Durga Puja Festival | History, Rituals, Dates 2023

Durga Puja is a Hindu festival that happens all over the globe, especially in West Bengal, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Orissa, Delhi, Pune, etc. Even abroad, New York, JapanLondon, Durga Puja in Australia, New Jersey, Switzerland, the UK, and Bangladesh have grand Durga Puja celebrations. This article will discuss the significance, culture and Traditions, Facts, history, and history.

Durga Puja is inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Durga Puja is the only Indian festival recognized and includes UNESCO’s Cultural Heritage List. It’s a proud moment for every person living in West Bengal and Bengalis Worldwide.

Out of 36,946 Durga Puja held in West Bengal by different communities, 2500 are held in Kolkata alone. People travel to India from all over the globe to celebrate this occasion.

Durga Puja Festival
Durga Puja Festival

Durga Puja Sanskrit Mantra in Bengali

ওঁ সর্বমঙ্গলমঙ্গল্যে, শিবে, সর্বার্থসাধিকে শরণ্যে, ত্র্যমবকে গৌরি, নারায়নী, নমোহস্ত তে ।।
সৃষ্টিস্থিতিবিনাশানাং, শক্তিভূতে, সনাতনী। গুনাশ্রয়ে, গুণময়ে, নারায়নি, নমোহস্ত তে ।।

Why goddess Durga is worshipped?

Devi Durga is worshipped in Navratri because it’s believed she had killed the monster Mahishasura after ten days and a night war. Although, as per the mythology, she has ten arms with different weapons, people warship Durga to relieve the monster Mahisasura.

Goddess Durga is worshipped for the whole five days of this festival. The trust is by worshipping Devi Durga maa for happiness, prosperity, destruction of darkness, and removing bad power. The Navaratri is celebrated on the night of Navami.

How was goddess Durga created?

As per the mythology, Maa Durga was born to defeat the evil demon Mahishasur. Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva created the goddess Durga with ten arms. It’s believed that Goddess

Durga emerged from the Ganga river and was given a physical form by all the gods. The male divinities derived goddess Durga using the source of their inner power, and she is the embodiment of collective energy. Maa Durga is the daughter of Himalaya and Mena, who married Lord Shiva.

Why is Goddess Durga worshipped in Autumn?

Durga puja is a festival celebrated in autumn, and the celebration takes place in October, according to the lunar calendar. According to the legends, Lord Ram took the blessing of goddess Durga in autumn before defeating Ravana, and he was going to offer her 108 lotus flowers.

To test his devotion, goddess Durga hid one flower. When Lord Ram couldn’t find that flower, he was ready to sacrifice his eyes. The goddess Durga appeared before him, satisfied by his devotion, and blessed him. We know this legend as Akal Bodhan.

Read Durga Puja Near Me

14 Durga Puja Rituals

Durga Puja, the famous Bengali festival, is celebrated annually through several rituals.

  1. Khuti Puja
  2. Mahalaya
  3. Chokkhu Daan Ritual at Mahalaya
  4. Bodhon at Sasthi
  5. Maha Saptami Nabapatrika Snan
  6. Pran Pratishtha at Maha Saptami
  7. Ashtami Durga Puja Pushpanjali
  8. Kumari Puja
  9. Homa and Bhog during Durga puja
  10. Ashtami Sandhi Puja
  11. Maha Navami Dhunuchi Nach
  12. Navaratri
  13. Sindur Khela
  14. Durga Puja Visarjan

1. Khuti Puja

Nowadays, puja clubs start Durga puja with Khuti puja after revealing the “Puja theme.” This ritual is very new, and it happens approx one month before the Durga puja. Also, shopping starts these days. Places Like Hatibagan, Gariahat, esplanade, etc., are crowded for purchasing fashionable dresses.

Durga puja Khuti puja
Khuti Puja

2. Mahalaya

The invocation of Goddess Durga through Chandipath and this day is known as Mahalaya. It’s the gateway to Durga PujaThe meaning of the word Mahalaya is ‘Ananda Niketan.’ Although Durga Puja is a five-day ceremony, the festival starts with the Mahalaya, by the voice of “Birendra Krishna Bhadra” and ends with Kojagari Lakshmi Puja.

