Recent Posts

Monday, February 8, 2016

Making Of Saraswati Idols 2016 At Kumartuli

Saraswati Puja - 5 days to go. So, I went to Kumortuli to see the
preparation of Saraswati idols last Saturday. I became overwhelmed to
see so many idols of different types of goddess Saraswati there, some
of them are really praiseworthy.

--
A. B.



--
A. B.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

College Street

Old buildings and vendors at present College Street of Kolkata.

--
A. B.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Tableau Of West Bengal On 67th Republic Day Parade In Delhi

Today's the 67th Republic Day of India. On this occasion, a beautiful
presentation of tableaus made by all the states of India are now being
displayed on rajpath of the capital. The tableau of West Bengal was
'Baul' displayed just now. The baul songs of Bengal is the most
ancient, rich and traditional culture emerged from the soil of Bengal.

--
A. B.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Bronze Statues Found At Mogolmari

A good numbers of bronze statues of Buddhist god & goddesses have
been found by excavation at Mogolmari Buddhist Bihar. The third phase
of excavation was started from 11th January'16 there. And many bronze
statues of Gupta period have been found including the statues of Tara,
Abalokiteswar, Saraswati etc. The statues are about 10-43 cm high. The
state Archaeological deptt. will examine the statues in laboratory.

Mogolmari is a place of Dantan block of Paschim Medinipur. Since
2013, excavation work is going on at Mogolmari in a phased way. The
Buddhist Bihar has been found there which is now under conservation.
But the excavation is still going on. And as a result, so many bronze
statues have been found which is a great success of state
Archaeological deptt. When the central power of Gupta dynasty was
weakening, local zaminders emerged as strongest power and at that
time, this vast area was formed as Buddhist Bihar.

A Buddhist festival has been arranged there at Mogolmari from 24 to
26 January'16 where some of these archaeological contents found
recently are being exhibited for the visitors. A documentary film on
Mogolmari by director Goutam Ghosh will also be screened in the fair.

--
A. B.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Goddess Saraswati Worshipped In Japan

Japan is one of those countries who still nurture the elements of
Hindu religion and culture. For instance, the original form of
Sanskrit language is still in vogue in Japan : it is called
'Beejaksharas' (etymology of alphabets) or 'বীজাক্ষর লিপি'. Moreover,
'Siddham Script' (সিদ্ধম লিপি) of 6th century is still in use there
which is disappeared from India. There are schools in Japan where
teaching of Siddham script along with Sanskrit is still in vogue. A
milk product named 'Sujata' (সুজাতা) is there in the market. The story
of 'Payas' (পায়েস) giving ceremony by Sujata to Lord Buddha is still
very popular in Japan. The highest temple of goddess Saraswati is in
Osaka of Japan. Hundreds of temples are there in Japan where goddess
Saraswati and or Lakshmi are being worshipped. Besides these two
goddesses, other Hindu gods like Ganesh, Indra, Brahma, Garud, Paban,
Barun etc. are famous in Japan. Even deities forgotten in India are
worshipped in Japan. The god of death (যম) is called 'Emma' there.
Saraswati is related to river here in India, Japan has also
resemblance of this matter besides the harp of goddess.

The eminent researcher-photographer Benoy K Behl recently went to
Japan with a scholarship of Japan Foundation. During his research
work, he found the abovementioned facts there. Exhibition of these
photographs by B K Behl already praised by many countries. Now, in
Kolkata, the exhibition is running since 11th January'16 at Ashutosh
Centenary Hall of Indian Museum. "Indian Deities Worshipped In Japan"
named exhibition of photographs will run till 21st January'16
(11am-4:30pm).

--
A. B.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Pithe-Puli Utsav At Rajdanga

On the auspicious occasion of Poush-Sankranti, Pithe-Puli (sweetcake) Festival of
Rajdanga, Kolkata is now going on with enthusiasm as usual.

Pic: Bartaman newspaper.

--
A. B.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Traditional Lakshmi Puja In Bengal

It is the month of Poush (পৌষ) in Bengal. Goddess Lakshmi is being
worshipped in many household by many ways. Painted 'Lakshmi sara'
(লক্ষ্মী সরা) is one of the main material of Lakshmi Puja. Lakshmi
puja is use to perform to the clay idols, 'sara' or 'jhanpi' (ঝাঁপি)
of goddess Lakshmi. The people of East Bengal (now Bangladesh)
generally perform Lakshmi Puja by 'sara' or clay idols. And the people
of West Bengal perform Lakshmi puja to a 'container of paddy'
(ধানপাত্র) or 'ghot' (ঘট) of goddess Lakshmi. Some other people have
family symbol of goddess Lakshmi who perform pujas to that symbol. In
undevided Bengal, 'sara' was in vogue within the states of Dhaka,
Faridpur and Barishal. After the partition, those artists of 'sara'
art belonged to 24-Parganas and Nadia district. They used to paint
there burnt convexed discs and declared it as 'Lakshmi sara'. Once
upon a time, Acharya Brahmins used to paint those 'sara', so it was
called 'Acharjee Sara'. Later, potter, carpenter or limner - all
thronged to paint 'sara'. Usually, images of Lakshmi, owl, beard
(ধানের শীষ), কড়ি etc. are depicted on 'sara' pot. In certain cases, it
can be seen that two female companions are also there on both side of
goddess Lakshmi on the 'sara'. One of the main feature of images of
'sara' is its strong lines and bright colour. There are different
names of 'sara' in different places such as 'Dhakai sara' (ঢাকাই সরা)
made in Dhaka, 'Sureswari Sara' made at village Sureswar in Faridpur
district of Bangladesh.

--
A. B.

Friday, December 25, 2015

100 Year's Puppet Play At Raas Bari In Howrah

The traditional puppet play of rural Bengal is still the main
attraction of Raas Bari of Mahendra Bhattacharya Road in Howrah. In
the year 1897 Priyanath Ghosh Bagui had established Radha-Krishna
temple. Since then a century-old puppet play organisation of south
24-Parganas comes to this Raas Mela and various dramatic plays
(যাত্রাপালা) are use to perform here through puppets in the evening
for four days.

The pair of idols of Radha-Krishna made of Kashti Pathar
(কষ্টিপাথর) are there inside the temple. From the day of Raas the
idols of Radha-Krishna are being kept on the Raas manch (রাস-মঞ্চ) for
the next four days. Each day in the evening, when the puppet play
ends, the idols use to bring back in the Naat-mandir (নাটমন্দির) for
evening prayers and finally use to lay in the main temple for the
night.

Decoration with puppets in the Naat-mandir is one of the important
and attractive part of Raas here. The 10 Avatars of Sri Krishna are
being showed outside the Naat Mandir which is on roadside. And inside,
on the way to Raas-Manch an event like war of Kurukshetra or Ramayana
would be depicted by decoration of puppets. Last year's subject was
Swami Vivekananda. The Mela or Fair for 10 days use to run on the
occasion there. Sweets like Jilabi made of molases (গুড়ের জিলিপি),
Jilabi made of sugar juice (চিনির রসের জিলিপি), গুড়কাঠি, খাজা, গজা
etc. are use to sale here in the fair. Moreover, flute made of plastic
(ভেঁপু), balloon, clay idols of Krishnagar, toys etc. would be
available here.

Pic courtesy: Nalikul Raas Mela 2015

--
A. B.