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West Bengal is one of the states in India that is known for a rich culture which can be seen in different forms of Bengali dance, music, handicrafts, painting and carving. Poush Mela reveals the beauty of West Bengal in a sneak peek. The festival is a rural carnival that takes place on the Mela grounds of Shantiniketan in Bolpur, Birbhum District. Thus, the festival is also called Bolpur Poush Mela. The festival is celebrated every year in the month of December which is considered to be Poush Month according to Bengali Calendar. 

Earlier, the festival used to be held for three days until 2017, then, it was extended to six days. Again, this year  Poush Mela 2020 is scheduled to be run for three days. The festival also demonstrates the true culture and spirit of Bengal through its vivacious energy and enthusiastic participants. There is a lot of excitement among everyone who is either participating or has just come to witness the vibes of the celebration. The students from universities, people from the towns along the participants perform cultural dance forms and other performances with great enthusiasm at the festival. Each day of the fair has something different on the plate for you along with of course the food and delicacies of Bengal.

Significance of Poush Mela

It all started with an initiative by Maharshi Devendranath Tagore with his twenty followers to accept the Brahmo creed from Ram Chandra Vidyabagish which was on December 21st, 1843 (Poush month according to Bengali Calendar). This was also the 7th day of Poush month in Bengali Calendar. Brahmo Samaaj believes in monotheism which refers to faith on one god and Brahmo Samaaj believes in Lord Brahma who is considered to be one of the prominent deities in Hindu religion. Then, a Brahma Temple was built at Shantiniketan on December 21, 1891, and started a small Poush Utsav which now popularly known as Poush Mela or Shantiniketan Mela. It has become one of the prominent fairs of West Bengal state of India and is attended by tourists from all over the world. Further, Shantiniketan came into the hands of Rabindranath Tagore who is a son of Maharshi Devendranath Tagore and he managed it so well.  

Major Attractions of Poush Mela

Inauguration of Poush Utsav. The Mela starts with an inauguration ceremony with playing a shehnai on the 7th day of Poush month at Shantiniketan. After that Vaitalik Group roams around the Shantiniketan and sings some folk music to cherish the locals. After that, they assemble for a prayer meeting which takes place at Chhatimtala and inauguration gets completed. 

Also Read: Bathing in the sacred water body on this festival implies purification of one's soul

Bengali Folk Music and Dance. One would get to see different forms of folk dances, and different cultures performing in just one fair which is in itself is an undying experience. Several Bengali Folk dance forms that can be seen during the mela are Baul, Purulia, Santhali, Mundari, etc. apart from this, Bengali Tribal Dance is also part of the performance at Shantiniketan

Stalls. Santiniketan Poush Mela witnesses around 1500 stalls varying from handicrafts, fabrics, to household products like home decoration items, Tasar Textile, jute products, wood and cane products, brass wares, conch-shell, terracotta, masks and many more. 

Food Fiesta. How can someone miss the food culture of Bengal? You will get different varieties of food from sweets to spicy, you name it and you have it. It is a perfect blend of rural culture and modern spirit which makes it even more special and bright to the eyes. One can enjoy different delicious food items from Bengali Cuisine such as Aloo Potol Posto, Shukto, Sandesh, Alur Dom, etc.

Exhibition. Bengalis are known for their art, painting and poetry, handicrafts and so much more. One can get into the realm of beautiful and awestruck creativity in the form of handlooms, handicrafts, etc. 

How to Reach

By Air. The nearest airport is Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport or popularly known as Kolkata Airport. The airport is situated in Kolkata which is the capital city of West Bengal. It is approximately 165 kilometres away from Shantiniketan. The airport is well-connected to major cities of India as well as overseas. Once you reach the airport, you can easily get on a bus or hire a taxi to reach Shantiniketan. It will take around 2-3 hours to reach.

By Rail. Kopai Railway Station (1km), Bolpur S Niketan Railway Station(2km), and Prantik Railway Station(3 km) are the nearest railway stations to Shantiniketan. These railway stations serve the Shantiniketan as well as neighbour regions of the area. There are direct trains such as ANVT SDAH Exp, Karmbhoomi Exp, Shatabdi Exp, and New Tinsukia Exp that connect Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru respectively to Bolpur. If you are travelling from any other metropolitan cities of India, you need to deboard at Kolkata Railway Station in Belgachia. After that, you can head to local trains to these local railway stations. 

By Road. Shantiniketan has got well-linked road connectivity that streamlines several nearby as well distant regions of the city. However, it can be an overwhelming exploring road trip from cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata or Bengaluru. One can take a road trip from Kolkata to Shantiniketan which is around 165 kilometres away and takes around 3-4 hours by car.

You can plan your trip and create your own route to the city with Adotrip’s technically driven circuit planner. Click here

  • 3 Days

  • Fairs

  • West Bengal
  • Festival Date

    24 December 2020 - 26 December 2020

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