Kolkata (previously known as Calcutta) is generally referred to as India’s cultural centre. It is located in eastern India along the Hoogly river. This city has a distinct personality due to its great colonial architecture, rich customs, beautiful music, and art.
People in this city have a specific love for literature and cinema as a result of the presence of renowned artists such as Rabindranath Tagore and Satyajit Ray, among others. Every year, the city hosts an unrivalled religious and cultural event for Durga puja.
“Dugga Dugga” echoes the collective voices of all the women in the home as they make their way to the pandals for pujo, wishing for a safe voyage ahead.
The streets of Kolkata are filled with the sound of powerful dhak beats combined with the fragrance of dhunuchi lit in every house, park, and corner. Women today appear to be a step ahead of men, dressed in the most gorgeous outfits, wearing the heaviest of gems and thickest of bangles, and wearing sindoor and bindis on their temples.
During Maa Durga’s nine-day stay in her basha (home) with her four children, nothing but colour and festivity flow through the lanes, till she is reunited with her husband Shiva on the tenth day (also known as Vijayadashami).
Durga puja (also known as Pujo) is one of India’s most anticipated festivals, especially in West Bengal. It is held in the month of Ashvin (September – October). The air is dense with the warmth emitted by the worshippers, even as the weather begins to cool.
Goddess Durga is said to have been created by the Hindu Pantheon’s three most powerful Devas (Gods): Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the preserver), and Shiva (the destroyer) (the destroyer).
According to this ancient book, an Asura once had a son named Mahishasura (demon). As an Asura, he witnessed Devas defeating Asuras in every battle. Mahishasura was fed up with the Asuras’ continuous defeats and determined to conduct a tapasaya (a protracted penance) to appease the Devas.
Lord Brahma was so impressed by Mahishasura’s dedication that he decided to bestow a blessing on him. Mahishasura was overjoyed at the prospect and asked Brahma to bless him so that neither a man nor a God could kill him.
As a result, his death would be in the hands of solely a woman, something he believed was inconceivable.
Mahishasura and his army of Asuras took advantage of the blessing and invaded the Earth. He would loot and kill with no repercussions.
Soon, enraged by his power, he attempted to conquer heaven, believing that he could rule over all three worlds. The Asuras and the Devas engaged in a fierce conflict. In Amravati, Mahishasura eventually vanquished Indra’s army.
Devi Durga was given instructions by Trideva to defeat Mahishasura. Initially, Mahishasura laughed at the prospect of fighting a woman when Durga approached Amravati. However, as the conflict progressed, Mahishasura realized that he was no match for the Devi’s tremendous abilities.
The Asura changed forms several times over the ten-day combat to confuse her, but the Devi never failed to hit her target.
Durga promptly decapitated the Asura as soon as he reverted to his original form of a buffalo, thus releasing heaven and earth from the tyrant.
As a result, Durga became known as Mahishasura Mardini (The Killer of Mahishasura). This last scenario can be seen in many of the Devi idols worshipped during the Durga puja.
Durga Pooja is a Hindu event that honors the Mother Goddess and commemorates Durga’s victory over the monster Mahisasura. In the Universe, the event celebrates female strength as ‘Shakti.’ It is a holiday in which good triumphs over Evil.
Durga Pooja is one of India’s most important festivals. In addition to being a Hindu holiday, it is also a time for family and friend reunions, as well as a ceremony honoring traditional values and practices.
Image Source: Times of India
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