Durga puja

by Tahasin Ahmed October. 06, 2011 5810 views

Durga puja (pronounced ; Bengali: দুর্গাপূজা,Oriya: ଦୁର୍ଗା ପୂଜା,‘Worship of Durga’), also referred to as Durgotsava (Bengali: দুর্গোৎসব, ‘Festival of Durga’), is an annual Hindu festival in South Asia that celebrates worship of the Hindu goddess Durga. It refers to all the six days observed as Mahalaya, Shashthi, Maha Saptami, Maha Ashtami, Maha Navami and Bijoya Dashami. The dates of Durga Puja celebrations are set according to the traditional Hindu calendar and the fortnight corresponding to the festival is called Devi Paksha (Bengali:দেবী পক্ষ, ‘Fortnight of the Goddess’). Devi Paksha is preceded by Mahalaya (Bengali: মহালয়া), the last day of the previous fortnight Pitri Pokkho (Bengali: পিতৃ পক্ষ, ‘Fortnight of the Forefathers’), and is ended on Kojagori Lokkhi Puja (Bengali: কোজাগরী লক্ষ্মীপূজা, ‘Worship of Goddess Lakshmi on Kojagori Full Moon Night’).
The prominence of Durga Puja increased gradually during the British Raj in Bengal. After the Hindu reformists identified Durga with India, she became an icon for the Indian independence movement. In the first quarter of the 20th century, the tradition of Baroyari or Community Puja was popularised due to this. After independence, Durga Puja became one of the largest celebrated festivals in the whole world.
Durga Puja also includes the worship of Shiva, who is Durga's consort, and worship of mother nature through nine types of plant ( called “kala bou”) representing nine divine forms of Goddess Durga is also done in addition to Lakshmi, Saraswati with Ganesha and Kartikeya, who are considered to be Durga's children. Modern traditions have come to include the display of decorated pandals and artistically depicted idols (murti) of Durga, exchange of Bijoya greetings and publication of Puja Annuals.
The actual worship of the Goddess Durga as stipulated by the Hindu scriptures falls in the month of Chaitra, which roughly overlaps with March or April. This ceremony is however not observed by many and is restricted to a handful in the state of West Bengal.
The more popular form, which is also known as Sharadiya (Autumnal) Durga Puja, is celebrated later in the year with the dates falling either in September or October. Since the Goddess is invoked at the wrong time, it is called “Akaal Bodhon” in Bengali.
While the most recent revival of the Autumnal worship of Goddess Durga can be traced to revivalist tendencies in the early freedom movement in Bengal, the first such Puja was organised by Raja Nabakrishna Deb of the Shobhabazar Rajbari of Calcutta in honour of Lord Clive in the year 1757. The puja was organised because Clive wished to pay thanks for his victory in the Battle of Plassey. He was unable to do so in a Church because the only church in Calcutta at that time was destroyed by Siraj-ud-Daulah. Indeed many wealthy mercantile and Zamindar families in Bengal made British Officers of the East India Company guests of honour in the Pujas. The hosts vied with one another in arranging the most sumptuous fares, decorations and entertainment for their guests. This was deemed necessary since the Company was in charge of a large part of India including Bengal after the battles of Plassey and Buxar.

A considerable literature exists around Durga in the Bengali language and its early forms, including avnirnaya (11th century), Durgabhaktitarangini by Vidyapati (14th century), etc. Durga Puja was popular in Bengal in the medieval period, and records show that it was being held in the courts of Rajshahi (16th century) and Nadia district (18th century). It was during the 18th century, however, that the worship of Durga became popular among the landed aristrocacy of Bengal, the Zamindars. Prominent Pujas were conducted by the landed zamindars and jagirdars, being enriched by emerging British rule, including Raja Nabakrishna Deb, of Shobhabajar, who initiated an elaborate Puja at his residence. Many of these old puja exist to this day. Interestingly the oldest such Puja to be conducted at the same venue is located in Rameswarpur, Orissa, where it has been continuing for the last four centuries since the Ghosh Mahashays from Kotarang near Howrah migrated there as a part of Todarmal's contingent during Akbar's rule. Today, the culture of Durga Puja has shifted from the princely houses to Sarbojanin (literally, “involving all”) forms. The first such puja was held at Guptipara - it was called barowari (baro meaning twelve and yar meaning friends)

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There are 33 comments , add yours!
David Cardona 9 years, 3 months ago

Magnificient! I added pic number four into my favorites. Thanks for Sharing. Om Tat Sat.

