Kolkata, (formally known as Calcutta) has plenty of history, dating all the way back to the arrival of the British in 1690. It was the old headquarters of the East India Company and was hustling and bustling with early commerce and opportunities. Though over time the city has slowed down, it still breathes art. Some of the famous artists in India hail from this metropolitan city. All year round Kolkata may stay away from the limelight, but during 5 auspicious days of Durga Puja, the city appears to be on drugs. It sleeps during the day and as the sun goes down, the lights, music and people everywhere get in a festive mood.
Suburbs and smaller localities gather funds to set up their pandal, i.e. marquee. A lot of thought is put into the design and ambience of the pandal. Special attention and craft are of course given to the Goddess Durga.
Each year big organisations keep aside a massive budget especially for Durga Puja.
They hire an open space and set up a fair. So apart from beautifully crafted pandals, visitors can also enjoy a variety of food, games and rides.
People from across India travel to Kolkata to enjoy the Durga Puja atmosphere. Thousands of people board trains, buses and many wander from one pandal to pandal!
India is known for its abundance in food variety & culture, and when you have an event as big as Durga Puja, you’ll never go hungry.
Kolkata is particularly known for its sweets. Whether you have a sweet tooth or not, I guarantee you can’t eat just one!
Don’t miss out on an aarti session while there. The priest leads the prayers with peculiar but subtle dance movements while the entire crowd joins in reciting chants. It’s truly an incredible experience.
Every house and street is lit up with various coloured LEDs. Some dance to an electronic beat while the others stay lit to show the way for visitors.
And if none of the above is interesting enough, just pick up a camera and snap photos of the thousands of deities around the city.
Writer: Arranged Travelers
Photographer: Arranged Travelers