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Poush Mela of Shantiniketan : A Makar Sankranti cultural fair of Bengal

Spread India's Glorious Cultural & Spiritual Heritage

ॐ श्री गुरुभ्यो नमः ॐ श्री शिवानन्दाय नमः ॐ श्री चिदानन्दाय नमःॐ श्री दुर्गायै नमः 

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Poush Mela is an annual fair and festival that takes place in Santiniketan, in Birbhum District in the Indian state of West Bengal, marking the harvest season.

Commencing on the 7th day of the Hindu month of Poush, the fair officially lasts for three days, although vendors may stay until the month-end as per the university regulations.

Poush Mela of Shantiniketan
Poush Mela Shantiniketan - things to know - Travel to India, Cheap Flights  to India, Aviation News, India Travel Tips
Poush Mela of Shantiniketan

From 2017 onwards the fair has lasted for six days. The key characteristic of this fair includes live performances of Bengali folk music, such as Baul, Kirtan and Kobigan.

Background :

Devendranath Tagore with twenty followers accepted the Brahmo creed from Ram Chandra Vidyabagish on 21 December 1843 (7 Poush 1250 according to the Bengali calendar). This was the basis of Poush Utsav (The Festival of Poush) at Santiniketan.

Poush Mela Shantiniketan 2019 in India, photos, Festival, Dance, Fair when  is Poush Mela Shantiniketan 2019 - HelloTravel
Poush Mela of Shantiniketan
Poush Mela of Shantiniketan

A Brahma Mandir was established at Santiniketan on 21 December 1891 (7 Poush 1298 according to the Bengali calendar).

A small fair was organised in 1894 in connection with the establishment anniversary of the Brahma Mandir, in the ground opposite the Mandir.

What started as a small homely Poush Mela now attracts attention of not only the people of the local Birbhum district but tourists from all around.

Visva-Bharati cancels 125-year-old annual Poush Mela, and it's not because  of Covid-19
Poush Mela of Shantiniketan

In earlier days the Mela (fair) was held in the ground on the north side of Brahma Mandir (also known as glass temple). A firework display used to be organised in earlier days after evening prayers. As the Mela grew in size, it was shifted to the field in Purbapalli.

Poush Mela of Shantiniketan
100 ex-servicemen to stand guard at Poush Mela | Kolkata News - Times of  India
Poush Mela of Shantiniketan


Poush Utsav is inaugurated on 7 Poush (around 23 December) every year. At dawn, Santiniketan wakes up to the soft music of Shehnai.

The first to enter the scenario is the Vaitalik group, who go round the Ashrama (hermitage) singing songs. This is followed by a prayer-meeting at Chhatimtala. Then the entire congregation moves on to Uttarayan singing songs.

Other Days

Poush Mela is characterized by the live performances of Bengali folk music, especially the devotional Baul music. It includes folk songs, dances and tribal sports.

This fair offers a perfect insight of the true heritage of the state of Bengal. The students of Santiniketan present their magnificent performance in the festival and make this festival extremely enjoyable and glamorous.

Each day of this festival is filled with different activities. The last day of this fair is devoted to those who are related to Santiniketan.

Sriniketan Utsav (Magh Mela) - Santiniketan
Poush Mela of Shantiniketan

The Fair

Some 1,500 stalls are set up in the fair. The number of tourists pouring in for the three-day fair is worth watching.

Government statistics put the daily inflow of tourists into Santiniketan at around 3,500 per day on normaldays. But during the major local festivals of Poush Utsav, Basanta Utsav, Rabindra Paksha, and Naba Barsha it goes up to an average of 40,000 per day or even more.

Many of these visitors stay at Santiniketan, which has 85 lodges with accommodation for 1,650. Apart from this, rooms on rent can be taken for a few days.

Santiniketan Poush Mela begins under strict shadow of National Green  Tribunal - NEWSMEN
Poush Mela of Shantiniketan

Local printed fabrics and handicrafts are available in the stalls set up during the fair. Besides, materials of household interest and toys are also available in the fair. Various food stalls are also set upin the fair.

Handicrafts at Poush Mela, Shantiniketan

Spread India's Glorious Cultural & Spiritual Heritage

By Mala Chandrashekhar

Introducing Blogger Mala Chandrashekhar - a specialist academically trained in modern Western sciences, yet deeply enamored with India's timeless ethnic arts, crafts, and textiles. Her heart beats for the rich and glorious cultural and spiritual heritage of India, and she has dedicated her entire blog to spreading the immortal glories of ancient India worldwide. Through her simple yet impactful blog posts, Mala aims to reach every nook and corner of the globe, sharing India's beauty and wisdom with the world.

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