The biggest and oldest fair of Durgapur began yesterday (January 1) on the occasion of “Kalpataru Utsav”. The ten-day long Durgapur Kalpataru Mela is held every year at the Gammon Friends’ ground near Durgapur railway station from the first day of New Year.
Kalpataru Day also called Kalpataru Diwas or Kalpataru Utsav is an annual religious festival observed by the followers and disciples of Hindu religious preacher Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. Though the observances are held in many locations, the most significant celebration takes place at Cossipore Garden House or Udyanbati near Kolkata, present Ramakrishna Math and at the famed Kali Temple at Dakshineshwar in Kolkata. Durgapur may not be directly linked with the life of Ramkrishna, but his teachings do have. Durgapur has huge followers of Thakur Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and it was at their initiative that Kalpataru fair which began in sixties is continuing uninterrupted every year.
According to legend, on January 1, 1886, Thakur Ramakrishna who was suffering from throat cancer at that time entered into an “ecstatic state” while on a walk in the garden. As he touched his followers, they reported experiencing a variety of new states of consciousness, including vivid visions. One disciple, Ramachandra Dutta, explained that Ramakrishna had, in effect become Kalpataru the “wish-fulfilling tree” of Hindu mythology.
To commemorate this divine incident Kalpataru Mela (Fair) is held every year as a part of Kalpataru Utsav. On the very beginning day yesterday, the Durgapur Kalpataru Mela witnessed an unprecedented rush of people. The Gammon Friends’ ground adjacent to DPL Township was packed with men, women and children in colourful dresses.
Book fair and Agricultural fair (Krishi Mela) is the prime attraction of Durgapur Kalpataru Mela. Incidentally the book fair here is the oldest of its kind in the entire district. Renowned publishers from Kolkata put up their book stalls every year. Cultural event is held on all the days inside the book fair, adds to the attraction of the fair.
Krishi Mela or Agriculture Fair adjacent to the main ground is another major attraction of the fair. Not only the agriculturist join the fair but a large section of people who have a passion for gardening hops the stalls curiously for rare kinds of flower and fruit seeds and plants. The huge pumpkin, gourd or banana will make you wonder-struck.
Another major attraction of the Durgapur Kalpataru Mela is the two beetle shops serving ice-cold beetle. In this fair you will find stall of virtually everything. However, food stalls selling various kinds of “Fish Fry” draws huge crowd.
In this age when people prefer to shop in malls and showrooms, Durgapur Kalpataru Mela has been able to keep its age old charm and attraction intact. People from not only Durgapur, but from adjoining areas of Andal, Asansol, Panagarh, Galsi, Pandaveshwar, Budbud, Barjora, Beliatore comes in large number in this fair.