Power, Peace and Prosperity reside together at Kumartuli

Artisans trying to finish Kali idols at Kumartuli The mood drastically changes at Kumartuli once Lakshmi Puja ends. With all the Lakshmi idols gone, artisans get busy to complete those massive Kali idols that are destined to adorn the pandals of various popular clubs across Calcutta, Howrah and other places. Beside the goddess...

Durga Puja Carnival – The Ground Reality

Rolf Lindesay with his family seated at the Durga Puja Carnival Maria had landed in Calcutta on the morning of October 23 along with a group of about 12 tourists. Maria and her friends from Netherlands were on their way to visit Sikkim and other north-east states after which they would go...

Simplicity in the age of grandeur

In an age of larger than life themes, elaborate lights and decorative pandals, simplicity has lost its place. Far from the city, even in the remotest village, theme pandals are the order of the day. In such a day and age, organising puja in the village aatchala (a common covered area opened on all sides) is unthinkable.

A different immersion experience at Taki

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A ride on the Icchamoti The wavy waters of Icchamoti bring an unusual restlessness to the mind. Reality hit me when I realised that I was actually at a place that separates two different countries with similar culture, rituals and language. The river waters reverberated with the sound of innumerable dhaks and the...

A temple for Lakshmi

Sribati village Sribati, a small village near Katwa in Burdwan, dotted with picturesque  terracotta temples, was also the seat of the Chandra family who were primarily salt merchants who moved from Gujarat to Bengal and settled here. They excelled in trade and soon became the zamindars of the area. Although the dynasty’s glory ended early, Sribati remains a...

Durga Puja at Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama, Malda

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The idol at RKM Malda There is no dearth of club pujas in Malda Town, but the Ramakrishna Mission Durga Puja holds a special place in the hearts of the local people. Thousands swear by the RK Mission Ashtami pushpanjali that is considered most auspicious by all Bengalis out...

The Saha’s Durga

The Mokdumpur Sahapara Durga Puja is estimated to be more than 300 years old. It has its origins at Sahapur in  Old Malda from where Nawkarilal Saha moved to Malda Town. Humayun was in power at the time and he imposed the Jizya tax on non-Muslim communities. A Vaishya cloth merchant, Nawkarilal moved to Malda Town where he continued the tradition...

Gunshots and canonshots to arouse the Devi

A step into the Jorasanko Daw Bari immediately transports a visitor back in time. Standing at the small but cosy thakurdalan vividly brings back images of a time of grand chandeliers sparkling overhead. Watching the ladies scamper across the thakurdalan or sitting on one side, all dressed uniformly in red bordered garad saris, brings to mind the...

Little Durga on her way home

Preparations are in their last leg as the last idols leave the idolmakers homes on Panchami afternoon. West Bengal is all set for its Great Autumn Festival, Durga Puja. 

Puja for over 400 years at Hutom’s house

The old thakurdalan where puja is held Baksha is a quiet hamlet neighbouring the popular village of Janai in Hooghly. Although is not much talk about the specialities of these villages, except of course Janai’s popular sweet, monohara, few people know that Baksha was the seat of several powerful landlords of the time. One such family is...

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Power, Peace and Prosperity reside together at Kumartuli

Artisans trying to finish Kali idols at Kumartuli The mood drastically changes at Kumartuli once Lakshmi Puja ends....

Durga Puja Carnival – The Ground Reality

Rolf Lindesay with his family seated at the Durga Puja Carnival Maria had landed in Calcutta on...

Simplicity in the age of grandeur

In an age of larger than life themes, elaborate lights and decorative pandals, simplicity has lost its place. Far from the city,...