Kolkata, the city of Joy is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. It is a gateway to eastern India. The former British capital of India is a colorful palette of art and architecture, museums, temples, football clubs, Coffee houses, lip-smacking street food along with plethora of cultural festivals. It is a place where you will be able to see a unique blend of old and modern culture. The city of joy Kolkata is known for its liveliness and rich culture and heritage. The city of Kolkata comes alive in the festival of Durga Puja.
Being the most prominent festival of Kolkata, Durga Puja is the soul and pride of West Bengal. Every year in Kolkata the festival of Durga Puja brings great enthusiasm, joyous moments and a chance to get together with families and friends in the most amazing manner like never before. Durga Puja is never celebrated in the same manner every year.
The theme of the Durga Puja Pandals change along with the design of the idol of Goddess Durga. In some parts of India, it is celebrated for 6 days while in other parts it is celebrated for 10 days but the charm of Durga Puja never fades. In West Bengal, you will witness the best of Durga Puja Festival because it is the main cultural festival of Bengalis. The festival of Durga Puja showcases the rich culture and heritage of West Bengal.
Durga Puja Festival is around the corner. So, it is the best time to plan a trip to Kolkata in advance to enjoy the best of this grand Festival. This blog’s useful insights will help you to plan your trip to Kolkata to enjoy and dive deep into the spiritual realm and cultural whirlwind of Bengal.
Durga Puja starts from 7th October 2021 and ends on 15th October 2021. You have to plan your trip to Kolkata in advance according to the Durga Puja Schedule to be a part of the grand Durga Puja celebration in Kolkata.
Also Check Out: India Festival Guide
Durga Puja Festival Dates/Calendar 2021
Event Name Day Date of Event
Maha Panchami Sunday 10 October 2021
Maha Sasthi Monday 11 October 2021
Maha Saptami Tuesday 12 October 2021
Maha Ashtami Wednesday 13 October 2021
Maha Navami Thursday 14 October 2021
Vijaya Dashami Friday 15 October 2021
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Why is Durga Puja Celebrated?
Durga Puja Festival is one of the grandest festivals of India. It is the cultural festival of West Bengal. It is a 10 days festival, celebrated with pride and glory in various parts of India. In some parts of Northern India, it is celebrated for 6 days. The last four days of the festival – Maha Saptami, Maha Ashtami,Maha Navami and Vijay Dashami are the most important days of the festival and are celebrated with great enthusiasm.
Durga Puja is celebrated in the honor of Hindu goddess Durga. It is a festival of the victory of good over evil. It is celebrated because Goddess Durga defeated the demon named Mahishasura as he waged the war against gods.
It is said that he got a boon that no man and any other creature on the planet cannot kill him but every boon has a loophole. As no man could kill him, all the gods assembled in the mountains where they combined all their energies in the form of weapons to Goddess Durga.
As a result, she was able to defeat the evil demon Mahishasura. (As death would only be possible in the hands of a woman). Since then, to honor the power of Shakti, the festival of Durga Puja is celebrated all over India. The last day of the Puja is known as Vijaya Dashami. It is said that Lord Rama defeated the demon Ravana and since then Vijay Dashami is also celebrated as Dussehra.
Through every story we get a glimpse of the victory of good over evil. The Durga Puja Festival has been celebrated in Bengal since the 16th century. The zamindars of West Bengal used to celebrated Durga Puja
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Rituals of Durga Puja
- Durga Puja starts with the end of Pitru Paksha Shraddha (16-day period of paying homage to our ancestors). Mahalaya marks the beginning of the grand festival of Durga puja. People listen to Chandi Path which is a symbol of the initiation of this great festival. Mahalaya is a starting point of Goddess Durga’s journey towards her maternal home.
- The sixth day of the festival is known as Shashti which symbolizes the entry of Goddess Durga into her maternal home. The possession of Maa Durga is accompanied by Goddess Laxmi, Lord Ganesha, Goddess Saraswati and Lord Kartikey.
- In the evening of Shashti, the ritual of Bodon takes place which means the awakening of Goddess Durga for the seventh, eighth and the ninth day of the Puja.
- The seventh day ritual starts with the ritual bath of the wife of Lord Ganesha – Kola Bou.
