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Old 11th October 2016, 02:38   #1
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Default Durga Puja in Kolkata!

Hope all my bhpian friends had a great Durga Puja and Navaratri.
Like every year, Durga Puja in Kolkata was celebrated with much joy and fervor. Though weather played spoilsport with an extended monsoon, people were brave enough to come out and visit the pandals in evening hours till early morning.
Many of my friends and relatives preferred to stay at home or were busy in pure bengali 'adda' with sumptuous food in the nearby food stalls and restaurants. But I could not resist myself from a all night pandal hopping which I have missed since years. So, packed my DSLR, called my driver in Kolkata (parking and diversions is a big issue during Pujas in the city) and came out to capture the spirit of the City of Joy at night. The snaps are taken on MahaSaptami (7th day of Navaratri) from midnight till dawn.

In the numerous puja pandals spawned across the city, I decided to cover some major ones located in North Kolkata and Saltlake.

One of the oldest Durga Mandap is in Bagbazar. The deity has a traditional style and every year attracts huge crowds

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Huge chandelier graces the Puja mandap:

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On the way to Mohd. Ali Park; the crowd is growing at 1am:

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The idol in Mohd. Ali Park was awe-inspiring:

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Pujas in North Kolkata has exhibition grounds where there will be lot of food stalls and a carnival rides

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My next hop was to College Square which is Kolkata's book colony and address of many educational institutes like Calcutta University, Presidency College and Medical College. The lake adjacent to the Puja is illuminated with stunning lights and thousands of people visit the pandal every hour to experience the grandeur of this Puja mandap.

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Durga pratima and chandelier of College Square has always been an attraction to the visitors who line up for hours to have a glimpse of the deity

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Attached Thumbnails
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Last edited by livetodrive : 15th October 2016 at 13:39.
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Old 11th October 2016, 03:29   #2
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Default re: Durga Puja in Kolkata!

Santosh Mitra Square is renowned for their contemporary style of Puja mandaps. This time they came up with a Moon station and a huge gate resembling Petronas towers.

The gate to enter the Puja Mandap:

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Santosh Mitra square, known as Lebutala Park Puja, is renowned for creating huge Puja mandaps and is a must stop for all Pandal walkers. Every year this mandap comes up with an innovative theme like Disney Land, Statue of Liberty, Lotus temple etc. This year the theme was based on dwelling in moon. This futuristic artwork depicts earth being more vulnerable to natural calamities, so the possibility of moon of becoming our next home in future.

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Pratima inside the space station was beautiful:

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Another Puja mandap in North Kolkata before I headed towards Salt Lake:

Durga Puja in Kolkata!-dsc_0100min.jpg

Last edited by livetodrive : 17th October 2016 at 13:55.
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Old 15th October 2016, 15:24   #3
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Default re: Durga Puja in Kolkata!

While Pujas in North Kolkata have a tradition of sobriety, other parts of Kolkata offers you theme based designs which are modern and catchy. While one puja depicted a tribal atmosphere, the other one tried to show the evolution of mankind with introduction of apps and gadgets.

This is Saltlake BE East Block (pardon me if I am wrong with the block) puja.
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The golden Goddess was stunning

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Salt Lake FD block puja mandap resembled the theme of mankind turning into machines. The decoration compels people to think that how we are getting engrossed with device and technology.

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Are we true to ourself or are we wearing a mask ?

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Our mind and body is now controlled by the vicious web of technology:

Durga Puja in Kolkata!-dsc_0142min.jpg

Last edited by livetodrive : 17th October 2016 at 14:11.
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Old 15th October 2016, 16:09   #4
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Default re: Durga Puja in Kolkata!

Pujas in Saltlake are comparatively calm and peaceful. You can park your vehicle easily, sling your camera and capture the creativity and decoration of these unique pandals while driving through different blocks of this extended part of Calcutta.

Daemon Mahisasur is under the feet of Goddess, surrendered and defeated.

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I moved to BJ block. Its morning 5:30 and my driver is getting tired. So, this should be the last pandal before we drive back.

A huge but empty pandal welcomes us:

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A 'Dhaki' playing the drums relentlessly in an almost empty pandal energizes me:

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And the glittering Goddess makes me spell bound:


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Imagination combined with craftsmanship can only create a real fight scene.


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Every time I wonder, why these fine artworks last only for 4 days.

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Last edited by livetodrive : 17th October 2016 at 14:52.
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Old 15th October 2016, 16:19   #5
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Default re: Durga Puja in Kolkata!

Dawn was breaking and it was time for some parting shots before I head back to my home.

A tribal village is staged inside the mandap, creating a calm and soothing ambiance.

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As long as we have art in our heart, it will be manifested through some form or other. Computers and gadgets are tools which might help to do things faster, but not to stop our mind in discovering new horizons.

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Calcutta, hope to see you next year with more ideas and creativity. Thanks to my driver, Liton and my Santro..with me since 2005.

Durga Puja in Kolkata!-img_20161009_0447387271.jpg

Last edited by livetodrive : 17th October 2016 at 14:51.
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Old 18th October 2016, 08:10   #6
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Default Re: Durga Puja in Kolkata!

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Travelogues. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 19th October 2016, 10:09   #7
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Default Re: Durga Puja in Kolkata!

I had missed the puja this year as I was out of town for quite sometime, but thanks for taking the pain and posting the lovely snaps.
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Old 19th October 2016, 20:15   #8
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Default Re: Durga Puja in Kolkata!

Beautiful coverage and wonderful pics from you Sir.

Few pics from my side-

Idols on the way to the mondap/pandel before the Durga Puja
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AD block Salt lake
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FD block Salt lake
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Madox Square
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Rain soaked Kolkata on Nabami evening
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Badhan Das's Puja at Santiniketan
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Decorated streets of Kolkata
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Few pics from Idol immersion
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And lastly the most hit dialogue- 'Asche bochor abar hobe'. (Translates- On the coming year Durga Puja will be held again)

Edit: I thought this pandel should not be missed by Team Bhpian's. A tribute to Ambassador Taxi's in Kolkata. I have not visited this Puja pandel. The below pics were taken by Bhpian 1100D. Am sharing the pics by taking permission from him.

Beliaghat 33 palli
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Last edited by Samba : 19th October 2016 at 20:38.
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