A guide to Kolkata’s Durga puja pandals
What can be more exciting to the Bengalis than the Durga Puja. Hindus in general celebrate the Durga puja but it is the Bengalis who celebrate it in style and grandeur. The Bengalis are avid fans of the Goddess Durga and every year they spend lavishly to do the Durga Puja.
Durga Puja is the only festival which is celebrated in an epic proportion. Bengalis are known to have many festivals and occasions throughout the year but nothing beats the Durga puja. During the pujas people get holidays and it is the time where they come together and socialize. All those who work outside of the home place come back to their families and friends and they have a good time bonding together. The Bengalis have a unique pleasure in visiting durga pandals. Every locality build a pandal, which is nothing but a grand structure which can be made of anything depending upon the theme chosen by the organizers where Durga and idols are kept for visiting. People visit these pandals, perform pujas and so on. Themes can vary, in fact various organizers compete with other to get the top prize in pandal decoration and innovation.
But if you want to enjoy Durga Puja you can’t be anywhere other than Kolkata. Kolkata is the capital of the State West Bengal and Kolkata is the famed place of the Bengalis. If you happen to be in Kolkata then it is essential to know which of the famous pandals to visit.
1. Kumartuli Park—Kumartuli Park is the place where the idols of Durga are made by professional clay modelers. They painstakingly handcraft each of the idols. Now these idols are then sold to various puja organizers. The puja in Kumartuli Park is comparatively new and young but they have become popular due to their innovativeness. The organizers come up with various themes that are really striking.
Location– the park is located along the river Ganga just before Bagbazar. The nearest metro is Shovabajar. So, one can expect a short walk up to the park from the station.
2. College Square—College square is a very popular place in Kolkata among youth and old as well. It is the hangout place of the college students of nearby Presidency College. It is also the place where you find used books at a very cheap price. Books are from different streams and subjects and genres. It’s a whole world out there and one can find any book here. The puja of the college square is really famous as it is constructed beside a small lake and it is really amazing to see the lights reflected in the water. Of course one has to visit it in the night.
Location– it is located near MG road metro station. The place is in central Kolkata and 53 college street to be precise. Also the esteemed Presidency College is also very near to the place.
3. Mohammed Ali Park– This is another place which is really a crowd puller. You haven’t seen all unless you have seen the Mohammed Ali Park puja. The organizers of this puja are known to make it big and lavish. So don’t miss it.
Location– the place is very near to the puja of college square. It is located almost at the same place in MG road. So, one can easily visit this pandal along with the one, at college square.
4. Santosh Mitra Square—The Santosh Mitra Square puja rose up the popularity charts in 1997 with a one of a kind theme. Since then they have never looked back and they have remained one of the favourite places for padal hoppers.
Location– it is located in Bowbazar just off the BB Ganguly Street in central Kolkata.
5. Jodhpur Park Puja – The Puja at Jodhpur Park is considered as one of the best Pujas in South Kolkata region, especially. This Puja incorporates eye-candy themes, which are generally best enjoyed during the night time.
Location – This Place is located near Dhakuria and Jadavpur Police Station. Nearest Metro Station to reach in this place is Ravindra Sarovar. One can reach this place through train also. People coming from Sealdah South section trains, should get down at Dhakuria Station and the people coming from Budge Budge Budge Section should get down at Lake Gardens Station.
6. Naktala Udayan Sangha – Naktala Udayan Sangha emerged as one of the prime Pujas in far-South Kolkata. This Puja is winning some top accolades continuously since last 3 or 4 years.
Location – This Puja Pandal is located at Naktala on NSC Bose Road. The best way to reach that place is through Metro Railway. The nearest station to reach this Puja Pandal is Gitanjali.
7. Ekdahlia Evergreen Puja – Ekdahlia Evergreen Club is organizing one of the oldest sarvajanin Durga Pujas in Kolkata. This Puja is famous especially for fabulous light-works. The Durga idols here in this pandal, since its genesis, are made in traditional way, which attracts a huge amount of Pandal hoppers.
Location – This Pandal is Located near Gariahat. One can reach this place either bus or train or metro railway. The nearest Metro Station to this place is Kalighat, and the nearest Railway station to this place is Ballygaunge.
8. Baghbazar Sarvajanin – This Puja is considered as one of the most glamorous and oldest sarvajanin Durga Pujas in Kolkata. In fact, this North Kolkata based Puja won lots of accolades throughout the years.
Location – you can reach this place either by metro railway or ferry or circular railway or bus. The nearest circular railway station to this place is Baghbazar. On other hand, the nearest metro station is Shyambazar. You can also reach this place by Ferry through Baghbazar Ghat.
9. Boshpukur Taltala – This puja came into a prominence about a decade back when they created an excellent pandal with clay-made teapots. Over the years, this Puja showed brilliance in choosing and implementing some quality themes.
Location – This Puja pandal is located on the Gariahat to bypass connector Road. People coming through EM Bypass need to get down at Kasba Golpark and visit this pandal.
10. Babubagan Sarvajanin – This Puja surprises the pandal hoppers every year with some exciting new themes. A village of traditional Bengal to the Bamboo Fort – they earned huge amount of accolades over the years.
Location – Babubagan Sarvajanin is one of the most prominent Pujas of South Kolkata and the Puja pandal is located very near to that of Jodhpur Park Puja. So please vide the route directions mentioned earlier in this article for the Jodhpur Park Puja, which is the same in this case too.