- The eighth day of the puja is known as Ashtami. The ritual of the installment of nine Shakties (nine forms of energies) in the form of pots takes place in the pandal.
- The ritual of Kumari Puja or Kanjak takes place in Ashtami and Navami. Young and unmarried girls are worshipped as a form of Devi.
- In the first 24 minutes of Navami Goddess Durga is worshipped in the form of Chandi Avatar. 108 lamps are lit for the Sandhya Aarti during this time.
- The tenth day of the festival is Vijaya Dashami. On this day Devi Durga proceeds to her home. Married women play Sindoor Khela and give a grand farewell to Devi Durga by offering betel leaf, sweets and Vermillion. The idol of Devi Durga is immersed in the river by the devotees.
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Top Durga Puja Pandals in Kolkata 2021
Entire Kolkata will be decked with colorful pandals during the Durga Puja Festival. The festival is celebrated with great pomp and show with mesmerizing cultural programs, gathering of friends and family and many religious rituals that will give you a great insight on the culture of Bangla. Some of the top Durga Puja Pandals to visit in 2021 are:
If you are visiting Kolkata during Durga Puja Festival then don’t miss Kumartuli Park. Durga Puja has been the main attraction of Kumartuli Park since 1995. Every year the festival of Durga Puja is celebrated with great enthusiasm and there is always an innovation in the theme of the Pandal. Every year you will be able to see something new in the Pandal. It has been popular for its innovative ideas like handcrafted Idols of Durga. The pandal is located near Sovabazar Launch Ghat. It is one of the top Durga Puja Pandals to visit in Kolkata.
The Pandal of Bagbazar is famous for its ancient traditional deity decked in simple decor. It is the most visited Durga Puja Pandal in Kolkata as the pandal is situated near Bagbazar Ghat for more than 100 years. Durga puja is not complete without the enjoyment at stalls and the fascinating cultural programs will be a delight to your soul. The last day of the Puja Vijaya Dashami is celebrated with great enthusiasm here in a very traditional manner.
Mohammad Ali Park
During the festival of Durga Puja, the park’s spiritual and blissful vibes are at its peak. The puja here has been celebrated with joy since the 1960’s. Every year the theme of the Pandal changes. Sometimes the themes are inspired from bollywood movies. The interior of the pandal looks classy, it resembles a fort and it also has a courtyard. It is the best Puja Pandals to visit during Durga Puja festival in 2021. The pandal is located near MG Road.
This Pandal is an outstanding example of unity in diversity as every year the theme of the pandal is a state of the country. It is one of the most popular Durga Puja Pandals to visit in Kolkata. For more than 50 years, this pandal has contributed a lot in promoting cultural tourism in West Bengal. The pandal has also won the award of best decorated pandal two times; once in 2003 and another in 2009. It is located in New Alipore in South Kolkata.
Ekdalia Evergreen Club
Ekdalia Evergreen Club has been attracting tourists and devotees since 1943. It is one of the best Durga Puja Pandals to visit in Kolkata. The most interesting fact about the pandal is that the elements of this pandal are the replicas of temples of the country. It has one of the tallest idols of Durga in Kolkata. It is located in South Kolkata in Gariahat.
The Jodhpur Park in Southern Kolkata celebrates the festival of Durga Puja in the most beautiful manner possible every year. The most amazing fact about this pandal is that this pandal is a true example of innovation. From traditional themes to high- tech technologies such as materials printed on 3D printers, it left no stone unturned in increasing the grandeur of Durga Puja Festival in Kolkata. The pandal is located near Dhakuria Railway Station.
Nalin Sarkar Street
It is one of the top Durga Puja Pandals to visit in Kolkata. The pandal is a masterpiece of exquisite pottery work and another ancient styled artwork. The pandal is very popular for its creativity. The pandal has received many awards in 2004, 2006 and 2010 for its artistic creativity. It is located near Shyambazar.
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Top Things to Do in Kolkata During Durga Puja Festival 2021
If you want to understand the true essence of Durga Puja Festival then you must visit Kolkata. The true essence of Durga puja can only be felt in Kolkata. Your experience of Durga Puja in Kolkata will reach another level if you indulge in the activities mentioned below. Durga Puja Festival is the pride of Kolkata’s Cultural Tourism, the replica of which cannot be found anywhere else.
