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Durga Puja celebration at Kolkata

Deepti Beke
Written by Deepti Beke
Airbnb APAC

We have bid a final goodbye to Bappa but don’t worry as there are many more festivals lined up! Get ready to welcome Goddess Durga in Navratri. While Maharashtra turns into a beauty during Ganesh festival, Kolkata flaunts its red beauty during Durga Puja celebrations. With beautifully decorated huge pandals and amazing food, this is the time to visit Kolkata. You can experience the real essence of the city of Kolkata during Durga Puja celebrations.

 

Durga maa is welcomed in Kolkata in a traditional manner. Prepartions start weeks before with the artists preparing murti of Goddess Durga and pandals start prepping up with new themes every year. They work relentlessly to take you to a new world through their creations. Murti of maa Durga is painted beautifully except the eyes. Eyes are painted on the day of Mahalaya or the first day after the mantras are chanted. They say that Maa Durga enters into the idol on this day once the eyes are painted.

If you are in Kolkata at the time of Durga puja you can plan the things below:

See how the idols are made:

The idols are prepared months before and are made out of bamboo,straws and clay. The artists prepare it with great pains and there have been generations of artists doing this work. You should visit these places to see how painstakingly the idols are prepared. Check this video to see the process –

Visit the pandals

The integral part of the festival are the beautifully decorated pandals. They are open to public from 6th to 10th day.The pandals earlier used to carry a traditional theme with temples and stories of goddess being depicted in them.With changing times they too have started sporting modern themes like anything ranging from Bahubali theme, Thanos or any other famous movie sets. Pandals also focus on social issues and current affairs.

See the top pandals of 2018 –

Binge on the delicacies:

Yummy food and delicious sweets are an integral part of Kolkata. I think Bengalies prepare the best sweets in the world! Their Sondesh, Rasogulla or Rajbhog are the main reason for me to visit Kolkata. And what would be a better season to binge on their sweets than Durga puja. The city turns into a food battle during Durga puja. There are various street food joints. From various preparations of fish, sweets and puchkas you will surely have lots of yummy food for your tummy.

Here are the dishes you must try during Durga puja –

Meet beautiful people

Bengalies have fun dressing up during Durga Puja. They shop like there is no tomorrow.If you visit the pandals,you could see best dressed men, women and children.Their sarees, jewellery and dresses are worth a gaze.The woman with long hair and beautiful eyes look very pretty.Top it up with beautiful bindis and there is no woman in the world as beautiful as a Bong woman!

See this video which actress Kajol has shared

See the traditions

The traditional arati of Maa Durga must not be missed.The priest waves the lit-up lamps before the Goddess and the way in which they do it is a beauty to watch.

During the Durga Puja ritual drummers called dhakis who carry large  dhaks beat the dhak while dancers perform Dhunuchi dance with earthen pots on the beats to appease Goddess Durga.

See this video as Sushmita Sen dances with her daughter –

Shopping:

The traditional costume for women during Durga puja is white saree with a red border and the traditional red bangles.Men wear dhoti and Kurta.As Bengalies shop a lot during Durga Puja,there are loads of shopping avenues available before and during the festival.Do make the most of it!

The day of Vijayadashami or on the 10th day which is the day on which Durga Maa defeated the demons is the day on which the goddess is made many offerings and is then ready to go back.Married women apply Vermillion on Durga maa’s forehead and she is immersed in water similar to Ganpati visarjan.The procession for this visrajan is very beautiful.

Aren’t these reasons enough to visit Kolkata during the upcoming Navratri? Have you been to Kolkata during Navratri?

Do share your photos with us.

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About the author

Deepti Beke

Deepti Beke

A software engineer by profession and a traveller by heart,that is what describes me the best.If given a chance I would gladly like to live out of suitcase. I plan trips whenever I am happy, whenever I am sad, whenever I am stressed..in short everytime :-)
​Reading and writing are my other passions and a perfect day for me would be a day spent with a coffee and a book!
My favourite book is The Secret and I am a strong believer in law of attraction and it has always worked for me!

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