Natungram is the hub of the wooden doll makers also known as 'Sutradhars' (narrator or story teller). Carved out of a single piece of wood, these dolls from ancient folklore and mythology are characterised by their vibrant colour and ethnic style. The owl, considered auspicious as the escort of the goddess of prosperity, Lakshmi, made by Natungram enjoys an iconic status among Bengal's handicraft.
Government of West Bengal's Department of Micro Smaal and Medium Enterprises & Textiles, in association with UNESCO, has developed Natungram as one of the Rural Craft Hubs of the state. WBKVIB has developed a Folk Art Centre in the village with lodging facility that is equipped with all basic amenities.
The artists collective will celebrate the 4th edition of their annual festival 'Wooden Doll Festival' on January 18 - 20, 2018.
Visitors at Natungram can witness the artist's at work, explore the Folk Art Centre to learn about the craft and its technique and learn the stories behind. While in Natungram, one must explore Kathiya Baba Ashram, stroll along Bhagirathi river and relax on the bank of Nimbarka Sarovar. One can also visit nearby temples in Agradweep, Nabadwip and Katwa. Know More »
Nearest railway station is Agradwip or Katwa. It is about 1.5 hours drive from Bardhaman or Santiniketan and takes 4 hours from Kolkata.
One can enjoy stay at the Folk Art Centre with well furnished lodging facilities and all basic amenities for guests. There are hotels in Katwa town too.
The double storied Resource Centre at Natungram has four rooms - two on the ground floor and two on the first floor. Each room can accommodate four persons. Guests can relish the traditional Indian cuisine at the artists' places. The centre also houses a saw mill and a workshop where the crafts men can be seen working. Craftsmen assemble here to work daily and the tourists can interact, watch them work, and can also make purchases.
Cut from a single piece of wood and characterised by their trademark ethnic designs and vibrant colours, the dolls of Natungram are the personification of the rural art of Bengal. There are about 60 families pursuing this traditional art form, where the men do the carving and chiseling while the women do the painting. While the village is known for its unique Owls, their Radha-Krishna and King-Queen dolls are also highly sought after.
Every year the artists of Natungram celebrate their tradition through a village fair in January. Their 'Wooden Doll Festival' will take place from January 18-20, 2019. One can enjoy the colourful folk festival at the time of village fair and also visit the place throughout the year to explore process of carving the wooden dolls.