Chhander Gram is situated in Beliatore at 21 kilometers from the north-east direction of the bus route to Bankura-Durgapur and Bardhaman. Chhander Gram primarily derives its significance by being the birthplace of famous Indian painter Jamini Roy (1887-1972), who has also been awarded with the prestigious Padma Bhushan in the year 1955. Ramkinkar Beij, one of the pioneers of modern Indian sculpture was born in Jogipara (or Yogipara) of Bankura. The legendary Bengali novelist, Shamaresh Basu had documented the life of Ramkinkar Beij in his novel “Dekhi Nai Phire” (meaning Haven’t Looked Back).
The court poets and artists of the Malla kings used to live here. It is believed that the village “Chhanda” derives its name from these “Chhandakars” (meaning poets or artists in Bengali). However, there are conflicting views regarding the origin of the name as well. Some opine that the name is taken from “Chandrahaar”.
Utpal Chakravarty— a professor in the 1970s, with the help of the local organization, had initiated the creation of a place which is filled with the fond memories of the artists mentioned above. In order to inspire folk art and make the tourists aware of the iconic creations of Roy and Beij, they have helped in the creation of permanent folk arts fair. Set amidst the backdrop of clear blue skies atop the red clay, this fair is your quintessential taste of the rural purity. While the walls are adorned with careless brush strokes, there are intricate designs gracing the floor.
Visit the artistic zone set amidst the forestry area situated at a walking distance from the Chaander bus stand. Adorned with beautiful sculpture and decorative paintings (alpona in Bengali) is “Khiroprasad Vidyavinodh Manch”. The statues of Jamini Roy and Ramkinkar Beij adorn an area, situated a bit far from it. Just below these statues are the Ram Kinkar Bhavan and Jamini Roy Bhavan with collections of folk arts and expressionist arts.
Where to stay
You can visit the famous Beliatore – 3 kms away as well. You can take an auto or rickshaw to take a round of this place while on your way to Beliatore. You can stay at the “Bon Bungalow” of Beliatore. Beliatore is a census town in the Bankura district in West Bengal with a sparse population of 6,463, as per 2011 census (with 51% males and 49% females). Make sure that you aren’t giving this iconic place a miss while on your visit to Bankura.
In order to book the bungalow you can contact or get in touch with the DFO of the northern Division. Here are the details:
DFO- North Division