Walking down Durga Puja lane – Part 2

October 28, 2018

Goddess Durga

Introduction

In my previous blog post, I have been talking about the Durga puja rituals and the amazing pandal and idols created this year. In this blog, I will continue with the journey through these appealing pandals and the all-powerful beautiful deities.

A pandal based on the Cooch Behar palace
A pandal based on the Cooch Behar palace

So let’s straight away get into it.


More of the fantastic Durga Puja pandals, this year –

  • Mohammad Ali Park : One of the biggest in Central Kolkata, this year they erected the pandal replicating the magnificent Chittorgarh Fort in Rajasthan. The Goddess, calmly beautiful and resplendent – the beauty of this place always captivates everyone.
    An amazing idol of the Goddess
    An amazing idol of the Goddess

    Cooch Behar club pandal
    Cooch Behar club pandal
  • Shib Mandir Club : Their theme is based on letting go of the material things and deriving pleasure from nature and the little things in life, basically going back to the basics. The pandal is done up with earthen and clay pots, bricks, coconut shells, ropes and broken glass etc. The structure of the Goddess here is interesting and looks absolutely ravishing.

    Idol at Jodhpur park
    Idol at Jodhpur park
  • Naktala Udayan Sangha : This year’s theme was kaal samaya or time. This is a major crowd puller and this year also, it didn’t disappoint. The interiors of the pandal depict the wheels of time and the deities are prettily poised and gorgeous.
  • Jodhpur Park : Depicts a typical village scenario – kids playing, ladies carrying daily chores and men working like pulling rickshaws. The interiors is done prettily and the Goddess is in a very traditional form.
  • Singhi Park : Another pandal famous for it’s traditional style and
    The beautiful mother Goddess
    The beautiful mother Goddess

    the amazing lighting. This year too, it didn’t disappoint.

  • The three pandals in Haridevpur – Ajeya Sanghati, 41 Pally and Vivekananda Sporting clubs are all very beautiful and captivating. From kharams (ancient wooden slippers) to ski-masks depicting the necessity of
    A theme based pandal decor
    A theme based pandal decor

    oxygen and pure air, from directions and ships to trishuls (Goddess Durga’s major three headed weapon) to the traditional white saree with red borders – all these have made these pandals as resplendent as ever.

Some puja pandals in the districts of West Bengal –

Now let me go into the puja pandals in another district – Cooch Behar. Area and population wise it’s a small region and has limited number of big pandals but some of these pandals have been amazing.

Decor and idol showcasing an ancient handicraft form of Bengal
Decor and idol showcasing an ancient handicraft form of Bengal

Let’s see them one by one –

  • Guriahati Club : They created the pandal and decor with glass and the interiors were very aesthetically done.
  • Cooch Behar Club : The pandal was nicely done up with rejected plastic bottles while the Goddess had an angelic vibe.
  • New Town Unit : Their pandal was done and decorated with rudraksh which is a seed of some kind essentially used as prayer beads in Hinduism.
  • Dinhata Thana Para : They showcased amazing craftsmanship in putting together a Rajasthani village (Rajasthan is a desert state in
    Dinhata Thana Para pandal
    Dinhata Thana Para pandal

    India characterized by the magnificent palaces and forts as well as the vast Thar desert) – depicting their daily work and the most commonly seen items in their villages. The Goddess was depicted as calm, quietly happy and almost homely. This one was absolutely wonderful.

  • Toofangunj : They created a piece of Bengal’s world renowned forest, the Sunderbans. From lakes to animals, from bridges to even tigers – the organizers did a fantastic job at showcasing a
    Idol at the Dinhata puja pandal
    Idol at the Dinhata puja pandal

    slice of the forest.

Toofangunj pandal
Toofangunj pandal
Idol of the Goddess
Idol of the Goddess

There were some other beautiful pandals whose names might not be as famed as the ones I mentioned above but they were as beautiful. From using chillums (ancient smoking tool) for pandal décor to having live fish in artificial pond within a pandal, from décor using rusk to small mahals (palaces) from depicting five forms of the Goddess Durga to all nine forms – like I said Durga Puja brings out the brilliance of the artisans, clay makers and craftsmen. No other festival gets as creative as this one.

Conclusion

One of the beautiful pandals in Cooch Behar
One of the beautiful pandals in Cooch Behar

We can probably never visit every puja pandal in West Bengal because there are so many amazing ones. Yet going out, visiting pandals, catching up friends, having super awesome family meals is all that makes the festival so endearing. And not only in Bengal, other states in India and also Bengalis abroad celebrate durga puja with much pomp and flair.

A resplendent powerful image of the Goddess
A resplendent powerful image of the Goddess

Like Bengalis always say once the festival for one year ends, I will also conclude by saying – “Asche bochhor abar hobe”, which means next year the mother Goddess will return and we will again have our beloved festival.

Till we meet next time, stay happy and see you soon.

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