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Archive for the ‘Bengal Festival’ Category

Jatar Deul and finally the Horse Race

May 3, 2017 1 comment

Horse Race at Jatar Deul

Kankandighi, Raidighi, 24 Parganas (South)

Also see: Jatar Deul and the Illusive Horse Race

It was the second day of the Bengali new year 1420 (16 April 2011), my friend Amitabha Gupta and I headed for the Jatar Deul to witness the horse race. After a 4 + hour journey via train, auto and motor van we finally made it to Jatar Deul only to be informed that the horse race has been postponed to 25 Baikash (9 May) because of Elections.

Galloping past cheering crowd, horse race at Jatar Deul

Galloping past cheering crowd, horse race at Jatar Deul

Amitabha and I decided to retrace out steps back to Jatar Deul for the illusive horse race. On 9thMay we repeated our 5 hours long journey only to be informed that the race was called off due to unofficial reasons. (Also see: Jatar Deul and the Illusive Horse Race)

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Armenian (St. John, the Baptist) Church, Chinsurah

January 22, 2014 Leave a comment

St. John, the Baptist, Armenian Church, Chinsurah

Annual Pilgrimage of Calcutta Armenians to Chinsurah (Chuchura)

Also see: Armenians of Calcutta (Kolkata)

Armenian Pilgrimage, St. John, the Baptist, Armenian Church, Chinsurah (Chuchura)

Armenian Pilgrimage, St. John, the Baptist, Armenian Church, Chinsurah (Chuchura)

Every year on the Sunday after the Armenian Christmas, which is celebrated on 6 Jan, the handful of Calcutta (Kolkata) Armenians along with the students of the Armenian College make an annual pilgrimage to the St. John, the Baptist, Armenian Church in the erstwhile Dutch settlement of Chinsurah (Chuchura).

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Mahishadal Rath Yatra

October 30, 2013 7 comments

Mahishadal Rath Yatra

Towering Chariot of Mahishadal, East Midnapore, West Bengal

See also: Rath Yatras of West bengal

When it comes to Rath (or Ratha) Yatra (Chariot Festival) the first thing that comes into mind is Puri, Orissa (Odissa). The towering raths (chariots) of Puri have almost become synonymous with Ratha Yatra.

Mahishdal Rath Yatra, Mahishadal, East Midnapore, West Bengal

Mahishdal Rath Yatra, Mahishadal, East Midnapore, West Bengal

But West Bengal, the neighbouring state of Orissa, also houses several Rath Yatra festivals, complete with towering raths.  Some of this rath yatras dates back a couple of centuries and attracts devotees from far and wide.

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Independence Day Celebration 18 August, Shivnibas

August 21, 2013 5 comments

Independence Day Celebration, 18 August

Shivnibas (Shivniwas), Nadia, West Bengal, India

Join me on a tour of Shivnibas on 18 August 2017. Contact Alinda Barbhan of Let us Go at +919831020400

Independence Day Celebration 18 August!!!! Its not a typo but result of a cartographic error made by Sir Cyril Radcliffe 66 years ago.

Boat Race on Churni River, Independence Day Celebration (18 Aug) , Shivnibas, Nadia

Boat Race on Churni River, Independence Day Celebration (18 Aug), Shivnibas, Nadia

It was 15 August 1947 and Independence of India, but the independence came with the horrors of partitions, forming the two new domains of India and Pakistan.

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Fanush ~ Sachin Mukherjee’s amazing creation

December 26, 2012 2 comments

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.

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Fanush Making ~ Making of paper made hot air balloons

November 14, 2012 59 comments

Fanush Making

~ Making of Paper Made Hot Air Balloons ~

The following documentation is made at the Dutt family at Bholanath Dham, Beadon Street, Calcutta

Also see: My compilation on Fanush

Fanush Making at Bholanath Dham ~ Ajoy Dutt and P K mullick

Fanush Making at Bholanath Dham ~ Ajoy Dutt and P K Mullick

Fanush (ফানুস, also spelt as Phanush or Phanus), paper made hot air balloon, was once the integral part of North Calcutta (Kolkata) “Babu” Culture. Today the art of Fanush making is a dying art as the new generation has shifted its attention into other sources of entertainment.

The Fanush operates in the same principle of a hot air balloon. The air inside the Fanush is heated by a cloth rag ball (locally called Luti) soaked in spirit. The Luti is attached to the base of the Fanush.

Apart from the conventional balloon shape the fanush also came in a host of different shapes, like pitchers, stars, footballs, ducks, kettles and even the planet of Saturn.

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Rajbalhat ~ Ratha Yatra

October 10, 2012 Leave a comment

Rajbalhat Ratha Yatra

~ Rajbalhat Chariot Festival ~

“Char chak, chodda para, tin ghat; ei neye Rajbalhat” (four crossing, fourteen localities and three bathing areas; consists of Rajbalhat) goes an old saying. Today Rajbalhat is a non descriptive town in the Jangipara block of Hooghly district but its history dates back to the 16th century when it was the capital of the Bhursut (Bhurishrestha) Empire.

Ratha Yatra, Rajbalhat

Ratha Yatra, Rajbalhat

The 16th century temple housing the idol of Devi Rajballavi, after whom Rajbalhat is named, can still be seen to this day but sadly the temple has been renovated several times and in the process wiping out centuries of history.

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