Occasion: Durga Puja
Location: West Bengal
Festival Time: September-October
Legend or Deity: Goddess Durga
Famous Rituals: Mahasasthi, Mahasaptami, Mahasstami,
Cuisine: Luchi, Begun Bajha, Chanar Daal, Alurdam,
Kichidi, Dalna, Payasam,
Tourists Attraction: Chariot Procession, Immersion of
Idols, Cultural Programmes, Jatras, Animal sacrifice
Staying Options: Hotel Hindustan International, The
Golden Park, Hotel Heera International, ITC Sonar Bangla Sheraton
The drum beats, the buzzy shopping centers and idol preparation sense the
spirit of Durga Puja. Celebrated since the Mughal Era in 16th century, this
is one of the major festivals of Bengalis. It is dedicated to Goddess Durga
and Hindu mythological state the saga, believed by the devotees.
Accordingly, the birth of Goddess was due to the collision of powers by Lord
Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma. She had defeated demon King Mahishasura
and had saved Devpuris(Heaven) and earth from the cruelty of the Rakhasa.
Since then, devotees begin to celebrate the days of joy.
Soul Connecting Durga Puja Rituals
The arrival of Durga Puja can be felt with Mahalaya, the first phase of
crescent moon in Aswin(as per the Hindu Calendar). On the very day, devotees
rise up early morning and proceed towards offering prayer to Goddess, on the
bank of city river. They believe to see the facial expression of 'Mata' on
the still water. This ritual is called as Tarpan.
Seven days after Tarpan, the puja gets inaugurated with Mahashashti.
Following this the main puja starts from Mahasaptami, Mahaastami, Mahanavami
and ends up with the immersion of idols in fourth day, i.e Vijayadashami.
The first day(Mahasaptami) follows the ancient trend of worshiping nine
types of plants, that together symbolizes the Goddess. The main puja of the
day is Kalparambo and Mahasnan.
Mahaastami(second day) begins with Kumari Puja, the worship of small girls
and Sandhi Puja. On the first half hour of the day, the puja pendal remain
clogged with devotees performing anjali and chanting mantras with the
With the end of Sandhi Puja, that begins on the second day, Mahanavami Puja
starts on the third day. The Navami Bhog is offered, with great religious
heart by thousand of devotees. After completion of the rituals, prasad are
distributed among the devotees.
The last day, although offers the joy of enjoying the chariot procession,
yet devotees eyes get filled with tears. Early in the morning, rituals are
completed and espoused women visit the temple to offer oil and sindoor to
the Goddess. Children, too carry their books and make them touch Goddess
feet. After immersion of the idols, the evening time get engage in
distributing Shanti Jaal(water brought from the holy river or lake) and
wishing each other 'Shubo Vijayadashami'.
Durga Puja Celebration and Attractions
The festival is celebrated in a large scale all over India. The pomp and
grandeur can be best felt in West Bengal, where devotees give traditional
touch to each and every corner of the state. Some heritage house in
Bikrampur, Ashoknagar, Chorbagan, Sobhabazar and Barisha have been
celebrating the festival since 200 to 250 years old by the bygone zamindars.
The places are still maintaining the tradition and hence attracting tourist
from all across the globe.
During Durga Puja, various cultural programmes, like Jatra, folk dances and
song, shankh competition are organized by the puja communities. Many ancient
temples follow the ritual of sacrificing buffaloes on the day of
Mahaashtami. Almost every pendal organizes grand feast including Kichidi,
Mix Vegetables, Payasam, Roshogolla, and Chuttneys
Place of staying in West Bengal
The best way to enjoy Durga Puja festival in West Bengal is by staying at
comfortable hotels like Astor Hotel, Hotel Hindustan International, The
Golden Park, Hotel Heera International, ITC Sonar Bangla Sheraton, Hotel
Minerva, Hotel Lindsay and Park Hotel.
Reaching West Bengal during Durga Puja
Major Indian states like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai is connected to West Bengal
via airways. The state has both international airport in Kolkata and
domestic airport at Bagdogra, near Siliguri.
The state has two railway station, namely, Howarh and Sealdah train station
near Kolkata and New Jalpaiguri station near Siliguri. The railhead services
regular express trains to the major Indian states
Road ways connecting State highways and National highways are well
connected by means of private coaches and state owned buses.