SUSUNIA STONE CRAFT
Every piece at Art Susunia is created by expertly skilled sculptors that are native to the divine district of Bankura. The work of their gifted hands has grabbed the attention of art enthusiasts around the world, where each handmade piece speaks volumes about the heritage of Susunia. The Sculptors of Susunia are accomplished craftsmen that aim to carry forward their legacy of skillful sculpture.
HISTORY OF SUSUNIA
Susunia is an ancient and majestic hill situated in West bengal, India. Every year, millions of tourists visit the Bankura District to experience the magnificence of Susunia. The everlasting spring water that runs down the Susunia Pahar (a hill much more ancient than the Himalayas) is a source of various minerals. This sweet tasting mineral water is consumed by the locals and is believed to have divine powers that can cure illnesses that include skin diseases. The spring has two outflows, Jharnata and Jomdhara, that are situated opposite to each other at a distance of 6 kms. The source of this holy water is still a mystery that is yet to be unearthed, thus making it a significant tourist attraction for the believers and the curious.
The famous poet, Shri Boru Chandidas is also believed to have been born in this region. His awe-inspiring works include the famous Sri Krishna Kirtan Kavya, a piece that the entire nation of India takes pride in. The work of Chandidas also includes the quote “Sabar upore manush satya, tahar upore nai”, which means that Man is above all truth. This quote was written much before the Italian Renaissance. Shri Bonu Chandidas came into light between the Charyapad and Mangal Kavya era. Charyapad and Doha are considered to be the most prominent forms of ancient Bengali literature, whereas Mangal Kavya includes poems of benediction and was prevalent more or less between the 13th and 18th century. Chandidas’ work falls between these two eras, thus almost filling the gap between them.
Dr. Atul Sur, a renowned historian, claimed that Arat Muni, a Shibi Saint, preached the teachings of the Buddha at the tranquil ashrams of Bankagiri (another name for the Susunia hills). Furthermore, two epigraphs of Maharaja Chandravarma and his son can be found engraved in Sanskrit in the Jhomdara region situated in the north. These inscriptions are carefully preserved for viewing even to this day.
The legacy of Susunia doesn’t stop at its divine significance. Archeologists and anthropologists have also discovered traces of the existence of Neanderthals in the ancient foothills of Susunia. Evidences include prehistoric weapons that date back to the stone age as well as skeletons of Mammoths. Experts suggest that these human species were present approximately 250,000 to 100,000 years ago.
The Susunia hills are also considered to be the land of traditionally skilled artists. This place is home to Shri Sahadeb Karmakar who is also known as the ‘Father of the Artists’ in Susunia. He brought the art of stone carving to life and his legacy was carried forward by his sons, Manik and Sanatan Karmakar who went forward to achieve President awards. Shri Tapas Karmakar, a beloved student of the Karmakar brothers is a state awardee and is also believed to be the best stone sculptor of Susunia.
Susunia also stands for cultural coexistence. The Santhals (aboriginal tribal community) along with Hindu and Islamic populations live in peace and harmony, thus making their relationship an example of unity in diversity.
If you want to gain a complete experience of the majestic atmosphere of Susunia, the Pahar/ Dhara Mela should not be missed. It is a popular fair that takes place during the Chaitra Maas that falls between mid March and April, and encircles the Baruni Snaan, which means Holy Bath.