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Poush is the 9th month of the Bengali calendar.
It is the first month of Winter Season.

Poush Mela is an annual fair that takes place in Shantiniketan.
The fair starts on the 7th day of Poush for the full 3 days.

It is been said that,
Devendranath Tagore with twenty followers accepted the Brahmo creed from
Ram Chandra Vidyabagish on 21 December 1843 (7 Poush 1250 according to the Bengali calendar). This was the basis of Poush Utsav (the Festival of Poush) at Santiniketan.

The fair is organised every year in a field in Purbapalli.
People from all over the world comes here to attend the fair.

The fair is a meeting ground of Urban People and Rural Folk.


This was my first time that I was attending this fair.
I was so overwhelmed to see the number of stalls and so much talent of handwork.

There was a simple flute-maker to a big furniture manufacturer.

I took my train from Howrah and on the journey itself, I noticed the
enthusiasm of people to attend this fair.

As, we entered the field, I got to eat
the famous ‘Bhapa Pitha’.

These are made from Rice Flour, Coconut and Jaggery.


Once filled with Jaggery, they put them on the steam and just in few seconds,
you are all set for this sweet delicacy.


With the sweet beginning, I was all set for the inside look of the fair.

The Flute Maker

I am a Brass Lover.
I make jewellery from Brass and mostly wear the same.

I got my lovely jewellery there also at a very reasonable price.


And then there was some white metal jewellery also.


With time, the fair has become commercialized.
Big people like Aircel, Idea, Hyundai and RBI etc are taking up the huge stalls
and the poor hardworking Artisans are sitting on the ground
in cold weather.



The Fair was started with the motive
of promoting Artisans and it should continue with the same motive,
rather than giving space to these big people.

I met some really interesting artisans on my walk
around the fair.

There were painters, selling the prints and Tote Bags.
I bought them for my collection.



The traditional form of paintings were also displayed there.

The Artist

I had conversations with the famous Dhokra sellers in the fair.


I shall be writing about this form of craft in my upcoming post.


There was pottery in every form.
Be it flowers, lamps, hanging dolls, holders and showpieces.


Shantiniketan Dolls


My eyes were just smiling every time I looked up to a new stall with some
different art that I could never have seen in Urban cities.





Swandesh (Sweets) Moulds
Hand Embroidered Clutches

One of the most distinguished feature of this fair
is the performances by traditional Baul musicians.

Ektara : The musical instrument of a Baul Singer

They stay in the field only under their tents for 3 days.
They sing, dance and entertain people.




I can’t understand Bengali, but
as they say ‘Music doesn’t have a language’
I simply loved this experience.







Visva Bharati, is the publishing department of the University in Shantiniketan.


They had their stalls in the fair.
I got to see some rare books like
‘Faces and Places of Visva Bharati by Shambhu Shaha’

This photo-book is a quick introduction to the history
of Shantiniketan.
My friend Nevine’s Great Grandfather used to know Rabindranath Tagore
and that’s how she introduced this book to me.

Rabindranath Tagore with Khan Bahadur Sir Azizul Haque (Nevine’s Great Grandfather :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azizul_Haque_%28educator%29)
Shantiniketan in Early years
Poush Mela in Early Years
Tagore with Mahatama Gandhi and Kasturba Gandhi

There were books in Bengali, written by Tagore and other writers.



The photo-books were also available in the fair.



Last but the least, The fair had food for every person.
From snacks to full meal, everything was available there.



Everybody who has an interest in Cultural activities and handicrafts of our country,
should visit this fair and support the artisan who are doing this fabulous work.

Poush Mela, happens every year in December for 3-4 days.
Keep checking the web for the dates in 2015
and freeze your dates for the traditional fun!

May be, we can catch up together this year 😀




Year 2014 was pretty exciting for me.
I did some solo travels and got to experience life outside the comfort zone.

It was from a long time that I was planning for a trip to Calcutta (West Bengal).
They say that December would be the best month to visit there.

Hence, I took my last journey of the year 2014 to Calcutta & Shantiniketan.

I love to travel by Train, but this time because of dense fog in New Delhi & Uttar Pradesh
it became a 30 hr long journey :'(

But, reaching Calcutta at 1:00 am was also a thing because the city was lit up with Christmas decoration.

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My reason for this vacation was to attend Poush Mela in Shantiniketan.

I have a very good friend of mine, from Bangladesh, Nevine Sultana.
She is the one, who introduced me to this festival and a lot more in that town.

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Nevine ; My Inspiration

Shantiniketan, is a small town near Bolpur, West Bengal.
It is some 2 Hrs away from Howrah by train.
You can take Shantiniketan Express, which is probably the best train to commute on that route.
It runs around 10:10 am from Howrah and reaches Bolpur at 12:25 pm.

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Howrah Station

I was lucky this time, as I got to share this journey with the famous
Ecomonist and Noble Prize winner , Mr. Amartya Sen.

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Bolpur Station

Shantiniketan is a town found by Rabindranath Tagore.

I got to stay there with Nevine, in her relatives house.
You can also book a guest house easily,
The rent would be 2000 per night (approx) during the mela,
otherwise 700 per night

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Our Guest House
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Nevine’s Aunt : An Accountant, Singer, Animal Lover, Packing Queen and a beautiful Human Being
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I got to visit some interesting places in that town like,
the Poush Mela, Adivasi colony, Pottery Studio, Kala Bhawan etc.

I shall be writing about each one of them in my upcoming posts.

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One of the Oldest Bookstore
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The Old Banyan Tree

I also got to visit a small store ; Alcha
It is the store of Nevine’s friend.
And a beautiful place to spend time and shopping for a handicraft lover like me 🙂

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The Entrance of the Store
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Some Wallets & Handbags
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Handmade Painted Mirrors
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Wood Carving
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That’s me, post the shopping from Alcha 😀

Shantiniketan, is a small town with simple people
living with just the necessities.

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Old Houses of Shantiniketan
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Wild Flowers
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Streets of Shantiniketan

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The city still believes in the ideas of Tagore,
they keep their surroundings clean with minimum use of plastic.

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No Plastic Zone

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 I am leaving you with this small trailer.
There will be some interesting articles coming up
on wax-pottery, print-making, Dhokra etc.

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Christmas Celebrations

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Also, shall be posting the moments from Calcutta 🙂

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