The handmade artifacts of Bishnupur in Bankura are quite famous all over the world. Terracotta is the raw material with which the highly skilled craftsmen of Bishnupur create various artifacts which are magnificent in design and flawless in their shape.

Terracotta Potteries


Terracotta potteries and artifacts are Bengal’s wealth and have a long and glorious history. The theme of the artifact is usually a folk one and quite explicit in its execution. The clay used to make all the handcrafted items is gathered from the river beds, ditches and pits. Usually 2-3 types of clays are mixed to form an alloy to make the world class artifacts appreciated by people. The craftsmen still use the traditional form of kilns to bake the clay pots using firewood, dry leaves and twigs. The pots are baked at a temperature of 700-800 degree Celsius. Not only men but the women also help in creating these beautiful objects. The women potters generally work on the wheels to give the pots their round neck on the upper halves. These round necks are perfect in shape. The potters also make clay dolls and other toys for children. Most of these toys and dolls are cast in burnt clay moulds which are typical of Bishnupur.  Not only toys and pots, they also make animal figures, wind chimes and jewelry items from burnt clay or terracotta which is quite famous. The terracotta horse structures are treasured by tourists.

Dokra Metal Casting


Dokra metal casting is another interesting form of craft practiced by the tribes of Bishnupur who are known as the Dokra Damar. This eponymous crafting technique is basically done with wax and the items created have a lovely hue and texture. The process of Dokra casting is also referred to as ‘cire perdue’ technique or lost wax casting process. Dokra items have clay as their core material over which wax is coated. After the wax coating, a clay paste coating is applied on the model and dried for some time. The traditional hollow casting method is followed by which wax is replaced by another molten metal; in this case it is usually brass. A number of objects are made from dokra which include cutlery, jewelry items, lamp, chains, religious symbols, bells and many more. People who love tribal designs buy dokra objects to beautify their homes. Dokra jewelries are also popular among women. The art of okra is a surviving legacy of the region.

Handcrafted Silverware


Handcrafted silverware is also hallmark of Bishnupur, Bankura tradition of handicrafts. The art of making silver items is quite old in the region with many skilled craftsmen practicing it. Silver enameling is done on various figures of home décor to enhance the appearance and add to their charm. Filigree designs on silverware can be found in abundance in the region. The objects comprising of these designs look outstanding and delicate. Then there are items made from silver. Various figures, jewelry items, utensils are made from silver which are embellished with beautiful designs making them appear unparallel in their beauty. These can be the perfect gifts for special occasions.

Tussar Silk


Tussar Silk is produced from silkworms. It is also known as Tusser, Tushar and Tussah and the sarees made from this particular silk is very popular in India. Its popularity is due to the gold sheen and has shorter fibres. It is the chosen material for saris and also punjabis for Indian men. The gold sheen makes it appear rich textured and also shimmering. Bulk production is Tussar silk is done in India out of which around 40% is from West Bengal. The tussar silk sarees produced in Bankura are famous for their kantha stitch which is a particular type of stitching process done by hand instead of machines. Kantha stitched silk sarees are quite expensive and exquisite. Tussar silk sarees are available in various beautiful colors. Tussar silk is also used to make punjabis for men and salwar suits for ladies. These traditional apparels also appear beautiful made from this silk. Producing Tussar silk is considered to be a cottage industry in Bankura where a large number of handlooms are found. This is a tradition of Bankura and thus the weavers still maintain the conventional handloom process to produce the silk sarees. Tussar Silk is also known by another name which is Kosa Silk. Tussar Silk clothes are exported to Gulf countries, to the USA and also various European countries. Know More →

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Koro Hill is quite a popular tourist attraction in Bankura. The hill is 400 feet high with a hamlet called Amarkanan at its foothills. This scenic location is only 19 kilometers away from Bankura and is a favored picnic and trekking spot for tourists and locals alike. Do avoid the months of May, June and July if you wish to trek the mountain due to heavy rainfall. Visit during the other 9 months and enjoy the surroundings and the village.

