Navratri is coming to its end and another set of holidays are ending. Durga puja is a magnanimous event to all Indians and especially to the Eastern parts of India i.e. Kolkata. But it’s not auspicious to only Bengali; it is celebrated extensively in Western and Northern India.
It is believed the Goddess descends to earth at the time of drawing the eyes on the idols. Kumartuli or potter’s locality is a famous place in North Kolkata where a majority of the idols are made. On the first day of Durga Puja in Kolkata; the beautifully decorated idols are brought home or placed magnificently as decorated public pandals. The idol is then decorated with flowers, clothes, jewelry, red vermillion, and various sweets are kept in front of the Goddess. The idol of the Goddess is accompanied by the idol of Lord Ganesh. This is the ritual of invoking the presence of the Goddess in the idol. This takes place on the seventh day, when early in the morning; a small banana plant called Kola Bou is taken to the river to be bathed and dressed in a red-bordered sari and carried back in a procession to be placed near the idol of the Goddess.
The gorgeously decorated pandals each emphasize a theme; be it the legends of Goddess Durga or scenes from Hindu epic texts. Nowadays, some pandals are themed on a social cause to spread awareness. Daytime is usually better to see the pandals closely when the crowd is less, however; the brightly lit pandals in hundreds of colors are quite a sight of their own in the evenings. Food is a major feature of the Kolkata Durga Puja festival and Kolkata is reputed to be a foodie’s paradise. Sure enough, in a festival this grand you are bound to find the most delicious and incredible variety of Bengali cuisine. From snacks and sweet dishes that only Calcutta is famous for; to the Kolkata Durga Puja special themed Bhog meals that have a little of everything. All the pandals offer Bhog (offerings made to the Goddess Durga which is later distributed among the devotees) and community kitchens are also set up.