Festivals of India-Durgapuja Celebration in Kolkata

Maa Durga


Durga puja , is an annual Hindu festival in South Asia that celebrates worship of the Hindu goddess Durga. Durga Puja is widely celebrated in the Indian states of West Bengal, Assam, Jharkhand, Orissa and Tripura where it is a five-day annual holiday. In West Bengal and Tripura which has majority of Bengali Hindus it is the biggest festival of the year. Not only is it the biggest Hindu festival celebrated throughout the State, but it is also the most significant socio-cultural event in Bengali society. Apart from eastern India, Durga Puja is also celebrated in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab, Kashmir, Karnataka and Kerala. Durga Puja is also celebrated as a major festival in Nepal and in Bangladesh where 10% population are Hindu. Nowadays, many diaspora Bengali cultural organizations arrange for Durgotsab in countries such as the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Singapore and Kuwait, among others.



2013 Dates & time for Durga Puja Celebrations, Kolkata & Delhi.

Mahalaya 04rd October 2013 Friday
Panchmi 09th October 2013 Wednesday
Shashthi 10th October 2013 Thursday
Saptami 11th October 2013 Friday
Mahaa-Ashtami 12th October 2013 Saturday
Mahaa-Nabami 13th October 2013 Sunday
Dashami – Vijya 14th October 2013 Monday
Lakshmi Puja 18th October 2013 Friday
Kali Puja 02nd November 2013 Saturday


Kumari Puja on Ashtami

Durga Puja is the most important festival of Bengal. Durga Puja means more to us than just a religious festival.It is a celebration of life, culture, popular customs and traditions … it is a time for coming together, of reunion and rejuvenation. traditional rituals at that time are maintained that enhances our mind spiritually. Durga Puja, the most happening festival of the Bengalis can be sensed with its spurt of fanfare on all the four days of the Durga Puja festival. This autumnal festival popularly known as Sharodotsav, recalls the power of female Shakti symbolized by the Goddess Durga who slays asura to reestablish peace and sanctity on earth again. Bengalis all over the world during these days of Durga Puja rejoice to their heart’s content reconnecting with friends and relatives. Durga Puja is an occasion when the familiar sound of Dhak, Dhunuchi nachh,the mild fragrance of Shiuli, gives a familiar tug to every Bengali heart.

In Bengal, the Durga Puja is the principal festival during Navaratri. It is celebrated with gaiety and devotion through public ceremonies of “Sarbojanin Puja” or community worship. Huge decorative temporary structures called “pandals” are constructed to house these grand prayer services, followed by mass feeding, and cultural functions. The ten day long Durga Puja Festival rituals are wholly dedicated to the mighty and supreme Goddess Durga. The destructive spree of Maa Durga leaves no evil behind. Riding on her divine chariot of Lion (traditionally called as Singho Vahan), she looks furious, yet charismatic. The festival is the symbol of inevitable triumph of virtuosity over vice. The time span of celebrations of the festival is viewed as Goddess Durga’s ascendancy on earth for that particular time. Soon after, she leaves for Mountain Kailash, where her husband dwells. The story is linked to the married daughters returning to their parent’s home along with their husbands in present times.The earthen icons of Goddess Durga, accompanied by those of Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesha and Kartikya, are taken out on the tenth day in a triumphal procession to the nearby river, where they are ceremonially immersed. Bengali ladies give an emotion-charged send-off to Durga amidst ululations and drumbeats. This marks the end of the goddess’ brief visit to the earth. As Durga leaves for Mount Kailash, the abode of her husband Shiva, it’s time for “Bijoya” or Vijayadashami, when people visit each other’s homes, hug each other and exchange sweets. Durga Puja is a celebration of the Mother Goddess, and the victory of the revered warrior Goddess Durga over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura.

Durga PujaPandal

Durga Puja is celebrated during the last five days of Navaratri, which is usually in late September/early October each year. In 2011, Durga Puja runs from October 2-6. The dates of the festival are determined according to the lunar calendar. This year the goddess Durga arrives on an elephant and departs on a palanquin . Goddess Durga’s arrival on an elephant signifies good harvest while her departure on a palanquin signifies an outbreak of epidemic.The Durga Puja traditionally begins on the Mahalaya in Ashwin month, a day when Chandi Stotram is recited as an invitation for Goddess Durga to descend to earth. In 2011, Mahalaya is on September 27 (in Bengali Calendars). Durga Puja festivities and rituals begin on the Maha Saptami day.


Durga Puja is not only for the transition from the dull to a life of fun and gaiety but also to share this joy and happiness with friends and relatives. The grandeur of the

Sindoor Khela on Dashmi

Puja turns Kolkata into a new city during the last four days of the festival beginning from Maha-Shashti (the sixth day) till the day when the idols are immersed in the rivers, lakes, and seas on the evening of Dashami. This ritual is performed based on the belief that the Mother Goddess descends to the Earth on Shashti, the sixth day of the Pooja and returns to her abode on Dashami, the tenth day of the Pooja. The festival is also known by the names of ‘Navratra’ and ‘Durgostab’ in various parts of the country.However, Durga Puja festival is not merely religious in nature. With time, it has acquired the status of the biggest social event of the region as Bengalis use this time to socialize and make big plans for the four days of Durga Puja. Dances and performances are organized, while feasts and music take over the festive spirit of the city. It is also the time for the teens and youths to catch up on the latest fashion trends, designer clothes, trendy footwear, and catchy accessories. Businessmen certainly cash in on the festival offering sales, discounts, free gifts to customers, thereby further jazzing up the spirits of the people. Shopping spree and traditional Bengali sweets help to loosen up the festive side of the people.Dressing up, socializing with friends, family and relatives, visiting the pandals, eating mouthwatering food and dancing to the beats of drums represent the Durga Puja of Kolkata. In Kolkata, Durga Puja Festival witnesses setting up of the stalls in almost each and every locality. The whole city comes to life at the time of the festival and wears a festive look.


Maa Durga Aarti


Jai Ambe Gauri maiya, jaa Shyama Gauri
Nishdin tumko dhyavat, Hari Brahma Shivji,
Jai Ambe….
Mang sindur birajat, tiko mrigmadko,
ujjvalse dou naina, chandravadan niko,
Jai Ambe….
Kanak saman kalevar, raktambar raje,
Raktapushp galmala, kanthhar saje,
Jai Ambe…. Kehari vahan rajat, khadg khappar dhari
sur nar munijan sevat, tinke dukhahari,
Jai Ambe….
Kanan kundal shobhit, nasagre moti
Kotik chandra divakar, samrajat jyoti,
Jai Ambe….
Shumbh- nishumbh vidare, MahishaSur ghatia
Dhumra-vilochan naina, nishdin madmati
Jai Ambe….
Brahmani, Rudrani tum Kamala Rani,
Agam-nigam bakhani. turn Shiv patrani,
Jai Ambe….
Chaunsath yogini gavat, nritya karat Bhairon,
Bajat tab mridanga, aur bajat damru,
Jai Ambe…
Tum ho jag ki mata, tum hi ho bharta,
Bhaktan ki dukh harta, sukh sampati karta,
Jai Ambe….
Bhuja char ati shobhit, var mudra dhari,
Manvanchhit phal pavat, sevat nar nari,
Jai Ambe….
kanchan thal virajat, agaru kapur bati
Malketu men rajat, kotiratan jyoti,
Jai Ambe….

Maa Durga


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One Response to Festivals of India-Durgapuja Celebration in Kolkata

  1. Tourism in Jamaica says:

    Thansk for the introduction to “Durga puja.” Enjoyable reading and nice pictures you selected too.

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