M3 Features

Bishnupur on the global tourist map

January 19, 2015

Pacotille, a show with handheld human-sized puppets made from old newspapers by French theatre company, Crea will be seen in Bishnupur this week as part of an effort to put up the town on the global tourist map. The show is organised by Alliance Francaise Du Bengale and FREED, a city-based NGO, in association with the Department of Tourism, Government of West Bengal.

The town, famous for its terracotta temples and balucheri sarees, has several such monuments which stand testimony to the exquisite craftsmanship of the artisans of the region. The area houses the heritage school of music called the Bishnupur Gharana. The town celebrates several unusual festivals like the snake festival in August, Ulto Rath festival and the winter season festival during the month of December.

Tourists from different parts of the world generally visit Darjeeling, Kolkata, Digha, but not lesser-known places like Bishnupur which is hailed a 'Temple Town' for its beautiful temples, says the Director, Alliance Française du Bengale.

Speaking on the occasion, the Director and Pacotille puppeteer said that the show is tax-free and can be enjoyed by people from different parts of the world as it's a play of music and visual effects.

The group, apart from performing in Bishnupur, will be performing the show in several other cities, namely, Pune, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Pondicherry and Kathmandu in Nepal, as part of their month-long programme.

Secretary of FREED said, "We want to showcase the unique terracotta temple heritage of Bishnupur. We also want to highlight Balucheri, Dokra handicrafts of Bishnupur to the foreign tourists. This puppet show also serves as a platform to connect people and their cultures."

The idea of putting Bishnupur on the global tourist map will generate income for the local artisans and other people, apart from promoting lesser-known places of the state.

The schedule includes a group of overseas tourists to be taken to Bishnupur to have a feel of the local handicrafts and culture.

Bishnupur can be reached both by train and by bus. It is only a 5-hour drive (about 150 km) from Kolkata and regular buses, taxis, and trains from Howrah are available.

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