3. Chokkhu Daan Ritual at Mahalaya

Chokkhu Daan is a special ritual performed on Mahalaya. Sculptors work day and night to carve the idol of the goddess Durga. On Mahalaya, artisans offer eyes to the idol of goddess Durga, and a senior artisan from the entire community performs this ritual at a predetermined time.

4. Bodhon at Sasthi

Goddess Durga is awakened before the start of Durga Puja, and this ritual is known as Bodhan or Akal Bodhan. On the evening of Maha Sasthi, Devi Durga’s Bodhon is performed by all Pandals.

5. Maha Saptami Nabapatrika Snan and Arati

The seventh day of Durga Puja or Maha Saptami begins with the ritual of Kola Bou (Lord Ganesha’s wife) or “Nabapatrika Snan.” Conventionally, farmers worship Nabapatrika for better production of crops. At present Nabapatrika Puja is held along with Durga Puja.

6. Pran Pratishtha at Maha Saptami

Pran Pratistha is a ritual to consecrate the idol of the goddess Durga. Sacred mantras are recited before opening the eyes of the idol. During Durga puja, the worshipper chants “jaago, tumi jaago” along with the prayers of Mahalaya. It’s believed that through Pran Pratistha, life comes into the idol of goddess Durga. This ritual happens in Saptami.

7. Ashtami Durga Puja Pushpanjali

The tradition of Pushpanjali in Maha Ashtami morning is very ancient among the Bengalis. First, the priest gives the ‘bel leaves’ and fresh flowers for Pushpanjali. Then, the followers recite the mantra three times with the priest and give it at the feet of Devi Durga. The same ritual happened in Sasthi, Saptami day too.Astami anjali and Puja

8. Kumari Puja

According to Hindu scriptures, women-power is considered as the destruction of negative energy.

The primary reason for Kumari Puja

According to Hindu scriptures, For killing Ravana by Rama- Brahma came to our world for Debi’s awakening at the gods’ request. In a secluded place, he saw a Kumari girl. Brahma praised the little girl as Jagat Janani Mahamaya.

In that hymn of Brahma, the newborn wakes up and is worshipped as Debi, who promised to keep his word to the gods. Since then, Kumari girls have been worshipped as Debi in Durga puja.

Kumari Puja
Kumari Puja

The age limit of Kumari puja girl

All girls between the ages of one and sixteen can be worshipped as Kumari.

Ramakrishna Mission Kumari Puja

In 1909, at Belur Math, on Durga Puja Maha Ashtami, the ritual of Kumari Puja was started as written in Hindu Purana. At present, Kumari Puja Vidhi is organized in many Ramakrishna missions.

In 1898, Swami Vivekananda and Sister Nivedita were in Kashmir during Bharat Bhraman. On Durga Puja Maha Ashtami, they worshipped a four-year-old Muslim girl in Kashmir as a Kumari.

Kumari Puja 2023

22nd October 2023, at Maha Ashtami.

9. Homa and Bhog during Durga puja

On the ninth day of the puja, Homa is conducted. A trained priest conducts the Homa at a scheduled time. During the five days of puja, we offer a variety of foods to goddess Durga.

The Bhog prepared comprises traditional Bengali cuisine. Many vegetarian dishes are cooked, offered to the goddess, and later distributed among the devotees as Prasad.

Dishes like khichuri or khichdi, Chorchori, Beguni or Begun Bhaja, Dhokar Daalna, Papad Vaja, chutney, Payesh or Bengali Chaler Payesh, Mishti Doi or Roshogolla is famous. Many Puja Organisers also offer Luchi, Pulao or Basanti Pulao, labra, Alur dom, Cholar dal, aloo Phulkopir Dalna, chanar Dalna, Sandesh etc.

10. Ashtami Sandhi Puja

Sandhi Puja takes place at the juncture of Durga Puja Maha Ashtami and Maha Navami. Ma Durga took Debi Chamunda to kill the two generals of Mahishasura- Chand and Mund. Therefore, this time of the advent of Devi Chamunda is considered Sandhi Puja. It is customary to light 108 lamps during Pujo.

