West Bengal Wiki Community’s Participation in Wikipedia Loves Monuments Project

Wikipedia Loves Monuments 2016

Wikipedia Loves Monuments 2016 in West Bengal Community
Wikipedia Loves Monuments” one month long photography contest cum Photo drive has been organized by Wikipedia in the month of September 2016, internationally, to photograph those monuments world wide whose photos are not present in the Wiki repository. Like other countries, Wikipedia India Chapter also took part in this grand project. Wikipedian Santanu Chandra informed us about WLM project in a monthly meeting of Wikipedia WB community and unanimously agreed upon to participate in this grand event.

The main focus of the project was to photographed those monuments, whose photos are not present in the Wikipedia repository and also to encourage for creating new articles from captured photographs. In community meeting it has been decided, Sumit Surai would select the place and as well as prepare the list of monuments of that place to be photographed for WLM. In the process of selection, he would have to consider those monuments whose photos are not present in Wiki’s ‘List of Monuments of National Importance in West Bengal’ and as well in the ‘List of State Protected Monuments in West Bengal’. On the next Wikipedia meeting, he placed his proposal for the monuments of Burdwan and Ambika Kalna along with a detailed itinerary. Initially, we decided to visit there with a large group of Wikipedian photographers but unfortunately due to some internal technical issues we had to postponed the plan. Finally, a small group has been formed consists of five person including me and the date of journey was finalized as on 24th September 2016 for WLM.

Day 1
Just one day before the journey, I informed Sumit about my eye infection and told him that I might not join them. But he insisted and as usual I got convinced. On early morning of 24th I reached Howrah by 6:45am and Sumit joined me after few minutes. Both of us waiting for Santanu Da, Sujay and Kalyan and by that time I started photographing the surrounding areas of Howrah station. They reached Howrah in time and joined us. Although, I, Kalyan, Sumit, Santanu Da and Sujay finally boarded a local train at 8am for Ambika Kalna. We reached there around 10am and according to our plan we went to Raj Bari temple Complex at first. In the afternoon, a new Wikipedian from Burdwan Prithwish Jash joined us. During the day, rain and low light every so often spoiled some of our plans. Although, we managed to take photograph of almost all major temples in Kalna. It was also in our agenda to capture maximum number of Terracotta panels of every individual temple. Finally, we have succeeded to some extent to capture maximum number of Terracotta panels with limited resources and time. Here is the list of temples, we photographed on the first day.

Rameswar Temple
Rameswar Temple - During Wiki Loves Monuments 2016, Kalna, West Bengal India
Lalji Temple
Lalji Temple - During Wiki Loves Monuments 2016, Kalna, West Bengal India
Krishna Chandraji Temple
Krishna Chandraji Temple - During Wiki Loves Monuments 2016, Kalna, West Bengal India
Girigobordhon
Girigobordhon - During Wiki Loves Monuments 2016, Kalna, West Bengal India
Pancharatna Temple
Pancharatna Temple - During Wiki Loves Monuments 2016, Kalna, West Bengal India
Rashmancha
Rashmancha - During Wiki Loves Monuments 2016, Kalna, West Bengal India
Ratneswar Temple
Ratneswar Temple - During Wiki Loves Monuments 2016, Kalna, West Bengal India
Rupeswar Temple
Rupeswar Temple - During Wiki Loves Monuments 2016, Kalna, West Bengal India
Jaleswar Temple
Jaleswar Temple - During Wiki Loves Monuments 2016, Kalna, West Bengal India
Pratapeswar Siva Temple
Pratapeswar Siva Temple - During Wiki Loves Monuments 2016, Kalna, West Bengal India

Stretching Horizon – Wiki Outreach
I and Sumit, always keep in mind to do some offline work for Wikipedia that may not bring instant or immediate result but somehow will help in future. That’s why both of us were in search for information of lesser known heritages of the district Burdwan. Also, in search for new involvement or contributors from local scholars. In between, Sumit collected the phone number of a local Historian Sidheswar Achariyya. At the late evening of that day I called him for fixing up a meeting with him. Initially, he refused to meet us because he was suffering due to old age issues. Fortunately, I managed to convince him and fixed a meeting with him on the next day at 9am at his residence. He is working with the history of Burdwan district especially Kalna over a long period of time and also one of the founder member of Kalna Mahakuma Itihas O Puratattwa Charcha Kendra. He wrote many books on the history of Kalna. It was in my mind that he would be a helpful source for future for developing existing and creating new unique articles for Bengali Wikipedia.

