No other festival in the world assumes such massive and grand proportions as the Durga Pooja of Kolkata, West Bengal. New York of America is the city that never sleeps. During the five days of the pooja, Kolkata assumes that role. It becomes a metropolis where its natives forget the meaning of ‘rest.’ They hang around from pandal to pandal and revere Goddess Durga, the Mother of all. Everyone in the world should witness the Durga pooja once to rethink their version of the definition of the word, ‘festivity.’
Kolkata Durga Pooja festival is one of the most famous events in West Bengal and the entire subcontinent of India. The celebrations take place honouring Goddess Durga during Navaratri. The party goes on for ten days, though it officially starts from the sixth day and ends on the ninth. Colourful lighting ensembles and themed pandals appear on every corner of every street. These pandals remain open to all visitors. The tenth day marks the end of the celebrations and the Visarjan.
The Intro of Kolkata Durga Pooja festival explains what it is all about. According to Hindu mythology, Goddess Durga is an accumulation of the power of all the Gods. She is an embodiment of ‘Shakti’ or divine feminine energy. Her purpose is to destroy the evil demon ‘Mahishasura.’ This demon received blessings which made him invincible to humans and Gods alike. Goddess Durga is the only divine being who can defeat this monstrosity because she is all-powerful. This Mother Goddess receives unbridled reverence from the people of Bengal. That is why they celebrate her return with much grandeur and ceremonies.
Reaching Kolkata Durga Pooja festival isn’t an issue because West Bengal is an important state to India. Kolkata is a crucial city and has well-established connectivity with the rest of the subcontinent. Flights to the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International airport are readily available from other states. Train traveling is also possible from different places along with roadway transportation. Of course, if you wish to travel via the roadways, it will only be possible from specific areas.
Kolkata is the City of Joy, and its people happen to be one of the friendliest in the world. Finding an appropriate accommodation facility shouldn’t be an issue on typical days. However, Staying at Kolkata Durga Pooja festival can be slightly tricky because it attracts people from all over the world. So, it will be better for you if you can book hotels rooms as early as possible. Kolkata is full of luxurious star-rated hotels along with budget accommodation facilities.
The Best time to at Kolkata Durga Pooja festival is in October. However, if you are Indian, then you should be aware that festival dates are changeable. You can ascertain the exact dates of a festival based on a ‘Panjika.’ ‘Panjika’ or ‘panji’ is a Hindu astronomical almanac. The dates of the celebrations should be there. Or, you can rely on your calendars for the Navaratri dates. They should be the same for the Durga pooja.
Pandal hopping should be at the top of the list of things to do at Kolkata Durga Pooja festival. No individual in all of West Bengal remains in their home during this time. Everybody hangs out from one pandal to the next. Even in the middle of the night, the pandals remain flooded with people. Apart from that, locals take a break from their kitchens and grab their meals from restaurants and street-side sellers. Basically, Kolkata becomes an unruly mess during Durga Pooja. You should also check out a traditional ‘bonedi bari pooja’ and ‘kumari pooja.’
As already mentioned, almost nobody enters their kitchen during the festivities. All restaurants, eateries, and street-side food stalls remain jam-packed. You must try some of the most favoured dishes which rule the hearts of the people in Kolkata. Among Local food at Kolkata Durga Pooja festival, you should try kosha mangsho and biriyani. Don’t forget to try khichuri bhog served by the local youngsters clad in traditional dresses at pandals on Ashtami. Street-side specialities include chop-cutlet, chowmein, and rolls. Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to mention all the delicacies to try because there are just too many of them.
Kolkata happens to be the most open-minded city in all of India. So, there aren’t many dos and don’ts to mind, but there are some Tips for viewing Kolkata Durga Pooja festival. The crowds at pandals can be very impatient. Therefore, you must keep moving without stopping. Unless you can locate a spot to stand, you shouldn’t come to a halt. Don’t carry any large bags or backpacks with you; otherwise, the crowds will have to take care of your stuff. Avoid eating anything before you head out to the pandals, or you will miss out on all the delicacies.
Well, there are chances that you will feel like attending the Durga pooja of Kolkata every year after witnessing it. So, there is no point in mentioning Other famous places near Kolkata Durga Pooja festival.