Reminiscing Durga Puja

So, finally I am back to blogging after my long hibernation! And my feelings are not much different from how we used to feel as school students, when school used to reopen for the new session after the 2 months long summer vacation. This was before the age of mobile phones and Facebook, and phone calls were not so cheap, so we were not able to keep in touch with friends during the break. And so we would excitedly share stories of what we all did, places we travelled, summer courses we did, and what not!

So today’s post will be about the annual event for which I, along with every other Calcuttan across the globe, waits for as eagerly, as a school kid waiting for school to get over!

Durga Puja.

That period of 4 days which turns the city of Calcutta into one BIG carnival! I have already done a post on Durga Puja last year. But, this year I have been able to capture many more aspects of the ceremony, which was missing last year. And, hopefully the images captured this year will provide a fresh perspective. This year, Durga Puja was celebrated in the first week of October.

PART 1- The Preparation

Kumartuli is the locality where majority of the artists who create the idols of Durga, reside. Months before the Puja, the artists start creating the idols using clay from the Hooghly river which flows by the city.

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This was shot at Kumartuli, the locality of Kolkata where most of the artists who create the idols of Durga reside.

 

Almost battle ready- Kumartuli

Almost battle ready- Kumartuli

Ready to paint the town red- Kumartuli

Ready to paint the town red- Kumartuli

At Kumartuli

At Kumartuli

At Kumartuli

At Kumartuli

At Kumartuli

At Kumartuli

The idols are brought to from the artists' workshop to the waiting trucks on the main road, using basic structures like bamboo and ropes...and yes, manpower

The idols are brought to from the artists’ workshop to the waiting trucks on the main road, using basic structures like bamboo and ropes…and yes, manpower

 

On way to the waiting trucks...

On way to the waiting trucks…

At Kumartuli

At Kumartuli

 

PART 2- Pandal Hopping

And once the idols reach the respective Pandals all across the cities, it is time for the festivities to begin. People throng the streets, going from one pandal to another. Artists put their best efforts at creating structures made on bamboo structures, which are jaw-droppingly creative, to say the least.

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Crowds thronging to a Pandal

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PART 3- Sindoor Khela

The Sindoor khela or Play with vermillion is perhaps the most colourful event of the Puja. It is held on the last of the Puja, and traditionally married women are supposed to prepare the goddess Durga for her final return journey. After the religious customs are completed, women smear each other with the vermillion.

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PART 4- Protima Bisharjon/ Idol Immersion

This is the final part of the 4 day festival with which the festivities come to an end. Idols from all across the city are taken to few designated places by the Hooghly river to immerse the idol in the river.

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Let me know if you enjoyed the Photo-Essay. πŸ™‚

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31 thoughts on “Reminiscing Durga Puja

  1. Thank you for your interesting explanation of this colourful and fascinating festival. I look forward to more of your informative blogs. I learn more about India every time I drop by.

    • Thank you SO SO much Elizabeth!! πŸ™‚ Happy that you liked them..and yes, even I am so glad to be back bloggin..it’s as if I am meeting my friends after a long time…in fact not “as if”..it is…that i am meeting my friends after a long gap!

  2. You have done an exceptional job by almost resurfacing the Durga Puja fever even though it’s been months it’s over. The visuals are absolutely stunning, both the images of the lone gods as well as the pandals that scream out with details. Please do keep blogging more frequently! And oh, a small suggestion, you must link this post to the Durga Puja post of the previous year!

    • Hey Snowflake!! Thank you and thank you!! I had thought about linking it to the previous year’s pujo post…but I forgot…thank god for friends like you…who keep a sharp lookout for slips! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    • Hey Thanks buddy! Glad that liked the set..and yeah…the first one was kinda satisfying…not just from the composition perspective, but also the post processing aspect! Thanks for dropping by! πŸ™‚

  3. I’d seen a few of your images earlier, but putting them against the narrative backdrop has really made them come alive! I miss the Pujas, dearly! Thanks for sharing the photos and the images… such a vibrant set, too! Beautiful work!

    • Hello Lady A-maze-ing! πŸ˜€ That’s an awesome compliment…and yes..i am seriously contemplating the same…but then again…many a slip between the cup and the lip! πŸ™‚ Hope you are keeping well! πŸ™‚

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