The traditional Gurpukur Mela (Fair) began at Mansatala in Palashpol area in Satkhira town on Thursday through worshipping Devi Manasa (goddes of snake) by Hindu devotees.
The fair is being held at Shaheed Abdur Razzak Park. Every year, 15 days before the mela, thousands of traders in the district and from far-flung areas of the country gather here with their goods and products and set up stalls at the premises.
Traders are decorating stalls with bamboo, poles and bricks. There are thousands of stalls at the Gurpukur fair. Locals said that in every year the last day of the Bengali month of Bhadra, the fair is held through worshiping Mansa at the place named Gurpukur.
Some say that the mela was originally held around a pond, which was circular in shape. So it was called 'Gol Pukur' (circular pond). 'Gur Pukur' possibly derived from that.
According to another hearsay, the water of the mentioned pond became sweet as the devotees poured the remains of food offerings to the goddess Manasa. And hence 'Gur Pukur' (pond of molasses). Yet another version says, the scion of the 'Gaud' dynasty dug the pond. So it was named after the dynasty.
There is a story that 300- years ago, in the month of Bhadra, a person fell asleep under a banyan tree at Palashpol after walking into a long way. When he woke up, he found a deadly cobra shading him from sunlight. From that legend, the worshipping of the snake goddess began at that place and the Gurpukur Mela (fair) also started side by side. The furniture and fruit plants are on display at the fair.
Besides, puppet shows, magic shows and Jatra (folk theatre) are also arranged.
Thousands of people visit the fair every day and buy goods according to their choice. Saplings of fruit bearing and medicinal plants are also being sold at the Mela.
But the Mela has lost its significant number of visitors following bomb blasts at Roxy cinema and at a circus in the town in 2002. At least three people were killed and 100 others injured in the blasts.
Deputy Commissioner Satkhira S.M. Mostafa Kamal said the traditional Gurpukur Mela in Satkhira began on the scheduled day and it will be continued next 15 days. The decision has taken at a preparatory meeting.
Gurpukur Mela is not only the tradition of the district but also the country. The fair will be held for 15 days.
He further said that no one will be exempt if any incident of exploitation was held.The circus will be held at the Gurdpukur fair, but any obscenity will not be allowed.