DOKRA village of Bankura, BIKNA It was a fine morning of October(17th-2013) and we (Arnab Sarkar and Soumyabrata Sen ) took an early morning train from Santragachi. We were travelling to Bishnupur , with plans of exploring the Historic marvels of Bishnupur and Bankura. The train journey was remarkable and so was the first day of the tour. The Terracotta temples of Bishnupur kept us spellbound .But many more wonders were yet to come , and on the second day we witnessed the craftsmanship of the Dokra villegers of Bankura. The early morning bus dropped us to Bankura bus stand and from there it was a 20 minutes journey to Bikna. Bikna is one of the few villages of India where craftsman are practicing the age old tradition . THE PROCESS ******************** The main technique is called lost wax casting and is divided in two broad groups.Solid casting and hollow casting. At Bikna the hollow casting method is followed. Core-making: ***************** A clay core is made, slightly smaller than the final intended size of the artefact. The core may be hardened by firing or sun-drying; [caption id="attachment_840" align="aligncenter" width="300"] DOKRA _CORE_MAKING[/caption] Modelling: ***************** A detailed wax model is built up around the core, to the thickness of metal desired in the finished object; [caption id="attachment_842" align="aligncenter" width="300"] DOKRA_MODELLING[/caption][caption id="attachment_841" align="aligncenter" width="300"] DOKRA_MODELLING[/caption] Moulding: ************** The wax model is coated with a thin layer of very fine clay, which will form an impression of every detail of the model. When this layer is dry and hard, further layers of clay are added to the mould. One or more pouring channels are provided, through which molten metal can run to fill the mould;[caption id="attachment_843" align="aligncenter" width="300"] DOKRA MOULDING[/caption] De-waxing: **************** The mould is pre-heated to melt the wax, and the molten wax is poured out (it may be recovered for subsequent re-use). This leaves a cavity which has the exact size, shape and surface contours of the intended artefact;[caption id="attachment_844" align="aligncenter" width="300"] DOKRA KILNS[/caption] Casting: *************** Molten metal is poured into the cavity and the mould left to cool; Finishing: **************** The artefact is broken out of the mould. Traces of baked clay are removed and surface blemishes and defects repaired. [caption id="attachment_845" align="aligncenter" width="300"] DOKRA FINISHING[/caption][caption id="attachment_846" align="aligncenter" width="300"] DOKRA FINISHING[/caption][caption id="attachment_847" align="aligncenter" width="300"] DOKRA[/caption] HOW TO REACH ********************** Bikna is situated to the North of Bankura. It is a 20 minutes bus journey. Bankura can be reached from kolkata via bus and train service. WHERE TO STAY *********************** There are few good hotels and homestays. You can contact 9804285815/8100950366/8017616136 for any kind of assistance. ** Acknowledgement The Dhokra Artisans of Bankura and Dariapur, West Bengal: A Case Study and Knowledge Archive of Technological Change in Progress D Smith, R Kochhar....




Sundarban tour

My sleepy quartet of friends met in the backpacker's paradise of Sudder Street in Kolkata a warm Friday morning, coming from separate corners of the city for our Heritage Travellers Sunderbans tour. We were quickly introduced to our guides for the day, and given a tasty breakfast of sandwiches and chai as we piled in to a big van, making small talk with our other travel-buddies. The drive took as through the length of the EM Bypass which skirts by the east of this chaotic city, picking up more travelers from a stop in the south. Then we sped along by factories, fish farms, and towering brick kilns. The air became cleaner, sticky with the promise of the sea. Finally, after a pair of hours, we approached the end of the road and boarded a colorful, beautiful boat with benches and carpets on which we lounged for the last leg of our trip to the Eco Lodge where we would stay. We passed around cookies from one of the best bakeries in Kolkata, swapped introductions, and settled in to home for the weekend. ....




Orange Festival 2014

The orange corridore is ready. Meet new friends, eat new foods, know new culture. All are welcome ....