Durga Puja is a celebration of Goddess Durga’s victory over a demon called Mahisasura and is an illustrious festival in India. From admiring Maa Durga’s stunning idols to gorging on delightful delicacies, there are plenty of ways to celebrate this festival with your loved ones. We bring to you the best places to welcome Maa Durga in India.
Durga Puja, the epitome of good winning over evil, is an important Hindu festival celebrated with much pomp and vigor at many locations in India. Marked by vibrant social gatherings, gift-giving, pandal celebrations and idol immersion, Durga Puja is a carnival not only celebrated in West Bengal but at many other places in India. This year, this festival starts on October 15 and ends on October 19. Wondering where you should go to get the most out of Durga Puja celebrations? We have curated a list of places just for you. Read on.
Kolkata celebrates Durga Puja like no other city. The festival is not a mere religious celebration here but a fanfare that involves every household. Thanks to the artistically decorated pandals, grand idols of Maa Durga, mouthwatering street food options and mesmerising illuminations, Kolkata turns into a cheerful fantasy world for those five days. When in Kolkata during Durga Puja, pandal hopping has to be on your list. From the age-old pandal at Bagbazar to the beautifully located College Square pandal, you have to see as many as you can. Another spectacular traditional practice you need to witness is the Bonedi Bari Puja at least at one location (the ones at Sovabazar Raj Bari and Rani Rashmoni Bari are super famous). And we don’t even need to tell you that you have to enjoy the scrumptious bhog at the pandals along with all the tasty street food and sweets (think melt-in-the-mouth sandesh!). Give an emotional end to your trip as you see idol immersion at one of the many spots across the city.
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Mumbai dazzles during Durga Puja. All the Bengalis missing the festivities at their hometown and other Mumbaikars who love to see the Goddess in all her splendor make Durga Puja extra special in this city. We are sure Mumbai’s pandals will leave you astonished with their majesty and illuminations. Make sure you visit the pandal at Shivaji Park, Powai, Lokhandwala and Chembur to get your dose of celebrations. If you are into celeb spotting, you just cannot miss being a part of the Balkanji Bari Durga Puja organised by the renowned Mukherjee family. When you are in Mumbai during Durga Puja, don’t forget to visit these iconic spots in the city and try local street food such as vada-pav and gola.
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Enchanting decorations, hypnotising music and enthusiastic crowds await Durga Maa at various grand pandals across Delhi. Watch one of the famous Indian temples come alive at The Safdarjung Enclave Durga Puja Pandal or be astonished by the traditional Dhununchi Naach at the Minto Road Pandal. To get the flavour of age-old Durga Puja rituals, head to Kashmere Gate Durga Puja Pandal or Timarpur and Civil Lines Pandals. Make sure you carry your camera to capture these spellbinding moments. If you are into photography, include these beautiful spots – a delight for very photo enthusiast – in your itinerary.Find flights to Delhi here
Related: 7 things to do in Delhi
The folks of Guwahati welcome Maa Durga with much enthusiasm and exhilaration. Alluring pandals adorn the city and aromas of authentic Bengali delicacies fill the air. So, Guwahati is the perfect place to spend the night pandal hopping during Durga Puja. For theme-based decorations, head to the pandals at Bishnupur High School (Bishnupur) or Athgaon that perfectly blend the modern and traditional. If you want to experience a vibrant atmosphere with loads of food stalls, live music and shops, head to the pandal at Geetanagar field. In 2017, Bishnupur Sarbojanin Durga Puja broke all records with its spectacular 100-foot tall idol. So be ready to be astonished!Find flights to Guwahati here
Varanasi, or Banaras, the holy city on the banks of Ganga is another spot that will leave you mesmerised with the celebrations of Durga Puja. With Varanasi being the spiritual capital of India, it comes as little surprise that it welcomes Goddess Durga with unmatched fervor. When in Varanasi, you can join lakhs of other devotees at the iconic Baageshwari Devi Durga Puja Samiti at Jaitpura. The organisers of this pandal make sure they have a surprise theme to please the Goddess as well as her devotees each year. Other noteworthy things to do during Durga Puja in Varanasi include catching the live performances at Baba Macchodaranath Durgotsav Samiti pandal and the daily evening cultural programmes at the pandal in Bhelupur.
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Patna welcomes Goddess Durga with zealous performances, serene idols, interesting theme decorations and conch-blowing competitions. Patna’s Dugra Puja pandals are famous for decors that are replicas of famous Indian temples. The must-visit pandals include those at Kurji Mor, Rukunpura, Boring Road, Dak Bunglow and Station Road. Make sure you enjoy the vibrant dhunuchi dance performance at one of the pandals. Performers from other cities such as Kolkata and Delhi are called too for musical celebrations. While you are in Patna for Durga Puja, make sure you get a taste of some lip-smacking street food and indulge in street shopping.Find flights to Patna here
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