Bundelkhand Rural Tourism at Pranpur (Near Chanderi & Khajuraho) , Madhya Pradesh
About Pranpur Village:
Pranpur is just 3 km from historic Chanderi, in the Betwa river basin, famous for delicately crafted ‘tana-bana’ gossamer thin silk and cotton saris. Visitors are encouraged to try their hands at the loom! The experience is truly interactive…weaving, pottery, metalware…never far from the rustle of soft fabric. The spell continues at the ‘Amraee’ rural resort, created by traditional village masons.
When local folk artistes perform, the mood harkens to 11th century lore, replete with legends of the Bundela Rajputs, the Delhi and Malwa Sultans, the Moghuls and the Marathas.
“Nature and culture spin magic. Come under the spell…”
The wealth, beauty and art of a rustic life converge at this artistic village in the heart of Central India. The simple pastoral rhythms of life find expression in a variety of arts and crafts, especially the unmatched silk tapestry being woven here for centuries. The greater part of the village population is part of the weaver community that is engaged in the production of the Chanderi fabric .
A visit to Pranpur is all about getting a glimpse into the everyday life of weavers, dyers, potters and metal casters. Apart from a wealth of artistic attributes, Pranpur is endowed with natural beauty as well; hills, lakes, forests, meadows, groves, streams, echoing craigs, steep rocks, dense forests and waterfalls rekindle the romance in life. The strategic location of Pranpur on the borders of Malwa and Bundelkhand gives it the sobriquet of the 'Gateway of Bundelkhand'. As far back as the 11th century, Chanderi was a focal position on the trade routes of central India.
Pranpur is situated on a hill, southwest of river Betwa, in the state of Madhya Pradesh. It is 227 km from Bhopal, the state capital, and 65 km from Ashok Nagar, the district centre.
BY ROAD: NH 19 and NH 20 merge at Chanderi (3 km from Pranpur). Chanderi is well-connected through frequent bus service from all directions and tourist cities.
BY AIR: Airports nearest to Pranpur are at Bhopal (225 kms away), Gwalior (230 kms away) and Khajuraho (232 kms away)
BY TRAIN: The nearest railway station from Pranpur is Lalitpur (35 kms away), which is located on the Delhi-Mumbai-Chennai (Northern-Central Railway) railway track. All the long-route trains halt at Lalitpur. Second nearest railway station is Mungawali (42 kms away), which is located at Bina-Kota railway track. Third nearest and an important railway station is at Jhansi (110 km away).
The village, part of Bundelkhand region , is a haven with traditional wealth. There are plenty of tourist attractions around the region in the form of cultural and monumental heritage amidst all the natural beauty. Pranpur has been a major center for Jain, Hindu and Muslim cultures.
The village is also endowed with large water reservoirs, lakes etc., where one can take a swim, enjoy a boat ride, or engage in water sports. Trekking enthusiasts can also enjoy the adventurous terrain offered by the heavily forested locales of Pranpur.
The Jhalari Bawdi (step well) holds a place of pride and is a benchmark in hand crafted stone architecture. The heritage and archaeological remains of the Malwa plateau recount the glory of this region and lend majestic splendour to this charming destination.There are plenty of tourist attractions around the region in the form of cultural and monumental heritage amidst all the natural beauty of Vindhyachal. The village is also endowed with large water reservoirs, lakes etc., where one can take a swim, enjoy a boat ride, or engage in water sports. Trekking enthusiasts can also enjoy the adventurous terrain offered by the heavily forested locales of Pranpur.
The folk life of Pranpur is an incredible embodiment of secularism. All along its length and breadth, Bundelkhand is richly studded with religious centres, historical sites, monuments and forts. A vivid, rich and colourful cultural fabric is manifested in the diverse folk dances, music, songs, art, architecture and, of course, the fairs and festivals.
Fairs and festivals: Traditional and local festivals are celebrated across the year at Pranpur. Nag Panchami, Raksha Bandhan, Janmasthami, Dushera, Deepavali, Shiv Ratri, Makar Sankranti and Holi are the main Hindu festivals celebrated in Bundelkhand. While Hindu festive occasions are celebrated the way they are usually done in north India, the savouries cooked at home, and decorations done, are quite unique to the region. There are also several sub-regional and tribal variations.
Several local religious cults exist in Bundelkhand independent of mainstream Hindu religious tradition. Many folk arts have evolved around regional festivals, such as 'Navami' drawings and designs made on the occasion of Kajri Navami in the monsoons.
Folk art: Central India, home to the Malwa plateau, recounts glorious history interlaced with the valour of Bundela Rajputs, the Delhi and Malwa Sultans, early Moghuls and the Marathas. Over the centuries, a rich and diverse tradition of song and dance emerged across the region.
Hori or Phag is sung in the spring and is appropriately romantic and sensual, Kajri is sung in the monsoons, Sohar is sung on the occasion of the birth of a child, Raee dance is performed by women dancers as well as men during Dushera, Diwari dances are performed during Deepavali by acrobatic male groups holding long poles and dressed in very colourful and unusual attire. Apart from these there are many other occupation and caste-specific folk art forms as well.
Accompanying instruments include percussion instruments like the dholak, nagadiya and pakhawaj; string instruments like the one-string tambura; wind instruments like the flute and shennai; and several rare instruments like the algoja, a double flute.
Cusine: There is nothing available on the web on the cuisine of Bundelkhand region. The MP cuisine can be included, but not reliable.
Art & Craft:
The textile prowess of this picturesque village is fascinating! Rhythmic sounds of looms and spools of bright colours draw in the visitor to weavers' homes to witness the delicate weaving of the Chanderi fabric ; a first hand encounter with the master weavers is very insightful.
Over the years, Chanderi sarees have undergone many changes. The handspun yarn, which gave the fabric its gossamer quality, has been replaced by imported silk in the warp and by mill-made cotton thread or unboiled silk in the weft. Visitors with a penchant for collecting authentic art have an added lure of taking back a part of India’s glorious textile tradition as epitomised in the much sought after Chanderi.
Apart from weaving, traditional crafts such as metal casting, bamboo weaving, stone cutting and pottery are also practiced here. Few, counted families has retained the tradition of metal casting. Churning out finest pieces with an evident tribal twist, the skilled artists are more inclined towards heavy ornaments, as once fancied by the erstwhile Rajput kings and families, and now a by the local tribes and surrounding communities!
The Amraee' Rural Heritage Resort has come up at Pranpur offering a peerless experience with all necessary tourist facilities and the special attraction of horse riding. A rustic spell drapes this heritage resort constructed in the vernacular tradition with polychromatic sandstones.
Of significance is the fact that the construction led to the revival of stone masonry skills that lay dormant for over two decades. The craft has been regained its lost glory and the craftsmen are once again enthused to propagate their skills. The Resort managed by the local community encompasses stone cottages, restaurant, interpretation centre, natural amphitheatre and a mango orchard.
Visitors can savour seasonal fruits and vegetables plucked straight from the backyard; sit under clear skies and a canopy of stars and watch folk performances.
There is a private hotel named Shreekunj, and also Tana-Bana, the Madhya Pradesh Tourism Department Hotel that offers lodging and boarding of 20-30 tourists. Tourists can also stay at the Jain Dharmshalas at Pranpur and Chanderi.
Madhya Pradesh: PRANPUR Village Tourism Committee:
Mr. Hemant Kumar / Mr. Mathuralal Patel +91.9301551893, 9770444841
NGO Partner: Bundelkhand Institute of Rural Development,
Mr. Anand Upadhyay +91.9452417123, +91.7547.280041
Courtesy: Incredible India