Day 2
All woke by 6am and left the guest house early to photograph Nava-Kailasha Temple. We spend some time there and went to Gopalji Temple. We had fixed a meeting with Sidheswar Achariyya and accordingly went to his place after Gopalji Temple. In between, a small incident happened just after we left Gopalji Temple and on the way to Sidheswar Achariyya’s house. Basically, my presence is enough for …………. and disaster is inevitable. Quite naturally I made a disaster that day. We hired a Toto (Toto is a 3 wheeler battery operated vehicle) and suddenly, a wish was popup in my mind to drive the Toto. Initial 1 or 2 minutes of driving was okay but suddenly I loose control over the vehicle. Even the driver could not control the vehicle as well and we hit the wall of a house. This has broken the front wheel axle of the Toto and also damaged the main water supply pipeline of the house. Although, managed well and I had to pay an amount from my personal account for the sin. This incident made me serious for the time being. Now, I would love to tell, I am not really very sorry or ashamed what I have done that day because this incident made our tour memorable. Even I have named the incident as “Bordhomane Barabari” or “Kalnai Kelo”.

Glimpses of Meeting
WLM Team with Sidheswar Achariyya - During Wiki Loves Monuments 2016, Kalna, West Bengal India
Sidheswar Achariyya
Biswajit Gain - During Wiki Loves Monuments 2016, Kalna, West Bengal India

Nava-Kailasha Temple
Nava-Kailasha Temple - During Wiki Loves Monuments 2016, Kalna, West Bengal India
Gopalji Temple
Gopalji Temple - During Wiki Loves Monuments 2016, Kalna, West Bengal India
Sidheswari Kalibari
Sidheswari Temple - During Wiki Loves Monuments 2016, Kalna, West Bengal India

We reached at his residence in time and he gladly welcomed us. I started the discussion with a introduction of WLM project to him and also discussed about the heritages of the district. We learned some historical facts about Kalna from him that was really new to us. Here would like to mention, everybody attended the meeting except Kalyan. When we came out from his house, discovered Kalyan was taking a nap outside his house. Although, we purchased some of his books from him and he suggested us to meet Biswajit Gain, a local photographer and historian. Achariyya Ji fixed a meeting in between Biswajit Gain and us at the guest house where we stayed. The meeting was fruitful in perspective of outreach. We went back to our guest house to meet Biswajit Gain. Meeting with Biswajit Gain was also came out very fruitful as he showed interest to contribute and interested in workshop at Kalna.

Two Ancient Temples (joined together)
Two ancient temples (joined together) - During Wiki Loves Monuments 2016, Baidyapur, West Bengal India
Panchratna Brick Temple
Panchratna brick temple - During Wiki Loves Monuments 2016, Baidyapur, West Bengal India

After the small break for refreshment we went to Baidyapur to photograph one state and one National protected monuments. Baidyapur which is situated 16 Km away from Kalna. Other than these two there were many ancient temples which were not in our list. Still, covered most of the temples for creating future articles and for documentation purpose. Around 3Pm we closed the chapter of Baidyapur and reached to nearby bus stand to go to Burdwan via Bainchi. There were no frequent bus service for Bainchi and we had to wait there. After waiting for half an hour discovered a overcrowded bus and there were absolutely no place inside the bus. Four of us except Sumit, climb up the roof of the bus and settled ourselves. Sumit forcefully boarded inside the bus and we went to Bainchi. Then we had plan to go to Burdwan from Bainchi and other two places. But it was completely impractical matter to cover all those places in two days. It was drizzling when we reached to Bainchi station and condition of sun light was too poor. So, we took the decision to postponed our Burdwan Plan and end the WLM tour. Boarded a local train from Baichi for Kolkata.

Unforgettable Frames
Indrajit and Sujay - During Wiki Loves Monuments 2016, Kalna, West Bengal India
Group Photo - During Wiki Loves Monuments 2016, Kalna, West Bengal India
WLM Team - During Wiki Loves Monuments 2016, Kalna, West Bengal India
Sumit and Sujay - During Wiki Loves Monuments 2016, Kalna, West Bengal India
Sujay and Santanu Da - During Wiki Loves Monuments 2016, Kalna, West Bengal India
Sujay - During Wiki Loves Monuments 2016, Kalna, West Bengal India

Contribution of Bengali Wikipedians from WB Community for WLM 2016
(Click on the Name to see the individual Contribution)

Indrajit Das
Sumit Surai
Sujay Chandra
Prithwish Jash
Santanu Chandra
Rangan Datta
Biswarup Ganguly
Amitava Sengupta
Arup Chowdhuri

Note – Please carry enough food otherwise it will be difficult for someone to locate a good place for eating. Also keep in mind there are only 3/4 hotels for accommodation.

Special Thanks
Wikipedia West Bengal Community for the trip.
Sumit, Santanu Da, Kalyan, Sujay and Prithwish for tolerate me.
Sidheswar Achariyya and Biswajit Gain.
Shibo Ramokrishna Lodge

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Lion Dance Display & Cultural Show 2016 in Kolkata

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When I have been officially selected and invited as a Blogger and Photographer by Indian Chinese Association for Culture, Welfare and Development for their annual “Lion Dance Display & Cultural Show 2016” on 31st January, seriously I was extremely happy. This cultural evening has been organized to welcome Chinese New Year 2016. As all we know that Lion Dance is usually performed as part of festivities like Chinese New Year, weddings and in any happy occasions. This year it has been shifted to St. Joseph College Campus, Bowbazar, Kolkata, earlier used to be held at Tirretibazar area. I think, in comparison to previous years, this year it was more organized and a bigger show ever. However the festivities starts just day before the Chinese New Year and continue till 15th day of New Year, which is also called “Lantern Festival“.

