The Poush Mela started off to be a small family affair among the Tagore family and a few Brahmo Samaj followers in Shantiniketan, this has currently become an international event which is even attended by foreigners. Poush Mela is currently one of the most revered festivals of Bengal which attracts Baul singers, village artists and millions in the form of visitors throughout the world every year. This festival is celebrated every year on the 7th day of the Poush, the Bengali month which comes around the 23rd of December. The Shantiniketan Mela ground is the host of Poush Mela.
If you’re still wondering about few encouraging reasons to visit the Poush Mela, here are some pretty good reasons to consider.
It’s an age-old tradition of 150 years
Early morning on the first day, prayers are usually organised at Chatimtala, the historic place to mark the acceptance of the Brahmo creed in 1843 by Devendranath Tagore. The fair or mela was initiated in the year 1891 to mark the laying of foundation stone of Brahma Mandir which is now popularly called the Glass House of Kaanch Ghor.
It’s a treat to listen to the minstrels of Bengal, the Bauls
There you will find numerous traveling minstrels of Bengal known as the Bauls who carry their single-stringed musical instruments called ektaras and deliver some soulful songs which constitute an integral part of the famous Poush Mela. Apart from soulful performances, there are also high-voltage performances from these singers when they sing songs like ‘Cycle er duto chaka’. You have to however understand the undercurrent of double meanings which are hidden within the not-so-meaningful lyrics.
Bolpur and Birbhum district are famous for their fireworks
The Poush Mela is declared open with some conventional fireworks. It is on the evening of 24th December that the entire sky of Bolpur will light up with some of the costliest fireworks and this also tends to be one of the major attractions of Poush Mela. There are seats for the audience and you need to ensure you reach early and grab some front row seats.
You’ll be attracted by the local handicrafts displayed in the mela
Poush Mela tends to be the biggest exhibition of handicrafts in the entire India. Besides the Taant sarees and the Batik print sarees, you’ll even find handloom stores which are created by artists from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. If you have been thinking of buying things to decorate your house, this fair can be an enthralling source for some of the best rural handicrafts from Bengal.
There are exciting rides
If you forgot when was the last time you rode a Columbus Ship or a Nagordola, don’t forget to visit the Poush Mela. Such exciting rides will soon take you back to the days of your childhood. When you reach up above, you can see the Vishwabharati Campus and this can be a priceless experience.
Therefore, if you’re someone who has been planning to travel to Bengal, you should wait for December to be a witness of this lovely Poush Mela and thereby reap the above mentioned memorable experiences.