Durga Puja is on the horizon and everybody in Kolkata is gearing up for that coveted annual carnival which celebrates the homecoming of Goddess Durga with her children from the snow-clad Himalayas and it is also a festival which commemorates the victory of good over evil above all else. Durga Puja in Kolkata becomes a frenzied carnival of merriment where every neighborhood decks up in its best and there sprouts up beautifully designed and attractive pandals with themes as global and creative as you can imagine! Durga Puja is certainly a sight when in Kolkata.
If you’re new to Kolkata or will visit during Durga Puja, here are the top 5 things that you should not miss doing –
1. Pandal Hopping –
Hopping about from one pandal to another is the very essence of Durga Puja. Check out the beautiful themes, designs and other attractions at the pandals in multiple localities. What is Durga Puja without some pandal hopping till the wee hours? If you’re in North Kolkata, be sure to check out famous pandals like College Square, Mohammad Ali Park, Ahiritola, Beniatola, Sovabazar Rajbari (grand old bonedi bari Puja) and of course, Bagbazar Sarbojanin among others. If you’re in South Kolkata, check out Ekdalia Evergreen, Singhi Park, Ballygunge Cultural, Suruchi Sangha, Chetla Agrani, Naktala Udayan Sangha and Barisha to name a few.
2. Visiting Maddox Square –
Maddox Square in Lansdowne is where you should head if you’re in the mood for some fun! Maddox Square is where the hip, young and trendy youth of the city congregate with their friends and significant others (sometimes in search of that significant other). Maddox Square is the stuff that urban romantic legends are made of! It also has some of the best food stalls along with several performances and other fun and games.
3. Gorging on Street Food –
Durga Puja is incomplete in Kolkata if you don’t feast on those kathi rolls or egg rolls or simply dig into lip-smacking fish fries, chops and cutlets. Kolkata is a veritable heaven for street food lovers with the wide range of fare availbale at almost every corner. Who can forget phuchka and ghugni of course?
4. Fine Dining –
When it comes to Durga Puja, you should certainly allocate at least one day to dining at one amongst the top restaurants of the city. There are choices galore right from Bengali and Chinese cuisine to American, Mughlai, Mexican, Japanese, Italian, Spanish and what not! You name it and there’s a top restaurant in town! Let this Durga Puja be the perfect time to stimulate your tastebuds.
5. Participating in all Puja Rituals –
Right from the prayers and ceremonies every day to sampling the delicious bhog every day to praying jointly on Ashtami and even dancing to the beats of the dhak during the immersion or bhashan on Dashami, the list of fun rituals is endless! Don’t forget to indulge in some dhunuchi naach and sindur khela (if you are a girl/woman).