PLACES

TORANMAL

ToranmaL occupying the highest range of the Satpudas covering Akrani mahal is a hill station in the making, nearly 144.84 km. (90 miles) off Dhulia, the district headquarters. It is a long, rather narrow table-land covering an area of about 41.43 km2 (16 sq. miles), the height above the sea level being 1,036.32 metres (3,400 ft). Nestling amongst the evergreen forests of the Satpudas, Toranmal, enjoys a salubrious and cool climate even during the hot season when the heat in the plains below is unbearable and almost scorching. The minimum and maximum temperatures remain at 40 and 70 F. respectively, but never rise above that. On an average it receives an annual rainfall of 1016 mm. (40"). In Dhulia district it is the only place of its kind attracting the tourists. Even at that height there is an expansive natural lake adding beauty to the already pleasant spot. It is named as Yashvant lake. About one and a half kilometres away there is a valley called Sitakhai wherein a wall-like formation could be seen standing erect. There is also the echo point where the sound produced echoes and re-echoes.

With a view to making Toranmal a health resort of the first class, the government prepared a plan in 1958 for its development. The execution of the plan is slowly changing the face of Toranmal making it more easily accessible by improving the roads and more convenient by providing all kinds of facilities to the visiting tourists. Accordingly not only plants have been planted throughout its length and breadth and afforestation undertaken on organised basis, but fully furnished holiday camps and a restaurant have also been set up. Material for four tents of 4.58 X 3.66 metres (15 ft. X 12 ft.) dimensions has also been kept for the convenience of the visiting tourists. Plans are afoot to make available tap water and electricity and provide parks and playgrounds. Plots are also on sale for the construction of private bungalows and gardens.

Though Toranmal, is as good a hill station as any climatologically. it has not succeeded in attracting enough tourist traffic as such so far besides the pilgrims who gather to pay their homage to the deities in whose honour there are shrines here. This is primarily because the hill station is difficult of access eyen to day. From Dhulia it can be reached via Shahada and Ranipur of which the stretch of 28.98 km, (18 miles) between Shahada and Ranipur is a fair weather road, rendered unusable during monsoons. Further from Ranipur onwards there is only a jeepable track. It is precisely the difficulty, the difficulty of transport which has kept down the tourist traffic substan-tially. However, work in progress on these roads when completed would do away with this hurdle.

In the environs are two temples dedicated to Gorakhnath and Nagarjun respectively. In honour of the former deity a fair, attended by people coming not only from and around the district but also those from Khargon district of Madhya Pradesh and Chhota Udepur of Gujarat, is held on Mahashivratri day. The deity is held so much in reverence that many people make the pilgrimage on foot, sometimes involving four or more days, in order to evoke its blessings. Notwithstanding the difficulty of transport thousands of persons throng on the occasion.

Toranmal also lays claim to historical importance, in that it is supposed to be the ancient capital of the Mandu dynasty.

 

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