Sunday, January 13, 2008

Kolkata the City OF Joy

Remember my Old post about Kolkata many-moods-of-kolkata-city-of-joy

This Post was long due ,its just that I didn’t find enough time for it as Durga Puja for us is so special and more over I wasn’t feeling to write at that time ( was then in festive mood …)For me Festivity means lots of going out ,eating out and meeting friends and family .It gives immense pleasure and is sure fun to get involved in community puja ,more when you pandal hop during those four days .The memories linger for the year till Ma arrives again , another year with different memories to collect . I know its too late to write about our October feast but some how when I look back I think this will remain my best puja celebration so far .

Kolkata surprises me in every aspect ,I remember going out during Durga Puja a lot , my husband was quite reluctant to use his own vehicle for this purpose as its very difficult to drive during these days .So,we took our reliable taxi in yellow . We hopped at least 50 puja pandals , some of them being very popular ,some not ,some had lavish, huge puja pandals with large chandeliers ,lots of lighting ,large portrait size idols .Some of the weird decorations like use of dried palm leaves,jute, cotton towels, Brass metal and what not .This year though the Village concept was very much evident in puja pandals ,we noticed at least 7 of them being made on this concept ,then there is famous Harry Poter castle in FD block ,salt lake which was very near to our home .
While Pandal hopping ,catched one of the old traditions of Kolkata hand pulled rickshaw in College Street. This street remains one of the happening streets of Kolkata ,small shops of books,clothings ,wedding cards,saris ,ready-made dress materials and everything you think about ,one can find it here.
college square puja pandal is a milestone for every Bengali ,this year though the pandal was built like a large castle along the small pond .pic
Then we went towards the central avenue ,got stuck in traffic jam ,see our taxi driver peeping his head to see the traffic rush .pic
The other day on ashtami we went to Sobha Bazaar puja pandal ,the raj bari pujo , It reminded us old mama bari pojo type .See the calmness in her eyes.pic
Something about Sovabazaar Rajbari Durga Puja,it is performed in both the houses of the deb family .It was in the year 1757 after the battle of Plassey ,first durga puja was organized by then Raja Nabakrishna Deb,its still being celebrated by the two palaces with great enthusiasm ,The idols are being made inside the home itself. The Ekchala goddess is decorated in prestige Daker Shaj.Four days sees all the rituals in correct manner that includes Kumari Puja ,sandhi Puja ,anjali, sacrifice(now vegetables),Bhog and Bisarjan.The immersion ceremony used to have an interesting ritual ,two Nilkantha birds would be set free during the ceremony ,the myth behind this was that the first bird would fly to kailash to convey message that Maa Durga has departed and the other would be set free after immersion signifying that Maa had reached Kailash .Its always so intriguing to know the whole story behind this puja.
Then there are some other old Badir puja , like Sabarna Roy Choudhary’s Durga puja hailing from Barisha which was started around 1610 .Then another is Khilat Ghosh Bari puja which is some 150 years old at 47 Pathuriaghata Street ,this building extends over four bighas of land .The important aspect is the Illumination of the courtyard .Some other also like Hatkhola Dutta Bari Durga puja,Shiv Krishna Daw bari puja etc…..This info source Times Of India Kolkata edition .
Again on nabami , we hopped some 10 -12 pandals , even my little one was so excited to go out during these days ,luckily she wasn’t cranky at all ,she also enjoyed a lot hoping puja pandal .I guess that was a blessing in disguise as it didn’t spoilt the festive mood we were then in …
And on dashmi it was turn to bid farewell to Ma, this time though I and MIL gave up ,all our energy drained ,we stayed back home and my hubby and FIL went out for last round of Pandal Hopping ,while They caught this woodwork in one of the puja Pandal .Pic
Imagine all the hard work for just these four days ,artist spend sleepless nights while making these Idols at Kumar Tuli,then the baton is taken by the local artists ,how they visualize the concept of pandals ,their planning ,paperworks and team management ,as if everything happening in synchronization. Many –Many Kudos to them for organizing such good and lavish events .We happened to talk to one of them ,he told us he and his team members are decorating this puja pandal for the last 20 -25 days at a stretch ,now that’s the spirit of Kolkata which makes it so special.May this spirit lives for ever .As I am writing this post there is a massive fire that broke out at Borobazaar , people/firemen till are not able to control it ,please pray for the families who have been under this threat..May God give them strength to face this disaster .
More news Here.


  1. Never been to Kolkota. Loved reading ur post.

  2. Beautiful pictures from the city of joy

  3. HI,

    Thanks for visiting my blog. The same recipe can be adapted to chciken also but do not fry the chicken for too long bcos it will become tough. Meat takes a long time to cook and so can be fried for a long time. and with chciken u prob wont get the red color. Mutton also has a distinctive taste.

  4. wow! lots of pujo pics.Liked the one most in which the taxi driver is peeping out. I did not know till this point, that the "Minu Sarees" ad could be that endearing :).
    It brought up the real Central Avenue ambience with the run-down building in the background.

    Loved your comment in my blog. I heard about that anecdote about Narod Muni as a kid.But it got completely wiped out of my memory of late. Thanks for bringing that back. Really liked your comment.It is very thoughtful of you. Thanks. :)

  5. Hi Jayashree,
    Nice information about Kolkata. that keeps our tradition live among all of us. thanks for sharing :) .

  6. Vimmi
    thats so sweet of u liking this post ,It takes alot of hard work to get street pics and these ones are My fav ..
    thanks for the recipe tip ..
    Happy Cook
    I am so glad u liked the pics ,it sure gives me immense pleasure when these things get noticed
    Is ur hubby still sings Rabindra sangeet ?..
    hugs and smiles

  7. I ,
    we got stuck in traffic jam for 1 hourin central avenue .
    I guess the taxi driver was too keen to have a dekho to Rani ...
    I had some other snaps of central avenue ,but it just caught my eye ..
    its difficult to get these pics out in streets ,but I ,infact my whole family had great time during those days ...
    Thanks for liking my response ...

    It means a lot to me ,traditions is all we have to nurture so that coming generation can also carry it forward ...Thanks for liking it ..
    hugs and smiles

  8. what a wonderful post jaya. so glad to see u resume blogging:) wishing u a very happy new year

  9. Jaya,
    perhaps you would like to be a part of celebration of Rday of India at my blog,just check it out. I wish all our Indian blogger to gettogether to enjoy it with all zeal and zest.

  10. Hi,
    the pictures were great. I wrote a travel literature on Kolkata itz called "Pictures from the City of Joy". Read it on Paperhut Project. http://paperhut.googlepages.com


Thank you for taking out some time from your busy schedule to post here.Please Do not spam this space.