A visit to Dariyapur – the Dokra village

by Oct 4, 2016Art & Culture, India Art & Culture, Weekend Getaways from Kolkata, West Bengal7 comments

In our previous post, we shared about the finesse and uniqueness of the Dokra craft. We had the opportunity to visit one such craft village of West Bengal – Dariyapur near Guskara in the Barddhaman district. Dariyapur is a small village having around 30 families of artisans practicing the dokra craft. Dariyapur was hosting the Dokra fair with the help of Banglanatak dot com and West Bengal tourism.

Dariyapur

Crafts on display at the Dokra fair

Dariyapur village is really beautiful. Walking slowly beside the vast stretches of paddy fields, we were thrilled to see so much greenery. Not only that, all our tiredness vanished breathing the fresh air of the village. At one side of the road were the green vistas – the crop gently dancing in the mild breeze. The other side of the road had orchards and village dwellings.

Dariyapur

Look at the green fields – soothing to the eyes

The fair was a grand affair for these few villagers. They had displayed all their items for the visitors to see.  The villagers were all of the Karmakar castes and their craftsmanship is indeed notable.

We were very warmly welcomed by one such family, Mangal Karmakar who took us to his house and displayed their craft to us. There were such beautiful artifacts with intricate and vivid designs. All the members of the family are involved in making the craft. Mangalda’s son also helped him in making these pieces of art. He was quite young, barely 12 years of age, but the articles that he made were simply beautiful.

Dariyapur

One such Karmakar house displaying their product

They showed us around the village. We went around gaping and looking at the dokra crafts. We were simply mesmerized seeing these beauties. The village had a kiln where they bake the moulds. There was an old kiln which is open and there is a newer one which is closed and less polluting. The villagers are now using the new kiln as it emits lesser smoke.

Dariyapur

The new kiln is helping the villagers

These artisans had been in oblivion for long. The cost of production of these crafts is high, so the prices are kept high. But often, they are forced to see at low prices. “It takes three days to make a single product”, says one of the craftsmen. And there is no use of machinery. Also, a single mould is used for a single product only. Overall, turning the brass into this exquisite piece of artwork requires a lot of sweat and work besides skill and concentration.

Dariyapur

These little jewels are made by a little champ of the village

Nowadays these artisans are getting recognized because of the efforts of some organization and the government. These organizations are now helping these villagers to contact the sellers directly without the intervention of middlemen. This way they can have better margins. With their help, these products have been displayed all over India now. But there is still a long way to go.

Dariyapur

A craft displayed

The villagers were all a friendly lot. They greeted us with such warmth and happiness that you will feel that you are not away from home. It was the last day of the fair and a community lunch was arranged for all the villagers. There was chaos all around and amidst this chaos and confusion, the youngsters of the village were arranging for the lunch.

A wonderful day was spent at an equally wonderful place. Dariyapur is a great place to visit if you want a slice of village life and want to see the craftsmen at work. There is also a community centre that provides accommodation at very low cost. Around 6-8 people can be accommodated at that place.

Dariyapur

The village is a community

Some Facts about Dariyapur:

Best time to visit:

You can visit Dariyapur any time during the year. An annual fair is held usually during September. If you want to see the craftsmen at work, then avoid visiting during the time of the fair. For seeing the products on display, visit the fair.

Accommodation:

If you want to stay for a day, you can stay at the community centre at Dariyapur. It can accommodate up to 6-8 people.

If you like this post, please like and share, so that more people can know about the place and the craft.

Agni & Amrita

Agni & Amrita

Travel Experts

We are Agni and Amrita, the story-telling team behind Tale of 2 Backpackers and partners in crime in travel and (mis)adventures of life. We have been travelling together for more than a decade looking for immersive experiences while enjoying the little beauties of life. We are intrigued by heritage, culture, festivals and people and that is reflected in our travel. And yes, we love the Himalayas too.

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7 Comments

  1. Hi 2 Backpackers…Indeed a deep study… I am Rituraj and I have just started a initiative to connect the Indian Arcticians to the global market. Your article is really interesting. Planning to visit to Dariyapur…
    Please do let me know more about Dokra (I think its also available in West Bengal and also Chhattisgarh)
    After all India is One…and we can surely promote the same and give ack to the society…giving back to the Arcticians the real value of their handwork!

    Reply
    • Thank you so much!

      Reply
  2. Freya Shah… you may get in touch with Suresh Karmakar 7872287512…if you got Mangal’s Contact no.. plz share that too

    Reply
  3. Hello! I am Freya Shah and I’m studying in the field of Design. Currently, I’m making a research on the crafts, therefore if you could please share the contact of the Artisan, Mangal Karmakar, it would be very helpful, for my paper. I hope you will consider my request and reply asap.

    Thank you!

    Reply
  4. Thanks A&A….me and my wife planning a visit to craftsmen all over India…

    Reply
    • Wow Indrajit! That is really commendable. Do let us know about the places you visit. Thanks.

      Reply
  5. Thanks. It was informative and I felt the warmth for these people in the write up. Please keep up the good work… thru travellers like you we see world..

    Reply

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