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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.

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