Poush Mela in Santiniketan Bolpur is one of the prime cultural festivals of the Birbhum district in West Bengal. People come from different cultures, traditions, and countries to celebrate this occasion.
Rabindranath Tagore’s home, Santiniketan, gets the UNESCO World Heritage tag.
পৌষ তোদের ডাক দিয়েছে,
আয়রে চলে আয় আয় আয় ।।
Poush Mela in Santiniketan Bolpur
Poush Mela or New Handicraft Fare in Santiniketan Bolpur 2023 dates and place
Poush Mela 2023 starts on December 23 (7th Poush) and finishes on December 28. The old traditional Poush Mela is private by Biswa Bharati. But, The state government is organizing alternative handicraft fairs at the same time. The new handicraft fare will happen in BOLPUR DAK BUNGLOW GROUND.
The nearest railway station is Bolpur. This year, the fair will run for six days as before. The original Poush Mela fair happens in Santiniketan ‘Poush Mela’ ground by Visva Bharati.
Poush Mela in Santiniketan Bolpur
The fair began in Santiniketan to celebrate the relationship with a few Brahmo Samaj followers and the Tagore families. Today, it is one of the international events marked by Bengalis.
This year, the event will happen for six days and nights with cultural programs. You can enjoy the carnival with Baul artists, tribal dancers, local village artists, and millions of visitors came from worldwide.
Every year, on the 7th day of the Bengali month of Poush (around December 23), Biswa Bharati authorities organize ‘Poush Mela’ in Shantiniketan Mela ground.
History of Shantiniketan and Poush Mela
Santiniketan was earlier called Bhubandanga. Debendranath Tagore buys the land from Raipur Zamindar to build Shantiniketan.
On December 21, 1843 (7 Poush of 1250 according to the Bengali calendar), Debendranath Tagore, with his twenty followers, accepted the “Brahma” religion from Ram Chandra Vidyabagish. It was the foundation day of Poush Mela in Santiniketan.
Brahma Mandir, or glass temple, was established in Santiniketan on December 21, 1812 (7th Poush of 1298, according to the Bengali calendar). In 1894, a small fair was organized in front of the temple. On the anniversary of establishing the Brahma temple on the ground. Now, this fair attracts the attention of nearby tourists rather than the people of the Birbhum district.
Poush Mela was held beside the Brahma temple (the Glass Temple). On that day, a fireworks display in the evening after evening prayers. Because of the heavy gathering, the fair shifted to the field in Purba Palli.
Poush Utsav started on the 7th Poush- পৌষ (about December 23). The first prayer begins in the Brahma Mandir in the morning, and then a prayer meeting is held in ‘Chattimtala.’ After, the entire congregation came to sing in Uttarayan.
Posh Mela is characterized by the live performance of Bengali folk, especially Baul music. In addition, it includes folk songs, dance, and tribal events. Students of Shantiniketan present their excellent performances and make this festival more enjoyable and fascinating.
This festival is filled with various activities every day. The last day is dedicated to those people who are related to Santiniketan.
Detail statistics about Poush Mela
About 1,500 stalls took part in the fair. Many tourists come to Shantiniketan for the six-day fair (around 10,000). As per Government statistics, 3,500 tourists visit Shantiniketan daily at this time.
Poush Mela Tourist attractions
The fair is famous for combining different cultures and traditions perfectly. Here, visitors enjoy the rich heritage of Bengali culture with a high level of impressive and mind-blowing cultural performances.
All the students of the Visva-Bharati University, Kala Bhavan, etc., are celebrating this festival. Tribal Dance is a part of the cultural performance. The folk people dressed up in their traditional costumes and presented their tribal art performances.
You can join the exhibition of handicrafts, not only in Bengal but also in other parts of India. There are beautiful handloom stalls, and you can see and buy batik prints of different types of garments, Kantha stitches garments, metal jewellery, Dokra items, clay showpieces, several leather items, Bengal’s famous ‘Tanth saree’ and many more.
Food is an integral part of Bengali culture with the pure behaviour of Bengal. Here, you must try a different kind of “Pithe–Puli (পিঠে-পুলি)” like Pati sapta, Dudh Puli, Bhaja Pithe, Malpowa, Gur Pithe, and many more. There you can find many kinds of sweets, spicy and salty snacks.
These Festive days are filled with exciting activities. And you can enjoy cultural activities that are Bengali souls’ genuine spirit. The rural touch of the festival makes it one of the season’s most popular events.
Places to visit in Santiniketan Bolpur
You can visit several places in Bolpur, West Bengal like
- Gitanjali railway museum
- Kankalitala Temple
- Srijani Shilpagram
- Prakriti Bhavan
- Amar Kutir
- Kopai river
- Ballavpur wildlife sanctuary
- Bisva Bharati university
- Visva Bharati Kala Bhavan
- Visavharati Museum
- Khoai boner Haat or Sonajhuri hat
- Biswa Bangla Haat
- Kalikapur Rajbari
- Ghurisha temple
- Wood Fossil Park
- Raipur Rajbari Bolpur
- Surul Rajbari
How to go to Shantiniketan from Kolkata by train
Several trains from Sealdah and Howrah reach Bolpur station every day. Local trains are also available. Reach approx 3 hours from Kolkata. ‘Bardhaman to Sealdah’ and ‘Bardhaman to Bolpur’ frequent local train is available.
Kolkata to Bolpur bus by road
Bolpur to Kolkata’s distance is 163 km. Kolkata to Bolpur bus service is available from Esplanade to Bolpur bus stand.
- 1st option is to take a bus to Durgapur and reach Darjeeling crossing. From there, you will get the bus to Bolpur Shantiniketan.
- 2nd option is to take the bus to Suri to get down to Ilambazar and reach Bolpur by Toto or Bus.
- The 3rd option is suitable for a return to Kolkata. Come to Bardhaman station by rail, reach Bardhaman bus stand (5 km from the station), and get the bus for Esplanade. It’s a 2 hour 15 minutes journey.
Joydev Kenduli Mela Birbhum
After the Poush Mela, Jaydev Kenduli Mela is started in Kenduli village. The biggest Baul Mela in West Bengal began on Makar Sankranti day. You can reach Jaydev Kenduli by bus from Durgapur or Bolpur. See the video for the guide.
Where is the Poush Mela celebrated?
The famous Poush Mela is celebrated in Bolpur Santiniketan. This festival starts From Biswa Bharati Campus on December 24 every year. And move on to the Mela campus.
Which handicraft is Shantiniketan famous for?
Mainly applique work, embossed craftwork, and batik work is famous in Shantiniketan. If you unable to visit Saturday Hut, you can buy the product from AMAR Kutir as well.
Is there any dress code for visitors visiting Shantiniketan?
There is no dress code for visitors to Santiniketan. You can choose a dress of your choice.