Sunday, April 14, 2013

Hajra Kali's Charak Mela in New Town

I was surprised to know recently that an ancient temple with traditional pujas and melas existed in New Town Kolkata itself. In the backdrop of gleaming multi-storied buildings, this Charak Mela offers a unique glimpse into rural Bengal. I was reminded strongly of my days in the district where Joydeb / Patharchapri/ Pous Melas were held on different occasions.

The Hajra Kali Seva Samiti organises the Charak Mela every year. It peaks on 2nd Boisakh - 16th April this year - and I saw the beginning of a large gathering even yesterday. Women and men were seen taking water from a nearby pond in earthen vessels on bamboo poles to the temple. There was a rural mela with all its full flavour - wooden furniture, artificial ornaments, vertical wheel, phuchkas etc - and I was told by the organisers that goats would be sacrificed in the evening and this would draw huge crowds as well.
I think the authenticity of this mela should be preserved with careful improvements at the margins.
Here is a photo collage:
The pond (left inset) shows the contrast of New Town and the Mela


  1. It's nice to witness such a Mela as per old Bengali tradition. Kind submission:-
    1. Mela area may be improved next year by light concrete flooring to avoid generation of dust.
    2. Pond may be kept clean to the extent possible.
    3. A strip of the Pond periphery may have cement lining to avoid landslide of weak zones.
    4. Temporary lighting arrangement may be made.
    5. Safety/security of women/children needed.
    6. The entire Mela premises should be cleaned after it is over on environmental ground.

  2. Only a few years back, when construction of the East West Road Corridor started, there was only one pucca structure in this stretch and that was Hazra Kalibari. There was no electricity, nothing. People from distant villages turned up there on the occasion of Charak Mela. Now, one have to try hard to discover it within a jungle of tall buildings.

  3. Sir, are we supposed to get any update about the companies in Financial hub today? 15Th april is the last day ( till now in HIDCO tender page) for expressing of interest for land.

    You had informed that 28th march HIDCO board meeting was supposed to happen after which we would come to know about bidders for medical college plot. Sir, didnt that meeting happen till now?

    Travelled extensively through New Town after being back in Kol after 4 months. Some new road construction has started. Had hoped to see more. Seems like for all the road tenders in last 2 months, most of them are yet to get work orders. Sewerage work in AA3 is progressing at a snail's pace.

    PWD road connecting Bhojerhaat is freshly tarred now. Great !!! Hope that it gets widened after Panchayet elections.

  4. Road condition in AA3 in front of DLF Residential, Elita and SP Sukhobristi as well as in the approach road for them is almost same for last 1 year. Can we hasten up the process? Same applies for road parallel to N-S MAR from TCS SEZ to Akanksha More. From June monsoon will start , every activity will stop till end of Diwali.