Pahela Baishakh

India is known to be the residence of different culture and religious people. That’s why, one can experience the peaceful presence of different lingual people under a same territory. There are many festivals and occasions being held every year to usher the regional New Year every year. Poila Boisakh is called as the Bengali New Year. In Bengali, Pahela means ‘first’ and ‘Baishakh’ is the first month of the year. This occurs on either 14th or 15th April every year. Bengalis celebrate by wearing new clothes and offering ‘Anjali’ to the famous temples scattered around the Indian state West Bengal. Children and younger people touches the feet of the elders to get the blessings at the start of the year. Sweets are distributed to friends, families and closed ones to keep the bonds intact all through the time period. This is the time for the traders to open a new business ledger book by offering small puja to Ganesh and Lakshmi at their shops. The Bengalis living in Kolkata and all of West Bengal, celebrates this traditional procedure of welcoming the New Year even in present times also. Bengalis living in faraway places, celebrates this traditional festive also.

There are no stipulated performing for the normal individuals at home. Some visits Kali temple or Dakshineshwar temple to get the blessings of the Goddesses. Traders organise pujas and invites old customers at their shops. The dues are cleared and some advances are paid to mark the relationship between merchant and customer intact. Some people organises cultural programmes and Probhat Pheri in the morning also.

The festival is celebrated with processions, fairs and family time. The traditional greeting for Bengali New Year is Shubho Nabobarsho which is literally means Happy New Year. Bengali people of India have historically celebrated Pahela Baishakh and it is an official regional holiday in its states of West Bengal and Tripura.

Bengalis mark the day by taking dip in a rivers, then praying to Lakshmi and Gansha. Traders start a new accounting year. Opening the accounting books is called Hal Khata. In some regions, festivities begin a few days before, with music and dance performance.

Bengali is the main speaking language here.

Travel Tips

The celebration marks the welcoming of New Year and summer. Temperature touches as much as 40 degree Centigrade with 80-90% humidity. This makes people uncomfortable. So wear comfortable cotton full sleeve clothes. Preferable would be wearing new clothes, which is the custom during this period.

Wear saree or Indian attires during the festival.

It is a festival of Hindus. But all region’s people can join this festivity.

Venture out for warming your soul with the sweet dishes available during this period at all the corners.

If possible learn and know more about this occasion from a local resident or people.

When to visit

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Things to do

Do not miss out on the customary Puja t Kalighat temple. The Flowers and Prasad are considered rituals he day cannot be complete without.

Engage is some household activities an help out in the Kitchen. More of the Bengali dishes, like daab chingri, posto are cooked up on this day.

As the day descends, gather around your folks and set up a bonfire. A touch of Rabindranath Tagore and a hint of Baul Sangee are the perfect end to the day.

Once all the messy affair is dealt with, adorn yourself in the most gorgeous outfits. Usually men wear Kurta Pyjama and women wear Lal Paar Sada Saree on this day.

Getting Around

Catching local transport in Kolkata - transport tips on getting around Kolkata like a local. Dinky but photogenic trans follow more predictable routes along select city tracks, and are immune to one-way traffic.

Places to Stay


The Oberoi Grand and Taj Bengal are two luxurious options to opt for, if you wish to splurge. Both are 5-Star hotels with all the facilities assured to make you feel pampered. 


Casa Fortuna is an affordable option located in the heart of the city. With amenities such as free Wi-Fi, free parking and good service.


Shree Shyam Guest House an Diplomat Guest House are two good options for those on a tight budget. Both have room rates starting from 900 INR, and the rooms are clean, spacious and safe.

How to Reach

  • Kolkata has its own airport which is well connected to all the other parts of the country.
  • The stations at Kolkata too, is very well connected to the other parts of the country.
  • You can drive in from many other parts of the country into Calcutta. Within the city itself, there are many means for public transport.

Surrounding Attractions

Victoria memorila is the marble domed Victoria memorial has become the unofficial symbol of Kolkata. It was concieved by Lord Curzon, a sprawling Baroque building, built with white marble, along the lines of Taj. I remains a showcase of imperial grandeur. Inside are exhibitions of relics from the colonial past - paintings, uniforms, arms, photographs.

Dont miss the sheer diversity of flora in Botanical gardens with samples from every continent.

Kalighat is immensely popular sacred spot goes back centuries. Its believed tha Satis toe feel in this spot.


Time Period

The celebration happens each year on 14th April or 15th April. Boisakh is the month of summer also.

Emergency No.

India's emergeny number: 112

Polie Station: 100

Fire Brigade: 101

Ambulance: 102

Lalbazar Police Headquarters Control Room : (91-33) 2214-3024  /  2214-3230  /  2214-1310