Thursday, March 15, 2018

Ghetu Sankranti

        Today is 'Ghetu Sankranti', the fields of Bengal are covered with Ghetu flowers, the kids of rural areas are visiting households with lantern and garlands of Ghetu flowers by singing 'Ghetu Gaan' (songs in praise of Ghetu). It is the ritual and custom of traditional rural Bengal. On tomorrow morning they'll visit households to sing 'Basi' (old) Ghetu song ("Ghetu Bhai, Ghetu Bhai...).

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Denmark Tavern At Serampore

       235-year-old Danish tavern and hotel at Serampore, a former colony of Denmark in West Bengal, has been resurrected from the ruins and is now set for rebirth as a riverside cafe. It will also have a bakery, handicrafts shop and lodging facilities and has been inaugurated today at 3:30 pm.

        A Danish colony flourished by the river Hooghly between 1755 and 1845, when Denmark handed it over to the British. The location was Serampore, about 25km from Kolkata and on the western banks of the Hooghly river. The town was then known as Frederick's Nagore.

        Apart from the tavern, the St. Olav's Church near the said tavern has also been renovated with Danish help.

        The cafeteria in the said tavern will be able to accommodate about 60-70 people. Of the 6 rooms, 3 will be Riverview 'heritage rooms'.

         Known as Denmark Tavern, the original look has been restored to this two-storied building. Bente Wolff, curator of Danish National Museum and project head of Serampore Initiative told that they used sketches nearly 200 years old to arrive at the correct frontal view. He told that the frontal part had completely collapsed and only a tiny bit of the first floor remained with just two columns of the facade. Normally, they would not have restored a building in this stage of decay. They did this because of its location at the crossing of two main historical axes. The axis runs in a straight line from the river passing through the main gate, the Government House and the South Gate, all built by the Danes, together with St. Olav's Church.

           The tavern was restored using traditional materials such as lime, surki, molasses and khayer.

            The building was lying dilapidated when restoration work started on October 6, 2015.

             People from Kolkata, especially the Europeans, used to visit the place for hanging out and playing billiards. They especially enjoyed the cool breeze by the river. It housed a cafe, restaurant and pub.

            The project entailed an expenditure of ₹ 4.5 crore, of which ₹ 3 crore was provided by the Danish museum authorities. The state government footed the rest of the bill. West Bengal Heritage Commission is also involved in the project. The tavern will now function as a coffee house with some rooms rented out by the West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation.


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Saraswati Puja 2018 In Bengal (Part-2)

Dakshinkul, Nalikul:

Dakshinkul Primary School:

Ghosh Para, Bandipur:

High School, Bandipur:

School ground, Bandipur:


Saraswati Puja 2018 In Bengal (Part-1)

Yesterday I visited some rural areas of Hooghly district in Bengal. I've seen Saraswati puja in the locality.

School Para, Nalikul:

Bani Mandir High School, Nalikul:

Naopara, Nalikul:

Naopara Primary School, Nalikul:

Near Rly. Station, Nalikul: