Gajan-A folk festival of Bengal
In Bengali it is said that “Baro Mase tero parbon” (There are thirteen festival in twelve months). Gajan is one of the folk festivals celebrated mostly in West Bengal and few parts of Orissa. Siva, Neel, Dharmathakur such deities are in associates with Gajan festival.
The main theme of the Gajan festival is deriving satisfaction through non-sexual pain, devotion and sacrifice.
People celebrate this festival mainly on the last two days of the month of Chaitra. This period is known as Chaitra Sankranti. (14th March of every year)
Where to go:
Here devotees dressed up as Siva, Parvati and Krishna.
How to go: Reach Hazra Crossing then walk towards Alipore along with Hazra Road. After a while you will reach Patua Para.
Nearest Metro Station: Jatin Das Park.
Chatu Babu Latu Babu Bajar, Girish Park:
Here devotees hang from ‘Charak Tree’ and they are tied with ropes and cloths.
How to go: From Girish Park start walking towards Sovabazar. After few minutes of walking take right on Ramdulal Sarkar Street. You will find a market on your right side. Inside the market there is a big open area where Gajan takes place.
Nearest Metro Station: Girish Park
If you wish to experience total essence of Gajan festival then this a right place for you. Here devotees dressed up as ‘Sang’. From Siva to Mahisasur you will find everyone here.
Nearest Railway Station : Bhagnapara.
How to go: Take a train from Howrah/Sealdah get down either at Ambika Kalna or Bhagnapara. From there take local van, rickshaw, motor van and reach Krishnadevpur high school.
Unlike normal rituals, devotees here walk with human skull. This place came in news many times. People here dressed up like Krishna, Shiva, Radha, Kali.
Nearest Railway Station : Budwan
How to go: Take a train from howrah and reach Budwan. At Budwan go Tinkonia bus stand, take bus for Khurhmun. It is only 17km from Budwan.
South 24 pargana
Here devotees pierce their faces with big sized pin during charak festival.
Nearest Railway Station: Baruipur
Hop to go: Take a train from Sealdah and reach Baruipur station. From rail gate hire an auto rickshaw and tell driver to take you to ‘Rash-er math’
Here devotees display activities with fire.
Nearest Railway Station: Gurudasnagar.
How to go: Take a train from Sealdah to Diamond Harbor, get down at Gurudasnagar station. You will find many people going to enjoy Charak festival. Follow them. The festive place is near to station.
Here devotees jump from Charak tree on sharp weapon.
Nearest Railway Station: Jaynagar Majilpur Halt.
How to go: Take a train from Sealdah to Laxmikantapur and getdown at Jaynagar Majilpur Halt. The festive place is near to station.
Here you can see a unique perform by devotee called ‘Nara Rakkash’ (Human Demon). Nara Rakkash become more powerful on that specific day and he has to control by 10-12men.
Nearest Railway Station: Shantipur
How to go: Take a train from Sealdah to Shantipur. After reaching Shantipur station ask local how to reach charak mela, they will guide you well.
Jhareswar Charak Gajan Mela:
Approx 300years old Gajan festival. This mela continues for seven days.
Nearest Railway Station: Midnapur
How to go: Take a train from howrah to Midnapur. Reach midnapur it will take 3:30-4hours then take a bus to reach kesh pur. Ask local people how to reach charak mela they will guide you .
Kedakunda fair of Chapaleswar Shiva, Debra:
As usual like other places here devotees also do various kind of activities including piercing, fire play. Fire play is common among devotees here.
Nearest Railway Station: Balichak
How to go: Take a train from Howrah to Midnapur/Kharagpur. Get down at Balichak station. Then take a bus or tot to reach Debra. Ask any local about the fair they will guide you.
Here also you will find ‘Nara Rakkash’(Human Demon)
Nearest Railway Station: Balichak
How to go: Take a train from Howrah to Midnapur/Kharagpur, getdown at Balichak. From there take a trekker or bus to reach Sabang. From Sabang take a van to reach Khepal High School ground. Khepal is around 30km from Balichak.
Bainan, bagnan: You will find various acrobatic activities here.
Nearest Railway Station: Bagnan
How to go:Take a trin from Howrah to Bagnan. After reaching Bagnan take a bus to Bainan.
Here you will find maximum number of towing from Charak tree.
Nearest Railway Station: Beldanga
How to go: Take Lalgola Passenger from Sealdah or Kolkata station then reach Beldanga. Ask local people about charak mela. They will guide you.
One of the oldest Charak festivals of Bengal.
Nearest Railway Station: Bishnupur
How to go: Take a train from Howrah to Bishnupur. From Bishnupur station hire a car and reach Panchal. Panchal is 22km from Bishnupur Station.