Shantiniketan Poush Mela – a nostalgic festival of West Bengal
With the beginning of December, preparation for Poush Mela starts. This year it will be inaugurated on 7th Poush as usual, according to English calendar it is 23rd December.
Poush Mela and Bengali culture are closely associated. Every year start of winter brings the news of Poush Mela. Most of the intellectuals, artists of Bengal and from outside Bengal including huge common people gather in Shantiniketan in this occasion. This is a three days festival held in Santiniketan - Birbhum district of West Bengal. According to Bengali calendar it starts from 7th Poush, last half of December and continues for three days. 7th Poush is the foundation day of Shantiniketan. This year 7th Poush is 23rd December.
History of Poush Mela
In Bengali dictionary 'Mela' means gathering of people from different communities and locations. Mela is a platform where people of different professions can exchange their views. In 1895, Maharishi Devendranath Tagore realized the necessity of Mela in our life. The first 'Poush Mela' was organized on December 21, 1895.
Like any other Mela, large number of stalls selling different household articles, gifts, handicrafts items. Shops selling bamboo flutes, bamboo baskets, bamboo sticks are found. Apart from this, food stalls are available also.
Cultural side of Poush Mela
The most important feature of Poush Mela is the cultural programs. Programs of eminent Rabindra sangeet singers, boul artists, santhal dancers are organized in this Mela.
Bolpur is well connected from different parts of West Bengal through bus and Indian Railway Service.
Where to stay – Shantiniketan hotels and lodges
Different lodges and hotels are available. During Poush Mela it is better to book hotels or lodges earlier. Some of the addresses are:
Santiniketan Tourist Lodge
Address: West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation
Telephone: 03463-252699 / 252398
Address: Bhuban Danga
Phone: 03463-252662 / 252737
Ranga Mati Tourist Lodge
Tel: 91-03463-54778/ 55044/ 55043
Chhuti Holiday Resort
Tel: 91-03463-52692/ 55015
Fax: 91-03463-220 2827
Email: [email protected]