About Durga Puja in Kolkata
Hello friends! How are you? I hope you are doing fine. Let’s begin with a quiz session today. If Dias de los Muertos is for Oaxaca, Tomorrowland is for Boom, La Tomatina is for Bunol, and Oktoberfest is for Munich, then what is for Kolkata? I know maximum of the people reading this article know the answer – yes, the answer is Durga Puja. Kolkata’s Durga Puja is now a global phenomenon and it attracts a huge amount of foreign tourists during the celebration.
Durga Puja is actually a religious practice by the Hindus all over the world. This festival is held in the autumn (September or October by English Calendar). The main course of the festival runs through five days. In fact, Durga Puja is considered as the prime festival of the Hindus. Actually Durga Puja is celebrated all over the world, especially where Bengalis live. But we can’t deny the fact that the real charm of Durga Puja can be enjoyed the best at Kolkata, the capital of Indian state West Bengal only. If you visit Kolkata at least once during this festival, you can see that this is not only a festival for the Hindus here – even Muslims, Christians, and Buddhists are enjoying it equally.
As religion is attached with this festival, it is obvious that some mythology will be attached to it. Interestingly, the mythology regarding Durga Puja is directly attached with the Hindu epic called Ramayana and many more. Durga is the Goddess of Power. She was created by the power of Trinity to rescue the world from the evil acts of Mahishasura. She has 10 hands. She was accompanied by a lion during her fight against Mahishasura. In fact, Goddess Durga is also known as Mahishasurmardini, as she killed the evil and saved the whole world.
But, according to Ramayana, Durga Puja was held previously during the time of spring. It was Rama, who worshipped Goddess Durga and prayed for her blessings to win the war against Ravana during the time of autumn. Since then Goddess Durga is worshipped in the time of autumn.
Durga Puja in Kolkata
Now it should be noted, Durga Pujas in Kolkata are divided into categories. The first one is known as Sarvayanin Durgotsava, where any individual can participate. Others are domestic pujas where only the families and friends are invited. It is evident that the Sarvajanin Durgotsavas are the main charms of this festival.
The formalities of the festival in Kolkata begin four months before the main festival. The artists start developing the Durga idols from clay during the time of Ratha Yatra. The organizers of the Saravajanin Durgotsavas started developing beautiful structures where the Puja will be performed. People start hopping towards the shopping malls and markets to buy new dresses and accessories.
The main course of the festival starts five days after the Mahalaya. The whole city of Kolkata becomes brighter than ever. Even ten years ago, the organizers of this festival tried to concentrate on the tradition of Bengal only. But the whole scenario is changed now. Each and every group of organizers follows a particular theme to attract more and more people.
People of every age roam all around the city day and night during this time in their new dresses. Ashtami, the third day of the festival is considered as the peak day and Dashami, the last day is considered as a sad day as the festival comes to an end. From north to south you will find more that 1000 committees organizing Puja in various places. So what do you think – isn’t it a great idea to visit Kolkata this October?