West Bengal is a state, situated in eastern India, between the Himalayas and the Bay of Bengal. West Bengal is a land of many natural splendours. The Great Bengal Tigers are hidden in the flora and fauna of Sundarban National Park. The Sweetest sweets which might be uncountable, you will found on the streets of Kolkata.
The history of West Bengal was known from when the East India Company Established. Nature is itself is the testimony of West Bengal, Darjeeling is one of the famous hill stations from all over India. West Bengal is a land of festivals. There is a popular saying in Bengali ‘‘Baro Mase Tero Parban’: it literally means thirteen festivals in twelve months. Almost all festivals of all religions are celebrated here with equal religious sentiment and fervour. The culture & religious scriptures are unpredictable here, Durga Pooja(Worlds Greatest Festival) is celebrated here where all women are dressed like Maa Durga for worship. Purulia is a land of natural beauty. The lush green landscape, verdant hills and dense forests make it a perfect tourist destination that gives a rustic ambience and peaceful surroundings to weary city dwellers.
Cultures, Festivals, & Dances
Jhumur songs and dance are popular among artisan communities like Kurmi, Kumhaar, Rajwar, Ghatoal, Hari, Muchi, Dom etc and tribal's like Santhal, Munda, Oraon, Kharia, Birharh tribes. Jhumur is known for its lyrical and literary significance because of the use of ancient language. Different Jhumur songs are sung at different times of the year, As for example Chaitali is sung in the month of Chaitra (spring), Bhaduri is sung in the month of Bhadra. Jhumur songs are very popular even today.
The culture in Purulia concentrates on the traditional folk dance 'Chau'. Popular among Santhals, Kumars, Mahatos, Kalindi's and Sahish communities are the rare masked dancers of Chau represents the essentially local culture. The use of beautiful masks and the exclusive style of dance, make-up and colourful costumes have made this dance popular all over the world. Many consider this form to be a kind of martial art because of the physical strength and agility involved in dancing. The Chau dance is an inseparable part of the rituals and the festivities of Purulia. Earlier the productions were primarily based on mythological stories from the Ramayana, the Puranas etc but presently contemporary issues like Santhal revolt, Kargil war etc are used as themes for the shows.
Durga Puja is the most important Hindu festival of the Bengalis. This festival is celebrated in the month of October, throughout the West Bengal. During this festival, the people from all over India and world visit West Bengal to enjoy the festival. All the government offices, educational institutions and law courts are closed during the festival. Durga Puja is the most important festival in the city of Kolkata. The festival celebrates the victory of good over evil. This festival is celebrated for five days and marked by prayers to goddess Durga, feasts, rejoicing, music, dance and drama. On this day, the people wear new clothes and visit all the community Pujas and worship the ten-armed. Goddess Durga, Saraswati, Lakshmi, Ganesh and Kartikeya in beautifully illuminated and decorated pandals. The priests perform the prayers at appointed times while the devotees visit these pandals throughout the day. In towns and villages, in the evening, drama, song, music, dance programmes, sports, physical and cultural competitions etc are held in which everyone participates. Community feasts are also held.
The festival of Kali Puja is not an ancient one. Kali Puja was practically unknown before the 18th century, however, a late 17th-century devotional text Kalika mangalkavya by Balram mentions an annual festival dedicated to Kali. It was introduced in Bengal during the 18th century, by King (Raja) Krishnachandra of Navadvipa. Kali Puja gained popularity in the 19th century, with Krishanachandra.
In West Bengal region, Holi is known by the name of "Dol Jatra", "Dol Purnima" or the "Swing Festival". The festival is celebrated in a dignified manner by placing the icons of Krishna and Radha on a picturesquely decorated palanquin which is then taken around the main streets of the city or the village. On the Dol Purnima day in the early morning, the students dress up in saffron-coloured or pure white clothes and wear garlands of fragrant flowers. They sing and dance to the accompaniment of musical instruments like ektara, dubri, veena, etc. The devotees take turns to swing them while women dance around the swing and sing devotional songs. During these activities, the men keep spraying coloured water and coloured powder, abir, at them.
Eid is the largest festival of the Muslims in West Bengal. The date of this festival is not fixed and celebrated in the month of May. Eid-al-Fitr comes after the lapse of the Ramzan month and marks a happy communion after a month of prayer and fasting. Seventy days after Eid-al-Fitr, comes another festive occasion, known as Eid-al-Juha. It is celebrated throughout the state, but with great grandeur in Kolkata. A very large congregation of Muslims and non-Muslims is held at the Kolkata Maidan.
The Day of Ashura is the 10th day of Muharram in the Islamic calendar. It marks the Remembrance of Muharram but not the Islamic month. A'ashura was an ancient Judaic feast day of celebration and atonement. It is better known these days for mourning the martyrdom of Hussain ibn Ali, the grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad at the Battle of Karbala in the year 61 AH (AD 680). Sunni Muslims believe that Moses fasted on this day to demonstrate his gratitude to God for the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt. According to Sunni traditions, Muhammad fasted on this day and encouraged others to fast. While the word Ashura means 'tenth' in Arabic and literally translated, means "the tenth day"; Islamic scholars differ on the reason for the naming.
Places to visit West Bengal
List of food you must try when you visit West Bengal
Bengali Mutton Curry
Chingri Maacher Malaikari