Cultural and mystical Bengal


Mystical and cultural Bengal 

West Bengal ( North East India)

14 days / 1580 € from Kolkata

This voyage leads us to the remote villages of West Bengal, in order to share the daily life of its inhabitants, rural culture, arts and crafts, devotional music and rituals towards the Big Goddess.

This intimate outing of 14 days is before all a human adventure, an immersion into the bengali culture. To guide you on this fertile ground, we have got the presence of a french artist who resides in India since long time and a bengali friend also guide, musician and artisan who will open the doors of his studio and will introduce us to his tantric masters to penetrate the baul philosophy.

Going forth with the baul musicians to learn about their tantric practices often inspired by sufism in their music.

A stopover in a tribal village, to share a lunch with the Santal in their beautiful mud houses.

Put in at the Rabindranath Tagore University to understand more about this philosopher and reformist poet whose influence still radiates on the intellectual and cultural life of India.

The road continues along the terra cotta temples of Vishnupur noticeably well preserved and less visited.

Go round by the village of Chhau dancers and discover the masked performance, another form of art folk of West Bengal.

One more stop with the sculptors and craftsmen of Kolkata whose devotional work of love and beauty towards the Goddess is worth to appreciate during the visit of the old parts of the city.

Highlights

Meeting with many musicians, live concert, rural festival.

Private introduction to baul philosophy and practice with the masters in their ashrams.

The visit of Tagore University in Shantiniketan.

Terra cotta temples of Vishnupur.

Gathering with the Chhau performers and the mask craftsmen of Purulia.

Deep breathe into the religious devotion of craftsmen in Kolkata, the former intellectual capital of India.

Solidarity based choice of eco-farming lodge in Shantiniketan.

According to the genuine character of this journey, a good aptitude of adaptation to another culture is needed to enjoy the whole trip.

Day 1

Departure from home country.

Day 2

Calcutta (Kolkata)

Landing in Kolkata, India. Transfer to the city center to a charming comfortable colonial guest house. Visit new market. Armenian area. Park Street. Diner.

Day 3

Shantiniketan (Birbhum)

Installation at the eco-farming lodge (3h30).

Delicious Bengali meals.

Introduction to the performing artists of this country side area.

Day 4

Shantiniketan and Santal village

Tagore university.

Lunch at the Santal village, pottery studio in the forest.

Introduction to the Baul musicians in the evening.

Private concert.

Eco-farming lodge.

Day 5

Khrishnanagar (Nodia)

3h by road. Morning free at the eco-lodge. Afternoon departure. Visit small temples on the way. Haveli hotel

Day 6

Khrishnanagar

Visit of a stone sculpture unit. Baul Ashram. Tantric initiation. Bengali meals at the Ashram. Haveli hotel.

Day 7

Krishnanager – Bangladesh border

1h30 by road.  Fakir Music and spirituality practices in the village. Meals with the artists.

Haveli hotel

Day 8

Vishnupur

Afternoon departure (4h).

Visit the terracotta temples at dusk.

Meals and night at the tourist lodge (government lodge)

Day 9

Purulia

2h30 by road. Visit the terracotta temples at dawn and surrounding villages. Ayodhya hills in Purulia. Installation at the ressort. Afternoon free for trekking in the Hill.

Day 10

Purulia

The performing village (1h30).

Full day in the village. Mask making. Craft introduction. Masked performance show.

Night at the ressort.

Day 11

Purulia – Calcutta

(5h). Installation at our guest house (south Kolkata)

Visit the market, art galleries, trip in old tramways.

Chinese diner.

Day 12

Calcutta

Visit the old city:  small Kali temples, Kumar Tuli area (the sculptors of deity) on the Ganga side, Howrah Bridge.

Late afternoon departure to our bengali guide studio.

Diner and concert in the studio.

Day 13

Calcutta

The colonial and cultural Kolkata: visit the Writers building, Great eastern hotel, St john church. Indian museum.

Lunch in College Street at one of the oldest Indian coffee house and visit of ICCR cultural center.

Free evening for shopping near the hotel.

Day 14

Departure

Breakfast and transfer to international airport.

 

Dates

December and january.

Price 

For a group of 6 persons minimum.

Price for one person based on a double occupancy in a room.

Included

The full board and lodging in double bedroom AC. Hotel, eco lodge, guest house (3* Indian standard).

A French cultural guide (trilingual french, english and bengali) and a bengali spiritual guide (musician and artisan).

The transports in AC mini tempo traveler, in auto rickshaw and cycle rickshaw.

The camera taxes in temples.

The donations to musicians, to the spiritual masters in the ashrams and to the mask performers (training and show).

The special permit for the restricted area of Purulia.

The tea breaks on the road side and in the artist’s studio.

The 5% for the developement fund.

Not included

The international flight ticket to India and visa.

Inscription fees.

The canceling insurance.

The drinks and personal water bottle while travelling.

The tips all the way for the hotels, restaurants, porters, drivers.