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Monday, December 26, 2016

Udayan - The House Of Tagore At Shantiniketan

Rabindranath Tagore was toured Java in the year 1927 accompanied by eminent architect Surendra Nath Kar. Later, when Tagore decided to establish another house at 'Uttarayan' complex, Surendra Nath applied the architectural form of Java on that house and Tagore's son Rathindra Nath took the whole charge of construction of that house. Japanese artist Kono Shuson decorated this house. Tagore named it "UDAYAN". The construction work went till the year 1938.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Chhatimtala At Shantiniketan

Chhatimtala (ছাতিমতলা) is the holy place at Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore's Shantiniketan where his father Maharshi Debendranath Tagore used to take rest and meditate daily. He was the worshipper of Param Bramha (the Holy Father). He first took rest at this place under chhatim (সপ্তপর্ণ) tree on his way to Raipur (near Bolpur). Later, after the establishment of Visva-Bharati University in the year 1901, the annual convocation was being held at this place and a bunch of Chhatim leaves (সপ্তপর্ণ) used to give to the students. It is now a heritage site and protected.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Poush Mela Ground (New & Old) At Shantiniketan

3-days long 122nd Poush Mela has started today at Shantiniketan (Bolpur) with Baidik upasana and Rabindra Sangeet on the ground (pic below). This fair is specially meant for folk culture, handicrafts and baul songs.

Once upon a time, this Poush Mela used to held at the ground (pic below) initiated by Debendranath and nurtured by his son Rabindranath Tagore. Now, this is a heritage site.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Shyamali - The House Of Tagore At Shantiniketan

In the year 1934, this mud house 'SHYAMALI' which also had a mud roof was constructed as an experiment. The outer wall was decorated with beautiful relief work by Kala-Bhavan students under the guidance of artist Nandalal Bose. The house is now under renovation by Archaeological Survey of India.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Konark - A House Of Tagore At Shantiniketan

The house 'Konark' was built during the year 1919-21 at Shantiniketan. At first it was two mud houses with thatched roof. Later, it was re-constructed as per wish of the poet situated on the north-west corner of Uttarayan complex. The floors of this one-storied house are not similar - some floors are high, some low and the roof of all the rooms are separate in design.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Punascha - The House Of Tagore At Shantiniketan

Rabindranath Tagore moved into this house named 'PUNASCHA' in the year 1936. He would often sit and work in the open terrace in front of the house.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Udichi - The Last House Of Tagore At Shantiniketan

It is the last house of Rabindranath Tagore named UDICHI (উদীচী) where the poet lived towards the end of 1939.

This is a room on 1st floor of UDICHI.

It is the bedroom on 1st floor of this two storied house of Tagore - Udichi.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Fire Broke Out At Kalutola Street

Fire broke out in a godown of rexin at Kalutola Street about 6 pm this evening. 7 fire brigade engines are combating to get the fire in control. But they are facing difficulties as the area is congested. Jorasanko police is there on the spot. 3 persons were in the godown, but the fire brigade rescued them safely. Primarily, short circuit is the reason of the fire, sources said.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Goddess Kali At House Of Ramsundar Mitra At Chor Bagan

            Raja Ramram Mitra was Diwan of Nawab of Murshidabad. He belonged to Dakshin Raarh Kayastha (দক্ষিণ রাঢ় কায়স্থ) community and Mitra family of Konnagar, Hooghly. Once, he came to Gobindapur (now Kolkata) from Murshidabad and had started living here. Ayoddharam was Ramram's son. Their family became prosperous during the time of Ayoddharam. After the War of Plassey, he had to construct residence at Mechobazar (মেছোবাজার) because his earlier residential area was occupied by British to erect new fort (Fort William) there. Ayoddharam had two sons - Kriparam & Jagannath. During the time of property division - Kriparam went to Shunra (শুঁরা) which is now under Beleghata-Phulbagan area (Raja Rajendralal Mitra was the descendant of Kriparam) and Jagannath stayed in his ancestral house. Jagannath's son Ramsundar Mitra (খ্যাদা রাম মিত্র) constructed the palace-like house at 84, Muktaram Babu Street of Chor Bagan. Once that big house was affected by earthquake. Then, it was re-built by famous 'Mackintosh Burn & Co.' The house has two entrances - one in the north on Muktaram Babu Street and the other in east on Mitra Lane. Both the entrances have two separate Thakurdalan (ঠাকুরদালান). The "Neelav Muktakeshi" (নীলাভ মুক্তকেশী) Kali Puja is being done here across those Thakurdalans.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Goddess Kali At House Of Jagatram Dutta At Hatkhola

