Pandal 12, durga puja, travel blog, explore, Indian Blog, Kolkata, pristine routes, photography by Aparajita Paul, travel photographyPSX_20181023_094545

Shades of Durga Puja 2018


4 days into a rush of enthusiasm, 4 days away from a mundane city, and 4 days into deep happiness – all happened at the City of Joy, Kolkata during my last visit to Kolkata during the Durga Puja.

Durga idol 1, durga puja, travel blog, explore, Indian Blog, Kolkata, pristine routes, photography by Aparajita Paul, travel photography
|| Durga with her Children ||

I can assure that the excitement started from the day I had booked the flight ticket, though I had to pay a hefty amount even while booking 3 months before. Yes, prices of flights go beyond the sky during this time. So if you think of visiting Kolkata any year during the Puja, plan your trip at least 3-4 months before.

In the city during my vacation, I lived, roamed, and experienced the Puja with all the gusto that the city, known for being slow otherwise, possesses during these few days. All happened under the lights, with the actions, but without a recording video. The entire crowd pulled out themselves from the safe corner of the house and plunged into the stream of gala, where waiting times for pandal visit were more than the time to check out one pandal.

View of Kolkata sky, durga puja, travel blog, explore, Indian Blog, Kolkata, pristine routes, photography by Aparajita Paul, travel photography
Though a hazy one, still the excitement is full on brim. See how each and every corner of the city is enlightened with the joy of celebration! 😊

Spending last three Pujas outside Kolkata, this time it was special to me with more excitement. Might be many don’t like these over-crowded places that surrounds each and every big pandals, may be few have lacked the interest of joining in the Durga Puja and staying away at some other cities, still I would always love to keep my nostalgic side of childhood to be kept alive inside me and take part in this enjoyment.

Here are the photos that I clicked in the short span of the Durga Puja in Kolkata, and in a day and half roaming around doing some pandal hopping and experiencing few of the rituals:

Pandal 12, durga puja, travel blog, explore, Indian Blog, Kolkata, pristine routes, photography by Aparajita Paul, travel photographyPSX_20181023_094545
Grandeur can be redefined when one visits the City of Joy during Durga Puja.
Bengalis don’t have any other occassion so bigger than this, and they love to relish it proudly and heartily!
Durga idol 7, durga puja, travel blog, explore, Indian Blog, Kolkata, pristine routes, photography by Aparajita Paul, travel photographyPSX_20181023_094545
Bengalis are known for their nack towards arts and culture, and conceptualisation of such pandals during Durga Puja proves that.
I personally liked this pandal of Kumortuli the most, which proposed the theme of Devi Durga in the making, as Kumortuli is the place where the idols are made from the scratch and delivered throughout the city.
Pandal 10, durga puja, travel blog, explore, Indian Blog, Kolkata, pristine routes, photography by Aparajita Paul, travel photography
The Dhaakis – those who give the music to the celebrations, those who add the flavour to the happiness, those who sprinkle grandeur to the rituals.
I have not taken a shot when they were in action, but when they were just resting and enjoying as others, with their instruments kept aside.
Durga idol 2, durga puja, travel blog, explore, Indian Blog, Kolkata, pristine routes, photography by Aparajita Paul, travel photography
Dhunuchi
Hoogli river 1, durga puja, travel blog, explore, Indian Blog, Kolkata, pristine routes, photography by Aparajita Paul, travel photography
Kaolabou Snan – a ritual for Saptami Morning
self 2, durga puja, travel blog, explore, Indian Blog, Kolkata, pristine routes, photography by Aparajita Paul, travel photography
Where the madness begins with the Pujo hopping, and the pandals visited counted with more excitement without thinking of the crowd.
Puja 2, durga puja, travel blog, explore, Indian Blog, Kolkata, pristine routes, photography by Aparajita Paul, travel photography
That’s the peak of 4 day’s excitement and glamour of the Durgapuja , when even an agnostic can believe the happy therapy of the rituals.
Puja 1, durga puja, travel blog, explore, Indian Blog, Kolkata, pristine routes, photography by Aparajita Paul, travel photography
The Rituals
Puja 3, durga puja, travel blog, explore, Indian Blog, Kolkata, pristine routes, photography by Aparajita Paul, travel photography
Bhoger Khichuri – Maha Ashtami special πŸ˜‡
The aromatic khichdi prepared in Satvick style for the offerings, that surpasses all the tastes and can never be created during non-puja times.
The craziness of Ashtamir Bhog has been always on a lunch time with the Bongs after the anjali sessions are over
Pandal 4, durga puja, travel blog, explore, Indian Blog, Kolkata, pristine routes, photography by Aparajita Paul, travel photography
Ashtami’r Shondhi Pujo
Pandal 2, durga puja, travel blog, explore, Indian Blog, Kolkata, pristine routes, photography by Aparajita Paul, travel photography
At one of the Pandals
Pandal 6, durga puja, travel blog, explore, Indian Blog, Kolkata, pristine routes, photography by Aparajita Paul, travel photography
Bonedi Bari – the house of the royals, some are known for hosting the grand Durga Puja since ages.
Outside the typical temporary pandals, these pujas take place inside the house, at Thaku Dalan. One can have a visit to these Bonedi Bari’s to experience how a big family comes together to organize such a great festival and rituals.
Puja 4, durga puja, travel blog, explore, Indian Blog, Kolkata, pristine routes, photography by Aparajita Paul, travel photography
The most significant ritual of Nobomi is the Durga Balidan – sacrifice in front of Maa Durga.
Now devotees abstain from any kind of animal sacrifice and perform symbolic Bali with vegetables like pumpkin, sugarcane or small fish.
Puja 5, durga puja, travel blog, explore, Indian Blog, Kolkata, pristine routes, photography by Aparajita Paul, travel photography
Over her at the Rajbari, first time I witnessed this ritual, and it was well crowded and worth a watch.
Pandal 8, durga puja, travel blog, explore, Indian Blog, Kolkata, pristine routes, photography by Aparajita Paul, travel photography
The crowd and the elegance!
self1, durga puja, travel blog, explore, Indian Blog, Kolkata, pristine routes, photography by Aparajita Paul, travel photography
Posing for the Nobomi
Pandal 9, durga puja, travel blog, explore, Indian Blog, Kolkata, pristine routes, photography by Aparajita Paul, travel photography
Rani Rashmoni Bhawan – Bonedi Bari’r Pujo
Durga idol 6, durga puja, travel blog, explore, Indian Blog, Kolkata, pristine routes, photography by Aparajita Paul, travel photographyPSX_20181023_094545
Capturing the frames
Durga idol 5, durga puja, travel blog, explore, Indian Blog, Kolkata, pristine routes, photography by Aparajita Paul, travel photographyPSX_20181023_094545
Its time for Boron of Maa before the final adieu!!
Durga idol 4, durga puja, travel blog, explore, Indian Blog, Kolkata, pristine routes, photography by Aparajita Paul, travel photographyPSX_20181023_094545
Darpan’e Maa (Maa on the Mirror)
Pandal 8, durga puja, travel blog, explore, Indian Blog, Kolkata, pristine routes, photography by Aparajita Paul, travel photography
The crowd and the elegance!
Durga idol immersion, durga puja, travel blog, explore, Indian Blog, Kolkata, pristine routes, photography by Aparajita Paul, travel photography
Time to bid adieu – to the celebrations, to the home coming, to the happy times.
Now its time for the farewell and getting back and get set for the daily routine. All that the brain can be satiated with is the thought of the next year. Till then, Bye!

Hope you liked the complete photo-series. Do let us know in the comments below !!

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