Durga Puja preparations enter last lap in Delhi’s CR Park

Delhi’s Bengali community hopes to make the best of muted Durga Puja



October 5, 2021

/ By / New Delhi

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With Durga Puja just around the corner, talented artisans are busy putting their final touches on idols of gods and goddesses to be delivered to magnificent pandals, temples and homes of worshippers. The biggest Bengali festival of the year, Durga Puja celebrates the victory of Hindu goddess Durga in her battle against the shape-shifting asura buffalo demon, symbolising the triumph of good over evil.

The most important part of the festival will start on October 11 this year and will last five days – Shashthi, Maha Saptami, Maha Ashtami, Maha Navami, and Vijayadashami, which marks the end of Durga Puja and usually includes processions to a river or ocean front with devotees carrying clay statues of Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesha and Kartikeya and immersing the images in the water as a sign of farewell. The end of Durga Puja also coincides with Dussehra, when towering effigies of Ravana are burned to mark the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana and which eventually lead the way for Diwali preparations.

Although predominantly celebrated in the states of West Bengal, Assam, Tripura, Odisha, and Bihar, the Puja is also popular among the small community of Bengalis who stay in New Delhi’s upscale Chittaranjan Park and celebrate the festivals with much pomp and grandeur. Although attendees will be disappointed once again this year with the Covid-19 related restrictions, which prohibit large gatherings and setting up of stalls selling various Bengali delicacies such as the famous Pujo rolls, fish fry and mutton biryani. The restrictions also prohibit people from participating in the prayer sessions held throughout the day and normally attended by thousands of people throughout the day. The local government has allowed only select members of the organising team to be present during the prayers. Despite this, visitors hope to be able to get together with their loved ones to enjoy the festivities and creative pandals.

(Photos: Aman Kanojiya; Text: Susanti Sarkar)



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