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Durga Puja reveres and pays homage to the Hindu goddess, Durga, The Goddess of Preservation, Strength and Protection. While it is observed and celebrated across the world but unlike any other place, it is celebrated in Kolkata with utmost grandiose. The ten day event in Kolkata is not just met with daily prayers but is celebrated with a lot of celebrations, ranging from excellent food, decorated streets and an overall happiness amongst each and everyone in the city.
For an immersive and unforgettable experience.
Image by Wikimedia
Durga Idol in a pandal during Durga Puja in Kolkata. Here, Durga Ma is killing Mahishasura; Lakshmi and Ganesha on the left with Saraswati and Kartikeya on the right.
The Durga Idols are kept in Pandals, which are temporary structures that function mostly as a tent. In Kolkata, the pandals made during Durga Puja are extravagant and in recent years they’re all centred around a particular theme making them extremely welcoming. The designs of the idols and pandals are made by commissioned artisans where they even come to compete with each other. People in Kolkata go pandal hopping – where they visit pandals one after the other at one go often for hours. And each pandal is decorated so uniquely that it is not similar to the next and after sunset, they light up with vibrant colours, almost everything up to perfection.
Image by Moha Mushkil
This is a traditional Durga Puja Bhog, dishes range from vegetarian to non vegetarian that is extremely delectable.
During Durga Puja, the meal that is served is called the Bhog, in its innate sense it is food that is served free for all. And it is served to the Goddess and to the community which celebrates not only the essence of Bengali food but also Durga Maa. A Bengali Bhog typically is vegetarian served with khichuri as the main item, accompanied by mishti pulao, bhajas (deep fried vegetables) mostly of brinjal, potato, cauliflower and pumpkin along with mixed vegetable dish like labra and chachra. To complete the thali a payesh (kheer) and mishti doi (sweet yogurt) is served that leaves a tint of sweetness. While mostly a vegetarian spread, sometimes fish is also served.
Image from Pinterest
A Bengali family celebrating durga puja in a pandal with the idol of Druga Ma and the backdrop. They’re in their traditional attire.
In the ten-day event, many rituals are performed every day which are different from one another and the last five days certain rituals and practices are involved. Celebration of Durga Maa in Kolkata should be done at least once in a lifetime. It is a beautiful amalgamation of spirituality, light, food, happiness and overall hopefulness of the wellbeing of the community and the world as a whole. Durga Puja in Kolkata is of a different feeling altogether and very few other places can give you the authentic Pujo feels that Kolkata does. The victory of good over evil is marked in Kolkata with utmost respect and love.