Durga Puja is that time of the year, when you would be seeing a different sight of Kolkata. Trust me being a Kolkata resident I have seen it inside out, ask any local resident and I am sure he will tell you that Kolkata turns into a different city during the time of the great festival. There is one special thing about this festival and it is that this city actually unites during this time. All are extremely happy during this time, Bengali or Non-Bengali; whether you are a follower of Durga Ma or not; this puja brings extreme ecstasy to the citizens of Kolkata! In this article I would tell you about 7 things which you should know about and do during the time of Durga Pujo.
7 Things You Need To Know About And Do During The Time Of Durga Puja
Featured Photo by Prabal Ghosh Photography
1.Basic Things You Need To Know About Durga Puja
Durga Puja is a nine-day festival which is celebrated during the month of October. It is referred to as “Durgo Pujo” or just “Pujo” in Kolkata. It is celebrated because it is believed that Durga Ma comes to her home town during this month, It is also a legend that she comes to destroy the evil. So this is the reason why Durga Puja is celebrated in Kolkata.
Photo by ayandrali
2.How is it is celebrated?
Like I said it is celebrated in the month of October, it is a nine-day festival but the actual celebrations happen during the last five days. The preparations of Durga Puja begin during the time of August, but some pandals which require time to build begin their preparations from July itself. Talking about shopping and stuff, it is probably the only time when Bengalis decide to show off their clothes, belongings and other valuable materials. They begin their shopping during the time of august and it is a treat to the local vendors and business men due to the healthy profit which they make during this period.
Photo by Shubhamoy
3.What Is So Special About It?
Durga Puja is probably the only puja which is celebrated like a bash throughout the city. All the offices declare a 3-5day holiday and it is a bonus if the puja starts on a Monday. So the whole weekend plus the 3-5days; it is almost like a mini vacation at home. During Durga Puja (like I mentioned before) we get to see a whole new side of this city. Generally, you will find that all the shops in Kolkata are closed by 11pm and you will find no one in the street after 11. 30pm.But during this festival you will find that the people actually leave their homes at 11pm and get to their respective homes by 8 in the morning. All this proves, how much Durga Puja matters to the city of joy.
Photo by ankuz
Pandals are the most important thing in Durga Puja. The kind of pandals that you would be able to see is just so magnificent that it is difficult for me to describe in words. Let me tell you about the themes of pandals which you will be able to see during the time of Durga Puja; Taj Mahal, Howrah Bridge, Kumbh Mela, Castles (Once, Hogwards school of Harry potter series was also created), Ships and many more. The best locations to find such pandals would be, Kumartuli Park, Deshopriya Park, Ahritola, Dum Dum Park, Lake Town, Mohammad Ali Park and Manicktala.
Photo by Debarshi Ray
This is one of the best things about Durga Puja, the kind of food you get to witness during the time of Durga Puja is just so delicious to the eyes that you just can’t afford to miss it. It is one time of the year when hawkers from all over the city come together and provide the best they got for this auspicious occasion. Chow Mein, Fried Rice, Chicken Roll, Mutton Roll, Fish Fry, Chicken Biriyani, Mutton Biriyani, Fish Chop are a few of the many varieties which you would be coming across during Durga Puja. More importantly some major brands like Dominos, Pizza hut have also started putting up their stalls; so if you plan on pandal hopping then food is not going to be a problem for you!
Photo by ankuz
More than anything, you need to witness Durga Puja to soak in the atmosphere. You may be a person who likes to be in quiet places, doesn’t like to go out in crowded places. But trust me, when it comes to Durga Puja no matter how long is the que; you would want to be one of the persons in the crowd. Some people keep on cracking jokes, some spontaneous people would describe the pandal in such a way that even if the pandal theme is not interesting then it would start looking interesting and appealing to you. Bottom line is you just can’t afford to miss the atmosphere which you come to witness during Durga puja.
Photo by travelling slacker
7.Kolkata – Nothing Seems More Beautiful
I have to agree to the fact that Kolkata is not as well maintained as cities like Chandigarh and Bangalore but during the time of Durga Puja nothing could possibly look more beautiful than Kolkata. The lightning, the people, pandal hoping, atmosphere and most importantly the city, all this adds up to the already legendary festival.
All these points prove how much Durga Puja means to the city of joy, Kolkata. The city looks like a newlywed bride during this season and probably that is the reason why Kolkata’s Durga Puja is so famous around the globe. If you plan on coming to Kolkata, try and visit it during the time of October. The city looks the best during this period. Well, what are you waiting for? Come to Kolkata and witness their “Durga Pujo”.
Photo by travelling slacker