“A cup of tea, tastes sweeter in nice company,
A world of colour, blushes more with a rainbow like me...”
Like a sunny patch of grass on a chilly winter day,
Like a basket of assorted exotic fruits,
Like a colourful ribbon on a damsel's plait,
Like the fragrance of an exotic spice...
Like all this and more, the village of Ballavpur Danga will charm you to bits! Situated in the east of India, in the state of West Bengal, this tribal land is artistically inspired and naturally endowed.
Tribal repertoire meets its veterans in the Santhali tribe, who proactively preserve their art and craft tradition, as is reflected in the dwellings. The distinct thatched houses made of mud, gravel and fibers, and coloured in tones of white, black and ochre, flank the principal village street. Terracotta murals on the walls depict a deep love for nature. Tribal dancers sway to the rhythmic beats of the madal, a traditional musical instrument, while Adivasi (tribal) myths and legends are articulated in song and recitation.
An encounter with the Santhalis and their region is an educative experience as well. Yonder by is Shantiniketan (6 km), which is the seat of Bangla literature, music and learning, and also the celebrated home of Nobel laureates, Rabindranath Tagore and Amartya Sen. Apart from being culturally endowed, Ballavpur Danga is the epitome of Bengal's rustic beauty as well.