If you ask any Bengali around the world about that one thing which is close to their heart, the answer would simply be Durga Puja.
Being one of the most renowned and auspicious festivals in India, Durga Puja is celebrated in every corner; but with different names. Bengalis call this festival as Durga puja, some call it Navratri, while the others call it as Vijayadashami.
But nobody in this world can beat the celebration of Durga Puja in Kolkata. So, if you really wish to experience the phenomenon of this festival, then all you have to do is pack your bags and land up at the ‘City of Joy’ for the mega event.
From gorgeous pandals, mesmerising idols to delicious food, Kolkata literally lights up with colours, and lots of happiness. This festival is like a non-stop party which goes on for 7 days. So, if you are looking forward to enjoying this celebration, then these 5 ways to experience the Durga Puja festival in Kolkata will surely help you.
5 Unmissable Durga Puja Experiences
Start By Watching How Durga Idols Are Made
If you visit Kolkata a week before Durga Puja begins, you will be able to watch the effort that goes into making the beautifully handcrafted idols of Goddess Durga. You can visit Kumartuli in North Kolkata which is around 30 minutes drive from the city center where a majority of the idols are crafted. Also, on the occasion of Mahalaya (seven days before the Durga Puja), the eyes are drawn onto the idols in an auspicious ritual known as ChokkhuDaan.
Go For Durga Puja Pandal Hopping
To experience the real essence of Durga Puja, you must hop from one pandal to the other. Each pandal has different unique themes, decor, and visions and you will never get bored of it. But yes do remember that an all nighter is a must to explore the city!
Try The Delicious Bengali Cuisine
The best time to sample Kolkata's famous Bengali cuisine is Durga Puja. The occasion can also be dubbed as the ‘festival of food.’ Every single pandal has food stalls that are set up by famous city restaurants, local street food vendors, home makers, etc. Also, don’t forget to have the bhog (offerings to the god) which are served to the visitors at the pandals. This blog consists of a mixed vegetable curry, a fried item, a sweet dish, and a mouthwatering chutney.
Watch The Beautiful Ritual ‘SindoorKhela’
After ecstatic days such as Sashti, Saptami, Ashtami, Navami, the heartbreaking day Dasami arrives. This is the day when the idols are immersed in the holy river, Ganga. But before the immersion, the Bengali women follow a beautiful ritual known as ‘SindoorKhela’ in which, they indulge themselves in playing with the sindoor (vermilion).
See the Immersion of Durga Idols
Bidding Goddess Durga farewell is also done in an equally big and explosive way where huge processions take place with people dancing to the traditional drum beats. An excellent way of seeing this is by hiring a boat.
Hope after reading this, you’ll love visiting the ‘City of Joy’ during Puja. Till we meet again, here’s wishing you a happy, prosperous, and a safe Durga Puja.