Come October and you’ll see people scrambling to board any kind of transport just to get to their hometown for their festival. This time we got an opportunity to witness Durga Puja, one of the biggest festivals for bongs in India and across the globe. We went out of our territory this time to witness this much talked about festival in Kolkata.
Was lucky to get flight tickets during this season and as we entered the city, the whole place was abuzz with activites. Every area was busy preparing for the main event which would start from the 6th of Oct and traffic was chaotic with people running around for last min shopping. In the bargain we managed quite a bit of shopping ourselves and eating out at interesting restaurants. One restaurant i must mention is this afghani place called Kaafila in City Centre Mall at Salt Lake where we gorged on some awesome mutton dishes accompanied by traditional afghani roties.
But the highlight of the entire trip was the pandal hopping at nite. I was lucky to visit most of them one day before the actual puja and was amazed with the sights that i got to see. Months of planning and lakhs of rupees were spent to put up these beautiful structures across town. The only sad part being that these structures would be pulled down within a week.
Well our journey started at 10pm on the Kolkata State Tourism Bus which took us from North Kolkata to parts of south covering some very famous pandals and negotiating chaotic traffic jams.. really pity the bus driver and appreciate his patience. We had to walk many distances in small by lanes to reach most of them but the sheer sight of these structures was worth all the inconvenience. I’ve posted a few pictures below which will give you an idea of the intensity and scale of these structures. However, sometime i wish they would spend this money on developing the infrastructure of the city or the poor who are living in pathetic conditions.
I’m glad i was a part of this years pujo celebrations but don’t think I’ll have the patience to do it again. Would rather have a quiet celebration at home with friends n relatives with a visit to one of the pandals.
Kindly comment on your experiences and thoughts