Without Pandal hopping, how will you experience the true essence of Durga puja. Every year Durga Puja in Kolkata is celebrated with great pride and grandeur. It is the main festival of Bengali, so, there is no chance that the enthusiasm for this festival will be less. Every corner of Kolkata will be decked with amazing decors and beautiful pandals. Some pandals would be a bliss to behold.
Do not forget to click amazing pictures because the Pandals of Kolkata are an outstanding example of exquisite artwork. Moreover, the idol of Maa Durga will be in a new attire and design in every pandal as pandals in Kolkata follow different themes. So, it will be a roller coaster ride of thrill and excitement. It is the best way to experience the Durga Puja Festival in Kolkata.
In Kolkata, Dress Traditionally
During Durga Puja Festival, all Bengalis are in their best attires. The preparation to buy dresses starts before the actual festive month of Durga Puja. So, dressing up is a part of the festival and it is the most important thing to do in Durga Puja Festival. One of the best ways to experience Durga Puja is to dress traditionally. As it is a cultural festival, most of the people prefer to wear traditional attire. For women, Sari with a red Border and for men Malmal White Kurta with simple embroidery is the traditional attire of Bengali. Try it once, you will feel gorgeous and different.
Street Food and Stalls of the Pandals
The best part of Durga Puja Festival is the gathering of family and friends and such gatherings always bring joy. The best way to create amazing memories of the Puja is to enjoy the local delicacies of stalls at the Pandals. Bengali dishes like Ghugni, Bengali Golgappas along with other delicacies of the region will tickle your taste buds for more and more. Your experience of Durga Puja Festival will be wonderful if you try different cuisines. It is an integral part of the festival. Durga Puja Festival in Kolkata can never be imagined without trying street food at Pandals.
Rituals and Functions
Puja is nothing without following traditions and rituals. Durga Puja is no different. It is the center of attraction of Durga Puja Festival. Every Bengali observes fast to give Pushpanjali (Offering flowers to God) during Puja. In the evening Aarti and Dhuncchi naach is a must to feel the real bliss of the Puja. It will feel other worldly. It is a must do activity to experience the best of Durga Puja Festival in Kolkata. It will give you a good insight on the culture and traditions of Bengal.
Cultural Programs and Festivals
Durga Puja in Kolkata is not only about taking part in Puja but also to take part in the cultural programs held at pandals. If you miss this, you will surely regret it. Durga Festival in Kolkata is celebrated for 10 days and every day the events and cultural programs change to entertain the tourists. Celebrities, artists, singers, magicians, Orchestra, dancers etc. were called from all over the world for this Festival to make it grand and the best festival.
For Kids also various competitions like painting competition, musical chair, quiz competitions are held to keep their enthusiasm intact from the start to end of the festival. Cultural Programs at the Pandals are an integral part of the cultural tourism of West Bengal. To get the spirit of Bengal, indulge in cultural events of the Durga Puja Festival.
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If you have any other query you can ask in the comment section of the blog. If you ask us what is the best time to visit Kolkata, we will advise that you should travel to Kolkata during the festival of Durga Puja. The experience of visiting Kolkata during festive time will be different from any other normal month of the year. You will get a real glimpse of the city of Joy and the cultural capital of India in detail only during this time of the year. So, mark the dates for Durga Puja in Kolkata to prepare your trip well in advance.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Q.Why is the festival of Durga Puja celebrated?
Durga Puja is celebrated to honor goddess Durga. It is said that Goddess Durga defeated the evil demon Mahishasura. The celebration of Durga Puja is a symbol of the victory of good over evil. People celebrate and respect the power of Shakti.
Q.What are the dates for Durga Puja Festival 2021?
The Durga Puja Festival starts from 7th October and ends on 15th of October 2021.
Q.What are the top things to do in the Durga Puja Festival?
The top things to do in Durga Puja Festival are –
- Pandal hopping
- Street food at Stalls
- Participation in Rituals
- Traditional dress up
- Enjoy the cultural programs at Pandal