Like every other tourist spot in Bankura, this place also has a beautiful and old temple of Devi Ashtabhuja or Durga also known as Savitri situated atop the hill behind which you will notice a Shivalinga along with his pet the Bull. There is also Badrinath Hill close by which is an established center of Jainism. The diversity in the flora of this hill is mesmerizing. Amarkanan village derives its name from the famous freedom fighter Amar Chattopadhyay. The Ram Krishna Seva Dal Ashram situated in this village has realized the mission of the freedom fighter helping the people become independent. This Ashram which has now become one of the supreme attractions of the village was established by Dri Gobinda Prasad Singha, who was a zamindar and a Gandhian freedom fighter himself.

The ashram has a formidable history and was visited by the likes of Mahatma Gandhi, Kazi Nazrul Islam, Satish Dasgupta and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose among others. In fact, the prolific poet Kazi Nazrul had composed a song “Amarkanan moder Amarkanan” during his stay at the ashram.

How to Reach


It is easy to reach the Koro Hills and Amarkanan from Bankura by boarding a bus. The journey is quite smooth through the village roads. If you are coming from Durgapur, board the Durgapur-Bankura bus from SBSTC and you can reach the spot. Private minibuses are also available from Durgapur (39 km) or Bankura (22 km) via Amarkanan.

Koro Hills is a beautiful tourist destination and standing at the temple you can view the Gangdua Dam on Shali River and also the famous Susunia hills within 12 kilometers distance from Koro Hills. The Amarkanan is a lovely getaway from the din and bustle of city life where you can savor the simple and easygoing lifestyle of the ashramites. The breathtaking scenery has a tranquilizing effect on tired nerves and you will enjoy nature’s abundance at the Koro Hills.

 Where to stay at Koro Hills


For people willing to enjoy a night’s stay or two at the Koro Hills in Bankura there are plenty of options. The Ramkrishna Sebadal Ashram authority has in fact constructed a guest house for that purpose. It is known as the Ramkrishna Sebadal Ashram Guest House and Mandir Guest House. In addition, there is a forest bungalow as well for the ones willing to take that route.

In order to book the bungalow you can contact or get in touch with the DFO of the northern Division. Here are the details:

DFO- North Division, Bankura
PC- 722101

Back to Bankura

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Sonamukhi gets its name from the local deity Swarnamukhi Devi and is a busy municipality in Bankura district in West Bengal. It is situated at a distance of 34 kilometers from Bishnupur and falls enroute to Hadal Narayanpur from Bishnupur. Apart from the temples located in Sonamukhi, it is also famous as the birthplace of KusumKumari Devi and Haranath who are deemed to be the reincarnations of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the founder of Vaishnav sect. Sonamukhi is therefore a place of religious and well as historical significance. It also holds lots of interest for the lovers of art and architecture.

Sonamukhi has a glorious history of being one of the leading producers of cotton, silk and indigo during the British rule in India. Therefore, it has been referred to as a weavers’ village in many documents and literary books of the time. However, now the village is popular because of its terracotta temples and witnesses visitors almost throughout the year. The most famous and unique one is the Sridhar temple which has 25 pinnacles. This feature of the temple renders it a unique quality. There are only 5 such temples in Bengal and Sridhar in Sonamukhi constructed by Kanai Rudra, a weaver is one of them. The Archaeology department of the state has shown lot of interest in this temple and it has been preserved beautifully by them.

Attractions


There are 5 Rasmanchas in Sonamukhi scattered in different parts of the town. You can spot them while exploring the town through its lanes, by lanes and markets. The Sridhar Temple is located in the interior and you will have to walk through a by lane to arrive at the destination. However, you will be astounded by the terracotta plaques on the temple walls. Scenes like Lord Shiva’s marriage, exchange of Lord Krishna as a child and Brahma originating from Lord Vishu’s naval are depicted on the walls. The wooden door of the temple has the typical style of temple gates in Bengal.

