The most popular annual festival of Bengal is celebrated in honor of Lord Krishna and his eternal love Sri Radhika.
The Rash Festival is observed to memorize the glorious days of Lord Krishna in Vrindyavan spent with Shri Radhikaji deeply lost in their perpetual love.
The Rash Yatra is mainly celebrated in northern parts of Bengal but these days also observed in different cities of the state. The popular procession called Rash Yatra, is the main attraction for tourists, the yatra features clay models which depicts the deeds and various phases of Lord Krishna’s life.
Nowadays the festival has taken the form of communal celebrations while in older days was only limited to royal families.
These days also during the time of Rash Mela, Rajbari the palace of Cooch Behar is festooned beautifully and adorns a jovial appearance all around the palace retaining the imperial customs and traditions. The month-long fair is the biggest festival of the region and thousands of people from across the state participate.
Visitors from distant places reach at Cooch Behar to witness the carnival. Many cultural programs are organized which provide platform for singers, dancers and musicians all over the west Bengal along with this many renowned artists of the state are also invited to perform during the month long festival.
Besides the cultural activities festival also presents various stalls of delicacies to pamper taste buds of the visitors. Popular Bengali sweets like Rasogolla, Jilipi, Goja and many other Bengali dishes can be experienced at these stalls. Fair also provides the rich collection of local handicrafts and different products for sale.
Rash Mela at Dublar chor
is a 200 year old annual festival honoring the Hindu God Lord Krishna. Every year its held on “Rash Purnima” (Rash Full Moon) which was 1st of November. This date varies year to year depending of the lunar cycle determined by the Hindu astrologers.
Dublar island famous and infamous as well. The cyclone those hits bay of Bengal mostly ends up hitting this area. Its in the southern edge of the great Sundarbans inhabited by seasonal fishermen who lives there few months of the year. There is no regular transportation system to go there. Only way to reach there is by boat. And safest time would be during winter when the sea is calm.
The fair on the Dubla island was started in 1923 by Hari Bhajan, a disciple of Thakur Hari Chand. The life of Hari Bhajan was very extraordinary. During his stay in Sundarbans for twenty four years, he lived on the fruits of the forest. He had many disciples in nearby villages. One of his notable works was to start the Dubla Rash Mela during the Rash Purnima. To celebrate the occasion and keep alive the memory of Thakur Hari Chand, the devotees, especially the fishermen of the Sundarbans, organise this five-day fair.
This year estimated 100 thousand people attended this festival. I have seen many foreign photographers. Common lens was canon 70-200. In this picture, the night before the festival, you can see the entrance of the fair, people under moon light roaming around the beach, saying prayers and buying gifts for their families.
Time for celebration
The month long carnival of Rash Festival is very popular in the country and attracts tourists from far long places. Large number of crowd reaches Cooch Behar for witnessing the fun filled occasion of Rash Festival. Rash Festival is celebrated for a month time in the month of December.