Regional flavour at its best

Regional flavour at its best


A week-long Bishnupur mela, synonymous with Bishnupur in Bankura district of West Bengal and well known for its terracotta art, is being held at Dilli Haat. The mela is being organised by the Government of West Bengal and will go on till April 22.

The mela also features cultural programmes, classical music recitals from the Bishnupur gharana, ‘Rabindra Sangeet’, nazrulgeeti, drama performances, fusion of instrumental music of tabla, Bangla dhol and shreekhol and rhythmic yoga, to name a few.

There are stalls featuring metal-cast show pieces, terracotta pottery artworks, sarees and jewelleries that promote the rich cultural heritage of the region. One of the stalls in the mela sells conch shell products, popularly known as shakha amongst Bengalis. The owner of the stall is a 73-year-old-man, Gopal Nandi, who can barely see or hear. He is accompanied by his wife who helps him. “I was given the national award for my work on coconut shells. I make all these things myself,” said Gopal Nandi. The stall is selling earrings, neckpieces, cups and spoons made from coconut shells.

The highlight of the mela are the terracotta items. Kanchan Kumbhakar is one of the artisans showcasing his  collection. “My family members and I make all these terracotta art pieces. The procedure is very tough as one has to make it under the sun. It takes a minimum of 15 days for each item to get completed.” Bishnupur is famous for its terracotta temples with its unique Bengal brick artistry, monuments, handicrafts, conch shell products and other hand-woven items.

Another stall has pillow covers, handwoven towels, honey and even art silk sarees. “We have this very uncommon rice called as theki chata chaal, which is very good,” says the stall owner Bani Kormokar.

There is one stall which caters to women. It features hand-painted earrings and neckpieces. Indrani Dey, who has come to Delhi from Kolkata with her son, owns this stall and has been doing this work for the past 12 years. “I supply them to boutiques in Kolkata and also take part in exhibitions all over India.”

The r was inaugurated by Anup K Chandra, additional chief secretary, Micro and Small Scale Enterprises and Textiles, Government of West Bengal.

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