Getalsud. The name sounds impressive, one more of the places that dot the environs of Jharkhand. This place is actually one of the most scenic spots around Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand. 30 km from Ranchi, the dam, also known as Rukka Dam, was built in 1971 over the Subarnarekha river, and is today the main source of drinking water for the city and its surroundings.
It’s 5.30 in the morning. The sun has just come up on the Chhotanagpur Plateau. From the Hazaribagh highway, I take the road towards Hudru Falls, and around 10 km up ahead , take a detour to reach the Getalsud Dam.
A vast stretch of shimmering water. Rolling hills in the distance. The rays of the sun casting their shadow upon the lake. Fishing boats on the reservoir, one of the fishermen pulling in the nets strenously, and the other person rowing intently. It’s a scene straight from paradise,situated right in the heart of the Chhotanagpur Plateau.
As I am clicking, a person on a bicycle asks me what I am doing. Thus, I come across Ram Kumar Karmali, who handles a part of the fishing business in these parts, and owns fishing boats. He happily poses for a picture, and I take his telephone number . He also informs me that swimming is possible in the reservoir,and I make a mental note to come and take a dip sometime in the future.
A multitude of people throng the environs of the dam. Villagers. Joytrippers. Fishermen. And people just taking a dip in the serene waters.
The sun has come up high now, and the sunrays are stronger. This promises to be the hottest summer in many years, but the cool breeze from the lake offsets the heat, permitting me to go on clicking till 7.30.
The dam also caters to the generation of hydroelectric power ( 130 MW) , and provides water for industrial purposes. It is thus , in a way, the lifeline of Ranchi. And sure enough, Karmali informs me that this being a terrible summer, most of the dams such as the vital Kanke Dam, and the Dhurwa Dam, have dried up,whereas Getalsud maintains its water level.
I spot some birds making graceful dips over the water. On the other side, I see cattle grazing on the pastures. A factory shed looms up, probably incongruous in these parts , but nevertheless an important reminder of civilization.
It is quite sunny now, and finally time to leave. Taking in the fresh air in one deep breath, I make my way towards my car, thoroughly contented with the morning’s photography.