9 years, 3 months ago Edited
Jacquesr 9 years, 4 months ago

Very interesting informations.
Great coloured pics.

9 years, 4 months ago Edited
Melanie Olson 9 years, 4 months ago

Beautiful - so much detail!

9 years, 4 months ago Edited
Arie 9 years, 5 months ago

Nice set friend.

9 years, 5 months ago Edited
Moein Shakib 9 years, 5 months ago

nice post ...

9 years, 5 months ago Edited
Felecia Eby 9 years, 5 months ago


9 years, 5 months ago Edited
Livelovelaugh 9 years, 5 months ago

These are beautiful. Thanks for sharing this information. :)

9 years, 5 months ago Edited
Jane 9 years, 5 months ago

Lovely post, so colourful.

9 years, 5 months ago Edited
Aurore 9 years, 5 months ago

I like! Very nice!

9 years, 5 months ago Edited
Sam 9 years, 5 months ago

interesting photos!

9 years, 5 months ago Edited
Laurine 9 years, 5 months ago


9 years, 5 months ago Edited
Mokrzan Iii 9 years, 5 months ago

Nice pictures:)

9 years, 5 months ago Edited
Teo 9 years, 5 months ago

the 2nd is my fav

9 years, 5 months ago Edited
Manvantara Das Juan Guillermo 9 years, 6 months ago

Wonderful Durga Puja, Thanks for Sharing!

9 years, 6 months ago Edited
Dzmitry Samakhvalau 9 years, 6 months ago


9 years, 6 months ago Edited
Paco Guerrero 9 years, 6 months ago

Interesante serie fotografica !!!

9 years, 6 months ago Edited
Joe 9 years, 6 months ago

Thanks for sharing these photos and the history of this celebration. Especially like #2, very colorful.

9 years, 6 months ago Edited
Walter 9 years, 6 months ago

Very colorful! :-)

9 years, 6 months ago Edited
G B 9 years, 6 months ago

beautiful and vivid colours!

9 years, 6 months ago Edited
Pauline Wilson Brooks 9 years, 6 months ago

Really informative and beautifully illustrated

9 years, 6 months ago Edited
Yves Monast 9 years, 6 months ago

nice set..

9 years, 6 months ago Edited
Marsha 9 years, 6 months ago

Lovely and colorful images....what a beautiful post!

9 years, 6 months ago Edited
Dave 9 years, 6 months ago

Well captured.

9 years, 6 months ago Edited
Paolo Martini 9 years, 6 months ago

ohh...so interesting !!!

9 years, 6 months ago Edited
Mallusatish Reddy 9 years, 6 months ago

Very beautiful post~!~

9 years, 6 months ago Edited
Jack Castelo Branco 9 years, 6 months ago


9 years, 6 months ago Edited
Sadhya Rippon 9 years, 6 months ago

Very beautiful.

9 years, 6 months ago Edited
Bataviaart 9 years, 6 months ago

nice shots.

9 years, 6 months ago Edited
Marilyn Grimble 9 years, 6 months ago

Such splendid detail...and thank you for the explanation.

9 years, 6 months ago Edited
Chris Cann 9 years, 6 months ago

Interesting post, thanks for sharing. Very colourful shots, neatly taken.

9 years, 6 months ago Edited
Finbarr 9 years, 6 months ago

Excellent post !

9 years, 6 months ago Edited
Evalizette Hansson Nordstrã¶M 9 years, 6 months ago

Very interesting words and Like the beautiful pictures

9 years, 6 months ago Edited
Haideh.Homam 9 years, 6 months ago

Very beautiful!I like...

9 years, 6 months ago Edited
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