Around Sonamukhi


Some of the houses nearby are centuries old and you can see the remains of residential architectural specimens on them. At a short distance lies another temple. This is the temple of Sitala Devi. The temple is a flat roofed one with 5 pinnacled structure. Just behind the temple is the Siddeshwar Rasmancha painted in blue making a pretty picture. Nest to the Sitala temple is a Laxminarayan Jiu Temple which has been constructed following the typical duel style architecture. This temple was built in the year 1364 according to Bengali calendar.

The Swarnamukhi Temple is located in Shyambazaar area. Gaja Lakshmi is the shrine here with two elephants. The typical horse and elephant figures of Bankura can be spotted on the interiors especially on the walls. The Gopalbed area of Sonamukhi has the ruins of an ancient temple of which he pillars and the spire remain. The structures on the temple walls are quite impressive. The Giri Gobardhan and the renovated Radha Gobinda temples of Babuapara are beautiful to look at accompanied with Rasmanchas among which one is 17 pinnacled.

How to Reach


Visitors can reach Sonamukhi by road on bus and also by train.

Where to stay at Sonamukhi


In order to book the bungalow you can contact or get in touch with the DFO of the northern Division. Or you could back to Burdwan city which is 60 km form Sonamukhi.

Here are the details:

DFO- North Division,Bankura
PC- 722101

Back to Bankura

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Durgapur Barrage is situated across the Damodar River in Durgapur. It is located in the Burdwan district of West Bengal. It is a major part of the Damodar Valley Project creating hydroelectricity from Damodar and its tributary Barakar River. Durgapur Barrage constructed downstream is controlled by the government of West Bengal. The dam’s control along with the canal network was handed over to the West Bengal Government in the year 1964.

The Durgapur Barrage was built in 1955 to a length of 692 meters and height of 12 meters. The barrage constitutes 34 gates sized 18.3m ×4.9m. The tally of 34 is reached by taking into account the under sluices as well. The right and left under sluices are 18.3m x 5.5 m (60 ft x 18 ft). Among the canals, the right bank main canal is 88.5 kilometers long while the left main canal is 136.8 kilometers long. Besides the main canals there are also branches which make an accumulated length of 2,494 kilometers. The left bank canal discharges 260 cubic meters per second whereas the right bank canal discharges 64.3 cubic meters per second. The catchment area of the Damodar-Barakar Basin is 19,547 square kilometers. The linear waterway is 622 meters.

A few steps ahead from the main barrage is a canal. There is a short foot bridge. Try to have a look the lock gate is open. Enjoy the thrill in your body.

How to Reach


Arriving at Durgapur Barrage is easy because it can be easily accessed from all quarters of the country. The nearest airport to the barrage is Dhanbad airport which is situated at a distance of 94 kilometers. The nearest railway station is the Durgapur Junction Station located only 2 kilometers from the barrage making it easy for people to reach the barrage.

Other attractions near Durgapur Barrage


When you are through with the barrage, you can take a look around because there are quite a few places of interest nearby. Within a radius of 2-5 kilometers, there is the Durga Statue, Makalir Mandir, Ram Mandir, Loknath Babas Mandir and also Bhabani Pathak’s Cave and Tilla. The City Center Church and the Kumaramangala Park are also closeby.

If you are in a mood to shop or just wish to pick up a souvenir you can visit the Muchipara Market, and CBI Mamra Bazaar, Lal Bazaar which are within 5 kilometers of the Durgapur Barrage. The Faridpur Mini market is 7 kilometers from the barrage. There are also a couple of malls among which the Junction Mall and the Suhatta Shopping Mall are famous. If you wish to beat your fatigue, then catch a sip of your favorite drink at the High Octane Pub.

