What an outsider should expect in Kolkata during Pujo?

#1 May 9th, 2017, 15:58
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  • Prakaant is offline
#1
We are curious to know, as many others also wish to...

As everyone know, Durga Puja is one of the biggest, grandest festivals of West Bengal in general and Kolkata in particular. It is celebrated with great enthusiasm and grandeur.

But, people who are not from West Bengal don't know, what exactly happens in Kolkata during Pujo...

They do not know, what the locals do... How the locals celebrate it... How is life there during Pujo...

What is position of local transportation and local eateries... and their availabilities?

Has a person to walk a lot... during Pujo...

How is availability of lodging and boarding...

What are the timings to avoid on roads during Pujo...

Inputs may help an outsider during Pujo... So, please let us know...
Last edited by Prakaant; May 10th, 2017 at 18:52.. Reason: Rephrasing...
#2 May 10th, 2017, 17:29
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#2

everyone crazy about the awesomeness

So?. I think all Indians are fond of all celebrations.? Alright, I possibly could perhaps chide you for being 'offensive' to our religious beliefs and festivals, but I'll tell you rather the reason why it's so obvious that all of us are crazy about the Durga Puja - Simply because it's Awesome!!!

I am not a very religious individual. Yet I love Durga Puja from the core of my heart.

Romantic relationships since younger years

Since my years as a child, I have involved Durga Puja with the painting competitions, the quiz shows and the dhunuchi dance I used to participate in. Not to mention, getting excited about the brand new outfits every year. This celebration rocks for youngsters like me!



Photo Courtesy: assamtimes.org


One of the cultural shows that are performed during the Puja.

Food

We Bengali people are foodies. It is a obvious fact. And this special occasion gives Bengalis the best chance to explore their test buds. People around India celebrate Navaratri by fasting while Bengalis absolutely have the time of their lives, feeding on Cutlet, Chicken Roll and Ice cream on road side eateries. Where we enjoy delicious Mutton and fish curry cooked by our mother/wife with misti (sweets) at home .

In all probability among the best things about Durga Puja is the "Bhog" that they serve. It is made up of Khichdi, sabzi, papad, and tomato chutney usually. . Yum!



Puja Bhog

IMG Courtesy: itistastyma.blogspot.in



At Roadside
IMG Courtesy: http://media2.intoday.in



At home

IMG Courtesy:lonelyplanet.in

The Utter Affluence

Now, not surprisingly it's time for the Puja Pandal hopping. You will find art with beauty and elegance combiningly present in the pandal and the pratima decoration and it amazes me everytime when I think that this vast work of art is only for a few days. The story of how Ma Durga defeated Mahishasur is very thrilling and people love it when the first announcement of Puja happens through the air in "Mahalaya" by describing this story.



IMG Courtesy: economictimes.indiatimes.com



IMG Courtesy: nelive.in



IMG Courtesy:rajrupagupta.com

The sheer hard work and intricacy in each of them, is incredible. Actually they are so vast in design and decoration that you cannot capture in one frame.



IMG Courtesy: sujoyn70.blogspot.in



IMG Courtesy: http://indiaphotostock.photoshelter.com

A lot of people get job for this huge work.

Cultural Identity

The main moto behind any festival celebration is to create a collective cultural identity and Durga Puja is no exception. Members of the family stay together and bonding continues.



IMG: static.drikpanchang.com

"Dhunuchi" dance that is performed to the "Dhak's" beats and that is the most enjoyable part. You will want to join it just looking at it!



IMG: lmt-lss.com

It is a ceremony of "Dashmi", known as "Shidur khela" (playing with sindur) where married women apply sindur to each other's faces dressed in the conventional Bengali apparel.



IMG: hoparoundindia.com

The "Visarjan" on the final day is not joyful for many, Maa Durga promises to come back again in next year

And lastly me posing in front of a pandal.

#3 May 10th, 2017, 18:39
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#3
Thank you for input, @Illuminated!

It will greatly help an outsider visiting Kolkata during Pujo...

But, had never intended to hurt anyone's sentiments.

Just wanted to know, what an outsider should expect in Kolkata? Hence, revised title...
#4 May 10th, 2017, 22:12
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  • aneek is offline
#4
Hello Prakaant,

Durja Pujo in Kolkata and West Bengal is an experience altogether. Being born in Bengal and staying there till date, I can't explain how it is. But thanks to Illuminated, who did a great job in explaining.

About your queries:

Quote:
what the locals do... How the locals celebrate it... How is life there during Pujo...
As mentioned by Illuminated.

Quote:
What is position of local transportation and local eateries... and their availabilities?
Generally Bus runs almost whole night in those days. Metro runs late night. local eateries are available everywhere. You will get lots of established restaurants and make shift ones as well. Now, it's up to you where to eat!!

Quote:
Has a person to walk a lot... during Pujo...
DURGA PUJA GUIDE MAPS (2016 - will be same for 2017 as well). There are mainly 3 sections in Kolkata - North, Central and south. Detailed map is below: http://www.kolkatatrafficpolice.gov....aguidemap.html

Quote:
How is availability of lodging and boarding...
Should be available. Where do you want to stay? Near to Airport/Rail Station/Central Kolkata etc.?

Quote:
What are the timings to avoid on roads during Pujo...
On the 10th day (Dashami) and the day next due to the Immersion Ceremony (Pratima Visarjan)

Have a great time!!

Regards,
Aneek
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.
Last edited by aneek; May 11th, 2017 at 01:00.. Reason: typo correction

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