Nabanna Folk Art and Craft Fair
Nabanna Folk Art and Craft Fair
Nabanna Folk Art and Craft Fair is a 10-day annual folk art and craft fair that is held during the spring celebrations – also known as Basanta Utsav – in Shantiniketan, West Bengal. A unique experience in many ways, the festival brings together “demonstration of the craft in [the] making, direct interaction with artisans… [and] traditional, innovative and climate conscious initiatives.”
First held in 2006, the festival provides craftspersons a platform to directly engage with their patrons and sell their wares. The festival enables these artisans’ participation by providing them with free stalls and accommodation. The ten-day festival begins with a weekend literary fest, Nabanna Earth Weekend, that brings together “authors, performing artists, researchers and innovators from home and abroad, who engage in discussions on arts, stories behind their creation, ideas on social evolution, innovations and ways and means to save the environment.” The festival also includes a variety of events such as song, dance, poetry, and skits performed by artists from the Viswa Bharati University in Shantiniketan.
Over 18 editions, the participation at the Nabanna festival has grown exponentially, going from a few dozen artisans to over two hundred in 2022. The festival helps showcase various crafts, such as Madhubani and Alpana paintings, Patachitra, Pipli art, pottery, textile, tribal, silver and copper jewellery, brass and bell metal craft and stone carvings among others.
It also includes cultural programmes, a food court, art competition, health camp, and workshops for artisans and students alike. Nabanna is organised by Suresh Amiya Memorial Trust.
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A visit to Nabanna is an experience of a kind. The vast display of art and craft from different corners of the country, demonstration of the craft in making, the possibility for direct interaction with artisans, aficionados and wannabes, traditional, innovative and climate conscious initiatives, Nabanna brings it all together. Organised in Spring, when nature is in its full bloom and paths are laden with ‘shimul’ and ‘palash’, Nabanna Art and Craft Fair becomes a go to place for both locals and tourists. The 10-day event coincides with Basanta Utsav, the festival of colours synonymous to Santiniketan. The evenings enlighten visitors with songs, dance, recitation and skits put together by eminent artists from Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan and Kolkata. A literary fest organised in the inaugural week brings together authors, performing artists, researchers and innovators from home and abroad who engage in discussions on arts, stories behind their creation, ideas on social evolution, innovations and ways and means to save the environment. Nabanna is a meeting point of craft, culture, literature and ideas. One can enjoy it all while munching on an array of Indian and local delicacies at the food court.
How To Get There
How to reach Kolkata
1. By Air: The Kolkata international airport, better known as the Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, is located at Dumdum. It connects Kolkata with all the major cities of the country as well as the world.
2. By Rail: The Howrah and Sealdah railway stations are the two major railheads situated in the city. Both these stations are well connected to all the important cities of the country.
3. By Road: The West Bengal state buses and various private buses travel to and from different parts of the country at a reasonable cost. Some places near Kolkata are Sunderbans (112 km), Puri (495 km), Konark (571 km) and Darjeeling (624 km).
How to Reach Gitanjali Cultural Complex
From Kolkata one can take a train to Bolpur followed by an toto or car ride to Geetanjali Cultural Complex. It takes around 2.5 hrs to reach by train. Several trains are available from Sealdah and Howrah station.
One can also travel by road via NH19 and NH114/NH2B which takes around 4 hours from Kolkata.
- Food stalls
- Gendered toilets
- Parking facilities
- Wheelchair access
- Masks mandatory
- Sanitiser booths
Items & Accessories to Carry
1. Light and airy cotton clothes; Kolkata is typically very hot in March.
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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