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Poush Mela across 3 grounds

Santiniketan, Nov. 28: Visva-Bharati has decided to spread our Poush Mela to ease the pressure on the ground at Bhubandanga, which has been hosting the fair since 1961.

The exhibition stalls and the dais for performances will this year be set up at the “old fair ground” in front of the Uttarayan complex. The fireworks display will be held at Dakshin Palli, behind the Indira Gandhi Centre for National Integration.

The grounds are a few hundred metres from each other.

Since its inception in 1894, the Mela was held at the “purono melar maath” (old fair ground). It was shifted to Bhubandanga as the size of the Mela was increasing every year.

Rabindranath Tagore’s father Debendranath had started the fair.

“The decision to extend the fair to two more grounds was taken by the Poush Mela rec- ommendation committee. More than a lakh people visit the Mela everyday,” said committee member S.N. Bhattacharya.

The fair, a three-day affair from the seventh day of the Bengali month of Poush, will be held from December 23-25 this year.

The decision to hold the fair on the old ground, though, has thrown up security concerns.

After the Nobel heist in 2004, the university had dec- lared the Uttarayan complex, the Kaach Mandir and Chhatimtala high-security zones.

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