            Jagatram Dutta was Diwan of import-export division of East India Company's Patna warehouse. He was the grandson of architect Ramchandra Dutta of Hatkhola area in Kolkata. Jagatram built a big mansion at 78, Nimtala Ghat Street after leaving his ancestral house in the year 1785 approximately. As per the custom of that time, Jagatram too initiated Durga and Kali Puja in his own house at Hatkhola. The mansion was very remarkable as a beautiful architecture, but now it is in dilapidated condition for want of proper maintenance. The conditions of walls and ceilings of Thakurdalan (ঠাকুরদালান) are very poor. The walls and ceilings are cracked, even the beams of ceilings are in extremely bad condition. Rain water drops through the cracked ceiling of roof and as a result, the walls became damped, deformed and the parget by plaster on walls are damaged. They usually cover the damaged portions by curtains during puja and other festivals. Goddess Kali is here as Dakshina Kali (দক্ষিনাকালী). They observe the family custom of sacrifice of Kheer Doll (ক্ষীরের পুতুল) made by the priest.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Goddess Kali Of Mitra Bari At Nilmani Mitra Street

                Jagannath Prasad Mitra was the founder of Dorji Para Mitra family. He belonged to Dakshin Raarh Kayastha (দক্ষিণ রাঢ় কায়স্থ) community. Jagannath came to Sutanuti area (now Kolkata) from Ariadaha in search of fortune. His grandson Durgacharan was the 'Court Jeweller' of Nawab Siraj-ud-doula. Besides, he was engaged in several business and had Dewani of Salt. Nilmani Mitra - nephew of Durgacharan was also an honourable person at that time. Prankrishna Mitra - grandson of Nilmani Mitra once made an idol of goddess Kali in his childhood. But by error, he set the left foot (instead of right) of goddess Kali on the chest of lord Shiva. Since then, the family worshipping goddess Kali by keeping the error of Prankrishna made while making the idol. One of the main feature of this family is offering (নৈবেদ্য) butter to goddess Kali by this way: at first, they put a decorated big banana leaf on a big brass container (থালা) and a banana leaf, betel leaf use to put on it. On the basis of that, the design of butter use to create there. The design looks like a temple. They offer candy (মিছরি) along with. And another feature of this Kali Puja is: they garland goddess Kali with 108 nos of Aparajita flowers, instead of China rose.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Dakshina Kali At The House Of Tarak Pramanick

                Gurucharan Pramanick was one of the bell and brass metal traders of Bengal and belonged to coppersmith community. He came to Kolkata from Sahagunge of Hooghly district in the first half of eighteenth century and constructed a residential house at Chorbagan-Kansaripara area of central Kolkata. Later, his son Tarak Pramanick was able to flourish the business manifold. He established a dock named Caledonic too in Howrah. Their family is now not in the trade of bell and brass metal, but, the custom of worshipping weight and weighing machine on day after Kali Puja is still in vogue in Pramanick family residing at 154, Tarak Pramanick Road. By the effort of Gurucharan and his son Tarak, - Rathyatra, Raas and Janmastami festival were used to observe by the family. Later, Kali Puja and Durga Puja too included in the list. They worship goddess Kali according to Kalika Puran. The image of scorpion is painted on the left foot of goddess Kali here. They never offer 'annabhog' (অন্নভোগ) to goddess Kali. After the ceremony of anointing the eyes of idol at the time of consecration, Aparajita and China rose flowers 1400 nos each use to offer to goddess Kali. At night, Kumari Puja is use to perform. Once upon a time, after Amabasya, on the day of Pratipad, the family used to worship each and every weight (বাটখারা) of business and then a baby goat used to sacrifice there. But now, the sacrifice is completely forbidden.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Goddess Kali At House Of Ramdulal De Of Beadon Street

                Ramdulal De - the foremost businessman of nineteenth century, started his life in the house of Madan Mohan Dutta of Hatkhola as 'Bill Sarkar', and after 'Ship Sarkar'. Sarkar was his title. His paternal house was at the village Rekjani of 24-Pgs. He lost his parents in childhood and came to Calcutta with his grandmother. Adult Ramdulal accepted the job of ship business manager of Madan Mohan Dutta. Once, he bought a sinked ship by himself and earned rupees one lakh. But he handed over the entire amount to his employer Madan Mohan Dutta. Mr. Dutta was very pleased to see his honesty and returned the whole amount to Ramdulal. He advised Ramdulal to start a new business of his own. Ramdulal started worshipping various god and goddesses at his own residence of 67E, Beadon Street. It was the last part of nineteenth century. On the day of Kali Puja, the episode of "অলক্ষী বিদায়" is use to run in front of their house-god Sridhar Jiu. They worship goddess Kali in 'Vaishnab' way. Pumpkin is the only thing use to sacrifice here on the day of Kali Puja. They are non-brahmin, so there are no offerings of 'annabhog' (অন্নভোগ) - only luchi, sweets and 5 fries they offer to goddess Kali. The priests welcome (বরণ) the goddess here.

