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Durga Puja Parikrama

Durga Puja Parikrama

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Durga Puja Parikrama

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  1. DurgaPuja in Kolkata

  2. Short Introduction of DurgaPuja Durgapuja or Sharodotsav as it is known in Bengal is the annual invocation and worship of the supreme Mother Goddess or Shakti. The festival is a five day affair. Its beauty and versatility lies in the fact that the religious affair is not restricted to a particular community or group of people. In Bengal it is a sort of carnival where every person residing takes part and enjoys the festivities in some way or the other irrespective of their caste, creed, and religious obligations. Durgapuja or sharodiyadurgapuja is held at the onset of autumn after the monsoon starts receding.

  3. History of DurgaPuja History says that, there was another time at which the festival was held, at the onset of summer and was referred to as the BasantiDurgapuja. Over time, the autumn festival however, gained more popularity. The mythological reference says that this puja was started by lord Ram to win the war with Ravan. Durgapuja marks the battle of goddess Durga with the form changing; extremely powerful and strong buffalo demon “Mahishasura.” The battle ends with ma Durga defeating the demon which is symbolic of the victory of the good over the evil, which is a primary theme of the puja. This overlaps with Vijayadashami (Dussehra) observed by other groups of the Hindu religion where, the theme remains constant and the victory of Rama over demon Ravana is observed instead. Since the puja is conducted during the apparent southward journey of the sun towards the equator, it is also called Akal (untimely) Bodhan as most of the Hindu festivals are held during Uttarayn or the apparent northward journey of the sun. In the hindu calendar, the festival is observed during the month of ashvin which is around September and October.

  4. History of DurgaPuja • Mahalayaand the famous Mahishasurmardini in all India Radio: • The puja which is primarily of 5 days observes creation and decoration of temples or temporary stages (pandals) to carry out the puja accompanied with recitation of scripture (mantras), socio-cultural performance of art, and activities to bring the people together. The puja traditionally starts off with the two hour programme on all India radio known as “mahishasurmardini” on the morn of mahalaya. The love for the puja and the indigenous culture is depicted in the fact that Bengalis wake up at 4 am on the morning of mahalaya, to listen to the holy “chandipath” in the voice of Birendra Krishna Bhadra and late Pankaj Kumar Mallick. Several other programmes are held on TV and radio channels. Special local magazine issues for the puja in local magazines such as Bartaman, Anandalok, Shanaanda, Shukhtara, etc are quite a craze among the people. These not only portray writings and articles of famous writers, but also provide a broad platform to upcoming local writers to showcase their talent.

  5. History of DurgaPuja • Historic foundation • Historically, Durgapuja was first started around the 16th century. It took place mostly in the houses and palaces of the rich local landlords and Rajas. The commoners had to remain satisfied by visiting these houses only to have a mere glimpse of the festivities. The puja gained great prominence during the British Raj period in its provinces of Bengal and Assam. It is also believed that the worship of the warrior goddess and her darker and more violent version “Kaali” became more frequent in the Bengal region during and after the Muslim invasion in the medieval era. It was in the mid-eighteenth as legend has it that, a group of friends started organising the puja by pooling in funds. This system of organising the festival came to be known as “BaroYaari” (12 friends’) Puja. Goes without saying that the number of organisers and contributors soon exceeded 12 and at presence the entire populacetakes part in numerous such community pujas by generously contributing money and most importantly their time, energy, dedication, and efforts to plan and organise each such puja and make it stand out of the rest.

  6. History of DurgaPuja • Popularity of the festival • Of late even corporates have entered the fray given the extreme popularity of the festival. Kolkata Durgapuja is the biggest, most flamboyant and widely celebrated festival of West Bengal. Much like the Carnival of Rio De Janerio, Brazil or the GaneshChaturdashi of Maharashtra, 1000s of people are involved in the celebrations let alone the unending crowd frenzy. The main puja starts from the sixth day or shashthi and ends on the 10th day of dasami or durgadasami with the immersion of the idols into the holy river of ganga or any local water body which is a believe symbolic to send ma durga back to the holy cosmos and to her husband’s house in Kailash. The idols initially made of biodegradable substances such as hay, clay, and bamboo is not so hazardous to the environment. But the use of cheap paints and chemicals to quick dry the idols, pose a threat to the environment of heavy metal pollution. To control this, free biodegradable and non-hazardous paints are distributed among the idol makers by government authorities.

  7. History of DurgaPuja • DurgaPuja in India • Today’s durgapuja is not only restricted to Kolkata, west Bengal and its adjoining areas of Assam, Bihar and Odisha. Durgapujas can be found happening in as far as the American and European countries. The Delhi durgapujas of cashmere gate and Chittaranjan Park are quite famous and was started as early as the 1910s. Durgapuja in Kolkata are of several types—there are theme based pandalpujas, traditional pujas happening for more than 100s of years in the so called “bonedibaris” of Kolkata, and there are pujas seen to be performed by small comities in a locality or apartments. Some the old traditional pujas of kolkata include the shobhabazarrajbaripuja, daw baripuja, chhatubabu and latubabu’sbarirpuja, pathurighatabarirpuja, the durgapuja of ranirashmoni;s house, Chandra barirpuja, thantaniaDuttabarirpuja among several others. Some of the famous pandalpujas are witnessed in northern parts of Kolkata in baghbazar, belgachia, mdali park puja, lake town adhibashibrindo, sreebhumi sports club, college square puja, while the ones in south are ekdaliahevergereen, behala, naktala, kasba, 23 pallydeshapriya park puja and the list goes on… not only do the Bengalis but people of all communities take part in pujaparikrama. It involves pandalhopping , day as well as night plans, taking part in local programmes with extravagant display of art and cultuere through music, artwork, dance, and dance dramas. • The ecstasy, the madness, the flamboyance, and the craze surrounding this festival of durgapuja, the biggest annual festival of the Bengalis, knows no bounds….