Purulia trip: After the Meghalaya trip full of trek and caving, my next trip was lazying around Ajodhya hills of the Purulia district of Bengal. While Meghalaya was a crazy place, the friends, I went with, to Purulia were crazy! Such craze, enthusiasm and energy is something this IT employee misses while sitting in front of the monitor working all day. Needless to say, they are incredible photographers themselves.
Square frames: Square frames are interesting me a bit too much. In the social media, the square frame comes in handy to communicate information and fast message. This is some desperate attempt to square framing.
Purulia – the weekend destination.
I thought of adding this bit of information as I believe people might be interested to give this place a visit. There can be multiple reasons why you would like to visit Purulia. First this is the place of the traditional (and popular masked dance) called Chhau. Purulia and Chhau has been synonymous since long. If you are a photographer and you happen to come across Mahadev Lal Barai or Santosh Rajgarhia, you know how beautiful this district is through their photographs. If you love nature, love culture, love folk art … Purulia is the easiest weekend destination for you.
The name Purulia also brings with it threats of Maoists, most of which does not exist. Since you know I’ve come back and blog posting about it, you know I am safe and alive!
There are MANY trains from Kolkata to Purulia. Prefer a one where you can sleep the entire night. You’ll reach Purulia at around 6 AM. The car you’ll take will drive you through the roads crossing fields, brooks where buffaloes are bathed, trees, curious people looking at you. Just the kind of bucolic village scene you must have drawn in your childhood copy.
And yes, it has small hills as well. The Ayodhya hills! En-route, you shall find some really incredible landscape, and example of which is given above. With the chill of the wind, the cloud and the serenity there, it was nothing less than a calming heaven.
We were blessed with such incredible fog. Although I had this bunch of young people sitting with/behind me, fully enthusiastic about it and their trip, I managed to fall asleep. (My entire idea of this Purulia trip was to sleep. Sleep as much as I could have slept.) I woke up to see a herd of cows blocking the road. When we (Rajatabha and me) tried to photograph it, we almost became the target of an angry ox !
A frame with the lovers (really not) the fog, made this seem to be the best lover’s spot!
What followed next is a series of photo shoot, stopping the car at almost every possible place. Rajatabha, Shilpa and their team is extremely enthusiastic and creative. They were trying different things out, when I dozed off again.
Another of such Parab (festival / occasion) is to paint their home exteriors with mud and then create designs on it using chalk and organic colour. Their homes are small huts, with thatched roof, often accompanying a piece of agricultural land.
We reached Purulia during the last week of October. November 6th was the full moon day and was the time for the design to happen.
The designs range from huge wall paintings to simple hand prints, as you can see in the photograph above.
In this photograph, the lady is applying a layer of mud on her hut. 7 days after this ritual, during the next full moon, designs are drawn on the hut walls.
Following are a few photographs shot on the top of Ajodhya hills. It was raining that time and I had hardly photographed anything.
Word of caution: If you are planning to take someone who is old or has knee joint or spine pain, please do not.
A painter paints the face of a mask in Bagmundi, Purulia.
Preparation of a Chhau mask in Purulia.
The smiling lady.
The welcoming and not so welcoming goats!
Who are you?
Keeping all the square frames seemed so weird. So here are some of the photographs keeping conventional aspect ratios.
The herd of cows that blocked our way!
The women carrying logs on their heads down the hill.
I’m very sure, not many friends in Kolkata know about this place. This is the secret place where I might do my next photo shoot. Details কেন বলবো? Hahaha.
One of the water falls. Small, powerful and majestic.
An workshop of the Chhau mask makers. I wish to visit this place again to shoot them, with time.
And the cows to end this post!
Do let me know if you like the photographs. And if you love the photographs do not forget to *SHARE* this blog post with your friends. Thank you.