There are literally thousands of Kolkata Durga Puja pandals but some stand out more than others, as a result of their enchanting decorations. Every year they contend to surpass each other with the most intricate and innovative themes. Durga Puja which is a principal festival during Navratri is celebrated with much gaiety and devotion in the city through public ceremonies. It is during this fine occasion, huge Pandals are erected at various places of the city for housing large idols of Maa Durga. The devotees turn up in large numbers to worship Goddess Durga. This year at over 550 places 'Maa Ka Darbar' would be set up at different places in the city.
Durga Puja festival marks the triumph of Goddess Durga over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura. Thus, Durga Puja festival exemplifies the victory of Good over Evil. It is not only the biggest Hindu festival celebrated throughout the state, it is also the most significant socio-cultural event in Bengali Hindu society. The prominence of Durga Puja amplified gradually during the British Raj in Bengal. In the first quarter of the 20th century, the tradition of Baroyari or Community Puja was popularised due to this. In Bengal, Durga Puja is also known Akalbodhan, Sharadiya Pujo, Sharadotsav or Maha Pujo. Today's Puja, however, goes far beyond religion. The music, dancing, and art displayed and performed during the Durga puja played an integral part in connecting the community in Bengal, and eventually across India and the world today. Initially the Puja was organised by affluent families since they had the money to organise the festival. Pujas in Calcutta and elsewhere experiment with ground-breaking concepts every year. Communities have created prizes for Best Pandal, Best Puja, and other categories. Pandals and idols inspired by a particular theme have been the hallmark of many community or Sarbajanin Pujas in Kolkata since the 1990s. Puja committees decide on a particular theme, whose elements are incorporated into the pandal and the idols. The design and decoration is usually done by art and architecture students based in the city. The budget required for such theme-based pujas is often higher than traditional pujas. They attract crowds and are well received.
This year Durga Puja in Kolkata is ready to disseminate the much more creativity, decoration, added services, cultural messages and many more extravagant things among the populace. Geographical area of Durga Puja is basically categorized into North Kolkata, South Kolkata and Saltlake area. Some of the famous pujas of North Kolkata are Telengabagan, Sreebhumi, Kumartoli, Laketown Notun Polli Pradip Sangha, College Square, Chaltabagan, Sealdah Athletic Club, Santosh Mitra Sqaure etc. In South Kolkata, the famous are Mudiali, Kasba Bosepukur, Dhakuria Babubagan, Ekdalia Evergreen Club, Park Circus Athletic Club, Maddox Square etc. And in Saltlake, FD Block Durga Puja is the most popular among all. All the above mentioned venues will showcase their pandals and idols in a distinctive way.
Now we shall lob light on the themes of Durga Puja 2013 in a transitory manner and of course herein we will mention only few themes which are definitely pulsating in the minds of the people. This year Kankurgachi, Bagha Jatin Club will decorate Debi Durga with ancient arms of India and thereby the members are entrusted with the responsibility to collect those arms. And Naktala Udayan Sangha will create their goddess with various stones. Installation and fresco artist Jean-Xavier Renaud, who lives and works in Hauteville, France, will join forces with local artist Gopal Poddar to create the pandal and idol for the Pallimangal SamityDurga Puja on the ground adjoining EDF in south Kolkata's Jodhpur Park locality. , it is Alliance Francaise du Bengale that is driving this year's project. Alliance Francaise will fund the Rs. 40 lakhs project. The theme of the Pallimangal Samity puja is tentatively titled 'Cannes to Kolkata' celebrates the centenary year of Indian cinema. Three Pakistani artists Haidar Ali, Mumtaz Ahmed & Md. Iqbal will decorate the Hatibagan Nabinpalli pandal with their exclusive 'truck art' this Puja. Truck art is a Peshawari art form of Pakistan where stunning landscapes, colorful floral patterns, portraits of national heroes, famous actors of Pakistan and India, calligraphic poetry and religious stanzas are painted on trucks, which take goods from one city to another. Lake Town's Sree Bhumi Sporting Club is poised to explode this Durga Puja as revelers queue up to view the biggest-ever public exhibition of gold ornaments. The pandal will transform into an exhibition hall with gods and goddesses sporting jewellery worth Rs. 4 crores and these gold ornaments will be sponsored by Tanishq (Tata group). The puja pandal will also be golden, a replica of the Shwedagon Pagoda and stupa in Yangon.
Furthermore, we will come up with more stirring stuffs of Durga Puja 2013 in this blog. So we expect and wishing you all prosperous Durga Puja this year.