The much-anticipated Durga Puja festival is just around the corner, and preparations for the annual event are in full swing in Kolkata. It is a 10-day festival in Kolkata and is celebrated with much more ardor there than in any other part of the country. The last five days of Durga Puja are the most crucial among the people of Bengal, and private puja ceremonies are organized in pandals in honor of Goddess Durga.
Goddess Durga is welcomed with complete rituals on the sixth day (Shasthi) and the festivities, and on the tenth day (Vijaya Dashami), when devotees immerse the clay sculpture-idols in the river. Before immersing the statue, married women take part in a “sindoor khela’ on Vijaya Dashami that signifies celebrating their blissful marital life.
Beautiful pandals are set up in every street using bamboo logs, cloth sheets, and other reusable items. whereas the idol of Goddess Durga is designed using a mixture of common mud and Punya Maati (soil collected from outside the house of prostitutes). Also, the priest making the idol needs to beg for the soil from a prostitute.
Gorgeous pandals are decorated with vivid lights and exhibit a large statue of Maa Durga in the center and four other deities, including Goddess Lakshmi (the Goddess of wealth and prosperity), and Ganesha (the God of good beginnings) on the left, Saraswati (the Goddess of knowledge and music), and Kartikeya (the God of war) on the right.
History of Durga Puja:
Durga Puja, commonly known as Durgotsava or Sharodotsava, is celebrated to epitomize the victory of good over evil forces and to pray for long life and prosperity for everyone. In Bengal, it is believed that Goddess Durga killed the shape-shifting Asura demon Mahishasura on this day in the ancient era, and since then people have started worshipping Goddess Durga. On the tenth day of Durga Puja, people worship Goddess Durga by offering prayers at her temple.
The actual excitement of Durga Puja begins on the day of Mahalaya when the entire state cannot contain its excitement for the biggest festival. For Bengalis, pandal hopping is one of the must-do things on Durga Puja. The schools remain closed for an entire month, and groups of children came out on the street to visit every puja pandal in their locality. People buy new clothes and jewelry for puja ceremonies, and it is basically the happiest time for everyone in Bengal.
This year the celebration of Durga Puja in West Bengal is going to be even more magnific as for the past two years no gathering was allowed in the pandals. If you are planning for pandal hopping here’s a list of the best Durga Puja pandals for you.
1. Sreebhumi Durga Puja Pandal, Lake Town
Sreebhumi Durga Puja Pandal organizes a theme-based pandal every year, and this time also they have come up with another beautiful theme and have planned to design a Vatican City for their Golden Jubilee. The pandal exactly looks like the Vatican City in Rome. Even in 2021, they had designed a massive Burj Khalifa-themed pandal that has gained appreciation internationally.
Every year Sreebhumi Durga Puja Committee chooses a different theme for their pandals and millions of people all across West Bengal arrive at Lake Town to witness the unique and marvelous creation of the pandal. The doors to this grand Vatican City are now open for visitors and you can now plan to visit this Durga Puja pandal till Dashmi.
Address: Canal St, Sreebhumi, Lake Town, South Dumdum
2. Babubagan Sarbojanin Durgotsav Puja pandal, Selimpur
Babubagan Club is another sought-after place to visit in Kolkata during Durga puja. This year the Babubagan Sarbojanin Durgotsav Committee decided to do something different in honor of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav and use thousands of commemorative coins issued since independence in their pandal decoration.
For the people of South Kolkata, it is a must to spend one of their Durga Puja evenings at the Babubagan Puja pandal. Even some of the locals from Jadavpur Thana spend most of the evening in the pandal in arrangement and organizing puja ceremonies.
This Durga Puja Committee was first incorporated in 1962 and since then they do something incredible every year and win numerous prizes and accolades from the state government.
Address: Babu Bagan Ln, Dhakuria, Babu Bagan, Selimpur, Kolkata
3. Kumartuli Park
Kumartuli Durga pandal is another prominent location to visit during Durga Puja. It is located in North Kolkata and sometimes this place is also referred to as the town of artisans. The narrow maze of Kumartuli park features multiple pandals with huge and beautiful idols of Goddess Durga. This year also, the idol is going to be 12 feet in height, and the theme will be showcasing Indian tradition and culture.
Being home to hundreds of artisans and one of the oldest places in Kolkata, the Kumartuli Park Durgotsab committee manages to preserve its social and cultural surroundings at the time of Durga puja.
Address: Sarbojanin Durgotsab Committee, 8B, Abhay Mitra St, Sovabazar, Kumartuli, Shobhabazar, Kolkata
4. Ahiritola Sarbojanin Durgotsab
Located close to Kumartuli Park, Ahiritola Sarbojanin Durgotsab is one of the most popular pandals in Kolkata. Since its foundation in 1940, it display immaculate artistic skills every year through its extraordinarily designed Durga idols.
This year their pandal is designed with an “Akashbani” theme showcasing historical musical instruments like radio, cassettes, gramophone, and harmonium. Through this theme, they want to inform youngsters about the historic musical instruments and inspire them to listen to the soothing golden eras collection legends like Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar, and R. D. Burman.
