Its Legends, Timings, Historical past, Rituals & Well-known Pandals


Durga Puja: The Competition Which Brings Collectively Virtually all of India to Pay Reverence to Goddess Durga

Printed: 29 Aug, 2019 /

For 5 days in a 12 months, all the faculties, schools and authorities universities stay closed. That is when the whole state of West Bengal is immersed within the celebration of Durga Puja. Aside from West Bengal, it’s also celebrated in different states like Assam, Tripura and Odisha. This ten day fashionable Hindu competition can be celebrated in Bangladesh by the Hindu group there. Different states the place the competition is widely known with gusto are Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. The competition begins on the primary day with Mahalaya and ends on the tenth with Vijay Dashmi. An attention-grabbing truth in regards to the competition, amongst many others, is that from the sixth to the ninth day, Goddess Durga is worshipped in a special type and depicted differently. Every day has its personal significance. Right here, we check out the historical past, non secular significance, Durga Puja legends and associated tales, how is it celebrated and varied different facets associated to the competition. Keep in mind although, that Durga Puja in 2019 will probably be celebrated from 4th-Eighth October, with 28th September being Mahalaya.

Historical past of the Durga Puja

Durga Puja watercolour painting in Patna Style

The origin of Durga Puja is shrouded in thriller, since there are not any definitive information or accounts concerning it. Nonetheless, there are various theories revolving round it. In keeping with one in all them, Durga Puja competition was first began by the landlords or Zamindars of Dinajpur and Malda between late 16th to early 17th centuries. Additionally it is stated that in 1790, 12 associates, belonging to Guptipara in Hooghly district of West Bengal, collected funds from the locals to organise the primary ever group puja, known as the baro-yaari. That is the place the custom of group puja is believed to have originated. The primary Durga Puja Celebrations in Kolkata have been held in 1909.

A number of students have their very own tackle the origins of the Durga Puja Competition in West Bengal. One among them, Pranab Bandhopadhyay, believes that the worship of Durga Maa, and her extra fierce avatar- Maa Kali, change into particularly fashionable with the Islamic invasion within the medieval period. Rachel Mcdermott, Professor of Asian and Center Japanese Cultures, is of the opinion that the evolving of Durga Puja right into a social competition had a lot to do with the persecution of Bengali Hindus within the Bengal Sultanate. Worshipping the supreme type of Mom united all of them with a religious and emotional bond.

Though the competition additionally finds a point out within the Hindu dharm granthas, there may be an inconsistency concerning it. In among the Puranas, it has been talked about as a spring competition, whereas in Devi-Bhagavata Purana and Shakta Puranaas, it has been known as an autumn competition. Even the Indian mythology books differ concerning the origin of Durga Puja. Whereas the Ramayana, which is fashionable in North India, South India and West India depicts Lord Rama invoking Surya, the solar god, earlier than his battle with Ravana, the Bengali model of the Ramayana depicts him invoking Goddess Durga.

Spiritual significance of Durga Puja Competition

Religious Importance of Durga Puja Festival

The non secular significance of Durga Puja is that it’s celebrated to mark the victory of Goddess Durga over the buffalo demon Mahishasura. It’s symbolic of the victory of excellent over evil. Throughout the course of the Durga Puja, the goddess is worshipped in varied types like Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. She is an emblem of affection, energy, braveness and kindness. She can be a mom who loves her youngsters and a warrior goddess who defeats her enemies single handed, simply as she killed Mahishasura after partaking in a battle with him for 10 nights and 10 days. Over the past 5 days of Durga Puja, the mom is revered by varied rituals and ceremonies, probably the most well-known of which is the Ashtami Anjali.

Durga Puja Competition additionally has a social and financial significance. The creation of the idols, establishing of the pandals, set up of lights and different decorations and efficiency of rituals contain varied segments of the inhabitants, from craftsmen, potters, painters and blacksmiths to artists, artisans and cleaners. This generates revenue for them for a brief time frame, and that is very true of individuals dwelling within the rural areas. In addition to that, it’s an event for relations and distant family members to return collectively and have fun this glorious competition collectively. Households and associates go pandal hopping, whereas each group organises its personal puja. Additionally it is a good time for the road meals distributors, notably in Kolkata, for Kolkatans love nothing greater than gorging on their favourite meals whereas visiting the pandals.

The story of Goddess Durga

Maa Durga Killing Demon

The story of Goddess Durga has at all times captivated our minds and imaginations. The heroic manner through which she defeats and kills Mahishasura, the buffalo demon, by no means fails to encourage us. Right here is among the most well-known legends behind the Durga Puja Competition, and why is it celebrated.

