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Durga Puja 2022 In Kolkata: History, Significance & Rituals

Durga Pooja

Posted on Thursday, January 6th, 2022 by Pawanpreet Kaur

India is a beautiful heritage land with rich culture, holy rivers and sites, and beautiful religious festivals like Durga Puja 2022. Being the former British capital of India, Kolkata is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. The city is famous for its rich Indian culture and deep-rooted lineage. It is synonymous with the festival of Durga Puja and the people take pride in it being the festival of West Bengal. This festival in India is one of the most prominent festivals celebrated with religious offerings and worship.

Durga Puja 2022 date: Saturday 1, October – Wednesday 5, October. Durga Puja festival is the heart and soul of West Bengal. Each year in Kolkata, the festival of Durga Puja brings tremendous enthusiasm, joyous moments for all, and a chance to meet family and friends in the most heartwarming manner like never before. Among India’s most colourful and vibrant festivals is Navratri, and Durga Puja 2022 is one of the most famous festivals celebrated in Kolkata. For five days each year, the city of Kolkata takes on a spiritual and festive atmosphere, and people around the world gather to honour the Hindu goddess Durga. 

This year Durga Puja devotees from across the world visit these temples in Kolkata to pay their tribute and enjoy the festival in India.

Durga Puja 2022 Dates/Calendar

Name of the festival dayDayDate
MahalayaSunday25 September 2022
Maha PanchamiFriday30 September 2022
Maha SasthiSaturday1 October 2022
Maha SaptamiSunday2 October 2022
Maha AshtamiMonday3 October 2022
Maha NavamiTuesday4 October 2022
Maha DashamiWednesday5 October 2022

History of Durga Puja Festival

Durga Puja is one of the most renowned festivals in Hinduism. It is held for 10 days in the months of September-October or Ashvina. Durga Puja originated from Bengal and later spread to Assam and the Eastern Indian States. The festival of Durga Puja begins on the same night as Navratri and is a nine-night festival celebrated in several northern and western states. Durga Puja in India and its celebrations in Kolkata are fun and exciting festivals. The first worship of goddess Durga is believed to have been in the late 1500s. Folklore says that the landlords of Dinajpur and Malda instituted the first Durga Puja in Bengal. Another legend states that Raja Kangshanarayan of Taherpur Nadiya had organized the first Durga Puja in Bengal in 1606.

Durga Puja celebrates goddess Durga’s win over the bull demon, Mahishasur. As per legend, Durga was summoned by the gods Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, to conquer the devil, who had set out to destroy the world. To help her win the battle, each major Hindu god gave Durga weapons and other entities to assist her.

Durga mounted on a lion, and on the tenth day of the battle, she ultimately killed the demon. Navratri commemorates the nine days and nights of the struggle between good and evil. This Kolkata Puja is celebrated only on the last five days, when according to legend, Durga leaves her heavenly abode to visit earth each year. Durga Puja 2021 attracted many visitors from all over India and several tourists from a foreign land, but the festival is famous among the people of West Bengal. The festival is a special occasion for Bengali families to come together from all over the country and celebrate with their relatives and neighbourhoods.

Significance of Durga puja

  • Durga Puja explicitly observes Durga’s victory over the bull demon Mahishasura. It is a famous festival of Kolkata
  • According to legend, Durga was summoned by the gods Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, to defeat the devil, who had set out to conquer the world. To help her win the battle, each major Hindu god gave Durga weapons and other objects to assist her. Durga went into action mounted on a lion, and on the tenth day of the battle, she finally killed the demon. Navratri commemorates the nine days and nights of the struggle between good and evil.
  • Still, Durga Puja is celebrated only on the last five days, when according to legend, Durga leaves her heavenly abode to visit earth each year. Durga Puja attracts many visitors from all over India and foreign tourists, but the festival is trendy among the people of West Bengal. The festival is a special occasion for Bengali families to come together from all over the country and celebrate with their relatives and communities.

Durga Puja Festival Rituals

Here are some of the festival rituals that make the Durga puja special

  1. Chokkhu Daan: Chokkhu Daan, which means offering the eyes to the Durga idol, has a special significance; artisans paint the beautiful sights of the goddess in the week hours, and only a senior member from the artisan community is allowed to draw the eyes of Maa Durga.
  2. Kalparamba:  The ritual involves the installation of a water-filled Kalash and offering worship to Goddess Durga. Sankalp is taken, the firm resolution to perform Pujas and practices for the coming days.
  3. Bodhon: the method of Bodon takes place, which means the awakening of Goddess Durga.
  4. Kola Bou Snan: On this day, a small banana tree is taken to the holy river of Ganga and is given a ceremonial bath.
  5. Nabapatrika: Nine banana plants are tied together to form the nabapatrika, or nine leaves. They represent excellent forms of female power in Bengali puja
  6. Kumari Puja: A Young girl is selected to be worshipped as the living incarnation of Durga.
  7. Sandhi Puja: It marked when Goddess Durga emerged in her angry Chamunda form to kill the demons. The priest chants the mantra. And the drummers break into a frenzied beat in this West Bengal Durga Puja
  8. Darpan Visarjan: the priest symbolically immerses the idol by capturing the reflection in a water bowl. In this practice, one has to see the reflection of Goddess Durga through a bowl of water.
  9. Sindoor Khela: This ritual includes Sindoor Khela, where married women offer and smear vermillion and sweets to the goddess.