Address: 172/C, BK Paul Ave, Ahiritola, Beniatola, Kolkata
5. Bhowanipur 75 Palli
This year’s Durga Puja celebrations at Bhowanipur 75 Palli will have a distinct theme. The committee members decided on the theme “Aitijhya Beche Thakuk,” which means “Let the Legacy Live long,” to design the pandal. This is so far the most unique way of promoting West Bengal’s rich heritage and culture among the new generation.
The pandal is designed by the renowned artist Sri Prashant Pal. He has shown his amazing abilities to build the pandal with magnificence. This pandal stands out as one of the most beautiful theme pujas in South Kolkata, and they made sure to make a statement this year as well.
Address: 1/1C, Debendra Ghosh Rd, Bhowanipore, Kolkata
6. Singhi Park
Singhi Park is celebrating its 81st Durga Puja this year. This time the organizers decided to pay tribute to the famous Indian comic artist – Narayan Debnath, who died in January this year due to heart-related ailments. Debnath has made us all laugh through their funny comic art, and the entire Pandal is decorated with colorful cartoon strips created by Debnath.
Address: 5 Ramani Chatterjee, Dover Ln, Kolkata
7. Chaltabagan Lohapatty Durga Puja Committee, Maniktala
The story of Manicktalla Chaltabagan Lohapatty Durgapuja started decades ago in 1943 when the country didn’t even get independence and since then there is no looking back. The Durga Puja committee was founded by Shri Lakhi Chand Jaiswal in 1943 and in present time is one of the biggest Durga pujas in Kolkata.
Lakhi Chand Jaiswal had to face a lot of hurdles and opposition from Britishers during the foundation of the Manicktala Chaltabagan Lohapatty Durga Puja Committee, but his strong determination to celebrate Durga Puja with zeal has overcome all the hurdles.
Address: Raja Ram Mohan Sarani, Maniktala, Kolkata,
8. Samaj Sebi Sangha, Ballygunge
Samaj Sebi Sangha is among the places to visit in Kolkata during Durga Puja. The place completely justifies its name by being actively involved in a lot of social work throughout the year. You should definitely visit this pandal to appreciate the efforts of the social workers.
This year they have a stunning pandal based on the theme of “Sebiche Ishwar.” They want to put into practice, Swami Vivekananda’s well-known saying, “Jibe prem kore Jei Jon, sei Jon sebiche Ishwar” that means (Those who serve others, serve the Lord in the true sense). Tons of tin, wood, and iron is being used to construct the Mandap’s ornamentation and intricate details.
Address: 24a, Lake View Road, Hemanta Mukherjee Sarani, Ballygunge, Kolkata
9. Deshapriya Park, Kalighat
Deshapriya Park has been celebrating the Durga Puja festival with similar zeal and excitement since its foundation in 1938. People wait for hours in the queue outside Deshapriya Park to see the Durga idol for once. This pandal has been recognized as one of the largest Durga Puja celebrations in the City since 1938, and they intend to continue that tradition in the future as well.
This year they have created a gigantic pandal with a “Rajbari” theme. You should visit Deshapriya Park in Kalighat to see a life-size Pandal come to life.
Address: Motilal Nehru Rd, Manoharpukur, Kalighat, Kolkata
10. Tridhara Sammilani
Tridhara Sammilani in Ballygunge is known for its brilliant execution of the intricate pandal, which makes it one of the best spots for pandal hoppers. For this year they have adopted the theme tune that completely illustrates the current lifestyle of people. With this theme, they want to promote the idea that “keep moving forward in life” is important.
If you are visiting Kolkata for Durga Puja, then make sure to attend the Puja ceremonies at Tridhara Sammilani in Ballygunge. Also, it is located close to Deshapriya Park, which attracts thousands of visitors from every corner of the state.
Address: Near Deshapriya Park, Satyendranath Mazumder Sarani, Dover Terrace, Kolkata
11. Santosh Mitra Square Durga Puja / Lebutala Park
Santosh Mitra Square’s Durga Puja 2022 was inspired by India’s ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav,’ which is celebrated in the honor of completing 75 years of independence. This year, veteran actor and BJP activist Mithun Chakraborty hosted the Durga Puja in Santosh Mitra Square.
The place has been set up with the three most important monuments in Delhi, the India Gate, the Red Fort, and the Parliament of India. All three of these figures play significant roles in Indian history, and so this subject was selected to mark the country’s independence.
Address: Natabar Dutta Row Road, Lebutala, Bowbazar, Kolkata
12. Naktala Udayan Sangha, Garia
Naktala Udayan Sangha has recently made a name for itself as one of Kolkata’s most renowned and significant Durga Puja pandals. Their ideas and actions are always breathtaking to witness.
This year’s theme of Naktala Udayan Sangha is “Kaal” (Time), created by veteran artist Susanta Pal. He is known for his charismatic artwork for a decade. They are putting forth the idea that “Time is nothing but an illusion” with regard to this year’s theme.
Address: Naktala, Garia, Kolkata
We have listed the 12 most popular Durga Puja pandals you need to visit this year to receive the blessing of Lord Durga. These are among the best pandal hopping spots in the state, with a distinct theme every year.