(Last Updated on : 15/09/2015)
Kenduli fair is a celebration of Baul music
, an ancient music tradition, in the land of red soil, Birbhum district
of West Bengal
. Celebrated every year in the month of January on the occasion of Makar Sankranti
, Kenduli fair is organized in Jaydev Kenduli
, a village situated at the bank of Ajay River
. The place is also considered as the birthplace of renowned poet Jayadeva
. Birbhum district is believed to be the native land of Bauls
and thus the place hosts the three day festival, from 14th to 16th January, to showcase the rich musical tradition of this community. Birbhum district also forms the home to several other folk culture groups including kirtaniyas
, kabiyals and many more and thus serves as a destination where confluence of different cultures of the east can be witnessed.
Bauls are the mystic minstrels from Bengal who wander along different lands for propagating their ancient musical tradition through soulful renditions. This group of people are mostly Sufi
Muslims or Vaishnava
Hindus by religion but their philosophy focuses on the concept of universal love devoid of religious barriers. Their music is the celebration of celestial love in earthy terms and depiction of love through their songs rules out any religious influence. Dressed in their distinctive saffron attire, Bauls are always accompanied by a musical instrument known as 'Ektara
'. They lead a wandering ascetic life and their entire livelihood depends on singing. Music is the ultimate religion for the people belonging to this community and they travel along places for propagating their ideas through music.
Although they comprise a very small Bengali population, their impact can be witnessed prominently on the eastern culture. In the year 2005, UNESCO had included the Baul tradition in the list of "Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity
". The most significant name in this community who popularized Baul music greatly is Lalon Fakir
Attractions of Kenduli Fair
Kenduli fair serves as a wonderful opportunity to cherish this exquisite tradition of Bengal and experiencing the simplicity of this community. Every year, a large number of people gather at Kenduli fair to witness a part of the rich culture of rural India. Non stop performances of Baul music for three days are the most alluring feature of this fair. The folk culture of the district beautifully reflects through the songs and philosophy of the Bauls. Apart form this, a vast variety of local handicrafts in stalls also form significant attraction of this fair. It also offers a chance to pamper the taste buds by enjoying various local cuisines. During this fair, a festive spirit hovers around the village making the event a memorable experience.
Nearest railways station for reaching Kenduli fair is Bolpur station in Shantiniketan
which is well connected with regular rail services from the city of Kolkata
. Bus service connects Bolpur to Jaydev Kenduli in just two hours. The village can also be reached through local transport form Durgapur
. Very basic accommodation is provided during the fair. People often camp around the site however it may not be a convenient option owing to the cold weather. Accommodation is offered by the villagers, Ashrams and Shantiniketan.