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Raas Mela

The Raas Mela is held in the heart of the Sundarbans -- the largest mangrove forest in the world, miles away from the locality. Raas Mela has a special place in the heart of the Hindu community. The highlight of the festival is seemingly its vivid nature and celebration marked with music and dance.

Raas Mela is observed throughout the country. Major celebrations are held at the Kantaji Temple, Maulvibazar, Kuakata and Dublar Char. The mela at Dublar Char has become a tourist attraction because of its location. Dublar Char is located at the southern border of the Sundarbans, facing the Bay of Bengal .

The significance of Raas Mela to the people of the Sundarbans is remarkable for its message of religious harmony. There is a temple in the heart of the island. The island is locally known as 'Alorkol.' In the temple, along with the idols of Krishna, Radha and other deities, mythical characters popular in the region like Gazi Pir, Kalu and Bonbibi, have found pride of place. The devotees worship those local mythical characters for their safe return home. Not only Hindus but many Muslims from the adjacent areas also attend the mela.

The Raas Mela formally starts on the evening of November 2, though the hustle and bustle starts off earlier in the morning. Small shops offering seashell ornaments, local handicraft, dry fish, sweets and much more are the main attractions.

There is a cultural programme as well, which features renditions of traditional and popular songs. Artistes from Khulna perform throughout the night. The highlight of the event is rendition of 'padabali kirtan'.

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