Durga Puja

Durgotsava : Delhi looks like Mini-Bengal ! Plan your Durga Puja pandal visit here.

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Durga Puja

Another name: Akaal Bodhan

Observed by: Bengali

Begins: Sixth day of Ashwin Shukla Paksha

Ends: Tenth day of Ashwin Shukla Paksh

Durga Puja festival marks the victory of Goddess Durga over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura. Thus, Durga Puja festival epitomises the victory of Good over Evil. In Bengal, Durga is worshipped as Durgotinashini, the destroyer of evil and the protector of her devotees.

The festival is celebrated with family and other social gatherings, shopping and gift-giving, feasting, pandal-visiting, lighting decorations, cultural dance, idol immersion, Ceremonial worship of goddess Durga, temple services, etc. Bengali married women participate in Sindur Khela, smearing of the vermilion on Durga Puja’s last day.

Modern traditions have come to include the display of decorated pandals and artistically depicted sculptures (murti) of Durga. Pandals and sculptures inspired by a particular theme have been the hallmark of many community or Sarbajanin Pujas since the 1990s. Puja committees decide on a particular theme, whose elements are incorporated into the pandal and the sculptures. The design and decoration is usually done by art and architecture students based in the city. The budget required for such theme-based pujas is often higher than traditional pujas. They attract crowds and are well received.

As we soak in the festivities of Durga Puja, Bengalis in Delhi feel at home in parts of the capital. Here, We are acquainting you to the two beautiful Durga Puja pandals in Delhi.

 

Jute Durga idol

Location: Near Aaram Bagh, Panchkuian Road

Nearest Metro Station: R K Ashram Marg

Entry: Free
Photography: Allowed

Organised by: Arambagh Puja Samiti

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Arambagh Durga idol

The Arambag Durga Puja is one of the big budget Pujas in Delhi. Arambagh Puja Samiti here has designed the pandal on the the theme, “In Search of Roots” for which they have procured a “small” jute idol of the Indian Goddess from Purulia in West Bengal. “This Durga idol from West Bengal, will be preserved in a museum after the puja,” says Abhijit Bose, Executive Chairman of Arambagh Puja Samiti. The idol has been designed by Gouranga Kuila, a Bengal-based artist who received the National Award for handicrafts in 2002.

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decor @arambagh
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decor @arambagh
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decor@ arambagh

The pandal has been richly decorated with traditional artworks including Madhubani paintings adorning the walls. Innovative murals in betel nut skins render an element of Bengali authenticity to the celebrations. On all four sides of the pandal are images that narrate the episode of Ram’s Akal Bodhan to Goddess Durga from the Hindu epic “Ramayana”. The 45-feet gate of the pandal is in the form of a tribal woman holding a ‘diya’ in her hands, symbolic of the way of life in Purulia.

decor @arambagh

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drums for cultural dance @ arambagh

Though the ceremonies start from 8 PM to 12 PM, but you can visit the pandal at day time also.

 

Kali bari

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Durga pandal @ kalibari

Location: Near Gole Market, Mandir Marg, CP

Nearest Metro Station: R K Ashram Marg

Entry: Free
Photography: Allowed

Organised by: Abasan Durga Puja Samiti

The temple is located on the Mandir Marg, situated west of Connaught Place in New Delhi. The temple is easily accessible from the city by local buses, taxis and auto-rickshaws. Nearest Delhi Metro station is R.K.Ashram Marg, located about 2 km away. The Kali Bari, Mandir Marg Durga Puja is one of the oldest one in Delhi, dating back to 1925. The puja celebration at Kali Bari is traditional in feel. You will find traditional ekchalar thakur (single frame for idols) and sholar kaaj. Interestingly, the puja rituals too have remained unchanged since 1936. The traditional competitions in Rabindra sangeet and recitation are still organised during the puja.

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decor @ kalibari

The puja celebrations will also recreate mini-Kolkata with food and festivity galore. Popular performing traditions from Bengal such as Baul, Chou, Gambhira, Yatra, and Kavigaan will be part of the cultural programme, besides specialised artisans in ‘Dokra’ and ‘Poktkatha’ performing live on the occasion. The puja samiti attracts thousands people every year through its grandeur in decoration and big budget pandals. Among all the puja celebrations in the Capital, this one is the most popular for its dhaaki (dholak) performances.

You wouldn’t be able to put your eyes off the Kali idol in the temple. It’s so prepossessing.

Reccomendations: Must visit these pandals as the idol makers are creating the ‘Creator’ in various Indian themes.

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