Durga Puja: From Bagbazar to Mohammad Ali Park, Pandals Which Stole the Show Last Year
The City of Joy Kolkata is all gearing up to celebrate six-day long annual festival Durga Puja that begins on October 3 this year. The festival is celebrated with immense pomp and fervour by the people of the city. During Durga Puja, Kolkatans travel to various marquees or pandals where the idol of Goddess Durga is placed and worshipped.
Another major attractions during Durga Puja are cultural programmes and traditional food. Innumerable pandals are built in Kolkata some with traditional style and a few with latest theme. These pandals every year compete to outdo each other in terms of decoration, idol, lighting among others. The pandals in north Kolkata are more traditional while those in south are more of theme-based.
The award winning pandals see large number of footfall but serpentine lines are not uncommon in other pandals. Tourists from various parts of India and abroad, throng to Kolkata to witness the high-octane Durga Puja festival.
As we all wait to see what is in store this year in terms of Durga Puja 2019 pandals in Kolkata, here are 5 pandals the pandals that witnessed maximum footfall.
Bagbazar: Situated in north Kolkata, Bagbazar has one of the oldest Durga Puja pandals in the city. Bagbazar celebrated its centenary last year and the pandal was relatively simple with special emphasis on tradition and culture. Durga Puja here also attracts crowd for its magnificent idol of the Goddess. The ground next to the pandal holds mela which has number of rides and stalls of foods, crafts among others. The traditional ritual of Sindoor (vermilion) khela before the idol is taken for immersion also sees large crowd in this pandal.
College Square: Since 1948, College Square is celebrating Durga Puja with breathtaking pandal and idol. The pandal here is really picturesque as it is made beside a lake and the entire stretch is lit during the evening of the festival. The crowd throngs to this pandal to see amazing theme lighting and their reflection on water.
Mohammad Ali Park: Another famous crowd puller Durga Puja pandal in central Kolkata, Mohammad Ali Park celebrated golden jubilee or 50 years in 2018. The pandal last year featured Chittorgarh fort in Rajasthan, inspired by Deepika Padukone starrer Padmavaat. The inside of the pandal was a replica of the courtyard from the fort's palace and the overall structure was that of the main palace.
Badamtala Ashar Sangha: For over 75 years Badamtala Ashar Sangha is one the major crowd pullers. The theme in 2018 was shob choritro kalponic (all characters are fictional). The pandal was dedicated to women's empowerment and feminism. The idol here was also unique as it had no weapons portraying the message of peace and non-violence.
Ekdalia Evergreen: Durga Puja in Ekdalia Evergreen began in 1943 and gradually pandals here became famous for its amazing replica of temples from all across India. Decoration and lighting here are also major attractions. It is said that the pandal here has one of the tallest Durga idols in Kolkata. The theme here in 2018 was fiberglass replica of the Big Temple in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. The Durga idol here was dressed in traditional benarasi saree.