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Durga Puja

Durga Puja 2012 is when? October 2012.

Durga Puja is one of the most important festival for Bengalis. Durga is the Goddess of divine power against all evils.  The legend behind this festival is that Mahisasur, the Buffalo Demon, through years of meditation, received blessing from Lord Brahma, that no power can kill him. However, power corrupted the demon and he starting abusing his abilities by killing people. The Gods, in dismay, combined their powers to create a beautiful maiden, and each placed his or her most potent weapon in one of her ten hands riding a lion. This maiden was known as Goddess Durga and she vanquished the evil demon.

Preparations for Durga Puja begin a month or two in advance. Bengali newspapers and magazines publish special issues. On the first day of the celebration, thousands offer prayers to their ancestors at the city's river banks. A special pre-dawn program of readings from the Chandi and Aagamani songs is organized. The main worship lasts for three days. During these rituals, an expert priest is called in to conduct the prayers. Because of this, Durga Puja is now mostly celebrated as a community festival. The city of Calcutta sports a different look during these three days. The restaurants are packed and finger-licking food is available round-the-clock.

The last day of the prayers is reserved for a tearful farewell to the goddess. A grand send-off is arranged and the images of the goddess are carried in processions around the locality and finally immersed in a nearby river or lake. This event called Vijaya Dashami is celebrated all over the country. 

In the Bengali cities/towns like Midnapur, Kharagpur, and Kolkata, pandels are established throughout the landscape. In 2011, a famous pandel was made with a Disneyland theme.

Here are some pictures that I personally took of Durga Puja during my trip.

durga puja pictures

midnapore pandel

durga puja pandel

painting durga puja

Amisha Patel
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