Durga Puja is the devotees' way of honoring goddess Durga, celebrating her victory over the demon Mahishasura. In the form of Maa Durga, this religious festival honors the divine feminine energy, as Goddess Durga is considered as an epitome of courage and divinity in the Hindu culture.
For anyone who wants to witness the Hindu culture and what it is all about in its essence, mustn't miss this phenomenal mix of this religious grandeur and ceremonial rituals.
Durga Puja is celebrated in the last five days of Navratri and Dussehra. Although worshipped all across India, Durga Puja is observed with great fervor, particularly in West Bengal among the devotees. Yes, the whole feel of this Indian festival is quite larger than life here and it is to witness exactly this that devotees flock here in thousands every year.
Talking about the dates, Durga Puja Festival 2021 will be celebrated from October 11 to 15.
The true origin of the Durga Puja is somewhat unclear. The only documentation which one can find is in the manuscripts which survived from the 14th century. In history, the Durga Puja celebrations and festivities have always been sponsored by the affluent class of society. Apart from Hindu scriptures, texts from other religions like Jainism also mention the celebrations of Durga Puja.
Talking specifically about Indian texts, they do mention Durga Puja celebrations in a somewhat inconsistent manner. For instance, some versions of the Hindu Puranas talk about Durga Puja by a spring festival. On the other hand, the Devi-Bhagavata Purana along with a few others describe it as an autumn festival. Durga Puja is among the famous festivals of West Bengal.
According to Hindu mythology, Mahishasura was a demon and was known for his deceptive traits and as someone who could shapeshift into many forms as per his desire at any given moment.
Ultimately, when his evil ways were getting too much to handle for the innocent, Goddess Durga intervened and killed him after a long and furious battle. And since ancient times, this legend has been kept alive and is passed from generation to generation in the forms of written and visual stories.
The sixth day of Navratri, which is the first day of Durga Puja celebrations, sees the beautiful idols of Maa Durga which are brought either to their homes or into amazingly decorated pandals by the devotees for public gatherings. The idols are decorated with flowers, vermillion, clothing, and lavish jewelry. The idol of Maa is also accompanied by Lord Ganesha’s idol. After the Sthapana (placement) of the idols, sweets, and fruits are offered to the deities. And as the days progress, one gets to witness the kirtans and many other ritual ceremonies which depict the freshness of our Sanatan Indian culture.
Pan Pratishta Ritual is majorly observed to invoke the presence of Goddess in the idol on the seventh day, early in the morning. As per this ritual, a small banana plant, also known as Kola Bou is bathed in the river and is then dressed with a red color sari. After this, it is carried back to the idol of the Goddess.
Durga Puja is celebrated with great fervor all across India, however, this festival sees the most phenomenal celebrations in Kolkata, West Bengal. Kolkata is located at an approximate distance of 1,532, 1,890, 1,498 km from Delhi, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad respectively. Here is how you can travel to Kolkata by taking the following means of transportation.
Since Kolkata is the capital of West Bengal and is also a metropolitan city, it is very well-connected to all modes of travel. The Netaji Subhash Chandra International Airport is just 14-17 km away from the city and is fairly well routed with other Indian cities. Once you deboard at the airport, you can easily take a cab to reach your respective destination.
Kolkata has two major railway stations which are Howrah and Sealdah. Both of them are well-connected with other Indian cities. Once you get off at the station, you can easily take a cab or some other means of transportation to reach your place.
You can plan your trip to Kolkata via well-maintained motorable roads and highways. The highways to Kolkata, NH2, and NH6, are also very well-connected and thus it is easy for a person to reach through any preferred mode, whether it be a bus, cab, or your own vehicle, without any hassle.