Sunday, 5 October 2014

Durga Puja : At Kolkata

By: Jessica Mohapatra
What is the first thing that comes to the mind of a student when a person talks  of  Durga Puja.....Holidays.........,yes but the first thing that comes to the mind of a Kolkatan is the 10 days of festivities coupled with a dozen new dresses(ranging from traditional to modern), good food ( here 'good' being an understatement) , lots of adda(gossip with friends) and last but definitely not the least Pandal Hopping ( which can go on till about 4 in the morning).

Durga Puja is the lifeline of Kolkata(Sorry KKR!!) ,it actually has 10 days starting from Mahalaya but only the last five days are observed with pomp and √©lan that is Shasti ,Saptami,, Ashtami, Navami and the (sorrowful) Dashami. It is during Durga Puja that Kolkata looks
 like a beautiful and dazzling bride decorated in all its glory and bringing unbridled joy to the faces of people.
And Here I will be presenting you with a slice of Kolkata and some of it's most touted pujas.
My complex puja

I am from Kolkata , The train reached the station at 4:30 am but my parents were delayed by 45 minutes due to traffic (this early in the morning) and I had to wait there . But what I am hinting at is that Traffic is typical in Kolkata but not so this early in the morning....the reason was that it was Saptami morning ...and the city was filled with life and activity even in wee hours of morning.This is what Puja means to Kolkata.

The mood at Kolkata is jovial , everywhere the sound of dhak (the traditional drums), the loud laughter and speakers blaring with Rabindranath Tagore songs fills the air . Here is a glimpse....of what Kolkata is all about during the pujas and the expertise of Bengali craftsmen in  showing off their creativity.

The next day at around 11 pm me and my family went for pandal hopping (11pm is not late as Kolkata does not sleep during the Pujas).
What greeted us were these spectacular Pandals:

Pandal 1: This pandal has attracted a lot of attention as it has been built of just sea shells, the idol too has been built of only shells..
Then we went to the next Pandal.
Pandal 1 built entirely of shells
The shell idol of Pandal  1

Pandal 2: The pandal was adorned with Jamini Roy Paintings, his paintings are very famous throughout the world and bring out the true flavour of Bengal.
Pandal 2 adorned with Jamini Roy Paintings.

The idol of Pandal 2

It was around 11:30 this pandal is a very popular one but we  could not go inside  it as it was very crowded (there must have been a 100000+ crowd)
this is Pandal 3 : This was modelled as a an old British era Haunted House with trees and shrubs growing wildly out of it...This surely is one creepy house that people were trying to get into (rather than get out of),

The haunted House Pandal 3
Pandal 4: It was one of the most beautiful pandals that we had seen that day, It was just built of chairs that entire pandal was built of only broken  chairs ,it was  dome shaped with an artificial lake in front of it.It was built of broken chairs .....our EES Maam would have been proud seeing all the recycling.

The broken chair Pandal 4

The idols sitting on chairs in pandal 4
It was past 12:30 when we went to the next pandal

Pandal no 5: It was very unique too built entirely of Terracotta, the statue too was built of red terracotta, such was the statue that the visitors just could not stop themselves from clicking a photo of this beauty.
The terracotta palace of pandal 5
The red terracotta idol of pandal 5

Pandal no 6:This was simple yet with  a profound message that all religions are one......Notice the cross on top of this pandal......this is what community life should be where all religions stay peacefully.
Pandal no 6
idol of pandal 6

Around 1 am we went to the last pandal ,
Pandal no 7:It was themed on our Ratha, It had a huge Ratha not pulling Lord Jagannath this time but the Goddess Durga.
The Ratha pandal 7
The idol of Pandal 7

We had a wonderful time and Returned home at around 2am. During the sad  Dashami ,the mood in Bengal is heartwrenching , amidst the joy lies the sorrow tha Maa will leave us for her holy abode with a promise to meet us again next year.
Subho Bijoya!!!

Till then Subho Bijoya to one and all!!
May Maa Bless one and all..

signing off......


  1. Something new..!! very nicely covered.
    Great Work !!

    1. Thank you we are pleased that you liked it..