The Durgoutsav or Durgopujo of Kolkata has been of much fascination & intrigue for the world over, one of the most awaited festivals for the Hindus, especially in all of Bengal & Tripura marking the victory of Ma Durga over the demon Mahishasura – the victory of good over evil & all that prevails…
It also marks the harvest season, of health, wealth & prosperity, the mother goddess Shakti as the embodiment of all life and creation with the celebrations lasting for 10 days – the main celebrations beginning from the sixth day up till the ninth day – these five days are observed as Shashthi, Mahasaptami, Mahaashtami, Mahanavami and Vijayadashami, the grand Pandals with majestic idols of Ma Durga are open for devotees, of which the tenth day, also known as Dashami or Dussehra as we call it marks the Visarjan of the idol with grand celebrations and processions throughout.
The festivities begin from the 20th of September, the main celebrations from the 26th of September – on the day of Mahashashthi of which the easiest way to visit the exquisite pandals is to take a Durga Puja festival tour, deemed most suitable, following through are some of the famous Pandals that have been much acclaimed over the years – some standing out more than others with the most elaborate and innovative themes each year, the ones in north Kolkata seeming more traditional while the ones in south Kolkata more contemporary and showy…
The Bagbazaar Idol
The Bagbazaar Idol sets stage what with its traditional themes, situated in North Kolkata near Launch Ghat along the Hugli river, and has been doing so for about 100 years – one of the oldest Durga Puja pandals in Kolkata attracting thousands of people with its spectacular idol of Ma Durga along with stunning exhibits, carnival rides and stalls.
Established in 1995 in the vicinity of Bagbaazar, Kumartuli Park Durgatsab has come to mark its own significance, especially as it sets stage in the midst of where most of the Durga idols are crafted – one of the oldest localities of Kolkata and home to hundreds of artisans & clay modellers. Every year brings new themes, some out-of-the-box thinking showcasing a fusion of traditional grandeur and art in all its glory!
The Ekdalia Evergreen Club has been much famed for its magnificent pandal exhibits with outstanding replicas of temples from all over the country & world heritage sites each year, with the most exquisite Durga pratima – preserved in all its traditional beauty & significance, innovative themes & decorations drawing massive crowds throughout. It’s located in Gariahat, in the heart of South Kolkata near Mandevilla Gardens.
This one situated at Jadavpur Thana, Jodhpur Park is considered to be one of the most popular ones in south Kolkata, with an array of themes & interestingly a lot of tech savvy & eco-friendly idols & exhibits through the recent years – a combination of innovation & technology throughout.
Suruchi Sangha draws devotees & enthusiasts from all over with their unique & exquisite themes each year – based on the traditional forms of every state in India, their exhibits & displays modelled in sync with their themes drawing from every state. It lies near the petrol pump on Nalini Rajan Avenue in New Alipore, South Kolkata.
Durgoutsav in Kolkata is a sight to behold, an experience to cherish – the grand celebrations, its preparations & festive fervour like never before! The whole city gears up with great enthusiasm to welcome Ma Durga in all her glory…
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