6 different ways to celebrate Kolkata during the festive period
I reached Kolkata in West Bengal one afternoon to be a part of the vibrant colours and extravaganza of the Durga Puja Festival. This Hindu festival has many mythological stories to relate and is rejoiced for ten days in the Sep-Oct time frame every year. Each day has its own significance and importance. Here are six different ways to witness the fervour and pomp of this festival in the City of joy.
1. Go pandal hopping –
Pandal is a temporary structure setup to depict a theme, with Goddess Durga being the center of attraction. The theme for every pandal differs and they compete amongst each other on the basis of decoration, creativity and concept. The preparations start couple of months before the onset of the festival. Government organizations, media houses, retail companies pump in the required funds that run to the tune of few millions (INR). The themes are innovative and elaborate; each outdoes the other and is a real visual treat. Some of the cynosures with maximum footfalls are located at College Square, Kumartuli Park, Mohammad Ali Park, Bagbazar, Suruchi Sangha Ekdalia and Deshpriya Park.
You could witness the Dhunuchi Naach, a dance ritual conducted by holding earthenware incense burners in each hand.
The festival is incomplete without playing the Dhak, a traditional drum like musical instrument. The gusto of the festival is felt by every woman whilst celebrating Sindhoor Khela. Women smear vermillion on each other’s cheeks and forehead as the Goddess leaves her parents’ home for her in laws place on the tenth day.
5. Cruise the Hooghly river