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Durga Puja

Fast Facts:
Occasion: Durga Puja
Location: West Bengal
Festival Time: September-October
Legend or Deity: Goddess Durga
Famous Rituals: Mahasasthi, Mahasaptami, Mahasstami, Mahanavami, Vijayadashami
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.

Durga Puja

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 priest.

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

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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
By Air:
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.

By Rail:
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

By Road:
Road ways connecting State highways and National highways are well connected by means of private coaches and state owned buses.

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