The Bhawaiya Festival celebrates Bhawaiya song, one of the traditional folk art forms of North Bengal. Derived from the word ‘Bhawa’ meaning ‘low-lying land used to grow vegetables’, these songs reflect the experiences of rural life. The themes of Bhawaiya compositions are premised on the lived realities of common people of North Bengal. The festival is part of the initiative Rural Craft and Cultural Hubs of West Bengal, undertaken by the Department of MSME&T (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and Textiles), Govt. of West Bengal and UNESCO to strengthen ICH (Intangible Cultural Heritage) based craft and performing arts of the state.
The 2023 edition of the festival welcomed artists from Cooch Behar, Alipurduar and Jalpaiguri and showcased performances, multiple discussions on Bhawaiya music and an exhibition on both the days. It was held between 01 and 02 April 2023 at Rabindra Bhawan, Jalpaiguri in West Bengal.
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How To Get There
How to reach Siliguri
1. By Air: The nearest Domestic Airport from Siliguri is Bagdogra Airport, Siliguri, which is a roughly 15-minute drive from Siliguri. Scheduled flights are available from New Delhi, Guwahati, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. There is an availability of flights from International destinations such as Paro and Bangkok.
2. By Rail: The nearest Railway Station is New Jalpaiguri Railway Station which is located at a distance of 8 km from Siliguri. It is well-connected to Mumbai and Delhi and cities like Dhupguri, Kishanganj, Katihar, Malda, Bhagalpur and Kolkata.
3. By Road: Siliguri is 7 km from Matigara, 12 km from Bharat Basti, 16 km from Kamal Pur, 26 km from Pankhabari, 36 km from Kurseong, 45 km from Mirik, 66 km from Kalimpong, 67 km from Darjeeling, 170 km from Biratnagar, 206 km from Pratapganj and 377 km from Naogaon and is well-connected through West Bengal State Road Transport Corporation (WBSRTC) and private travel services.
Items & Accessories To Carry
1. Light and airy cotton clothes for the day. Get slightly warmer clothes for night.
2. A sturdy water bottle, if the festival has refillable water stations, and if the venue allows bottles to be taken inside.
3. Comfortable footwear such as sneakers (a perfect option if it’s not likely to rain).
4. COVID packs: Hand sanitiser, extra masks and a copy of your vaccination certificate are things you should keep handy.
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