So, we are already in August. It is needless to say, that India is the land of festivals. No matter, which state you go to, you will be greeted with one festival or the other. It is August, and Bengalis already had their Mansa Puja. Now, all of us are looking forward to Vishwakarma Puja and Ganesh Puja. Now, there is something more waiting for you. Yes, you are right. Durga Puja is also scheduled for October. Now, that is what all Bengalis look for every year.
You may draw some similarities between Durga Puja and Navratri. However, they are celebrated for different reasons. Durga Maa defeated Mahisasura, and that is why we celebrate it. And Navratri is a nine-day celebration, which involves Lord Rama’s victory over Ravana. Additionally, the way Durga Puja is celebrated differs from state to state. Today, you will come to know how nine states celebrate the durga puja festival.
Celebration of Durga Puja in the Nine States:
- Durga Puja is one of the biggest celebrations in West Bengal, particularly in Kolkata. On the occasion of Durga Puja, the streets are lined with colourful lights, and the most magnificent pandals come up. You find the exquisitely designed Durga idols at the pandals. The ‘Sashti’ Anjali, is when the women of the state start dressing up in their finery to go to the pandal to give Anjali. On Dashami, the married women engage in ‘Sindoor Khela’. You will find Dhakis beating large drums or dhaks at all the pandals, around this time. Vijaya Dashami marks the last day of Durga Puja in West Bengal.
- The festival is also celebrated in Assam in a big way. The Bengali population in Assam, has led to a proliferation of Durga Puja Guwahati is one of the cities, where puja is celebrated with a lot of aplomb. You will be amazed to know, that over 500 pandals come up in Guwahati alone. The oldest family Rajbari puja was held at Uzan Bazar. Just like Kolkata and the adjoining towns, the city streets are adorned with lights. The celebration has evolved over the years in Assam. People from various parts of the Northeast also join the fun and revelry.
- Varanasi is another place in Uttar Pradesh, where the puja is celebrated with a lot of revelry. The inhabitants mainly celebrate the win of Ram over Ravana.You will see all the children decked up in their finery, as Ram, Lakshman and Sita. And, not to forget Hanuman. The crowd swells up in the town, during Durga Puja. Many sages also visit Varanasi around that time.
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- Delhi is another place, where Durga Puja is celebrated amidst a lot of fanfare. If you want to understand the cultural connotations and revelry, then you must visit C.R. Park. It will seem, that you are in Kolkata. From the pandals to the ‘bhog’ or khichdi, everything is traditional. The essence is Bengali. Moreover, you will be able to see huge crowds in the pandals during all these four days. Apart from C.R.Park, you will find a different side of the puja at Ram Lila Maidan. Ravana’s statues are burnt there at that very time. People from all the sections of the society gather at the maidan, during the revelry.
- The durga puja festival is also celebrated in Ahmedabad, in Gujarat, although differently. The inhabitants there, celebrate the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana. Throughout the festivals, you can hear the loud sounds of firecrackers throughout the place. Many stages come up in different parts of the city, where dramas on Rama and Ravana are enacted. Many people and children take part in the dramas. You will also find Garba dancers dancing around and Dandiya being played there.
- Mumbai is also a city, which is in Maharastra, where the puja is celebrated with a lot of aplomb. It is one of the top places in India, where the puja is celebrated. You will find a lot of Bengalis in Mumbai, who are working there. Such Bengalis make it a point to create the same magic of Bengal over there. The puja is conducted in the same manner, as in Kolkata.
- Pune is another city, in Maharashtra, that comes a close second. You will find many pandals in the city around Durga Puja. There is music, drama, and lots of revelry around the time, there. You can also gorge on the Navami Bhog, there.
- Kullu is another place in Himachal Pradesh, where the celebrations take place, with a lot of fanfare. There you will not find pandals, like in the other places. But you will be able to see people forming processions across the city. The main events take place in the Dhapur Maidan of Kullu Valley. Like the other places in North India, the people of Himachal celebrate the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana.
- The puja is celebrated with much aplomb in Katra, which is in Jammu and Kashmir. The puja is celebrated in Vaishno Devi. The celebrations continue for nine days. You will find the temples illuminated with lights and you can also hear chanting from a distance.
So, now you know how the puja is celebrated in nine states in India. Do make it a point to visit the places, at your convenience this Durga Puja.