Durga Puja in Kolkata A Beginners Guide to Feeling the Joy of the City
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It’s Pujo time! Yes, the wait is almost over as the time of year has arrived for the city of Kolkata. The city of joy is adorned with hues of happiness and adorned like a bride. Celebrating Durga Puja in this city is one of those experiences that must be on everyone’s bucket list. It is a warm and inviting culture that is on display during these festive days is something one will never forget. From eye candy to gastronomic delights, there is a palette of experiences for everyone. Read also – Postcards from Calcutta: Durga Puja celebrations begin in City of Joy | PICTURES
Tempted to visit the city of joy in this pujo season? Here is a compact guide to navigate your experience during Durga Puja this season.
DURGA PUJA: A DIVE INTO CULTURE
The biggest festival here is celebrated to honor the return of Goddess Durga during the Navratri period. A 10-day festival technically begins on the sixth day when the pandals open their doors to the public.
First day, Mahalaya – September 25
Chokku Daan– On this day the goddess is invited to Earth, venerated and the craftsmen also paint the eyes on the idols.
Fifth day, Panchmi – September 30, 2022
Sixth day, Shashti – October 1, 2022
Another important day during the festival is when people greet ‘Maa’ with great gusto and joy. A grand procession leads the way with ornate idols of Maa Durga, Ganesh, Kartikeya, Lakshmi and Saraswati. All pandals light up like an illumination never seen before.
Seventh day, Saptami – October 2
Kola Bou bath – Invoking the presence of the goddess, this ceremony takes place on the seventh day of the festival in the morning. Kola Bou – a small banana tree is bathed in water, dressed and brought back in a prossion.
Eighth and greatest day, Ashtami – October 3
Ninth day, Navami– October 4
Tenth day, Dashmi – October 5
Vijaydashmi is also the day of Sindor Khela when a married woman dolls herself up in white sarees with red trim and plays pandal sindur.
What is Durga Puja without pandal hopping, right? It is almost customary to visit the various pandals that dot Kolkata during the festival. The sheer scale of pandals, the extent to which artisans can turn concept into reality, must be seen to be believed. The wide range of topics organizers can tackle is unparalleled. Here are some of the pandals in Kolkata that are worth seeing.
Ekdalia Evergreen: Established in 1943, it is famous for reproducing temples from all over India through its artwork. It is located in Gariaghat, south of the city.
Bagbazar: Located in North Kolkata along the river. it is around 100 years old and focuses on simplicity and traditional rituals
Kumartuli Park: Founded in 1995 (near Bagbazar, so you can visit them both in one go) and famous for its ingenious themes, the idols are handcrafted
College Square: Settled in 1948 by a lake in the center of Kolkata (off MG road), its illumination and thoughtful beauty are the talk of the town.
Muhammad Ali Park: Started in 1969 on the MG road, this place is famous for showcasing the beautiful architecture of the monuments. Associate this place with College Square.
Suruchi Sangha: Famous for representing a state of India through its artworks and installations, even the idols are modeled accordingly. It is 50 years old and located in New Alipore, South Kolkata.
Santosh Mitra Square: Established in 1936 in the Bow Bazar area, it was previously known as Sealdah Sarbojanin Durgotsav. It is famous for its display of beautifully intricate works of art.
Bose Pukur Sitala Mandir: Winner of several awards and famous for showcasing rural Bengal through motifs, idols and works of art. It is located in the Bose Pukar kasba to the south of the city and is a must visit.
Jodhpur Park: Another popular pandal, this one has a wide range of themes and surprises with a unique item every year. It is located near Jadavpur Thana in South Kolkata.
Badamtala Ashar Sangha: A favorite of the people and quite old (75 years old), this place in Kalighat, South Kolkata, won an award for creative excellence in 2010.
This time of year calls for some shameless soul food indulgence. Gorge on all your guilty pleasures in different pandals and on the streets. One of the main features of Durga Puja is gorging on festive food. And what better time to feast on all the exquisite delicacies of Bengal. From the special bhog to the everting, get ready for every meal.
THE CARNIVAL OF PUJO
Meanwhile, some communities also organize cultural programs that will introduce you to Bengali roots. Also, many pandals have set up carnival galore with shopping stalls and fun rides.
ANCIENT IS GOLD
While pandals are themed according to contemporary and other trends, few families have cherished the cultural heritage by maintaining all the rituals. Here are some of those ancient places to visit to experience an authentic whiff of Durga Puja.
- Sovabazar Raj Barir Puja
- Rani Rashmoni Durga Puja
- Harinath Mookerjee Family Durga Puja
- Bholanath Mallick Barir Puja
- Chatu Babu Latu Babu Family Durga Puja
Happy Durga Puja! Let us know what your favorite experience was here.
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