Photo story: The Charak Mela in Kolkata

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Home » Photo story » Photo story: The Charak Mela in Kolkata

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The Charak Mela traces its roots back to ancient Bengal, where it originated as a festival dedicated to the worship of the Hindu deity Shiva. Historically, it symbolized sacrifice and devotion, with participants engaging in acts of self-mortification as expressions of their faith.

The philosophy behind self-mortification in the context of Charak Mela revolves around the belief in the purification of the body and soul through enduring pain and suffering, ultimately leading to spiritual enlightenment and liberation. In various parts of West Bengal, Charak Mela is celebrated with regional variations, each reflecting the unique cultural practices and customs of the locality.

In rural areas, the festival often involves elaborate processions, music, and dance, accompanied by rituals performed by local priests. Devotees participate in acts of extreme pain, such as piercing their bodies with needles or hanging from a pole, as part of their devotion to Shiva and the fulfillment of vows.

In Kolkata, Charak Mela holds a special significance, attracting thousands of devotees and spectators from across the city and beyond.

The festival is typically held at Chhatubabu Bazar, where the streets come alive with vibrant colours, music, and fervent devotion. Charak Mela in Kolkata serves as a testament to the enduring spiritual traditions and cultural heritage of Bengal, captivating visitors with its mystique and reverence.

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