Nanoor, located between two rivers Ajay and Mayurakshi, is known for the old terracotta temples of Pala and Sena Dynasty. The nearest railway station is Bolpur (Santiniketan) from where Nanoor is 18 km away and Bolpur is well connected by train from Howrah (2.5 hours journey). One can also reach the place from Kolkata in 4 hours by car.
Nanoor block is the hub of the Kantha craftspersons. Around 2,000 women from this block are engaged in doing Kantha stitch embroidery which has provided them an important income option. A number of women acknowledge that they have been able to overcome poverty and girls can pursue education. Young girls are very interested in learning and pursuing Kantha stitching as livelihood. The women making Kantha embroidery products at Nanoor are largely from poor Muslim families. While the older women lack literacy, there are many young girls and women who are continuing their study and pursuing Kantha as a livelihood.
Nanoor is believed to be the home to the famous 15th century poet Chandidas who proclaimed that humanity was above all. The story of his love for Rami, is a much talked about one till date. The Visalaksmi temple and the Shiva temples are remarkable piece of architecture for the terracotta work on them. Santiniketan, the university town created by Bengal’s greatest poet and thinker Rabindranath Tagore is around 20 kms away. Santiniketan is a popular destination for Heritage Tourism. Poush Mela around Christmas time and Dol Utsav are famous here. Kankalitala, located near Santiniketan, is a revered Hindu temple where according to myth, a part of Sati's body fell. The banks of the Kopai river is a wonderful retreat for the tourists. The unique landforms at Khowai are a visitor’s delight. The local weekend market at Sonajhuri of the marvellous crafts of the area is a shopper’s delight.
Kantha artists of Nanoor celebrate a village festival called Kantha Mela every year at the middle of October. The second edition of the festival took place on October 14-16, 2016. There are other festivals and fairs in and around the area that attract a lot of tourists. Festivals like Poush Mela in Santiniketan in the month of December, Basanta Utsav / Spring Festival in Santiniketan, Baul Mela in Kenduli in the month of January, Magh Mela in Santiniketan are known to the tourists and make way to showcase a wide array of rural crafts.
Kantha Mela at Nanoor
Folk performance at Kantha Mela
Women stitching Kantha at their house
Santiniketan is a famous tourist destination
Proprietor: Cooperative Society
Afrunnesha Begum, Secretary of Kulia tantubay Samabay Mahila Samity
Address: Kulia Tantubay Samabay Mahila Samity
Around 600 Kantha artists of Nanoor are covered under Rural Craft Hub project and organised themselves under a collective known as “Kulia Tantubay Samabay Mahila Samity” at Gopdihi. The Samity has a building with common work facilities, a retail outlet and guest accommodation. The annual festival of the Kantha artists “Kantha Mela” is also organised by the Samity.
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