When you start thinking about a particular place, what are the few things that strike your mind? What is it famous for, what is its cultural heritage, what is the ideal time to visit the place so that its beauty and charm can be witnessed wholeheartedly? For Kolkata, the capital city of West Bengal, there are too many factors that attract a tourist to take a tour of the town. One of them being the regional festival of West Bengal, Durga Puja. Durga Puja is one of the grand
religious festivals in India that is celebrated even in the countries abroad.
Lovingly called as Pujo by the Bengalees, Durga Puja is the most celebrated and glorious festival of West Bengal.
It has risen in grandeur, and people of all backgrounds, irrespective of their religious views, have started participating in it.
Maa Durga, as the Bengalis call her, arrives on a lion, her ten arms wielding weapons of war. At her feet lies the villain, the Mahishasura, the symbol of evil, slain, blood spurting out of his chest which has just been pierced by her spear. Durga is flanked on either side by her four children. Her two daughters Lakshmi and Saraswati, goddesses in their own right – the former of wealth and the latter of knowledge – are escorted by their faithful mascots, the owl and the swan, respectively. Also accompanying Durga are her two sons, the pious Ganesha and the foppish Kartikeya, piggybacked on their mascots, the rat, and the peacock, respectively. The clay idols, dressed up in colourful cloth and glittering gems, brandishing an assortment of articles such as weapons of war and musical instruments, are not less than six feet in height.
On the day of Dashami the idols are immersed in the Ganges and there is ‘Misty mukh’ and ‘Sindoor khela’, whereby married women smear each other with vermillion and pray for their well beings.. People embrace each other and offer sweets and pray for everyone’s prosperity and well being. The people wait another one year for Maa’s home coming.