Monday, November 21, 2016

World Heritage Week In Kolkata

We're becoming conscious of world resources more and more. In spite of that, some countries are remain not fully conscious about the conservation of their resources and heritages due to ignorance of some people. India is one of them. In view of this, UNESCO has started observance of World Heritage Week (19th November-25th November). It is to be mentioned here that, our Ajanta, Ellora, Sanchi, Hampi, Tomb of Humayun or the rock art paintings of Bhimbetka along with Kajiranga, Keoladeo or Manas Wildlife Sanctuary are among the list of world heritage. But, how many people know that creations of famous architect Le Corbusier have now been enlisted as world heritage? And the waiting list from Bengal and the country is not so short - Terracotta temples of Bishnupur and Namdhapa or Neora Valley National Park are amongst them. The World Heritage Week is observing Kolkata too to create mass awareness about the importance of conservation of heritages. On 19th last, the functions began on afternoon at Victoria Memorial. A seminar was there at Western Quadrangle where the speech delivered focused on artists of Kumartuli. After that, the famous National Award winning film 'Clay Image Makers Of Kumartuli' was screened. Ranajit Roy - the director of the film met the audience after the show. Today, in morning, a function was held at Victoria Memorial with the members of Activity Club of Victoria Memorial. A workshop on pottery was there. On 23rd November, a folk dance programme named 'Naachni' will be staged at the south lawn. On that evening, a seminar at Western Quadrangle by assistance of Nalanda University, Margaret Olin - the professor of history of Yale University will deliver speech on 'Conservation On The Periphery: Berlin-Bethlehem'. On 25th, that is on the last day, at Son-et-lumiere (light & sound show) site, a musical programme will be held where Swiss band Duo Fatale will sing along with the Bauls of Bengal. On the other hand, a rare function was held on 19th last at Marble Palace of Muktaram Babu Street in Kolkata where felicitation of the families of Bengal maintaining heritage for the past 100 years was made. Roy family of Cossimbazar (কাশিমবাজারের রায় পরিবার), Mitra family of Chor bagan (চোর বাগানের মিত্র পরিবার), Dugar family of Murshidabad (মুর্শিদাবাদের দুগার পরিবার), Garg family of Mahisadal (মহিষাদলের গর্গ পরিবার) were honoured. At the end, Pandit Tarun Bhattacharya played santoor at the function.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

'Nayak : The Hero' - Exhibition On Uttam Kumar

             It is the golden jubilee year of Satyajit Ray's film 'Nayak' where Uttam Kumar was the Hero. To mark the event, 
22nd Kolkata Film Festival has arranged an exhibition on Uttam Kumar at Gaganendra Pradarshashala (গগনেন্দ্র প্রদর্শশালা) where rare posters, booklets of cinemas of Uttam Kumar and informative biography with filmography of this legendary actor are being exhibited. The exhibition has all the documentations of Mahanayak and his film related contents. The rare photographs of Uttam Kumar were taken by Nimai Ghosh, Mona Chowdhury, Subinoy Das and Satyajit Ray. On 12th November, 2016 veteran actress Madhabi Mukhopadhyay inaugurated the exhibition at 5pm. She said, "All the Bengalees have tremendous respect for Uttam Kumar. I afraid, another Mahanayak will never come. Uttam Kumar was one & only Mahanayak." The exhibition will run upto 18th November, 2016.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Raas Utsav Of Nabadwip

The historical Raas utsav of Nabadwip observed peacefully. Today is the rally or 'arang' (আড়ং) in the town and for the first time, the electric supply would be unaffected as the underground power supply is functioning there.

           The variety of idols of god & goddesses at Nabadwip is the main feature of this festival. Vaishnab, Shakta, Buddhist (বৈষ্ণব, শাক্ত, বৌদ্ধ), - all the idols are part of worship here. The Raas utsav here is famous with other names like Raas Purnima, Raas Kali Puja, Pat Purnima (পট পূর্ণিমা) etc. Some people call it 'Shakta Raas' (শাক্ত রাস). Who founded this festival and when, - the information is unavailable. But it is sure that it was initiated in post-Chaitanya period. 

