New Delhi [India], October 1 (ANI): With the sweet fragrance of the 'shuili' flowers scattering around and blending with the autumn breeze, it's an indication that the annual occasion when goddess Durga is commemorated for conquering the demon king 'Mahishasura' is finally here.
Durga Puja holds great significance for the devotees, as they pray to the different avatars of goddess Durga each day during the nine-day celebration, known as Navratri. It is the most important Bengali festival and nowhere is it celebrated on a grander scale than in Kolkata.
However, this festival also has a smaller abode in New Delhi's mini Bengal, Chittaranjan Park which is known for its Durga Puja celebrations. And for anyone who has non-Bengali roots, this is one of the closest ways one can go come to understanding the fervour around its festivities, without actually visiting Bengal.
Whether you are Bengali or not, the charm and allure of pandal-hopping and witnessing Puja in person can be quite an experience. As last year, the festive spirit was tarnished because of the pandemic, this time around they are in full swing and the devotees are all set to celebrate Durga Puja like in the pre-pandemic era.
One can visit several Durga Puja areas around Chittaranjan Park as pandals are set up in Mela Ground, B Block, and D Block among other places but there is so much crowd around these pandals that the movement gets affected to a great extent.
Among all the pandals, this year the B Block puja committee has opted for the theme 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' to commemorate India's 75 years of freedom.
At the Navapalli Puja Samiti, which is among the oldest ones, they are keeping their pandals eco-friendly with their USP being the cultural program.
After the pandal hopping, there are several stalls and restaurants around these pandals that offer lip-smacking authentic Bengali food like Jhal Muri, Chur Mur, Dhokar Dalna and Mutton chops.
Over the years, Durga Puja has become an inseparable part of Indian culture with innumerable people celebrating this festival in their own unique way while pertaining to tradition.
Hindu mythology holds that the goddess comes to her earthly abode at this time to bless her devotees. For the Bengali community, Durga Puja is the biggest festival. This year Maha Shashti falls on October 1 and Vijaya Dashami on October 5. (ANI)