nehru's dreams). The various Places of interests are:
Dam: The Dam famous for its natural beauty, Blue water, Green hills and colorful flowers surely is the main reason why most of the people visit Maithon. Often quoted as 'koyalanchal(Coal Belt) ka kashmir' this Dam can be regarded as one of the Most beautiful dam in India. Photography is strictly prohibited in the Gates area and there is frequent CISF patrolling to ensure that. If you are caught taking photographs, your camera will be confiscated.
Kalyaneshwari Temple: This is a Famous temple dedicated to godess Kalyaneshwari, an incarnation of godess Kaali. The temple is Located at 2.3Kms from the Dam is in West Bengal side of maithon. It often gets very crowded during New Year and Durga Puja. Also on Saturdays and Sundays this Temple sees long Que. So you are advised to visit the temple early in the morning(before 7am) or after 12Pm if you want to save time standing in Que.
Deer Park: This Park Located in Jharkhand just before One crosses the border. its surrounded on two sides with stream coming from dam and 3rd side with the Dam itself. There are more than 50 Deers in this Park and one can get View of them from the top of Dam. Photography is Prohibited here since its in Gate-Hydel Area.
Chammach Pahar(Spoon Island): Also called sobuj deep in bengali, this is a beautiful island located in the reservoir lake. The island appears to be a Giant inverted spoon and thats how it has got the name. it can Be visited by boats available at govt. run Boat houses. The island totally uninhabited is home to many wild animals so one is advisable not to go deep into the jungle of the island.
Phoolbagan & Millennium Park: Located below the dam, these parks hold Flower shows every Christmas, New year Day and on all Sundays of Dec-Jan month.
Kaali Pahari: This is an old kaali temple recently redone in bengal-oriya style. The temple is located in jharkhand From where the Maithon township ends and Dam starts. The deity in this temple, Maa Siddheshwari Kaali is believed to be very powerful among locals and a mela is organised for 15 days during chaiti Durga puja (mar-apr).
Maithon Hydel Power Plant: Independent India's first Hydel and Asia's First Underground Hydel Power Plant, this is surely an engineering Marvel. The hydel is located below the two hills seen after the Dam. Hydel is located just in Border of Jharkhand-WestBengal and entry is restricted to visitors. If you know someone working in Hydel and if your Luck favours you can get permission and pass to visit the Hydel.
Maithon Thermal Power Plant: Located 4 Kms from the Dam the Tata Power Plant is Newly Built Thermal Plant making maithon One of very few Places to have Hydel, Thermal & Gas Power Plant at the same Place. One gets Glittering view of the thermal from across the Dam after Sunset. Visitors are not allowed but you can visit the plant if you get prior permission.
Pahari Baba Mandir: This is a small temple located on top of one of the hills near dam. The temple is not so famous among tourists because of the difficult route as there are no proper steps to reach the top and one has to go through jungle and stones. But from top you can get the best possible view of maithon dam, Hydel and Township beyond. The hills are accessed from Left Bank colony in Bengal side.
The Tourist area of maithon is very small and one can easily walk around and enjoy all the places. Also you can hire an Auto-rickshaw to go around. People coming from distant places can hire Taxi from Dhanbad or Asansol. Also the whole Dam and kalyaneshwari stretch comes in Asansol-Maithon Minibus service route so its better to take these buses if you are going to kalyaneshwari.
In winters the best way to enjoy maithon is to go for picnic at riverside or in the forests. You can take cooked food or can cook your food on site. overnight camping is not allowed as the forests have wild animals which can be dangerous. In recent years the Dam and surrounding is getting polluted due to the Huge rush of Picnickers. You are advised to clean your picnic spot and dispose the garbage to dumping area or Dustbins. Other than that Boating can be enjoyed in all the seasons. There are 2 boating docks maintained by jharkhand govt and bengal govt each on either side of the border. 6 seater rowing boat will charge Rs-300 approx. and additional 20-50rs tip to the boatman allows you to experience rowing with your own hand. Also you have options to do paddle boating. Or take a hi-speed trip of the water body in a speed-boat by paying Rs-500. You can drive over the dam stretch with breath-taking view on either sides. worship at Kalyaneshwari temple, jog and do yoga in the serene secluded mazumdar nivas island, trekk to pahari baba mandir and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Get drenched in rain and walk over dam during Monsoon. Enjoy chath puja with thousands of people at the ghat( during chath, 6days after diwali.
