Jhargram, West BengalKhowab Gaon

Address: F247+63 Jhargram, West Bengal
How to go: By car: Take NH16 (Kolaghat-Pashkura-Kharagpur-Jhargram) to reach Jhargram, from there it is nearby.

By train: Reach Jhargram, from there you can hire toto. It is nearby. (but best way to reach by car from Kolkata)
Pros: Good road condition, google map will fetch you to the right p[ace if you already set up the map to your destination
Cons: Unavailability of mobile network
What to visit ? The entire village
Company: Friends and family
Minimum day/time to visit: 1 day only
Locality: Village
Expenses: It is around 176 km from Kolkata (Science City)
More Information:

Actual name is Lalbazaar. Distance from Jhargram railways station is 5 km under the vast Cashew and Aakashmoni forest. Specialty of the village is wall art in every houses and making crafts by the part of wood which they named 'Katumkutum'. Now a days their main earnings come from collecting Cashew and fishing, laboring or carpentering . Litterateur Shivaji Bandyopadhyay changed the name Lalabazar to ' Khowab Gaon', Khowab means dreaming and gaon is village. So you can say this is a progressive village where people dream for big and skill themselves as an artist.

Once there was a time when 5 Lodha-Shabar tribal families lived in this village. The only livelihood they earn by cutting and selling trees in the forest around their village. Then few artists came from Kolkata and tried to make them understand the result of deforestation, rather they have taken initiative to find out a way to earn their livelihood by taking classes of drawing to all the children of the village and guide elders to make art and crafts by abandoned wood and other home materials. Gradually all 13 families of the villages form a group of people who take initiative to take care of increasing their skills and earn by that. Now a days they have two small museums in their village to store their unique art and crafts. You can buy from them and place it as a memento.

Few art collages and NGO from Kolkata (Lalitkala Academy, Chalchitra Academy)are taking initiative to develop the village people more. They weekly visit the village for better advice and teaches ethics and antiquate. We have seen children's of the village are very much humble and they shows huge interest to learn new things. They are getting well groomed day by day and take part of writing the bills when someone buy something from them. There are people who assist you after you visit the place. The main motive of the wall art is to convey environmental messages and awareness to the society. It is also to come the village under focus to the govt. Every wall art has it's own meaning, and in alternate few months those are being repainted. So the subjects keep on changing.

A policy has been made for their livelihood, if people wants to capture photos of those houses, then you should pay desired amount to the trusty board. This is kind of motivation for them to work better in future. Except that they sell their crafts to the visitors. It has it's own style of art, once you see those you will understand. I am displaying some in my gallery.

The village is very much discreet and detached from the other villages. The scenario is kind of within a huge paddy field, the village is placed in the middle. There is one rural road by which you can go directly to the village, or else in the opposite there is another way which will make you walk through the paddy field. Trust me this experience is amazing. You will feel the breeze which passes through the ground. It is around 15 min walk to reach to the village. You can keep your car locked in the road side without hesitation.

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