It’s believed that Mahishasura was the king of the asuras and had the top of a buffalo. Despite the fact that he was an asura (demon), he was deeply dedicated to Lord Brahma and carried out years of adverse penance for him. Lastly, Lord Brahma was impressed with the hardships he had gone by and was able to grant him a want. Mahishasura, drunk with energy and desirous to dominate the whole earth, oceans, skies and seas, demanded immortality. He desired that he shouldn’t die by the hands of both a person or an animal. Lord Brahma instantly granted him his want, but additionally instructed him that his dying would happen by the hands of a lady.

Nonetheless, Mahishasura was amused by this prediction as he believed himself to be too highly effective to be killed by any lady. Drunk with energy and motivated by his invincibility, he attacked Trilok (the three worlds – earth, heaven and hell). He didn’t even spare Indralok, the abode of Lord Indra. Despite the fact that the gods waged a warfare in opposition to the buffalo demon, they have been unable to defeat him as a result of he had been blessed by Lord Brahma. Helpless and frightened, they determined to hunt Lord Vishnu’s assist. After listening to out their issues and the grave menace dealing with them, he determined to create a feminine type. Since Lord Shiva is named the god of destruction, all of the three gods got here collectively to create Goddess Durga, an avatar of the last word Shakti.

In keeping with the story, Mahishasura and Goddess Durga have been engaged in a warfare for about fifteen days, throughout which he saved altering himself into completely different animals and assuming completely different types. Lastly, when he modified himself right into a buffalo, Goddess Durga stabbed him within the chest along with her trident, whereas her lion dug its claws deep into his flesh. That was the top of the evil buffalo demon.

When is Durga Puja celebrated?


Durga Puja is understood by completely different names in West Bengal, together with Durga Pujo, Akalbodhan, Sharadiya Pujo, Maha Pujo, Maayer Pujo. In Bangladesh, it’s also often called Bhagabati Puja. This fashionable Hindu competition is widely known for 10 days, with the final 5 days being essentially the most well-known and broadly identified to these outdoors West Bengal. In keeping with the normal Hindu calendar, it’s celebrated within the month of Ashvin, which, within the Gregorian calendar, falls between September-October. Ashvin is the seventh month of the Hindu calendar.

Rituals & Ceremonies surrounding Durga Puja Competition


Durga Puja begins with Mahalaya, and is adopted by Shasthi, Shaptami, Ashtami, Navami and Dashami, on the sixth, seventh, Eighth, ninth and 10th days respectively.


Mahalaya marks the start of the Durga Puja, and happens on Amavasya, which is held on the final day of the darkish fortnight within the month of Ashvin, in keeping with the normal Hindu calendar. At the present time is marked by getting ready for the arrival of Goddess Durga on earth alongside along with her household consisting of Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha, Goddess Saraswati and Lord Kartikeya. A well-known legend related to Mahalaya states that Goddess Durga arrived on earth to destroy the demon buffalo, Mahishasura. The demon king Mahishasura had been granted a boon in keeping with which, he couldn’t be killed by any man or animal. Shakti, the last word feminine energy, thereupon took the type of Goddess Durga to kill the demon.

On today, Mahishasura Mardini- a radio program is broadcast within the early morning. About one and a half hours lengthy, it consists of recitation from the verses of Sri Sri Chandi or Durga Saptashati. It’s recited by the soothing voice of Birendra Krishna Bhadra, and so highly effective but sonorous is his voice that one listening to it’s instantly enveloped by a religious aura. Because the program is held at dawn, a lot of the Bengali households get up early to hearken to this highly effective program.

Shasti – sixth Day

Shasti is the sixth day of the Durga Puja, and it’s on today that the pandals are inaugurated. On today, Goddess Durga is worshipped as Katyayani and adorned with weapons which have been gifted to her by completely different gods to kill the buffalo demon Mahishasura.

Saptami – seventh Day

Saptami is widely known on the seventh day, and is marked by the showering of the goddess, number of the priest and recitation of elaborate prayers (aarti). On today, a gaggle of 9 crops known as Nabapatrika are tied collectively as a solution to invoke Goddess Durga. These 9 crops are believed to signify the 9 manifestations of Goddess Durga. Throughout the early hours of the morning of the morning earlier than dawn, these crops are immersed within the waters of River Ganga.

Ashtami – Eighth Day

Ashtami is widely known on the Eighth day, and is taken into account to be an immensely necessary day. It’s possible you’ll miss other forms of celebrations, however you need to by no means miss the Ashtami anjali. The puja which is obtainable on today is supposed to organize the Goddess for her battle in opposition to Mahishasura, the buffalo demon. The well-known Sandhi Puja, which can be supplied on today, is carried out on the exact second when Ashatmi ends and Navami begins. In reality, the final 24 minutes of Ashtami, and the primary 24 minutes of Navami, are considered Sandhikhan. That is the second when Goddess Durga lastly killed Chando and Munda, the 2 allies of Mahishasura who attacked Goddess Durga from behind. The choices on today are as grand because the event itself. In addition to 108 lotuses, 108 earthen oil lamps, single complete fruit, hibiscus flowers, saree, raw grains, jewelry, bel leaves and a garland of 108 bel leaves are supplied to the Goddess. Despite the fact that each household has its personal distinctive manner of providing to the Goddess, what’s at all times present in every family is the 108 lamps, lotuses and bel leaves.

