Birbhum is already famous for its red soil or Lal-Mati and is commonly known as Lal-Matir Desh.
The district is also famous for Santiniketan, in Bolpur, the place where the Vishwa-Bharati University, set up by the great poet and novelist Rabindranath Tagore, is located.
That being said, now it is also famous for another beautiful site known as Sonajhuri, which is only a few kilometers away from Santiniketan. It is a beautiful tourist attraction and an amazing relaxing place.
The main attraction of this place is its weekend two days fair or “Haat”, known as the Sonajhuri Haat or Sonibarer Haat.
In this article, you will get to know the following details about the Sonajhuri Haat, Bolpur:
Now let’s see each of these points in detail…
How much time does it take to reach Sonajhuri from Kolkata?
The visit to Sonajhuri was a very sudden one for us. The day we planned, just the next day we were there for a great weekend.
We were out at 7:00 in the morning and it took 2hrs 15 mins to reach and since we were in our car, it was an awesome road trip.
Enthu was at its peak. Again a new place and a few new discoveries and great joy. Oh yes, I was really excited.
Kolkata to Sonajhuri Haat Distance: About 180 km.
Where to stay at Shonajhuri Haat Khoai Mela?
As soon as we reached Sonajhuri, I could see the whole place covered with Sona Jhuri trees and they were looking amazing.
Amongst the trees, there was a ‘matir rasta’ to reach the hotels which actually were comfy and home looking.
We parked our car in front of our hotel which was a kilometer away from the place where people sit with their handmade goods.
We got a very comfy room with ac and an amazing view of the outside beauty. The room tariff was around Rs1200 per night.
What to Buy at Shonajhuri Haat Khoai Mela?
Beautiful ektaras, hand-made jewelry, leather & handloom bags, embroidered sarees, wooden home decor, and wooden household items, amazing wooden chairs, and other stuff, and a lot more which are beautiful and gorgeous.
Tons of junk jewelry, shawls, terracotta items like pots and plates, and spoons are some of the other things that you can buy at Shonajhuri Haat Khoai Mela.
The speciality of the Khoai Mela is that all the items are completely hand made and are sold at very reasonable prices.
Shonajhuri Haat Khoai Mela Timings
The timings of the Shonajhuri Haat is:
Saturday: 2PM- 6 PM
There are no specific timings. The above-mentioned timings are approx. The Mela starts around 1 PM-2 PM and goes on till sunset.
We stayed at the hotel and walked from there but we heard that if you are going by car try reaching there by around 2 PM as after that the police put a barricade near the fair and thus you have to keep your car outside the barricade and walk from there.
What to do at Shonajhuri Haat?
We were resting all throughout the afternoon and then decided to go to the handloom bazaar at 3:00.
Clicks after clicks were taken in my camera, the scenic beauty was mesmerizing. It was kind of a village amidst a large meadow which was actually not. We visited “a bazaar”.
The shopkeepers were sitting with their items in between the Sonajhuri trees.
There were handloom embroidered sarees, amazing earrings and necklaces, and many other jewels that were hand-made. There were tons of wooden household things as well.
The sun was realizing its orange energy, along with that the tribal people there were performing their age-old tribal dance, we were sipping in the tea in a ‘Vaar’.
An amazing feeling and atmosphere and the soothing relaxing resonation of flute in the air. That was an awesome experience, at least for me since I had never seen or experienced this before.
So many other tourists were dancing with them in the same rhythm, oh… I was also having this craving for dancing with them but was too tired to do so. So finally I decided to do the same the next day. Ah well, I had to because that was an amazing performance.
What to eat at Shonajhuri Haat Khoai Mela?
So now let’s come to the food there. As long as the food is concerned I am always excited about it. The fresh veggies, the freshwater fishes, that amazing rice, and oh, of course, the deshi ghee.
A proper authentic Bengali thali was served to us. The look was great as everything was served in terracotta utensils and the taste, of course, finger-licking and lip-smacking. One can get whatever type of Bengali dish they want to or crave to have.
Oh yes, and the slow-cooked chicken was delicious.
I remember having tea in a shop there, which was worth every penny. We also shopped a lot, since the price was low as compared to other handloom markets I have been to.
That night we had a sound sleep in that cozy bed of ours. And we were up early to feel and breathe the fresh air outside, which we generally don’t get in the cities. A morning walk in the soothing morning was a perfect one to begin the day with.
We were to leave the place in the afternoon, so we packed all of the things and went for breakfast.
A quick hearty Bengali meal was all I needed. Ah, amazing, I totally loved it. A bit more shopping was to get done.
As it was getting dark, I at the same time completed my last day’s craving. That was really amazing experience if I say.
A quick lunch was done and we were again on the road, ready to get back home. We were not there for too long but for whatever time we were there, I totally lived the moment and the place and the culture.
An amazing relaxing place, great food, great culture, and an awesome place to visit. That feeling of being at home away from home was too good. The people there are great with their amazing hospitality.
One can go with friends or family and can have a great weekend.
Some FAQs about Sonajhuri Haat, Shantiniketan
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All the images used in the blog are Copyright work of Swarnab Dutta and should not be used without permission.