McCluskieganj, Jharkhand – 60kms from Ranchi, the State Capital of Jharkhand
McCluskiegunj was founded on 16th May 1933 by Mr E.T.McCluskie one of the founder members of the Colonization Society of India. This Society had acquired 10,000 acres of virgin land from the Ratu Maharaja on a perpetual lease to essentially establish a "Mooluck" or Homeland for the Anglo Indian community. It comprised of several villages - prominent among them are :-Lapra, Konka, Hesalong&Mayapur. McCluskiegunj is located on the Chotanagpur plateau at an elevation of 1500 - 2000 ft. above sea level, and is about 60 kms. from Ranchi town, and therefore enjoys a comfortable and moderate climate. This tribal hamlet is well connected by rail and road as well. McCluskiegunj is located on the Barkakhana loop line of the Indian Railways. This school is located in the beautiful and scenic Chotanagpur hills. The excellent temperate climate in summer and chilled winter, fresh surroundings, plenty of vegetation, fresh air and the notable absence of any pollution makes it an ideal location for an educational institution. McCluskiegunj has been declared as an official Tourist Centre of the Jharkhand State Government. Being a mere 60 km away from the State Capital Ranchi, and is therefore well connected by road, rail and air and also has a good network of mobile and landline telephones, broadband and internet connectivity. Today McCluskiegunj can be considered more of an urban township, in a rural setting, progressive and emerging.
BadaSahab, Memsahab, the Khansamah, bungalows, pastries, village churches and memories of everything that brings back the days of the British Raj can still be traced in McCluskiegunj – lovingly called “Chota England” or “Little England” in the past. The little snaking Dugadugi rivulet, churches hidden amongst trees, a picturesque railway station, hills on the horizon, rundown grand British bungalows with their red roofs and rose gardens make McCluskiegunj an ideal weekend spot for time – travelers. The pleasant weather, the untainted nature and the flavor of the colonial past – it is a different experience at McCluskiegunj. After the departure of Anglo Indian and British from McCluskiegunj during the 1950′s, the township started losing its charm and in the next five decades, with no further developments, McCluskiegunj turned into a nondescript village with a grand colonial past.
However, with the recent shifting of Don Bosco Academy to McCluskiegunj, in 1997, this little town has started regaining its past. Some of the dilapidated British era bungalows have been taken up by the school, others renovated and turned into student hostels by local inhabitants. Local employment has increased and safety of travelers is no more an issue now. The school has generated local tourism too.
Places to see in McCluskiegunj:
McCluskiegunj is a typically hilly region within the Chota Nagpur Plateau with a beautiful natural landscape dotted with hills, rivers, jungles and villages. Another popular local spot is the Jagriti Vihar built by the Swedish Government for people interested in nature study. The Don Bosco School and its sprawling gardens and bungalows turned into student hostels are few other attractions. The small Railway Station, which services only two trains every day, still holds some interesting features of its colonial past.
Travelers visit McCluskiegunj to spend a peaceful weekend in a quiet colonial village. You would find some elegant British bungalows, few churches and a very interesting monument in the nearby Duli village where a Temple, a Gurudwara and a Mosque is built side by side.
Lodging and Dining facilities in McCluskiegunj:
This colonial village has a well-equipped guesthouse with standard facilities for guests. Located close to the facilities, this guesthouse offers good food, clean and well-maintained non AC rooms with attached Western bathrooms and a patch of open space and garden. There is a dining area and a small lobby for the guests too. This nice cozy guesthouse and its friendly staff also arrange cars for local sightseeing and pick-up and drop from the station. Food served is essentially Indian cuisine and simple.
Nearby attractions of McCluskiegunj: This little colonial township is surrounded by forests and hills on all sides. The Dugadugi River just 4 kms. away is a popular local attraction here. Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand is only a 1.5hours’ drive from McCluskiegunj. You can keep sightseeing in and around Ranchi like Tagore Hills, Rock garden, Kanke Dam and markets of Ranchi in your itinerary too. If you have a day in hand, you can also stay back at Ranchi and take a day tour to Dassam Falls, Hundru Falls and Jonha Falls. Another interesting place on the outskirts of McCluskiegunj is Kothari – a dense patch of jungle with a beautiful landscape littered with hills and streams. You would also find some open-pit coal mines around McCluskiegunj.
Things to do in McCluskiegunj:
Take a walk around the local villages and visit the grand British bungalows and their gardens. You can hire a local Car or Auto Rickshaw and do some local sightseeing in local churches, jungles, Duli Village and nearby coal fields. You can also enjoy a riverside picnic on the banks of Dugadugi River just 20 mins drive from the township.
How to reach McCluskiegunj:
The Palamu Express from Patna to McCluskiegunj; Shaktipunj Express is the only direct train from Howrah to McCluskiegunj, but it reaches McCluskiegunj at around 11:30 pm. However, the most convenient way to reach McCluskiegunj is via Ranchi. There are numerous trains connecting Ranchi and you can hire a car or take a bus from Ranchi to McCluskiegunj. It hardly takes 1.5 hours (60kms) from Ranchi to McCluskiegunj and the road is very scenic.
Best time to visit McCluskiegunj:
This little township has a sparkling weather with warm days and cool evenings. This is one of the main reasons why the British loved this “Little England” of theirs. The daytime during summers is quite hot and dry but the evenings are cool. Winter and rainy season are the best times to visit McCluskiegunj.