Navami – ninth Day

On the 9 day of the Durga Puja Competition in India, Goddess Durga is revered as a woman little one. It’s marked by the Kumari Puja, the place little women are adorned in jewelry and make up which resembles the Goddess. All the opposite ceremonies, from blowing the conch to swinging the silver hand followers, are noticed as normal. It’s an attention-grabbing sight to watch, for not usually do you come throughout such a singular type of celebration.

Dashami – 10th Day

Lastly, you will have Dashmi, the final day of the Durga Puja. Though it’s as necessary as another day, the individuals are overcome with emotion as they bid farewell to their beloved Mom Durga. Popularly often called Vijaya Dashmi, it’s the day when the goddess reunites along with her husband, Lord Shiva, on Mount Kailash. Individuals, particularly the women, get collectively to bid farewell to Goddess Durga, with vermillion and an assortment of sweets. That is adopted by the Bhashaan, the place the idol of Durga Maa is taken to the Holy Ganges and immersed, symbolically representing her return to Lord Shiva.

Attention-grabbing details about Durga Puja Competition

durga puja celebration

Durga Puja is a serious competition of Hinduism which carries immense non secular and social significance. There are a lot of attention-grabbing details about Durga Puja Competition that are price figuring out. Right here, we inform you a few of them.

  • There’s a custom related to Durga Puja, in keeping with which, the idol of the goddess is constructed from clay, whereas the opposite gods and goddesses accompanying her are known as ek chala (one cowl). The eyes of the idol maintain nice significance and ought to be solely be painted within the presence of the sculptor. This course of is known as Chokkhu daan (providing the eyes), and the sculptor who carries it out is overcome by feelings, as he spends months creating and perfecting the idol.
  • The clay that’s used for creating the idols of Goddess Durga is collected from the banks of River Hoogly, because the Ganga is understood in West Bengal. The clay ought to at all times be combined with soil collected from locations often called nishiddho palli, or forbidden areas. One among these is the home of a prostitute. Custom dictates that the priest ought to go to the home of a prostitute or a brothel and beg for the punya matti (pure soil). This custom is adopted to emphasise the message that Maa Durga doesn’t discriminate between her youngsters, and that everyone is equal earlier than her. It’s believed that the soil collected from the home of a prostitute, or brothel, is pure and virtuous as a result of the individuals who go to them go away their purity and advantage outdoors the door.
  • The automobile that Goddess Durga chooses to reach on earth carries huge significance. The frequent autos of Maa Durga are lion, elephant, boat, horse and palanquin. The automobile on which she arrives is at all times completely different from the automobile through which she leaves.
  • Among the many many desirable matters to be careful for through the Durga Puja celebrations in India, one is the Dhunuchi Nritya, which is a dance carried out with dhunuchi (a Bengali incense burner used for performing aarti). Greatest dance competitions are additionally organised. Throughout the course of those competitions, among the performers dance with three dhunuchis, with one being held of their tooth. It requires nice ability, coordination, flexibility and stamina.
  • In the event you go to Kolkata, West Bengal or another place when the Durga Puja celebrations are being held, don’t forget to style the khichdi, which is the bhog supplied to the goddess. Though you could have had khichuri many occasions earlier than, the one served through the Durga Puja has a definite flavour.
  • Idols of various styles and sizes can be found out there through the Durga Puja. The oldest of all is the Daaker Saaj, and has an attention-grabbing historical past behind it. Overwhelmed silver, or rangta, which was first used to embellish the idols, was imported from Germany. It was delivered through postal service, and thenceforth, got here to be often called Dakker Saaj, since Daak means letters in Bengali.
  • One other attention-grabbing ceremony noticed which is noticed on Saptami, the seventh day of the Durga Puja is the Kola Bou, or the tree bride. A banana plant, which is believed to symbolise the spouse of Lord Ganesha, is adorned and bathed within the morning as part of the ritual and positioned on the fitting aspect of Maa Durga’s son, Lord Ganesha.

Most well-known Durga Puja Pandals in Kolkata


It’s Durga Puja, and what higher matter to do than to go pandal hopping. It’s so a lot enjoyable as a result of every pandal differs from the subsequent in varied methods, together with theme, idols and format. Some are well-known due to their huge measurement, whereas others entice crowds due to their theme or ornament. Listed below are essentially the most well-known Durga Puja Pandals in Kolkata.

