Kushmandi's (a village in Dinajpur) annual festival of mask dancing and folk fair Mukha Mela is back, again. If you haven't heard of it or been here before, then save this weekend (Oct 26-28) for a short trip here. A festival of dancing masks (also known as Gomira), Mukha Mela is a rural folk fair that brings together the wooden and bamboo maskers, pottery artists, basket weavers and other rural craft experts from Kushmandi and its adjoining areas. Blooming under the patronage of UNESCO, be here to pick masks (they are all collector's items) and witness the Gomira dance as men wear masks to please the gods and ward off evil from the community. The dance is part of the ritualistic dance forms in Bengal and the east that worships the primordial, feminine energies of Adi-Shakti and Shiva. What is interesting is that the dancers are all male, mostly carpenters, farmers and craftsmen. And there are no vocal or oral parts in the dance.
Indie Masquerade: This UNESCO-Sponsored Mask Dance Festival Is A Must Attend This Weekend
26 Oct 2018 - 28 Oct 2018
How's The Venue
Kushmandi is a small crafts village in Dinajpur. The nearest railway station is Kaliagunj, from here Kushmandi, Mahishbathan is 17 kilomtres. You can also reach the place from Malda (get there via local train or drive down) by road – it takes two hours. You can stay at the PWD bungalow at Balurghat, the district headquarters of Dakshin Dinajpur.
Free for all to attend.
Make A Note
In case you want to travel with a group, you can try connecting to TourEast who are organising day trips to Kushmandi for all three days (Oct 26-28).