Charida

Charida

Charida

Purulia is a pied panorama of nature, people, culture and heritage. It is the land of the spectacular Chau dance inscribed in the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2010. Chau is a colorful, martial mask dance of eastern India. Nearly 180 families of Chau mask makers live in Charida village. This has evolved as a major Tourism destination for art lovers, both for workshop/ demonstration and also to procure souvenirs/ gifts directly from the source. They hold the annual mela in winter also. Charida also holds the Geographical Indication (GI) for the Chau Mask art form. Know More »

How to reach?

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Nearest railway station is Barabhum or Purulia. Charida is 36 Kms away from Barabhum station. It is about 7 hours drive from Kolkata.

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Where to stay

Where to stay?

One can go on their own and stay at their own choice. Possible nearby simple stay arrangement at 1) Aanglna in Charida Village (Pinaki: 9732057183). 2) Balarampur Chau Resource Centre (Prabir Banerjee:9647500705 ). 3) Nimdih Gandhi Ashram. (Moumita: 8420106396).

Resources

The artists in Charida have formed a collective called Chau Mukhosh Shilpi Sangha. There is a resource centre at Charida also. The resource centre has a workshop space in the ground floor. The village has shops from where Chau Masks can be purchased.

A story of rejuvenation

Chau dance is believed to be over a century old practice. It is the lifestyle art form of this area. The lives of the bearers of this tradition have been intrinsically linked with the jungles they dwelled. With time and an ever changing landscape where human habitations took over the jungles, the dance form went through the crisis of the changing context. Nuances of the dance form like tiger, monkey or deer dance steps were almost forgotten. Thankfully, the efforts of the local exponents have achieved the desired results of reviving the lost traditions. Chau Masks of Charida have been witness to this crisis and evolution. Traditionally the masks mainly portrayed mythological figures like goddess Durga, Ganesh and Demons. They also depicted animal and bird heads like peacock, tiger, monkey, lion etc. But these days they are also creating home décor and lifestyle items.