Durga Puja is a five-day festival celebrated in Kolkata with great pomp and fervour. It is a time when the city comes alive with colourful pandals, delicious food, and vibrant music. The festival is dedicated to the worship of the Hindu goddess Durga, who is believed to be the destroyer of evil.
Durga Puja is celebrated in the month of Ashwin, which usually falls between September and October. The festival begins on Mahalaya, which marks the beginning of the nine-day Navratri period. During this time, devotees worship Durga and her nine avatars. The festival culminates on Dashami, when the idol of Durga is immersed in a river or pond.
- College Square: This pandal is known for its unique and innovative themes. In recent years, the pandal has featured themes such as the Taj Mahal, the Eiffel Tower, and even the Statue of Liberty.
- Bagbazar: This pandal is one of the oldest in Kolkata and is known for its traditional theme. The pandal is decorated with colorful lights and flowers, and the idol of Durga is dressed in traditional Bengali attire.
- Mohammad Ali Park: This pandal is located in a predominantly Muslim neighborhood and is a symbol of communal harmony. The pandal is decorated with lights and flowers from both Hindu and Muslim traditions.
- Deshapriya Park: This pandal is known for its large and elaborate idols of Durga. The pandal is also known for its cultural events, which include music performances, dance performances, and plays.
- Ekdalia Evergreen: This pandal is known for its unique and innovative themes. In recent years, the pandal has featured themes such as the environment, social justice, and peace.
- Attend a cultural event: There are a number of cultural events held throughout Kolkata during Durga Puja. These events include music performances, dance performances, and plays.
- Try the street food: Durga Puja is a time when Kolkata’s street food scene comes alive. There are a number of stalls selling delicious food items such as puchka, chaat, and jhalmuri.
- Shop for souvenirs: There are a number of markets in Kolkata where you can buy souvenirs such as sarees, handicrafts, and sweets.
Here is a possible itinerary for a 3-day trip to Kolkata during Durga Puja:
- Arrive in Kolkata and check into your hotel.
- Visit the Durga Puja pandal at College Square.
- Have dinner at one of the many street food stalls near the pandal.
- Visit the Durga Puja pandal at Bagbazar.
- Visit the Prinsep Ghat to watch the Kola Bou Snan ritual.
- Have dinner at one of the many restaurants in the Park Street area.
- Visit the Durga Puja pandal at Mohammad Ali Park.
- Visit the Dakshineswar Kali Temple.
- Have dinner at one of the many restaurants in the Gariahat area.
This is just a suggested itinerary, and you can customize it to fit your interests and budget.
Here are some additional tips for visiting Kolkata during Durga Puja:
- Be prepared for crowds. Durga Puja is a very popular festival, and the city can be very crowded during this time.
- Dress appropriately. Durga Puja is a religious festival, so it is important to dress modestly. Avoid wearing revealing clothing.
- Be respectful of religious customs and traditions.
- Be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to avoid pickpockets and other scams.
Durga Puja is a truly unique and unforgettable experience. If you have the opportunity to visit Kolkata during this festival, I highly recommend it.