Home > Bengal Festival, General > Fanush ~ Sachin Mukherjee’s amazing creation

Fanush ~ Sachin Mukherjee’s amazing creation

Fanush ~ Sachin Mukherjee’s amazing creation

Bhadreswar, Hooghly, West Bengal

Also see: My compilation on Fanush

"Fanush Man" Sachin Mukherjee and his team, Bhadreswar, Hooghly

“Fanush Man” Sachin Mukherjee and his team, Bhadreswar, Hooghly

For Sachin Mukherjee of Bhadreswar the childhood fantasy of fanush (paper made hot air balloons) making has turned out to be a life long obsession. Fanush (ফানুস, also spelt as Phanush or Phanus) making and flying has been a Sachin Mukherjees passion for the last 60 years.

Sachin Mukherjee's Fanush, Bhadreswar, Hooghly

Sachin Mukherjee’s Fanush, Bhadreswar, Hooghly

Today nicknamed the “Fanush Manush” (Fanush man) Sachin Mukherjee is quiet a celebrity in Bhadreswar and nearby areas and has even displayed his art in Delhi and Mumbai.

Fanush, Bhadreswar, Hooghly

Fanush, Bhadreswar, Hooghly

Sachin Mukherjje passion for fanush started during his childhood days in Darjipara, North Calcutta (Kolkata). As a child his was fascinated by the fanush of Gourishankar De. But fanush making is always considered a strictly guarded family secret for the De family of Darjipara. There fanush stencils (locally called chant) are still out of reach of outsiders.

But this was not enough to dampen the spirits of the young Sachin Mukherjee. In 1953 at the age of 14 Sachin Mukherjee tried his first fanush work total on the basis of trial and error. His football shaped fanush turned out to be a rugby ball but it did take the skies and ignited a passion of a lifetime.

Fanush, Bhadreswar, Hooghly

Fanush, Bhadreswar, Hooghly

Over the year Sachin Mukherjee have perfected the art of Fanush making. His fanushes comes in every possible shape. Ranging from octopus to Sudarshan Chakra and from skull and cross bones to pot full of rosgullas and even Vat 69 bottle !!!! They also vary in size ranging from 6 feet to 12 feet.

On the occasion of his 50 years of fanush making Sachin Mukherjee let out 20 gigantic fanushes on November 9, 2003.  Today, assisted by his son Pitrasish and a host of volunteers, the retired employee of the West Bengal Health Service Sachin Mukherjee lets out 10 to 12 fanush every year on a early winter afternoon from his residence terrace in Jgadharti Pally in Bhadereshwar.

Fanush, Bhadreswar, Hooghly

Fanush, Bhadreswar, Hooghly

He spends about Rs 20,000 for his fanush fantasy, quiet an amount for an retired government employee, and not to mention the endless hours of labour. Every year he has worked on a variety of themes to spread the message through his flying beauties. He also adds his contact number and address in the fanush and once received a call from the military post in Barrackpur!!!!!

In 2012 I was lucky enough to witness Sachin Mukherjee’s art work along with another fanush maker Ajoy Dutt. Ajoy Dutt of Bholanath Dham of Bedon Street in North Calcutta (Kolkata) have been making and flying fanush over several decades.

On 2 December 2012 Sachin Mukhrejee released 11 fanush (one didn’t fly) from the terrace of his residence in Jagadharti Pally in Bhadreswar, Hooghly.

Here is a list of the Fanushes:

  1. Small Baloon
  2. Big Balloon (got damaged and didn’t fly)
  3. Skull & cross bones
  4. Pot full of Rosogolla
  5. Octopus (it had five tentacles)
  6. Football (very colourfull)
  7. Jomrajer Gada
  8. Sudarshan Chakra
  9. Pitcher
  10. A vase of flowers
  11. Tri Colour Baloon with “Jai Hind”

Special Thanks:

  • Sachin Mukherjee and his team
  • Ajoy Dutt of Bholanath Dham

  1. rajmita
    November 1, 2013 at 7:27 PM

    it is a wonderful article so aptly focusing on the nitty-gritty of fanush making. and hats off to the efforts of each meticulous craftsmen behind this wonderful creation, that comes to life by the sheer magic on their finger tips!! wonderfully explained!

    • November 14, 2013 at 4:07 PM

      THanks Rajmaota for your constant inspiring comments, indeed it is a great form of art, which is heading for slow death.

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