Friday, October 3, 2008

Durga Puja in Kolkata

Durga Puja is an auspicious occasion which is celebrated in various parts of India, and predominantly in West Bengal. Basically the festival celebrates the victory of good over evil.
Durga Puja is just around the corner. And Kolkata is buzzing with activity.
People are completing their shopping and they have just two more days to go before sasthi (05.10.2008).
The face of the goddess remains covered until the unveiling ritual is performed on Sasthi - the sixth day of the moon. That's the day when the puja festivities begin in full swing!
The puja will continue till Dashami...that is thursday (09.10.2008)
Everything is so lively and colourful!
It is also the time when families visit each other and most of their time is spent in the pandals...every day begins with Anjali (offering prayer flowers to Ma Durga) followed by bhog.
Bhog is a sacred food offering to Ma Durga. It is known as Khichri, made out of rice and pulses, a mixed vegetable preparation that is equally delicious, pappads and a sweet chutney made out of tomatoes, dates, and dry fruits. People stand is queues for a long time for bhogs and it is truly worth the wait! This bhog is served during lunch.
Delicious bengali food and bengali sweets are the highlights of this season.
Durga puja is the time when creativity reaches it highest high in Kolkata.
Artisans create beautiful and creative pandals...Pandals are structures inside which Ma Durga's idol resides.
I will try and capture some of these pandals and post it on my blog.

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