Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Durga Puja

Goddess DurgaWhen I was in the USA a few weeks back, my family was celebrating Durga Puja (or Durga Pujo like we Bengalis pronounce it). While most of India celebrates Dussehra, Bengal celebrates its biggest annual festival with great pomp and ceremony. In Eastern India and particularly West Bengal, Durga Puja is more important than any other festival.

Durga Puja Pandal in KolkataThis festival is dedicated to the worship of Goddess Durga and a celebration of victory of good over evil. In Kolkata alone, almost two thousand pandals are setup where people can participate in community celebration and worship the Goddess. Over a period, this festival has also turned into an event to showcase the talent and creativity of local artisans, who create awe-inspiring pandals and idols of the Goddess. Here are some pictures from this year's Durga Pujas in Kolkata.

Durga PujaThe idols of the Goddess (usually made of clay) are immersed in the Ganges after a week-long celebration. The pandals are also temporary and are taken down after the festival. But during the week of Durga Pujas, Kolkata is a city transformed. Vehicular traffic comes to a stand-still on most roads, as revellers take over. Dressed in their best, you can see groups of people going from pandal to pandal and admiring the work and creativity on display. Morning and late evenings are usually reserved for worshipping the Goddess. And, of course, like all things Bengali, food and sweets play a major role during this time too!

Durga Puja

8 comments:

bluemountainmama said...

thanx for stopping by my blog....

i have read about this festival and it sounds wonderfully exciting and festive! i love all the pics that went along with your narration... it helps bring it to life! -bmm

foodette said...

I had never heard of this festival before, but it sounds like an amazing sight. The closest thing we may have to it is Mardis Gras, but it sounds like it pales in comparison to your festival. Thanks for teaching me something new!

Shantanu said...

@bluemountainmama: Welcome to my blog!

@foodette: The period of Durga Puja is a wonderful time to visit Kolkata, just like Brazil is the place to be in during the Mardi Gras celebrations.

Sandeepa said...

Are these pics from Kolkata or Pune, beautiful pic of Ma Durga

Shantanu said...

@sandeepa: Actually they are all from Kolkata, this year's Pujo. Specifically: Kasba Talbagan, Chalta Bagan, College Square, and Dover Road Singhi Park.

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