Chinese New Year – This year it’s called the year of Monkey. It will start on 8th February 2016

Chinese Symbol For Monkey
Chinese Symbol For Monkey

and will end 27th January 2017, according to Chinese Calendar. Actually Chinese new year is characterized by one of 12 animals according to the Chinese zodiac and it has 12 houses. Each house has a time length of one year. This year of Monkey falls on ninth animal in the cycle and next year of Monkey will be in 2028. Every animal has it’s own strengths and weaknesses. So according to that, Money’s Strengths are self-assured, innovative, enthusiastic and weaknesses are arrogant, jealous, suspicious and cunning.


Lion Dance
– As I have already mentioned that Lion dance is usually performed as a part of the Lion Dance Display & Cultural Show 2016 in Kolkata,Indiafestivities. The tradition of Lion Dance is cultivated from ancient time in China and there are several versions of history and roots of the lion dance. One popular belief is that the Lion Dance finds it’s roots in the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-906). The Emperor of Tang Dynasty had a strange dream one night and in dream one creature had saved his life. After a extensive research he understood that the creature was a Lion, who saved his life. Most interestingly during that period Lion did not exist in China and this is the reason for another belief is Lions were entered via the famous Silk Road to China. Rulers from regions, which are today Iran and Afghanistan sent lions to Chinese emperors as a gift in order to get the right to trade with Silk Road merchants. Although, because of his dream the lion came to symbolize good luck, happiness, and prosperity. Lion plays an important role in Chinese folklore. Chinese Lions are not resemblance to real Lions and portrayed as peaceful creatures. Also considered divine animal of nobility and dignity, which symbolize strength, courage and wisdom.

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Lion Dance Display & Cultural Show in Kolkata -I have already mentioned that I was officially Indrajit Das and Subhadip at Lion Dance Display & Cultural Show 2016, Kolkata, Indiainvited by Indian Chinese Association (ICA). Program was scheduled to start at 5PM and that’s why I went there around 4PM along with my fellow blogger Subhadip Mukherjee. I was little worried that day about my camera because it was not operating properly and now it’s in coma. Just one week before the show, I came back from trekking of Kedarkantha Summit 2016. During the final day Summit I fell down from a inclined icy trail along with my DSLR camera and that’s made my camera faulty. With a almost handicapped camera along with my cell phone camera, I have tried so much to capture the spirit and the essence of the festival.

Opening Frame – A soft spoken gentle man with smiling face approached me and handed over a official ID card issued by ICA, he was Mr. Robert Hsu. Really felt proud for the privilege given by ICA to me.

Practice Session – From the very beginning my camera was refused to work. Alas, I had to depend on my cell phone camera. When I reached the venue few people were there but the entire campus was decorated with banners and beautiful Chinese lanterns. Noticed that students from Taiwan were practicing a Dance sequence and I have captured few moments.

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Ancestral House of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose

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Statue of Subhas Chandra Bose at Five Point Crossing, Shyambazar, Kolkata, India

How do we, common man recall Subhas Chandra Bose
When we utter Taihoku, Mystery, Renkōji Temple, Ashes, Anita, research centers, foreign aids for research, INA, Jai Hind, Azad Hind, National Holiday, Congress, Gumnami Baba, Ohhh most importantly “Air Crash”…………. and latest edition is golden teeth. Ohhh M G !!!! I forgot to mention widely used, “Declassified”¿¿¿¿

When
Every year on 23rd January(Our emotions for him lasts up till 24th) – From our drawing room we make demand to Govt that 23rd should be declared as a national holiday. One week before 23rd January, when painting about to start on every statues of Subhas Bose for Birth Celebration.
Every year on 15th August – Again we starts nagging with same demand of national holiday.
Apart from that what we have done so far for him. These are the interpretation about Netaji by a illiterate common man or a Mango Man, that’s ME.

Are we really and seriously pay respect to him? Is he still in our heart? or his life only confined in statues? are we consider him as a human being? or He became a brand which has high brand value?

I read a news in 2013 about restoration work of ancestral House of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose in Subashgram. This news was seriously made me happy. Recently I went there and found how restoration works done so far.

Ancestral House of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in Shubashgram, West Bengal, India

 

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Copyright © Indrajit Das
you can share this post subjects to the conditions that please give due credit to Author Indrajit Das and do not alter before sharing.
Request do not Plagiarize.

If you found your photographs here and have issues with that please E-mail me with your requests, I will remove your photographs from public domain.