October 2013

Durga Puja at Pathuriaghata's Khelat Ghosh's Family
Durga Puja at Pathuriaghata’s Khelat Ghosh’s Family

During Durga Puja festival at Bengal the star attraction are the different Barowari Pujas conducted by several clubs and associations. The themes of Pandal and idols of these pujas change every year. Latest themes of Pandals and idol are the talk of the town.

Generally overlooked by the Pandal hoppers are the Durga Pujas held privately in several families some of whom were affluent and stalwarts in yesteryear, specially during the Colonial Regime. Although the financial condition is not affluent as it was in earlier days (mainly because the Zamindari system was abolished post independence), yet these families till date perform Durga Puja with dedication maintaining all the rituals. The Pujas are all of 100+ years, some even 200+ and 300+ years old. Everyone of the families gather to celebrate Durga Puja with pomp and show as an annual get-together.

It is still being mentioned by the old timers that Goddess Durga adorned herself with jeweleries at  Jorasanko’s Shib Krishna Dawn’s house, had lunch at Abhay Charan Mitra’s house at Kumartuli and enjoyed  music and dance at the Shovabazar Rajbari.

The Puja of Abhay Charan Mitra’s house who served gigantic sized sweets has stopped since long. But the other two houses of Shib Krishna Dawn and Shovabazar Rajbari still celebrate Durga Puja with great pomp and show.