Durga Puja 2019: From 90-Yr-Old Bombay Durgabari Samiti to Lokhandwala Durgotsav, Pandals to Visit in Mumbai
Though the festival is celebrated with grandeur in West Bengal and parts of Bihar, Assam, Odisha and Tripura, Durga Puja is also observed in Mumbai.
Image for representation/ Reuters
Durga puja, the annual festival celebrated with fervour and enthusiasm by Bengali community and people of eastern India, begins from October 3 this year. The ten-armed goddess, Durga, is worshipped like a daughter in the eastern part of India. According to belief, Goddess Durga visits her father's house in Kailash during the 6-day long festivities. Goddess Durga is accompanied by her daughters - Saraswati and Lakshami and sons - Ganesh and Kartikeya.
Though the festival is celebrated with grandeur in West Bengal and parts of Bihar, Assam, Odisha and Tripura, Durga Puja is also observed in Mumbai. Marquees or theme pandals and set up where the idol of Goddess Durga is placed and devotees throng to offer prayers and worship the devi. Cultural programmes, Bengali delicacies are major attraction during Durga Puja.
Bombay Durga Bari Samiti: One of the oldest Durga Pujas of Mumbai, Bombay Durga Bari Samiti is celebrating 90 years of its foundation this year. The pandal is being created from eco-friendly materials and so is the idol. The theme for Durga puja this is 'Sheesh Mahal'. Goddess Durga will be dresses in a regal benarasi saree and adorned with gold jewellery. The stage will be decorated with small glasses and the hall will be transformed into a regal palace courtroom.
Lokhandwala Durgotsav: Started in 1006, Lokhandwala Durgotsav will be celebrating their 24th year this time. The Durga Puja is headed by Bollywood singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya and several Bollywood celebrities throng to the pandal to offer prayers. The Puja organisers are known for serving sumptuous khichdi, labda and beguni for all six days. Cultural events and performances are main highlights of the puja here.
Balkanji Bari: Hosted by the Mukherjee family, including Kajol and her mother Tanuja in Santacruz, Balkanji Bari Durga Puja has remained a star-studded one. The Durga Puja here sees number of musical programmes, throughout the six-day celebrations. The pandal is open to visitors during the entire six-day festivity. Apart from worshipping Goddess Durga, devotees also line up here to get a glimpse of the celebrities.
Powai Sarvajanin Durgotsav: Durga Puja festivities started here back in 2006 by the Powai Bengali Welfare Association who celebrates Sarvajanin Durgotsav every year, with pomp and gaiety at Hiranandani Gardens. Innovative ideas and unique themes for the idol of Goddess Durga are the major attraction here. Another highlight of this place is the traditional Dhunuchi dance competition, along with other cultural programmes.
The Bengal Club: One of the oldest pandals in Mumbai is by the Bengal Club in Dadar’s Shivaji Park. The pandal here follows the traditional concepts of puja and the main focus is on the elaborate religious rituals of the morning pujas and the grand evening aarti in which dhakis (traditional drummers) from Kolkata play musical beats. Food stalls here at the pandal serve traditional Bengali snacks and sweets. One can also get to see stalls of traditional jewellery and saree which the committee members set up.
Vashi - Sector 15: This Durga Puja pandal is located near ICL School in Vashi and the organisers celebrate the festival with innovative themes and decorations. The major attraction here is the evening cultural performances where well-known contemporary artists from Bengal perform ethnic dances and art forms of the state. The idol of Goddess Durga is adorned with gold ornaments, is installed in the artistic temple built by craftsmen from Bengal.
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