Sunday, December 2, 2012

Escapade In Rural Bengal

 This man livelihood depends on his instrument, playing in trains almost 12 hours a day

This is the house where I put up

I’m an urbanite, most of my life spent in urban ambiance so perhaps zeal to see the rural environment is natural born tendency within. I love travel, but my mission is not to satisfy the irresistible hunger for travel. That is something by the way; it’s just an opening, an opportunity to peel off the layers of my real self. The more I travel, more I know myself, and that’s the reason I prefer solo traveling.

This guy taught me essential lessons in fishing

This stuff is not so easy as it looks like

I didn't have much work, so when my neighbor invited me to accompany him to go his village house for couple of days, I couldn't resist. It was a nice “eating while talking” ride from Howrah station to Kanthi (East Medinipur), taking around 4 hours. The time passed by looking at the rural West Bengal landscape. I always admire the beauty of this land; the rich green covers, large rice fields, huts and small cottage type homes and ubiquitous ponds give me a nostalgic feeling of books and imaginations of my childhood.

Hammock and cycle - both are essential stuff in the village

Had it not been winters, it would be a tough call, but the journey was smooth because of less fatigue and minimum crowd. From Kanthi station I took a van rickshaw and stopped at the trekker stand. Trekker In West Bengal villages means a jeep where at least 25 people ride excluding the driver. It’s cheap and the only transport to travel to interior of a village, so there is no other option of inexpensive travel. I was lucky to get a good seat and felt myself fortunate to see the surroundings sitting at an edge of the jeep. The best thing about rural life is, a villager meets you for five minutes in a train or any other transportation, and you are his friend, and the next moment he talks about everything from political to village life. It’s not just a plain sightseeing but a cultural education if you are frank and simple.

A typical farmer's house in rural Bengal
The village name was Jobda, and the house I stayed for two days was the only properly constructed in the whole village, at least whatever I saw. The pond, the dense bamboo forest and plenty of trees surrounded the area inflamed the old me. I missed horror story and regretted I should bring one.

There was a fair going on that part of the year called ‘Raas Mela’, it seemed to be like a big festival for villagers. They eagerly wait for this fair and all seven days they spend their evening in the fair ground. There is nothing special about it; only thing is the hordes of people coming from different villages to see the fair.

I tried my hand in fishing but unfortunately nothing caught in my fishing rod made by bamboo and nylon thread. Experienced people nearby said the hook was a bit large it couldn't peg the mouth of small fishes.

A road runs through trees and huts
I have heard and read many stories about ghosts in villages and women possessed by demons and the local exorcist came to exorcise the demon. For the record, I haven’t seen anything and the amount of noise came from fairground day and night, a ghost could hardly survive in that.

Dusk at field
The best thing I observed the simplicity of villagers even in midst of financial crisis and all troubles. Their wants are simple and limited and that’s important, and how many beautiful homes I have seen, how many women whose purity was reflected through articulation and behavior  They are simple and pure, and besides with their own exotic culture, society, and religion in the true sense!

How To Reach

You can catch a train from Howrah and come to Kanthi station. The train runs every day in the morning 6:40 am and reach Kanthi around 10:30 am. Find a van nearby station and go to trekker stand. From there you have to go to Kali Bazaar stop and reach the village.

You can also go by bus if you want. Go to Mecheda stop by bus from Esplanade and then take another bus to reach Egra. From Egra you need to take trekker to reach the village.


  • Beach Resort in Mandarmoni says:
    July 11, 2014 at 5:47 AM

    Actual Indian tradition lies in Rural Villages.
    I realized it while reading your blog..
    thanks for focusing on such a wonderful subject

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