  • School Sq. Sarbojanin Durgotsav
  • Ekdalia Evergreen Durga Puja Membership
  • Suruchi Sangha
  • Bagbazar Sarbojanin Durgotsav
  • Badamtala Ashar Sangha
  • Santosh Mitra Sq.
  • Hindustan Park
  • Jodhpur Park
  • Bosepukur Sitala Mandir
  • Badamtala Ashar Sangha
  • Kumartuli Park
  • Sreebhumi Sporting Membership
  • Chetla Agrani Chetla, Chetla
  • Santoshpur Lake Pally, Santohspur
  • Dum Dum Park Tarun Sangha, Dum Dum

Let’s see how different states have fun Durga Puja

celebrate Durga Puja

Aside from West Bengal, Assam, Bihar, Odisha and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, the place Durga Puja is widely known roughly the identical manner, different states in India have fun Durga Puja in numerous methods. Right here’s bringing you a few of them.

  • Gujarat: Throughout this time Gujarat celebrates danidya, which is legendary for its dandiya and garba dance.
  • Tamil Nadu: In Tamil Nadu, they worship Goddesses Durga, Lamxi and Saraswati, and dedicate a day to every of them. A captivating ritual is golu, the place dolls and collectible figurines are displayed. They’re based mostly on varied themes.
  • Andhra Pradesh: The folks of Andhra Pradesh have fun Bathukamma Panduga, through which 9 days are devoted to Maha Gauri, the goddess believed to signify womanhood. Girls put together flower stacks within the conventional fashion, which, on the finish of the competition, are set afloat on a lake or the closest water physique.
  • Kerala: Keralites place numerous worth on training, and the presiding deity throughout Durga Puja right here is Goddess Saraswati. Over the past three days, books are positioned subsequent to the statue of Goddess Saraswati of their houses.
  • Navratri: Durga Puja is widely known as Navratri in most of North India. Fasting is noticed on the primary seven days. Throughout the nights, jagrans (gathering of devotees to sing non secular songs). On Navami, the quick is damaged by inviting 9 younger women and providing them meals, cash and different items. The women are believed to be the illustration of kanjak (the 9 completely different avatars of Goddess Shakti).
  • Himachal Pradesh: Himachal Pradesh celebrates Durga Puja in a very completely different manner. Durga Puja celebrations are held on the tenth day of Navratri and Durga Puja. It is named Kullu Dussehra and is held to have fun the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya. It’s marked by social gatherings, festivities and the worship of Goddess Durga.
  • Maharashtra: The celebrations for Durga Puja in Maharashtra is much like that of Gujarat in some ways. It’s thought-about an auspicious time to start out one thing new like buying of property or finalizing enterprise offers.
  • Karnataka: In Karnataka, Durga Puja is named Nadahabba. Its celebrations are held precisely as they have been in 1610 by the fantastic Vijayanagara dynasty. On Dashami, bedecked elephants are paraded on the streets whereas gala’s and exhibitions are held all through the state.

Standard Durga Temples in India

Kolkata Dakshineswar Kali Temple

Goddess Durga is an avatar of Shakti, an embodiment of final energy, vitality, means, energy, and certainly, the whole cosmic vitality. There are quite a few temples throughout the nation which have been inbuilt her honour. These are among the fashionable Durga Temples in India which you’ll be able to go to and search her blessing.

Durga Puja Competition Dates 2019

durga puja

The dates for the Durga Puja Competition 2019 are talked about under. Be part of the celebrations and be part of others in celebrating the glory of Goddess Durga.

  • 28 September, Saturday: Mahalaya
  • three October, Thursday: Maha Panchami
  • four October, Friday: Maha Shasthi
  • 5 October, Saturday: Maha Saptami
  • 6 October, Sunday: Maha Ashtami
  • 7 October, Monday: Maha Navami
  • eight October, Tuesday: Vijaya Dashami

So, now you will have all of the necessary info concerning Durga Puja Competition 2019, together with the legends behind it, rituals & ceremonies, hottest Durga Puja Pandal, dates and attention-grabbing details. Why do you stay up for Durga Puja and what do you take pleasure in most about it? What number of of those hottest Durga Puja Pandal in Kolkata have you ever visited and that are your favourite ones? Learn the weblog and tell us.

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Vishwajit Sharma

Writing, for me, is an inventive expression of the numerous ideas flooding my thoughts. For now, journey content material writing is what retains me going! In my spare time, I like nothing higher than immersing myself in a ebook, together with a cuppa! A traditional film helps too! I outline touring as a technique of self-discovery. Hailing from Darjeeling, my final need is to flee to the hills, with the mountain air and solitude as my fixed companions!

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