Thursday, 21 June 2012

Heralding the Divine Goddess: Celebrating Durga Puja in Delhi!!


Durga Puja 2011According to Hindu mythology, the Holy trinity of Gods – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva created the divine goddess Durga to vanquish the demon Mahisasur. The goddess Durga represents the unison of the divine forces against the forces of evil and wickedness.
Durga Puja, literally meaning worship of Durga, also referred to as Durgotsava is an annual Hindu festival in South Asia. The celebration is held on six days observed as MahalayaShashthiMaha SaptamiMaha AshtamiMaha Navami and Bijoya Dashami. The dates of Durga Puja celebrations are set according to the traditional Hindu calendar.
Durga Puja in West BengalDurga Puja is widely celebrated in the Indian states of West BengalBiharAssamJharkhandOrissaand Tripura where it is a five-day annual holiday. In West Bengal and Tripura which has majority of BengaliHindus it is the biggest festival of the year. Not only is it the biggest Hindu festival celebrated throughout the State, but it is also the most significant socio-cultural event in Bengali society. Due to the migration of Bengali population all parts of India, Durga Puja is celebrated in all the major metropolitan cities such as Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and states such as Uttar PradeshBiharMaharashtraGujaratPunjabKashmirKarnataka and Kerala.
Delhi has a large population of Bengalis and they have settled here over a period of 100 years and even earlier. There are various Bengali societies (called samities) which organize Durga Puja and the oldest celebration go 100 years back!!
Durga Puja - Kashmere Gate (Delhi) - Delhi Durga Puja Samity - Oldest Durga Puja of Delhi - Celebrating 101 Years
Durga Puja - Kashmere Gate (Delhi)
Durga Puja - Minto Road (New Delhi)
Durga Puja - Minto Road (New Delhi)
Durga Puja - Kali Bari (New Delhi) - 3rd Oldest Puja of Delhi - Celebrating 75th Year
Durga Puja - Kali Bari (New Delhi)
Durga Puja - Timarpur (Delhi) - Second Oldest Durgapuja of Delhi - Celebrating 98th Year
Durga Puja - Timarpur (Delhi)
Durga Puja - Safdarjung Enclave (Delhi) - Celebrating 42nd Year
Durga Puja - Safdarjung Enclave (Delhi)
Durga Puja - Greater Kailash Part II (Delhi)
Durga Puja - Greater Kailash Part II (Delhi)
R.K.Puram (Delhi) - Celebrating 41st Year" src="http://blog.theotherhome.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Dakshin-Delhi-Kali-Bari-R.K.Puram-Celebrating-41st-Year.jpg" alt="Durga Puja -R.K.Puram (Delhi) - Celebrating 41st Year" width="602" height="452" />
Durga Puja - R.K.Puram (Delhi)
Durga Puja - Chittaranjan Park (Delhi) - Chittaranjan Park Durgapuja Samity - B Block - Celebrating 33rd Year
Durga Puja - Chittaranjan Park (Delhi)
Durga Puja - CR Park (Delhi) - Kalimandir C. R. Park, New Delhi
Durga Puja - CR Park (Delhi)
The Durga Puja celebrations in Delhi are grand affairs, as grand as the ones back home in West Bengal if not more. All the five days of the Durga Puja are celebrated with lots of fanfare. Huge Pandals are set up and decorated, idols of Durga Maa vanquishing Mahisasur and her children (Laxmi, Saraswati, Ganesh and Kartik) and brought and worshipped for 5 days. There are various stalls set up outside the pandals selling mouth watering Bengali delicacies which are savoured by all those visiting the pandals.
Durga Puja - BhogOne of the unique feature of Delhi Durga Puja celebrations is the ‘Bhog’ (or Lunch offering) organized for all the people during Shasthi, Saptami and Navami. It comprises of communal lunch offered to all those who come to visit Durga Maa and the pandals, free of cost irrespective of caste creed or religion. It is a way of Durga Maa embracing all her human children.
In the evenings, there are a number of cultural programs are organized by various pandals depending upon their budget and they are the showcase of Bengali culture and arts. It is indeed a lively atmosphere to visit the various pandals. At the pandals, one can see many gatherings of common friends doing what is called “Aadda” or lively conversations. Visiting pandals with friends and family, talking and sampling the food sold near them is known as pandal hopping. Young people embrace this activity with vigour.
During the five days of Durga Puja, Bengalis in Delhi relive their memories of Bengal and celebrate this festival grandly.
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