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Bannabagram, Baul Ashram

Bannabagram

Baul Ashram

Also see: Weekend family trip to Bhalki Machan

Bauls are a group of mystic nomads of mixed elements Bhaktism and Sufisim from Bengal. Bauls are a very heterogeneous group, with many sects, but they can easily be identified by their distinctive clothes and musical instruments.

Baul performance at Bannabagram

Baul performance at Bannabagram

Although Bauls comprise only a small fraction of the Bengali population, their influence on the culture of Bengal is considerable. In 2005, the Baul tradition of Bangladesh was included in the list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

Cottages at Baul Ashram, Bannabagram

Cottages at Baul Ashram, Bannabagram

Baul and Fakiri singers believe in the existence of the formless Divine spirit, and uses their music as the means of reaching spiritual freedom. They often rise above regular religious belief and can break the most complicated philosophies of life into simple lyrical expression by spreading the messages of brotherhood, love and tolerance.

Decorative Cottage at Baul Ashram, Bannabagram

Decorative Cottage at Baul – Fakir Ashram, Bannabagram

One of the best places to experience baul music at is beat is at Bannabagram, a Baul Ashramis located Gushkara in the Purba Bardhaman District (Google map location).

It is an initiative of Bangla Natak Dot Com, a social enterprise working across India with a mission to foster inclusive and sustainable development using culture-based approaches.

For a long time Bangla Natok Dot Com has been supporting the Baul movement by conducting various workshop.

The workshops focused at training mew generations of Baul singers on the basis of Guru-Shishya Parampara, with the hope of spreading their music to a larger audience.

Organic Farming at Baul Ashram, Bannabagram

Organic Farming at Baul Ashram, Bannabagram

But they soon realised that only training was not enough to creat a larger audience and the bauls need a needed a permanent platform to showcase their music.

This lead to the formation of the baul village of Bannanbagarm or Ban Nabagram.

Started on 25 December 2020 this ashram provids a permanent platform for baul singer and their audience for 365 day a year.

The Bannagaram Baul Ashram not only provides live baul music but also a experience of Baul lifestyle as the visitiors can spend the night in the four cottages located at the far end of the compound.

Fresco at Baul Ashram, Bannabagram

Frescos at Baul Ashram, Bannabagram

The exterior walls of the cottage are beautifully painted with bright colours. The inerior are simple but elegant, with furnitures having an artistic touch. The compound has a rustic look with paved pathways and organic vegetable gardens.

Open air stage of Baul Ashram, Bannabagram

Open air stage of Baul Ashram, Bannabagram

On the other side of the cottage is the dinning block, and the food consists of vegetables comming directly from the garden. The complex houses a large open air stage for big performance for rest of the days the bauls perform under a small elevated platform topped with a hay thatched roof.

Baul performance at Bannabagram Baul Ashram

Every week a group of bauls from different part of West Bengal comes to Bannabagram to perform. The next week they are replaced by a new group and the performance continues for 365 days a year.

Baul performance at Baul Ashram, Bannabagram

Baul performance at Baul Ashram, Bannabagram

The performance happen every day with a early moning session of 6:30 am – 8:00 am. The day section is on 11:00 am – 1:00 pm amd the evening session is 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm. Apart from the booarders, the day trippers can also enjoy the performance completely free of cost.

Quick facts about Bannabagram Baul Ashram:

  • Google map location of Bannabagram
  • The Bannabagram Baul Ashram has four cottages with attached western toilet. Charge is ₹ 2000 per person on a twin sharing basis and includes breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Bannabgram is an initiative of Bangla Natak Dot Com and for booking contact toureast@banglanatak.com, 8420106396
  • Day trippers can just drop in and enjoy the baul performance absolutely free
  • This trip to Bannabagram was part of a weekend family trip to Bhalki Machan

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