Thursday, December 17, 2009


Sultani: Popularly this boat is known as medinipuri bot (boat of Medinipur). It is used mainly to carry cargo of wide range like sand, brick, tiles, watermelon etc. Sultani built following the skeleton first technique. Its concentration is mainly found in the regions of tidal rivers. It has double ends with both stem and stern posts. In West Bengal it is the only boat with both stem and stern posts. Though it has oarsmen to row but it mainly depends on wind and sail (lug sail). This Medinipuri boat traverses the entire region of Sundarbans.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dungi of Subarnarekha

In Subarnarekha river of Bengal this type of boat is common for fishing. Boat users termed it as Dunga.

Boat Race of Bengal

Baich: Boat race of Bengal is a popular festival in Bengal. Murshidabad, Nadia, North Twenty Four Parganas and South Twenty Four Parganas are the four districts of West Bengal where Boat race festival takes place. These are the bordering districts, adjacent to Bangladesh. And if we consider the boat race people then it will portray that after partition, minority Hindu people migrated to Indian territory and settled in those districts. They were uprooted but introduced their deep-rooted water sport in their new land.

Plantain raft

-->Kalar Bhaela, the plantain raft: three to four plantain trunks are used to construct such type of watercraft, found mainly in Kochbihar, Jalpaiguri, North and South Dinajpur, Malda, Murshidabad, Nodia, North and South 24 Parganas.Utilities: these watercraft widely use in rural Bengal in flood.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Glimpse of Bengal

Rivers, canals, streams, lakes, bills and other waterbodies form an important source of cheap transportation. This is specially so in West Bengal, where there are numerous waterbodies. There are about 3000 km. of navigable waterways in the state, of which 300 kms. are canals (Bose 1964). Besides during the rainy season many more stretches of rivers become navigable by watercraft. At many places in West Bengal the river transport system is considered to be more important than the bullock carts, like in the Sundarbans, the former has totally replaced the latter due to topographical demand of the land.

The Sankosh, The Raidak, The Kalindi, The Torsa, The Jaldhaka, The Tista, The Mahananda, The Tangan, The Purnabhaba, The Atrai, The Gomor, The Ganga, The Bhagirathi/Hugli, The Mayurakshi, The Bramhani, The Dwaraka, The Bakreswar, The Kopai, The Ajay, The Damodar, The Sraswati, The Rupnarayan, The Kangasabati/Kasai, The Rasulpur, The Subarnorekha, The Jalogi, The Mathabhanga, The Bhairab, The Ichhamati, The Matla, The Muriganga/Buriganga, The Raimongal and so on, are the major rivers of West Bengal.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Patia: admixture of Clinker and reverse clinker technology. Coastal fishing boat. 18 feet minimum length.
Striking Feature: Planking technology is just reverse of Viking Ship technology (8th to 11th Century).

Patia is a "Living Boat" can be traced since 11th Century AD till today with little modification.

"Bali Tolar Nouko" of Balagarh

Balagarh in Hugli district of West Bengal, a traditional boat building centre. Smooth Skinned, rabbeted and stapled boat build in shell first method. Length 40 haat (60 feet). width 10 haat (15 feet).
Wood: Babla (Acacia arabica), Khirish, Sirish, Arjun (Terminalia arjuna)

At least 25 karkhana (boat building sheds) is woring under the shed of bamboo grove and mango orchard.

Rajbangshi Para is the key centre of this activity. Boat makers are mainly from Rajbansgi community (fisherfolk). 
More than 500  people are actively associated with Boat Building activity.


Watercraft (Boat): concept development

Banana trunk used as float.
Snapped in Sundarbans, West Bengal in 2003