"DURGA PUJA IN KOLKATA- 2007" Top 5 Page for this destination Kolkata (Calcutta) Travelogue by goutammitra
Kolkata (Calcutta) Travel Guide: 622 reviews and 2,155 photos
I wrote this page in 2004 but now Durga Puja has arrived again I will update it again. Since now I stay in Kolkata, I will write many things as well.
KOLKATA DURGA PUJA- has always been nostalgia for many. Like us who stay away from Kolkata, this festival means something special. This Puja we have been to Kolkata to celebrate and to meet the friends. We would also like to share some of the glimpses of Durga Puja with my VT friends. Let me first tell you limited history of Durga Puja, as I know it. God Sri Ramchandra, called the AKAL BODHANA or the untimely call, started Puja in this autumn. When God Ram (the 9th incarnation of God Vishnu in human form, 10th. And the last was Lord Sri Krishna in human form), went to Lanka (now Sri Lanka) to rescue his wife Sita (incarnation of Goddess Laxmi the wife of God Vishnu) from the clutches of the Demon Ravana, with his army of Monkeys, he had to fight with Ravana a very fierce war. He was not able to kill the Demon Ravana despite his variety of weapons as he had ten heads and only Ravana knew his weakest part of the body as he had the blessings of Lord Siva. He decided to call the Goddess Durga to help him. As he worshipped the Goddess with 108 Lotuses, Goddess Durga hid one of the Lotuses, not finding the 108th Lotus, God Ram offered one of his eyes (as it was like the Lotus flower) to the Goddess Durga, pleased with Sri Ram, Durga told him where to hit at Ravana’s body to ensure his death. Well the Puja of Goddess Durga has started from then otherwise she is normally worshipped during the Indian month of CHAITRA or March/April.
As per Hindu mythology Goddess Durga was created by God Vishnu to kill the Demon King The Mahishasura (The Buffalo demon), who has been on rampage destroying the mankind and the Gods as well, since their power was not enough to kill him. So all the Gods together prayed to God Vishnu to do something. Parvati the wife of God Shiva offered her body and various Gods offered their hands, various weapons and a Lion to take her to the battleground. You will notice that Goddess Durga has ten hands and various weapons. Once in a year she comes to her Paternal home in this Earth as originally Goddess Parvati belonged to earth. She comes home with her children, The Goddess Saraswati (the Goddess of Learning), Laxmi (the Goddess or wealth and fortune), Kartikeya (the General of the Gods) and the youngest son the Lord Ganesh( the God of Prosperity and Success). They all come to the earth in their respective VAHANAS or their mode of transport. Laxmi travels on an Owl, Saraswati on a Swan, Kartikeya on a Peacock and Ganesha on a Rat. This is the prime reason in India even birds, animals or even rocks are worshipped.
Well with time many things have changed DURGA PUJA is no longer a family affair but it has become a full-fledged festival like Christmas in the West. Though Durga Puja is celebrated in all over India but not like Bengal. Where it has become a religion for every body a symbol of love and harmony. People of other religious faith also celebrate these four days equally with their Hindu brethren. It is only possible in Bengal. Earlier the Puja used to be a homely affair but it has now become a public affair with lots of competition over the Idol, the decoration, the lighting and so on. The current craze among the Big Puja organizers is THEME Puja. Which means they will project a particular theme during the Puja like somebody will present the Ancient village, somebody will present Tribal life, somebody will present an Excavation site, somebody will present a Rajasthani or Gujrati village their customs, dresses, dances and so on. All these require lot of meticulous planning, arrangement of the things, artists and of course a lot of money. Which comes in the form of donations, sponsorship from big cos. I am presenting some of the Pujas in this page, as the space is limited. I hope all of my viewers are going to enjoy a lot. Please feel free to ask any question, reply assured.
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