Handicrafts Stores

Khoai Mela

locationKabi Mohanpur

    Stock Up On Clothes & Handicrafts At This Weekend Mela Held In A Forest In Shantiniketan

    Vrinda posted on 29 January

    Shortcut

    Head out to this weekly haat for kantha saris and fabrics to leather bags, jewelry, music instruments, and even local, organic produce.

    What Is It?

    Khoai Mela {or ‘Shonibarer Haat‘ as it is popularly known} is a weekly afternoon bazaar set up by local artisans in Shantiniketan. It takes place on Saturdays in the khoai region, which is a natural canyon caused by the effect of wind and water erosion. This mela is scattered over a vast dry forest area, the stalls nestles alongside the sonajhuri {acacia auriculiformis} trees. “Sonajhuri” means “drops of gold” and the trees are so named because in winter, they shed brilliant yellow-gold flowers.

    Why Should I Go?

    This mela is famous for Birnhum handicrafts which are sold at wholesale prices by the craftsmen themselves {so please don’t bargain}. This is the season to be there as you will come across live baul music and dances every 100 meters.

    Tell Me More

    There’s a lot you can pick up here — from Bengal’s famous kantha stitch blouse and kurta pieces to kantha bags {starting from INR 150}, stoles and saris. If you love khadi, you can pick up tons of nice kurtas in bright solids, stripes sand prints for the summer {for a mere INR 200 each}. Another summer fave — wraparound skirts — are for INR 350-500.

    They have jewelry in every form and design {wooden, terracotta, stones} starting just at just INR 50 for earrings and INR 100-300 for neckpieces. I loved the leather jewelry boxes {for INR 250 to 450 for the big ones}. They come in all shapes {octagons, round and square} with Shantiniketan’s world-famous leather crafting, embossed batik work and traditional patterns. You must pick up a few of the the papier mache items like the masks and items for house decor.

    How Can I Get There?

    You have a number of options — via road, bus or trains.  I took the Kolkata Haldibari Express which dropped me to Bolpur station in two and a half hours.  A ticket costs just INR 100!

    Anything Else?

    There are many options between hotels, homestays and resorts. But during the peak season {December to February}, it’s better to book ahead of time. Shakuntala is a fine example of what it’s like to be in a traditional Bengali mud house and one of Shantiniketan’s best stay options.  The restaurant is run by a local family and offers unlimited food with veg and non-veg combinations of authentic Bengali cuisine at INR 200 and 300. It is situated very close to the Khaoi Mela and is a famous pit stop for tea and lunch for weary shoppers. For more acco options, check here, here and here.

    More Information

    Handicrafts Stores

    Khoai Mela

      Location Details
      locationKabi Mohanpur

      Khoai Boner Hat, Amar Kutir Road, Santiniketan, Kabi Mohanpur, West Bengal

        Handicrafts Stores

        Khoai Mela

        locationKabi Mohanpur