BISHNUPUR MELA Bishnupur, Bankura District
Held every year between December 27-31 near the Madanmohana Temple, the festival celebrates the rich heritage of this town famous for its beautiful terracota temples and elegant silk sarees. Bishnupur, once the capital of the Malla Kings, is located about 100 km northwest of Kolkata. The festival is characterised
by exhibition and sale of local handicrafts and rich musical tradition of Vishnupur, famous for its own school or Gharana of classical music (Vishnupur gharana).
GOKULANAND MELA Gokulpur, Medinipur district
It is celebrated between December and January according to the Gregorian calendar. Gokulanand Mela usually lasts for a period of five days or so. Prior to the commencement of the fair the whole village is decorated with flowers and lights.
JOYDEV MELA Joydev Kenduli, Birbhum District
Joydev-Kenduli is a small village located on the banks of River Ajay. It is the birth place of poet Joydev Mishra who wrote the famous Sanskrit poem Geet Govinda in the 12th century. Every year from January 14, a three-day long fair
is organised at Joydev Kenduli village. The origin of the fair is an age-old folklore. The legend has it that Joydev had to walk some 30 km from his village to take a dip in the Ganges. This became tiresome for the poet and one day Lord Vishnu asked the Holy Ganges to infest her holiness in river Ajay at least on the day of Makar Sankranti. From then
on this holy day the Ganges starts flowing back to river Ajay. People make frenzied rush to take holy dip in the waters of River Ajay during these three days. Kenduli fair also provides an opportunity for all to listen to Baul songs.
GANGA SAGAR MELA Ganga Sagar Island, Hoogly district
Also known as Ganga Sagar Yatra or Ganga Snan, is the annual gathering of Hindu pilgrims during Makar
Sankranti to take holy dip in the Ganges before she merges in the Bay of Bengal Sea at Sagar Island or Sagardwip. The fair begins a couple of day early and ends on the day after Sankranti. The holy dip is believed to wash the sins away and lead to the attainment of Moksha. Devotees start to arrive in the first week of January and the number is
maximum on the Makar Sankranti day.
POUSH MELA Shantiniketan
The annual Poush Mela is a fair-cumfestival showcasing Bengali heritage and culture. It normally takes place in
the Bengali month of Poush (around December) in Shantiniketan, the home of the Visva-Bharati University founded by Rabindranath Tagore. In earlier days the fair was held in the ground on the north side of Brahma mandir (also referred to as glass temple). As it increased in size, it was shifted to the field in Purbapalli. The major highlights are the live performances of Bengali folk music, notably ‘baul’ music.