Poush Mela in Santiniketan Bolpur is one of the prime cultural festivals of the Birbhum district in West Bengal. The festival is celebrated at Santiniketan Mela Ground near the Bolpur railway station. People come from different cultures, traditions, and countries to celebrate this occasion.
পৌষ তোদের ডাক দিয়েছে,
আয়রে চলে আয় আয় আয় ।।
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- Poush Mela in Santiniketan Bolpur
Poush Mela in Santiniketan Bolpur
The fair began in Santiniketan to celebrate the relationship with few Brahmo Samaj followers and the Tagore families. Today it is one of the international events which are marked by Bengali’s.
From 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 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 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 Bengali calendar). In 1894, a small fair was organized in front of the temple. On the occasion anniversary of the establishment of 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 on beside the Brahma temple (also known as Glass Temple). On that day, a firework display in the evening after evening prayers. Because of the heavy gathering, the fair shifted it to the field in Purba Palli.
Poush Utsav started on 7th Poush- পৌষ (about December 23). The first prayer begins in the Brahma Mandir in the morning, and then a prayer meeting was 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 statistic about Poush Mela
About 1,500 stalls took part in the fair. A vast number of tourists come to Shantiniketan for the six-day fair (around 10,000). As per Government statistics, 3,500 tourists daily visit Shantiniketan at this time.
Poush Mela Tourist attraction
The fair is famous for combine the perfect blend of different cultures and traditions. 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 celebrated 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 from other parts of India. There are beautiful handloom stalls, and you can see and buy batik print different type of garments, Kantha stitches garments, metal jewellery, Dokra item, clay showpieces, number of leather items, Bengal famous ‘Tanth saree’ and many more.
The 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 which are the genuine spirit of Bengali souls. The rural touch of the festival makes it one of the most popular events of the season.
Santiniketan Poush Mela 2021 dates
Poush Mela 2021 started on December 23 and finished on December 28. This year the fair will run for six days as before. (Not confirmed)
Places to visit in Santiniketan Birbhum
You can visit several places in Bolpur West Bengal like
- 1) Gitanjali railway museum
- 2) Kankalitala Temple
- 3) Srijani Shilpagram
- 4) Prakriti Bhavan
- 5) Amar Kutir
- 6) Kopai river
- 7) Ballavpur wildlife sanctuary
- 8) Bisva Bharati university
- 10) Visva Bharati Kala Bhavan
- 11) Visavharati Museum
- 12) Khoai boner Haat or Sonajhuri hat
- 13. Biswa Bangla Haat
- 13) Kalikapur Rajbari
- 14) Ghurisha temple
- 15) Wood Fossil Park
- 6) Raipur Rajbari Bolpur
- 17) Surul Rajbari, etc.
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 distance is 163 km. Kolkata to Bolpur bus service is available from Esplanade to Bolpur bus stand.
- 1st option is to take a bus for Durgapur and reach Darjeeling more. From there, you will get the bus for Bolpur Shantiniketan.
- 2nd option is to take the bus for 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 and reach Bardhaman bus stand (5 km from 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. It’s the biggest Baul Mela in West Bengal that 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?
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, batik work is famous in Shantiniketan. If you cannot visit Saturday Hut, you can buy the product from AMAR Kutir as well.
Where is Shantiniketan near?
Shantiniketan in Birbhum district. Bolpur is the nearest station.
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.