Rural Bengal Closely

16th Dec 2013
Photo of Rural Bengal Closely 1/4 by Adrija Ghosh
Me wearing an unfinished "Chhou" mask.
Photo of Rural Bengal Closely 2/4 by Adrija Ghosh
The Khairabera Dam.
Photo of Rural Bengal Closely 3/4 by Adrija Ghosh
Turga Falls
Photo of Rural Bengal Closely 4/4 by Adrija Ghosh
Sunset at Khairabera Dam

This was a very short trip taken to Purulia, West Bengal in winter last year. It was mainly a visit to the PPSP dam in the Ajodhhya Hills. One of the persons who travelled with us had arranged for our stay at the PPSP guest house where we had our meals as well. What was enchanting about the trip was that we, not only, got to the see the peaceful and serene surroundings of the place hidden away inside the humdrum of a developing state but also got to see from very close quarters the famous folk artists at the village of Charida- the Chhou dance artists who strive to make ends meet but create the most elaborate and exquisite masks out of simple things like clay, hay, sequins, wires, and paint. The dance form made popular to the Indian viewership in the film, Barfii is originally from this small district where agricultural resources being scanty because of the arid climate, the people live on the means of this disappearing culture which is enchanting, to say the least. 

The place in and around Ajodhhya Hills have quite a few tourist locations-  the Turga and the Bramni Falls which are small climbs down the mountains towards the falls, the beautiful and large Khairabera dam which can be a day trip ending at sunset. 

This was a very relaxing and easy trip to take. It is ideal for a weekend getaway from the busy and noisy city life. One can breathe in the fresh air of the rural setting and soak in some good sunshine and take home with oneself, the lasting beauty which Wordsworth had talked about in his poem, "The Daffodils".