The Procession to Bring in the Deity: Durga Puja 2022 in Kolkata

  • The Kolkata festival ends on the tenth day (Vijaya Dashami) when devotees embark on a procession carrying the worshipped clay sculpture-idols to a river or other water body and immerse them, symbolic of her return to the divine cosmos and her marital home with Shiva in Kailash. Durga Puja 2022 in West Bengal was truly a sight to witness. 
  • Communities gather for a final religious tradition before the idols of Durga are marched through the streets and then transported to the Hooghly River for immersion. This symbolizes the end of goddess Durga’s five-day visit on earth, after which she returns to her heavenly abode. Traffic to the riverbank comes to a standstill that night, as hundreds of hired trucks transport the idols of the displays to the river, together with dozens of people worshipping in awe.
  • As the crowd watches on, often accompanied by drum beats and chants, the clay idols of Durga and the other gods are carefully offloaded and carried down to the river, where they are gently lowered into the water. Then the idols are picked up by the water current and slowly swept downstream. 

The Ritual of Pran Pratishta – Kola Bou Bath

Maha Saptami is marked by the ritual named ”pran pratistha,” where the deity is symbolically blessed with life. The ”Kola Bou”, a tender banana plant, is considered a bride. It is given a river bath amidst drum beats, wrapped in a sari, and placed next to the idol of Ganesha.

After the ritual, the ”puja” begins with fasting devotees obeying Goddess Durga. The third day of the Puja is considered the most momentous day of the five-day festival with the Mahaashtami Puja.

The Last Day of the Durga Puja

This marks the end of the annual festival of Durga Puja. Men of the same age perform a ritual called Kolakuli, a kind of hugging gesture. Exceptional sweets, especially Naru or roundels made with coconut and jaggery, are distributed.

Puja Pandals in Kolkata

  • Traditional Idol: Bagbazar
  • Traditional and Modern Fusion Art: Kumartuli Park
  • Picturesque Lakeside Setting: College Square
  • Monument and Temple Architecture: Mohammad Ali Park
  • Artwork: Santosh Mitra Square
  • Pioneer of Theme-Based Puja: Badamtala Ashar Sangha
  • Reviving Lost Art Forms: Ballygunge Cultural Association
  • Indian State Themes: Suruchi Sangha
  • Lighting and Temple Replicas: Ekdalia Evergreen
  • Innovation and Technology: Jodhpur Park
  • Themes Depicting Rural Bengal: Bosepukur Sitala Mandir

Decorations at Durga Puja

The art of pandal-making is a folk art handed down from one generation to another. The pandal-makers make a lot of profit during the two-three months of Pujas, much more than what they get the rest of the year from their daily activities.

Innovative ideas of making Pandal setups and goddess idols are done with great devotion with a lot of money being invested, all decked with mesmerizing artwork. Many pandals are also the built-in shape of world-famous monuments or structures and are indeed a sight to behold.

Food at Durga Puja Pandal

During Bengali Durga Puja, many mouth-watering dishes and prasad’s are prepared. Khichuri is widely prepared during Durga Puja which is made with rice, potatoes, cauliflower, and other spices. Another exemplary dish for Durga puja celebrations is that of Pulao. It is a sweetened rice dish prepared with saffron, rose water, rice, nuts, and spices. Other dishes like Luchi, cholar dal, Aamer chutney, and muri ghonto are also some of the delicacies of Durga puja. 

Travanya is an all-inclusive India travel portal that aims to book affordable flights and holiday packages for travellers who wish to celebrate life, one festival at a time. If you want to travel to India to celebrate the spiritual festival of the Durga Puja festival, book your flight to Kolkata with Travanya, and we will assist you in every way possible. We also provide affordable and budget-friendly tickets for domestic travellers to Kolkata. You can contact us at 91-800-023-5865 to find the latest information regarding affordable flights, and travel news.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why is Durga Puja celebrated?

Answer: Durga Puja is celebrated in honour of the Hindu goddess Durga. It is a festival of the victory of good over evil. It is celebrated because Goddess Durga defeated the demon Mahishasura as he waged war against the gods of Hinduism.

Q: What message does Durga Puja give us, and what’s the essence behind it?

Answer: Durga Puja believes and signifies the victory of good over evil.

Q: How can a traveller take part in Durga Puja festivities?

Answer: The highlight of Durga Puja is certainly visiting the many different pandals of the goddess Durga which are all impressively decorated. This activity is commonly referred to as ‘pandal hopping’. The best time to pandal hop is at night when they are lit up to witness maa Durga pandal. The next best thing to experience is to eat the dishes and blog. There is no better time to savour Kolkata’s famous Bengali cooking than Durga Puja. You can find food everywhere during the festival, including along the streets, pandals, and restaurants.

Q: What is bhog offered at the Pandal?

Answer: The food served at the pandals is called bhog, an offering made to the goddess. Bhog commonly consists of mixed vegetable curry, a sweet dish, a fried item, and chutney.

Q: What are the best foods to try during Durga puja?

Answer: Bengali sweets such as Misti Doi, Sondesh, Aamer chutney, and Rashgulla are widely consumed during Durga Puja.

Q: What is meant by Pandal hopping?

Answer: Every year Durga Puja in Kolkata is celebrated with great pride and grandeur, and the Pandals are a sight to behold. Every corner of Kolkata will be decked with unique decorations and beautiful pandals. Pandal hopping means visiting each Pandal to catch a glimpse of Durga Maa in Kolkata.

Pawanpreet

About Pawanpreet View All Posts

Pawanpreet is a versatile content writer and editor who enjoys experimenting with various niches of writing. Her keen eye for detail and love for thorough research helps her create high-quality content to outweigh clickbait. She extensively works for digital marketing and manages clients that range from travel to luxury goods. Her creativity is fueled by her love for learning new things, travelling, and the environment. Also, she is a free soul and an avid animal lover who believes in doing everything with a smile 🙂

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