Fairs and Festivals are like a breath of fresh air that provides relief from the drudgery of everyday existence. Indians in particular are very fond of mirth and merry making. The Kenduli Mela is a fair held in Kenduli, birth place of the famous poet Jaidev in the Birbhum district of West Bengal. Kenduli is at a distance of about 42 km from serene Shantiniketan, Rabindranath Tagore's abode of peace.
The Kenduli Mela in Birbhum is most well known for the gathering of the Bauls, a group of mystic minstrels. They are the bearers of a unique musical tradition, who are identified by their saffron attire and distinctive musical instrument, the Ektara. They have the proud distinction of being included in the list of "Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity" by UNESCO.
The Baul community earns their livelihood by singing. The most interesting characteristic of their songs is that they convey profound philosophical view points of life using simple expressions. They dexterously use inoffensive expressions in place of the ones considered offensive and yet succeed in evincing their view point. You have the scope to listen to them if you visit the Kenduli Mela in Birbhum.
The Kenduli Mela in Birbhum gives you the wonderful opportunity to hear to the music of these wandering minstrels who believe in the simplicity of love and life. You are sure to be impressed by their magnetic performances.
The Kenduli Mela in Birbhum is held on the occasion of Makar Sankranti. This occurs each year in mid January. You are sure to enjoy this premiere festival of the Bauls who are indeed cultural assets of the land.