Patratu- the lake of beauty



The  glimmering  Patratu lake

Patratu. The very  name sounds exotic. Hidden among the recesses of the Chhotanagpur Plateau, are many places such as this, which are unknown  jewels, tucked away in the middle of nowhere and far, far  away from the maddening crowds. One has to reach out to find these places, and much like the jewel which is indeed available only to those who seek, one is rewarded by the pure joy of discovery.

On a fine Sunday afternoon, Dad, Shubham, me and Anuj decided  to make a tour to Patratu, 58  km from Ranchi and situated  at a height of 405 m above sea level.

The road to Patratu lies through Ormanjhi, Ramgarh and Barkakhana. After setting out on the expansive Ranchi- Hazaribagh expressway,  passing the low -lying hills,  we found ourselves at  Subhash Chowk ,which marks the route to Ramgarh. We passed through settlements on either sides, interspersed with lush  green  fields and  ponds  with  the  fantastic  view  of  the  hills  in the  distance.

The  road  to  Patratu

As we crossed the Ramgarh cantonment and took the well- maintained highway to  Patratu, the scenery became more attractive.  A series of curves and bends, as the road went upwards, added to the beauty of the journey. At one of the bends, we stopped to take a picture of the sun setting in the backdrop of the hills, painting a golden crimson hue to the horizon and providing a beautiful contrast to the green surroundings.

The  undulating  hills
The  Sun goes  down
The  slogan  reminds  us to  respect  Nature- for  our  own  benefit


Dad ( aka  R.N.  Bishnu) posing.. do  we  see a happy  smile  here? I  had  to  coax  him to  make  this  journey  !!


My  trusty  old steed  negotiates  the  hilly roads
The  Sun over  the horizon  and smoke  in the distance

This being the coal-bearing zone, we were not surprised to find that the air was dusty and heavy. Illegal coal quarrying is indeed a problem in these parts, and we could see  evidence of the same. In places, the ground was heavy with the black colour of the coal- dusted soil.  However, we could sense that we were entering a cooler zone, as the temperature dipped perceptibly.

Patratu ,under the Ramgarh district, is one of those places which came up as a result of India ‘s industrial growth in the 1960’ s, courtesy the Nehru regime . It is an industrial town which came into prominence because of the Patratu power plant , built in 1962. Indeed, the four chimneys of the power plant , built with Russian collaboration, are the most distinctive feature that catch the eye as one approaches the town.  Today , of course, the power plant is yet another addition to India’s ailing behemoth enterprises. In contrast, the Jindal steel plant, built in 2010 , at the entrance to Patratu, takes the place of prominence , and explains the well- maintained highway. A flourishing example of how new industry has overtaken the old !

We  observed that the green cover kept on increasing on either side of the road, till we reached the outskirts of the town. As a result of the construction  of the hydroelectric power project ,  a large lake had been created, whose  embankment can be seen to the left  before one enters the town.  A narrow kutcha lane adjacent to some shops led towards the embankment, and I drove the car into this. We stopped, climbed up to the embankment,and were greeted by the beautiful sight of the huge, tranquil lake.

Beside the Patratu Lake
Dad, me, Anuj  and  Shubham
Posing  by  the  lake
Dusk  approaches
Tranquil   beauty
Lights  in  the  distance, reflections  on  the  water
Lake  Placid
The  beauty  of  Patratu

Sunset had already occurred , and the crimson colours of dusk enveloped the surroundings. We could see the dark outlines of the hills on the other side, lights twinkling like diamonds,  and the barrage of the hydroelectric power plant in the distance. A boat was sailing placidly in the middle of the lake.

On the embankment,  a group of men hung around languidly,  playing cards. The atmosphere was very picturepostcardlike,  laidback and tranquil. We took a group picture , with the reservoir forming the backdrop. I took several shots of the surroundings, with the reservoir as the centre of attraction.

Tranquil  surroundings
The  magic  of  Patratu
The  hills  and  the  lake  are  alive  with  the  lights
Crimson  dusk
Crimson dusk
A  last  look at  the  lake

However, the most tranquil environment often hides harsh realities  of life, and this place was no exception. The Maoist influence has been spreading its tentacles in the  form of red terror for several years now, and I recalled a news I had seen several days back, which mentioned that a top Maoist leader had been intercepted from these parts. News reports indicate that this is one of the most disturbed areas of the state.Keeping this in mind , we made our exit from the place as soon as the photoshoot  was over.

The return  journey to the city was smooth . Evening had already descended, and the lights behind the hills provided a beautiful backdrop. We were happy to have discovered a place where we could keep coming back often , and contentedly headed back to the city, the magic  of the beautiful lake still fresh in our minds.

Ranchi – Patratu map

Ranchi- Patratu map

Distance  from Ranchi- 58  km, through Ormanjhi- Ramgarh-  Barkakhana.  It  can  also  be  approached  via  Kanke.

Additional  info

Boating  facilities  are  available  at  Patratu lake.  Be  sure  to arrive much before  dusk, though.  There  are  also  decent  eateries, though  don’t  expect  any  fancy  stuff.And once  you  have  come  all  this  way, be sure  to  make  your  way  to  the  Patratu  valley  for  the  gorgeous view  of sunset.

More  info


8 thoughts on “Patratu- the lake of beauty

  1. We visited Patratu lake impromptu and totally loved it. The drive was fantastic and the lake serene. Have you done boating there ? Is it good ?


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