Journey into East India, where the cities are cultural capitals and the countryside is the keeper of tradition. Discover ancient crafts at their source, and explore the untouched wilderness for some truly magical experiences.
In the bylanes of Kolkata, Kumartuli is a potter’s village where the maze of alleys are home to goddesses. Durga Puja is the region’s biggest festival, celebrated with great fervour and lavish displays around the city. And it is the craftsmen of Kumartuli who craft the idols of the Goddess Durga in all her glory. For months before the festival, the lanes of this neighbourhood are abuzz with potters as they craft exquisite creations out of simple clay. Explore this vibrant quarter, see idols in their different stages of completion, watch craftsmen as they create the most intricate designs and bring Bengal’s most revered goddess to life.
With a rich legacy of handloom weaving, Bengal silk sarees are some of the finest in the country. Painstakingly handwoven by skilled weavers, each creation is a work of art. Visit Tantipara, a village of silk weavers, to meet a community that keeps this age-old art form alive. Watch as fine mulberry and muslin silk is woven on a foot-operated loom and visit weavers in their studios to see how they create traditional motifs on the fabric. Interact with the community and learn how Murshidabad became a renowned centre of the textile industry during the colonial era.
In the delta where the Ganges meets the sea lies a vast wilderness, where mudflats and mangrove forests shift with the tides. Narrow channels of water snake between the densely forested islands. In the water, crocodiles and river dolphins find a suitable habitat, but the star of these parts is the most elusive of creatures - the Royal Bengal Tiger. Cruise along the water on a boat, gliding along narrow creeks and past lush river islands to explore this vast mangrove forest. Peer into the foliage, and if you’re lucky, you might just spot the striped cat.