Maharshi Debendranath Tagore (1817-1905), father of Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) is the founder of Santiniketan Ashrama. Maharshi along with some of his followers initiated the Brahmo Dharmo on 7th Pous (1250 Bengali era; 21st December 1843) and started a fair at Palta (near Calcutta) in 1845. Later on, it was shifted to Santiniketan after establishment of Santiniketan Mandir on 21st December 1891(7 Pous 1298 Bengali era).
In Santiniketan, Pous mela (fair) was first organized on 7th Pous (1301 Bengali era; 21st December 1894). The main purpose as mentioned in the Deed is to install a religious sense and mutual fraternity among people. Devout people irrespective of caste and creeds are welcome here. But no idolatry and frivolous entertainment is permitted.
The seed-idea of the ‘Visva-Bharati’ is none other than the hymn Yatravisvam vabatyeknidam, which through the ages has been the message of India. Throughout the history of our age-long quest after Truth, the seers and saints of India have only reiterated this faith in the unity of all life as manifestation of Supreme Being. On this solemn occasion of Pous Utsav the Ashram community re-affirms their faith to the core idea and ethos of Visva-Bharati.
In course of time Pous Utsav became an integral part of Bengali Culture encompassing of arts and crafts, folklore like Baul, Kirtan etc. It has tremendous socio-economic, socio-cultural impact.
This year (2019) Pous mela is being organized over an area of 87,000 sq. mt. for four (4) days (7th to 10th Pous, 1426 Bengali era; 24th-27th December, 2019) with an expectation that nearly 1550 stalls will be distributed on first-come-first-serve basis through online booking system. All necessary efforts have been made to organize the mela following National Green Tribunal guidelines. Visva-Bharati expects cooperation from all segments of the society to make the Utsav successful in all respect.