 

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Biharinath Hill is a famous attraction in Bankura district of West Bengal. It is located in the northwestern side of the district and stands tall at a height of 448 meters being the highest in Bankura. It is a part of the Chotanagpur Plateau and was deemed to be the center of Jainism in ancient times. The area is known for its natural beauty and diversity. The lush green and dense forests are covered by blossoms of shimul, palash and kaash flowers spreading the beautiful fragrance to the surrounding. Biharinath Hill is flanked by River Damodar on one side and by Purulia district on the other. Continue reading

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Bankura, a quaint sleepy district in western part of the West Bengal, is best known for its terracotta temples standing since ancient times. Apart from that, it also seems to be Mother Nature’s special child which has been handpicked and is blessed with mountains, dense forests, streams and what not. Unfortunately, it had failed to attract tourists from far flung areas though it always seemed to be thronged with local and nearby tourists. But thanks to expansion of tourism sector, from the past two decades Bankura has rose to prominence.

Continue reading

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Sutan is a tribal village (known for its weaving) situated approximately around 8 km from the Ranibandh- Jhilimili road, in a forest stretching across 6 kilometers. The small place is a visual wonder, covered by the dense vegetation of Sal, Mahua, Piyasal, Simul and Palaash, placed 32 kms from another nearby attraction, Mukutmanipur. Home to various tribal groups like Shantals, Bhumij and Mundaa, Sutan is a quiet village with small hills.

Do check out the Sutan Lake and enjoy a boating trip here. The steps to this lake descend directly from the bungalow. You can secure the expansive view of the moonlit forest from the tower, placed on the banks of the lake. The night scene as well as its ambience is accentuated by the continuous sounds of cricket and that of constant drumming and the distant fragrance of Mohua. The moonlit Sutan with its array of red Krishnachuri is plain “intoxicating”.

You can even get a rare glimpse of various animals like wild elephants, deer, cock as well as pigs. The wild elephants descend for the Dalma Pahar, attracted by the beauty of Sutan.

Where to Stay


The bungalow perched at the top of the hill does not have electricity.

For bookings, do go through the following address details:

DFO, Central Circle, Bankura.
Telephone: 03242 250307

At present there is police station in the bungalow.

Within 9 kilometers inside the forest there is Trekker’s hut as well.

You can also stay at Jhilmili:

Rimil Tourist Lodge
Shyama Bastralaya, P.O. – Jhilimili, District – Bankura.
Telephone: (0953243) 240217

Kolkata booking:

Holiday Managers
Telephone: (033) 22485829

How to reach


On your way from Jhargram to Kuilapaal or Bandowaan or Purulia via bus you can get down at Paradi Morh (69 kms) you can take a jeep and head for Jhilimili or Ranibandh. Sutan will just be on this way (14 kms).

Or else you can reach Bankura from Howrah via train. You can just take a bus from Bankura to Sutan Village.

Back to Bankura

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Ranibandh is a community development block in Bankura district’s Khatra subdivision. This administrative division of Khatra in Bankura in West Bengal is served by the Ranibandh police station with its headquarters at Ranibandh. If you are traversing the distance from Bankura to Jhilimili (a tourists attraction in Khatra subdivision of Bankura perched on the hill top—primarily known for its picturesque natural beauty featuring dense forests), Ranibandh will be found exactly at 40 kilometers and Mukutmanipur at 18 kilometers. Continue reading

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Jhilimili is a noted tourist destination, located in the Khatra subdivision of the district of Bankura. It is precisely located at the border of Purulia, Bankura and Midnapur. Situated just 70 kilometers away from the Bankura town, the Jhilmili district is an area of dense and imperturbable natural beauty. The place is perched on a hillock and on your way from Ranibund to Jhilimili you can catch a glimpse of a range of unique sights adorned by dense forests of varying heights. These forests can be seen on both sides of the road. Continue reading

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Kamarpukur is a village of Hooghly district in West Bengal. Great religious prophet Sri Sri Ramkrisna dev was born in Kamarpukur on 17th February, 1836. Therefore Kamarpukur becomes one of the holy place. Famous artist Nandalal Basu planned for a marvellous temple of Sri Ramkrisna on his birthplace, Dhenkisal in 1951. Continue reading

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