The Bawari area of West Bengal is a 1.5 hours’ drive from Kolkata, and is positioned close to the Hooghly River. It used to be part of the Sundabans and within the former district of the 24 Parganas. It was the ideal area for the East India Company to settle as it was perfect for trade by river and easily connected to Kolkata. The local population were the Baule community, forest dwellers who worshipped two main gods – Bon Bibi (Goddess of the Forest) and Dakshin Rai (God of the Tigers) – both of whom they believed would protect them.

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