Durga Puja, also known as Navratri or Dussehra in some parts of India, is one of the most significant Hindu festivals celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion. It marks the victory of Goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasura and symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. Durga Puja is celebrated across India but is most extravagant in West Bengal, particularly in Kolkata. In this blog, we’ll explore the best places to celebrate Durga Puja in India and learn how to partake in this vibrant festival.
Kolkata, West Bengal
Kolkata, the cultural capital of India, is renowned for its grand Durga Puja celebrations. Here, you’ll witness stunningly crafted pandals (temporary temples) and artistic idols of Goddess Durga. The city comes alive with music, dance, and elaborate processions. To celebrate in Kolkata, follow these steps:
- Visit famous pandals like Kumartuli Park, Bagbazar, and College Square.
- Enjoy traditional Bengali sweets like rasgulla and sandesh.
- Participate in dhunuchi dance, a ritual involving incense and a clay lamp.
Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Varanasi, one of the oldest cities in the world, celebrates Durga Puja with immense fervor. Here’s how to celebrate in Varanasi:
- Attend Ganga Aarti at the ghats in the evening.
- Visit the famous Durga Kund Temple, which holds a special significance during Navratri.
- Partake in the cultural programs and processions.
In India’s capital, Durga Puja is celebrated with great enthusiasm, particularly in areas like CR Park and Kashmere Gate. Here’s how to celebrate in Delhi:
- Explore various pandals and admire the artistic expressions.
- Savor North Indian and Bengali delicacies at food stalls.
- Watch cultural performances and join in the festivities.
Mysore is famous for its grand Dasara festival, which includes the worship of Goddess Chamundeshwari. Here’s how to celebrate in Mysore:
- Witness the spectacular Mysore Palace illuminated with thousands of lights.
- Attend the Dasara procession, featuring elephants, musicians, and cultural troupes.
- Visit the Chamundeshwari Temple atop Chamundi Hill.
In Gujarat, Durga Puja coincides with Navratri and is celebrated with traditional Garba and Dandiya Raas dances. Here’s how to celebrate in Gujarat:
- Participate in Garba and Dandiya Raas events in cities like Ahmedabad and Vadodara.
- Wear colorful traditional attire and dance to the rhythmic beats.
- Relish Gujarati snacks and sweets.
Durga Puja is a festival of joy, devotion, and cultural diversity. Whether you’re in Kolkata, Varanasi, Delhi, Mysore, or Gujarat, you can celebrate this festival by immersing yourself in the local traditions, savoring delicious food, and participating in the vibrant festivities. It’s a time to come together with family and friends to celebrate the triumph of good over evil and seek the blessings of Goddess Durga.