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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Let me know if you enjoyed the Photo-Essay. 🙂