7 Unique Things About Durga Puja You Can Only Experience In Kolkata. Nowhere Else! | HolidayIQ Blog

7 Unique Things About Durga Puja You Can Only Experience In Kolkata. Nowhere Else!

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Durga Puja in Kolkata is an experience! This year, Durga Puja is from October 18 to 23. HolidayIQ Travellers list 7 things you must experience if you visit Kolkata.

7 Unique Things About Durga Puja You Can Only Experience In Kolkata. Nowhere Else!:

  1. Kolkata (West Bengal)

1. Watch The Beautiful Handcrafted Idols Being Made at Kumartuli

Watch The Beautiful Handcrafted Idols Being Made at Kumartulisource: windhorsetours.com

If you are an ardent art lover, you’ll forget your discomfort and awe at the stupendous creations. Kumortuli, or the potter's' town, is the place where the beautiful idols are handcrafted, hued and adorned. This is not a fancy place at all. In fact, be prepared for narrow and muddy lanes. And if you look around there are idols everywhere, some as small as your palm, others as tall as 15 feet! The idols are supplied in places all over Kolkata and even abroad. There are other shops too, which sell the weapons and other accessories needed to decorate the idols. Photography is allowed, but not without a fee. Try visiting this place on the day of choku daan', which is the most intense moment for the artisan. They paint the eye of the Goddess and places the eyeballs in them, infusing the divine look. HolidayIQ Traveller Pankaj Gupta shares, “If you want to see the greatest and festival of India where full city is celebrate this with lots of joy and happiness then you have to come to kolkata in season of durga puja. In this festival the full city is decorated like a carnival and you can see thousands of murti/pratima in whole city. So please come to kolkata at least one time to experience it.”

2. Go Pandal Hopping

Go Pandal Hoppingsource: thealternative.in- Saikat Sengupta

Durga Puja in Kolkata is synonymous with pandal hopping but it can get a bit overwhelming. The easiest way to go pandal-hopping in Kolkata is to surrender oneself to the crowd. The best pandals of the city exists in clusters. If you are visiting the famed Ahiritola Sarbojanin puja in north Kolkata , you can easily walk to Beniatola, Kumartuli Sarbojanin and Chaltabagan Lohapatty pujas.Walk towards Hatibagan, check out the Hatibagan Sarbojanin and the Nalin Sarkar Street pujas. HolidayIQ Traveller Binit Diwakar shares, “The best place to visit kolkata is at time of durga puja. The awesome ambiance and the religious aura, all can take you to a divine world of the real bengal. Besides there are many places to visit in kolkata including the puja pandals.”

3. Dance To The Dhak

Dance To The Dhaksource: indiatvnews.com

The 'dhak' (a traditional drum in Bengal) is an integral part of the festivities during Durga Puja. If you are in any pandal, you will definitely spot people performing their art to play this traditional drum known as dhak. HolidayIQ Traveller Swassy shares, “Kolkata reminds me of Durga pooja and Howrah bridge, very nice place to visit.”

4. Listen To The Chants Of Various Hymns Of 'Mahishasura Mardini'

Listen To The Chants Of Various Hymns Of 'Mahishasura Mardini'source: aboutfestivalsofindia.com

Mahishasura Mardini Stotram is a highly revered stotra in the glory of Goddess Durga. This puja is observed on Mahanavami. Goddess Durga is decorated and worshipped in the form of Mahishasuramardhini alankaram. The last and ninth Navadurga Goddess Siddhidhatri Puja is performed by Navadurga Shakteya sampradaaya people.

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5. Experience Kola Bou At North Kolkata Ghats

Experience Kola Bou At North Kolkata Ghatssource: blogspot..com

A special ritual is performed to infuse the energy of the Goddess into the idols, installed on podiums across the city. This is done through a small banana plant called a Kola Bou. Accompanied by drummers and the chanting of mantras by a Hindu priest, the Kola Bou is bathed and purified in the river. It's then dressed up in a sari with a red border and carried, in a procession, back to the idol where it's placed alongside Lord Ganesh. Many people consider the Kola Bou to be Lord Ganesh's wife. The best places to see this ritual are at the north Kolkata ghats of Bagbazar and Airitolla. Be sure to arrive by 6 am.

6. Sample Kolkata's Famous Bengali Cuisine

Sample Kolkata's Famous Bengali Cuisinesource: blog.bytplus.com

The festive period is a foodie's paradise with plenty of mouth-watering dishes to savour. People can be found sampling delicious Bengali dishes during Durga Puja. From snacks to sweet dishes, Bengali food has something to offer all food enthusiasts. Pandal hopping get tiring, so eating while you're out is a must. Do eat the food that is served at the pandals, bhog. It commonly consists of mixed vegetable curry, a sweet dish, fried item, and chutney. Also, try Kolkata's Bengali restaurants that have exclusive Durga Puja menus packed full of authentic delicacies. HolidayIQ Traveller Aaditya from Kishanganj shares, “You can enjoy the authentic Bengali food -macher jhol and rosogulla when in Kolkata.” Adds Uttam Kumar. “The Bengali food served to me in dinner with Macher Jhol was incredible.”

7. Elaborate Immersion Ceremony At Babu Ghat

Elaborate Immersion Ceremony At Babu Ghatsource: thehindu.com

Say goodbye to the beloved Goddess Durga as her idol is immersed in rivers on Vijaya Dashami. Highly enthusiastic devotees gather in large numbers to join the procession that carries the Goddess to the ghats to be immersed in water. Women especially married woman initiate the procession by first applying red sindoor or vermillion powder on the Goddess and then to each other. It is said to be a symbol of marriage and fertility. The immersion of the idol is similar to the immersion of the Ganesha idol during Ganesh Chaturti. Babu Ghat is one of the popular places for immersion located near Eden Garden.

The views above are collated from opinions expressed by travellers on www.holidayiq.com

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