Bolpur: the place of poetry
West Bengal is a land of natural beauty, exquisite lyrical poetry and enthusiastic people. When my friends and I visited the countryside town of Bolpur in West Bengal, it gave us an expression of slightly more relaxed version of India.
We opted to stay in a guest house rather than any hotel and the thing which I enjoyed the most was reaction of the peoples who didn’t really know what to make of us. The town itself was simple, black stained concrete walls; dirt earth for pavement and outside the town one can experience India’s true natural beauty, lush green fields and villages surrounded by little lakes.
But for me the most memorable experience in Bolpur was our trip to the village workers collective at Ama Kutir. Here we came around various workshops and peoples who excelled in constructing handicrafts of leather goods, clothes, batik, and weavings. The keys to the center’s ability to produce in quantity seemed the manually operated machines and the simple production line. The workers working in Ama Kutir also happily demonstrated their techniques to us. Ama Kutir made me wonders how difficult and expensive it would be to set something up like this. We also bought quite a lot of handicrafts and clothes from village showroom, where I did a wonderful bargain but still I was very much satisfied with the things I bought.
Bolpur isn't the middle of nowhere town that it appears, however. We had come to the area to see the tree lined university haven of Santiniketan. It had been founded by Rabindranath Tagore: Author, philosopher, philanthropist, Nobel Prize and knighthood winner and general all round hero of Bengali culture.
We also visited the Bansuli Temple at Nannur a place near to Bolpur. It was really one lifetime experience visiting the temple, the temple site is like a mound, and the lowest level dates back to the Gupta period, surely one of the most exotic locations in India.
So, anyone planning a trip to West Bengal, Bolpur is definitely not a place to miss.