Nestled in the heart of West Bengal, in the district of Birbhum, Santiniketan comes alive with vibrant colours, cultural performances, and a festive atmosphere every year during Poush Mela. This traditional fair, held in the month of Poush (December-January), is a celebration of the rich cultural heritage and artistic legacy of Santiniketan. Let’s take a virtual journey as we recreate the mesmerizing Poush Mela celebrations at Santiniketan.
Why is Poush Mela celebrated?
Back in 1891, on 21st December (7th Poush 1298 according to the Bengali calendar), Devendranath Tagore founded the Brahma Mandir at Santiniketan. This Mandir served as the foundation for the now-famous Poush Utsav.
In 1894, a small fair was held in the area directly across Brahma Mandir to commemorate the Mandir’s founding anniversary.
Once a modest, quaint Mela, it has grown to draw tourists from all over the world in addition to residents of Birbhum district, and is now famous as ‘Poush Mela’.
The Inauguration Ceremony
Poush Mela emanates a harmonious blend of cultural vibrancy and festive fervour. You will come across special events and activities that complement the traditional charm of Santiniketan during this time of the year. From art exhibitions to cultural performances, every corner of Santiniketan is infused with the spirit of Poush Mela.
At Santiniketan, an extravagant inaugural ceremony marks the start of the Poush Utsav. Shehnai is played at sunrise on the seventh day of the Bengali calendar’s Poush month, waking up the entire town of Santiniketan with its lovely melody, after which the Vaitalik group, a clan of singers goes around the hermitage singing songs. Soon after, a ritualistic worship takes place at Chhatimatla, followed by singing and participation in Uttarayan.
The Poush Mela Fun Continues
The Poush Mela in Santiniketan is a melting pot of cultural activities, bringing together artists, craftsmen, and performers from across the country. Santiniketan, known for its emphasis on various art forms, hosts myriad events during the fair. The fairgrounds are decked with around 1,500 stalls. Visitors are treated to soul-stirring performances like Folk dances, Baul music, and theatrical presentations, creating a timeless experience for the visitors.
Skilled artisans from different corners of the country showcase their craftsmanship, offering a wide array of artistry ranging from traditional Bengali textiles to intricately designed pottery. The fair provides a rare opportunity for visitors to interact with these artisans, gaining insights into the rich cultural tapestry of India.
No festival is complete without indulging in local delicacies, and Poush Mela is no exception. The fairgrounds are dotted with stalls offering a mouth-watering array of Bengali sweets, snacks, and traditional dishes like Chhanar Payesh, jaggery-cooked special sweet dishes like Moa, Patisapta, etc.
Poush Mela in Santiniketan gives newcomers a genuine grasp of Bengal’s diverse heritage. It’s a celebration of India’s cultural landscape, a legacy left behind by Rabindranath Tagore that continues to inspire and enchant visitors from around the world. So, be a part of this celebration, and visit Santiniketan during Poush Mela from 23rd-26th December ‘2023.
Ready to experience the Poush Mela magic?
During major local festivities like Poush Utsav, Basanta Utsav, Rabindra Paksha, and Naba Barsha, the Bengali New Year, the average number of tourists at Santiniketan per day is more than 40,000.
So, if you truly want to experience the once-in-a-year Poush Mela 2023 magic, then reserve your space at Mohor Kutir, one of the best resorts in Santiniketan.
Mohor Kutir Resorts, one of the best hotels in Santiniketan, tucked away in the bucolic surroundings of Santiniketan, is the gateway to this festive joy and cultural immersion. With their impeccable service, an in-house Bengali restaurant in Santiniketan, Panchmeshali, exquisite accommodation, and attention to detail, Mohor Kutir makes the stay an unforgettable one for their guests. This pet-friendly resort not only provides a lavish retreat but also offers a holistic cultural experience, making every moment of the stay truly exceptional for travellers.
So, book your getaway at Mohor Kutir today, and don’t miss out on this year’s Poush Mela fun!