Sanibarer Haat: things to do at Saturday market at Shantiniketan

Every Saturday through the year, the city of Bolpur comes alive with the Sanibarer Haat near Shantiniketan. Located about 10 minutes toto (electric rickshaw) ride away from the main campus, it's a hugely popular weekend destination for both locals as well travelers. So when I was in Shantiniketan, this is exactly what I did - visited the Sanibarer Haat.

shanibarer haat saturday market shantiniketan
A dance performance at the haat

shanibarer haat saturday market shantiniketan
Shopping time!

shanibarer haat saturday market shantiniketan
Lal cha!


The haat starts at about 3pm and ends when sun sets (5-6pm). There are no lights in the shops, so they are completely dependent on natural light only. In fact this was the most authentic crafts haat I've ever been to, with real craftsmen selling their own goods sitting at the edge of forest.

shanibarer haat saturday market shantiniketan
Sanibarer haat

shanibarer haat saturday market shantiniketan
The haat is spread over a sizable area


Things to do at Sanibarer Haat

Well if you love arts and crafts, it's the best place to come to and explore Bengali culture. Here are some of the best experiences at the haat:

1. Shopping for clothes - there is something for everyone, including men, women and children. You will get options of different prints, styles and explore from.

shanibarer haat saturday market shantiniketan
Shopping for clothes

2. Shopping for art pieces - I didn't know as much about arts and crafts of West Bengal, and this was my introduction to it all. Musical instruments are very popular here.

3. Get your pencil/ charcoal portrait made - there are always a few charcoal artists and the make great live portraits. One portrait costs about ₹100.

shanibarer haat saturday market shantiniketan
A live sketching session is on!

4. Do photography - if, like me, you also love photography, Shanibar haat is a dreamland for you. You can get some great portrait shots as well. Even though I used only an iPhone X for taking pictures at the haat, the experience was great!

shanibarer haat saturday market shantiniketan
Portraits of artists

5. Enjoy local music and dance - this was perhaps my favouite thing to do at the haat - get a bried overview to the local music and dance forms.

shanibarer haat saturday market shantiniketan
Music is everywhere!

shanibarer haat saturday market shantiniketan
A dancer after the performance

There is food, music and dance as well, but all of it is done by local artisans and is highly immersive experience for all visitors. Some even jump in and join the artists and let go of their otherwise reserved self.

To reach Sanibarer Haat - Saturday market

As I mentioned earlier, you can easily take toto and reach here at fairly reasonable costs. If you have a car, you can also drive down and park in the parking just before entrance.

Comments

  1. So beautiful photos from Sanibarer Haat.

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  2. Your photographs speak volumes, Sid! There is always something colourful happening in Shantiniketan. Have you visited the Bosonto Utsav there? You must!

    https://tbbtravels.wordpress.com

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