Have you ever wondered why Durga Puja in Kolkata is so renowned in India? What are the things that distinguish it from rest of the regions where goddess Durga is worshipped? We have got all your questions answered.
We have come up with detailed information about various events occurring from the carving of sculptures to Vijayadashmi. You will gain a lot of knowledge about Navratri and the ways in which Durga Maa is welcomed, worshiped and immersed in Kolkata.
10 Amazing Facts About Durga Puja In Kolkata
1. Soil From The Prostitute’s Porch
There is a ritual in Kolkata to take a handful of soil from the red light area (commonly known as, the prostitute’s porch). The soil is then combined with the clay collected from the river. This mixture is then used to sculpt the holy idol of goddess Durga.
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2. The Ullu Dhwani
People produce ‘Ullu Dhwani” or the sound of an owl with their tongue before the puja. The whole crowd does this ritual which produces loud echoing sound. It is believed that ullu dhwani eradicates the evil and suffering existing in the world.
3. Dancing On Dhak
Dhak is a very famous instrument of West Bengal. It holds a prominent position in the Navratri festival. Dhak is played in large numbers and people dance madly to its beat when the idols of Goddess Durga have carried away for the immersion in the river.
4. Dhunuchi DanceDhunuchi Dance
Dhunuchi is like a welcome dance. People in Kolkata hold clay vessel filled with steaming coal and incense (known as dhoop in Hindi) and perform a dance on the beats of dhak to celebrate the coming of Goddess Durga to their home.
5. Sindoor Khela
Vijayadashmi marks the reunion of Durga Maa with her husband. On this day married ladies offer red vermilion powder (Sindoor) to the goddess to have her blessings for a successful and lasting marriage.
They also apply the vermillion powder on each other’s face and wish them a happy married life ahead. This Sindoor Khela appears like Holi but with sindoor for a change.
6. The Bhog
The bhog consists of many food items made in large quantity and is offered to the Durga Mata. Many sweet and savoury dishes are prepared in honour of Durga Maa. After the offering is made to Maa Durga, it is distributed among devotees.
Luchi, aloo bhaja, potol bhaja, narkel nora, dhoka dalna, mishit doi, rasogolla and sandesh are some of the most famous delicacies during Navratri.
7. The Pandals For Durga Puja
Pandal is a temporary arrangement supported with bamboo and covered with a canvas. Durga puja and other rituals take place under these pandals during Navratri. Larger than life sculptures, mesmerising decoration and oldest pujaris are some factors which make pandals widely renowned and distinguishable.
There are many famous pandals in West Bengal each having its special trait. Checkout 10 famous Kolkata Durga Puja pandals.
8. Durga Idols
Navratri being the most widely acknowledged and highly celebrated festival of Navratri in Kolkata showcases some massive sculptures of Goddess Durga.
Each pandal has its theme from the Hindu mythology and the gigantic and beautifully sculpted idol of mother Durga accompanied by the idols of Ganesha, Kartikeya, Shiva, Laxmi and Saraswati.
Pushpanjali is the very first thing that commences each day of Durga Puja in Kolkata. This ritual refers to the offering of flowers to Durga Maa with sheer faith, respect and devotion while chanting holy mantras.
However, pushpanjali holds utmost importance on the day of Maha Ashtami. Devotees keep fast until the pious custom of offering flowers. After pushpanjali, they open their fast with Prasad.
10. Kumari Puja
Kumara puja held on the eighth day of Navratri. On this day, girls between the age of 5 to 16 years are worshipped as a goddess with flowers, tilak and lamps. They are served with prasad, sweets and fruits.
People touch their feet with devotion and these little girls then shower their blessings on them. The devotees consider it as blessings received from Maa Durga.
Durga Puja in Kolkata is a celebration worth beholding. The rituals and ceremonies here are very different, unique and enticing than any other region of India. You can see devotion to a whole new level, the scale of celebration like never seen before and mouth watering prasad.
Visiting Kolkata during Navratri can prove to be a bit of toil, but the experience, ambience and vibes you’ll witness will be worth every bit of that toil. The city of joy during Navratri never fails to bring in positivity and amplify spiritual and religious feeling in oneself.