            Bada Shyama (বড় শ্যামা), Mejo Shyama (মেজ শ্যামা), Chhoto Shyama (ছোট শ্যামা), Shob-Shiba (শব শিবা), Elane Kali (এলানে কালী), Muktakeshi (মুক্তকেশী), Bhubaneswari of Boral Ghat (বড়াল ঘাটের ভুবনেশ্বরী), Bama Kali (বামা কালী), Rana Kali (রানা কালী), Bindhyabasini (বিন্ধবাসিনী), Gourangini (গৌরাঙ্গিনী), Bhadrakali (ভদ্রকালী), Shyama of Kangsabanik of Pora Ma tala (পোড়া মা তলার কংসবনিকদের শ্যামা), Chandimata (চন্ডিমাতা), Dumbareswari (ডুম্বরেশরি), Annapurna Mata (অন্নপূর্ণা মাতা), Kamalekamini (কমলেকামিনী), Ganesh Janani (গণেশ জননী) etc. are the names of goddesses in Raas festival.

               The 'theme' wave is now may be felt at Raas of Nabadwip. As usual, some clubs are organising pujas with uniqueness of stagecrafting, pandal decoration, lighting etc. They are, Bharat Mata of Muktisurjo club at Kutirpara (কুটিরপাড়ার মুক্তিসূর্য ক্লাব-এর ভারত মাতা), Nataraj and Ganga Mata of Nishan club at Sarkar Para (সরকার পাড়ার নিশান ক্লাবের নটরাজ ও গঙ্গামাতা), Parthasarathi of Town club (টাউন ক্লাবের পার্থসারথি), Chandi Mata of Sarada Sangha at Bandh Road (বাঁধ রোডের সারদা সঙ্ঘের চন্ডী মাতা), Ganga Mata of Lyons club at Gaan tala (গানতলার লায়ন্স ক্লাবের গঙ্গামাতা), Ganga Mata of New Club at Pirtala (পিরতলার নিউ ক্লাবের গঙ্গামাতা), Harihar of Town Club (টাউন ক্লাবের হরিহর), Nataraj worshipped by only ladies at Dakshinanchal (দক্ষিণাঞ্চলের মহিলা দ্বারা পরিচালিত নটরাজ পূজা), Ganesh Janani of Janapriyo Club at Phansi tala (ফাঁসিতলার জনপ্রিয় ক্লাবের গণেশ জননী), Annapurna of Sri Guru Nagar (শ্রীগুরু নগরের অন্নপূর্ণা) etc. A few mela or fair in this connection are being organised at Pratap Nagar Manimela ground (প্রতাপনগর মনিমেলা মাঠ), Nishan Club ground at Sarkar Para (সরকার পাড়ার নিশান ক্লাব মাঠ) etc. 

             Raas - organised by Vaishnab Math and temples are being observed at Harisabha Mandir, Old Mayapur Jagannath temple, Samajbari, Madanmohan Goswami bari, Baladeb Jiu temple (বলদেব জিউ মন্দির), Mahaprabhu puja of Pabitramoy Sengupta Road etc.

             This year, the event of 'ghot' immersion (ঘট বিসর্জন) of this morning was postponed to maintain peace and discipline in the rally later today. All the idols except 'Jorabagh Gourangini' (it will bear shoulders of some men) will take part in the rally on car.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Kali Puja Of Bhawanipur Mitra Bari

After the war of Plassey, to pave the way of construction of new fort (Fort William), the inhabitants of the then Gobindapur (now Kolkata) were been rehabilitated to various areas of Kolkata. The head of this family - Ramgobinda Mitra was Diwan of Nawab Siraj-ud-doula. He was one of the resident of Gobindapur. During the rehabilitation, he constructed his new house (ভদ্রাসন) at 26, Chakraberia Road of Bhawanipur and had started puja of goddess Kali and Durga at 'thakur dalan' (ঠাকুরদালান) of his new house. It was the middle of nineteenth century. The house was called 'Bhawanipur old Mitra Bari' as there were more Mitra families. The original house (ভদ্রাসন) of Mitra family at Bhawanipur was divided among the members in course of time. Now, the main 'thakur dalan' (ঠাকুরদালান) of 26, Chakraberia Road is not in shape as it was in old time - the four arches (খিলান) out of five were broken gradually and now the puja's are performed at the only 'thakur dalan' (ঠাকুরদালান). Coconut water is being offered to the goddess and among solid items there are luchi (লুচি), salt (লবণ), 5 fried items and sweets.