There is Not much of commercial establishment near Dam as its outside Maithon township. Closest Medical shop is around 2 Kms and closest ATM (SBI & UCO Banks) is around 3Kms. Its always advisable for you to keep some cash with you. You can buy toys and various Handicrafts From small footpath shops. Also you can Buy pickles from the temporary shops. There is not much to buy from here.
On the Jharkhand end of the Dam you can get a variety of chat, dhokla, golgappa, chana-bhatura etc. Also Jhalmuri here is worth giving a try. But beware of the quality of food. During non-peak season you might get stale food. Near Mazumdar nivaas You can get jalebis, various types of pakoras, samosa etc. At kalyaneshwari you can eat kachori sabzi for breakfast. For Dining there are few options: Mazumdaar nivaas: The restaurant at mazumdar nivaas serves delicious food. But pre-booking through DVC is required to go there. Mamoni Snax: famous for its chow mein and rolls, its in main gate area on the way to NH2 Bypass. Maithon Hotel Restaurant: Probably the Best Restaurant in maithon its located at the bypass. The restaurant serves delicious north-indian and chineese food. Air-conditioned with good ambience. A meal for 2 would cost around Rs400.
There are no Bars or Pubs in Maithon. There is Only one alcohol shop close to dam which is near kali pahari. At bypass you can find more alcohol shops and some Dhabas where you will be served Drinks.
DVC Guest House Majumdar Niwas This have a nice view of the water body and its the best place to stay if you dont mind to stay in Non-AC room. They have very few AC room. Non-AC rooms costs Rs-240. Have limited options for Meals. Can be booked from DVC office at Ultadanga. Phone: 06540252465, 06540252488
Hotel ShantiNivas A private guest house,having nice rooms with AC & Non-AC rooms with variety of food. Have parking place inside the premises, children playground, conference room etc.Front side of the Hotel is Maithon Dam & back side is Forest. For more in details log in http://www.hotelshantinivasmaithan.com// Contact: 09804772227.
Maithon Hotel: Located at Bypass This hotel provides decent AC and Non AC rooms. Also has Parking Facility and Restaurant. The room service is good and the party hall can be booked if you want to hold some function. Also there is a Lawn for you to relax in the evening. The hotel is 4Kms from Dam. Address: Near Sanjay Chowk, N H 2, Maithon Dam, Dhanbad - 828207, Contact: +(91)-326-270042
Barsha Hotel: Good accommodation option. Located near Kalyaneshwari in midst of forests. The Hotel also Provides Hall facility. Address: Maithon Road, P.O- Kalyaneswari Dist- Bardwan, W.B, Contact:Ph-2520036(Hotel), 2520033, Mobile-9333234886,9832130409
WBTDC Maithon Tourist Lodge: Located between Mazumdar nivas and Left Bank colony, the place has decent rooms but no lake view. Address: WBTDC Maithan Tourist Lodge, P.O. Kalyaneswari, Dist:: Bardhaman, Pin - 713369
Pooja Guest House: Another option to stay. Its a small Guest house with decent facility located near Maihon Post Office (1.5Kms from Dam)
Asha Resorts (Lodging & marriage hall): Maithon Road, PO Kalyaneswari PIN 713369 (Near Kalyaneswari Temple), ☎ +91 341-2520135, 09732079996. edit
Maithon Hotel and Restaurant:, Sanjay Chowk, NH 2, Maithon, Dhanbad Distt PIN 828207, ☎ +91 6540-270042, 09204483017. edit
Sunny Hotel: GT Road, Egarkunr, Kumardhubi, Distt. Dhanbad, ☎ +91 9801541566. edit
Though maithon is a safe place, during New Year and Tourist Season, Drunk Tourists Can create havoc in the crowd. Swimming in the lake is not advisable as there are many whirlpools and people Drown and Die very often. The Dam area doesnt have any residential settlement hence gets deserted after 10. Also wild animals from forests can come out after dark. So its not advisable to stay out after 10 pm. Vehicular access (except 2-wheelers) through dam is not allowed between 10 pm and 5 am. Hence its Better to use NH2 for crossing state Boundary at this time.