Day 4 – Krishnanagar visit to sculptors studios, local artists & former Indigo Estate
- Walk to Ghurni, the village where potter’s, idol makers and sculptor’s live and work. Exchange with local artists.
- Walk to Rajbari – Krishna Chandra Roy’’s magnificent palace.
- We are joined by pupils from Krishnanagar Academy for a small procession.
According to 1968’s History of Bengal: Mughal period, 1526-1762, Krishnachandra was “the most important man of the period in the Hindu society of Bengal.” He is credited not only with his resistance to the Mughal rule, but with his expansion of and patronage of the arts in his kingdom.
- Late afternoon visit to Balakhana built by an indigo planter, nearly 200 years ago. Meet family owner Ranodhir Palchoudhuri and hear of the Indigo Revolt – Nilbidroha, a peasant movement and subsequent uprising of indigo farmers against the indigo planters that arose in Bengal in 1859
- Stay in Krishnanagar. The evening exchange will focus on the Silk River project in Southend.
To book and for more details
Partner: The Krishnanagar Academy
Claimed to be named after Krishna Chandra Ray, this town on the banks of the Jalangi river, was an important centre for culture and literature. On the walking programme in December 2017 we will visit Krishnanagar, but before heading there, we will stop at Maheshganj and visit Balakhana. Balakhana is a beautiful mansion erected by a French indigo planter nearly 200 years ago, around the time when indigo trade was flourishing in this part of the country.
A short boat ride away is Ghurni, a neighbourhood of clay artists. They use the clay from the river and are proficient in making clay sculptures, ranging from realistic miniatures to life size statues. It is said that Krishnachandra Ray, being a connoisseur of the arts, had set up this artists neighbourhood, by inviting a few talented clay artists. It is also said that he began the tradition of Jagadhatri Puja, which is still celebrated with grandeur.
A magnificent example of grand architecture can be seen in Ghurni, in the Roman Catholic Church which is 130 years old. The most imposing building in this region however is the Rajbari, the palace built during the reign of Krishna Chandra Ray, which would have also been the place where the legendary court jester Gopal Bhand entertained the Maharaja. The star attraction is a set of old canons used in Plassey. Legend has it they were gifted by Lord Clive to Krishnachandra.