11. Maha Navami Dhunuchi Nach

Dhunuchi is a standard earthen pot that contains incense, burnt-dried coconut powder, and aromatic ingredients. Both men and women take the Dhunuchi and dance in front of Ma Durga.

“Dhunchi dance” is held on the evening of Maha Navami, and it is beautifully present in the best Durga Puja committees of Kolkata.

12. Navaratri

Navratri starts at Mahalaya or the first day of Debipaksha. Krishna paksha ends with Mahalaya, and Debipaksha begins. Every autumn, Navratri is celebrated from Prothoma to Maha Navami.

According to Hindu mythology, Ma Durga fought the demons for nine days. Finally, on the tenth day (Bijoya Dashmi), Maa Durga killed Mahishasur and won the battle. Thus, the goddess Durga is worshipped in nine forms, respectively.

Day 1: Maa Shailputri
Day 2: Maa Brahmacharini
Day 3: Maa Chandraghanta
Day 4: Maa Kushmanda
Day 5: Maa Skandmata
Day 6: Maa Katyayani
Day 7: Maa tomorrow night
Day 8: Maa Mahagauri
Day 9: Maa Siddhidatri

Read Jagadhatri Puja in Chandannagar

13. Sindur Khela

Durga puja has many rituals, and Sindur Khela is one of the most ancient traditions/rituals. According to Hindu scriptures, Goddess Durga left her father’s house and returned to Kailasa.

During the Departure time, Hindu married women touched Sindur to Devi Durga’s forehead and feet. All the married women put Sindur on each other’s faces, along with Shankha, pala, Noa, Coral, and Iron bangle, and wish each other. This ritual is called the Sindur Khela.

Sindur Khela
Sindur Khela

14. Durga Puja Visarjan

On the tenth day, Mother Durga returns to Kailash. In Bengali culture, Durga is the daughter of the family. And when the girl of the house returned home, everyone’s eyes were wide with joy.

So Vijaya Dashami is the day of farewell with those wet eyes. Thousand of ‘Dhaki’ play Dhak music around the puja processions, and the immersion starts in Hooghly / Ganga river.

In Calcutta, idols are abandoned at all the ghats, including Babughat, Nimtala Ghat, Bagbazar Ghat, Baje Kadamtala Ghat, and Rani Rasmoni Ghat.

And all the security measures are taken in all these ghats. Howrah Kolkata Ferry service is closed from most of the ghats. In the afternoon, the ghats became loud with the sound of drums. During grief, almost everyone says the same thing, “It will happen again next year.” (“আসছে বছর আবার হবে”)

Cranes, barges, and payloaders are provided at almost every dock for cleaning garbage. As soon as the Idol was floated in the Ganges, the Idol was lifted by the crane. The structure is then moved elsewhere by truck.

Large drums are placed at each ghat to drop flowers, bel leaves, and garlands. In addition, the Watch Tower build to monitor the ghats.

In addition, there are disaster response forces, divers, and Kolata municipal workers. Each ghat has adequate porters. The coolies unload the Idol from the truck and take it to the ghat.

Decorations sculptures and stages of Durga puja

The visitors’ major attractions are the Durga puja’s Pandal design and decorations. From the moment of entry until before departure, the pandals are decorated with colourful illuminations, chandeliers, bamboo, colourful clothes, pieces of glass, etc. For this decoration, the club authorities allocated plenty of money.

Creating an idol of the goddess Durga using clay collected from different regions is a formal process. Artisans pray to God Ganesha and then make bamboo frames for the sculpture.

It is a tradition of collecting soil from ‘Nishiddho Pallis’ (red light area) to prepare the idol. A combination of clay, hay, and bamboo is used to prepare the idol cast. The head is prepared separately and later attached to the other parts.

The sculpture is hand-painted, dressed in clothing, and decorated with jewels and ornaments. The artisans display the final idol at the puja pandals. Vishvakarma Sashtra comprises the procedure and the proportion of ingredients required to make the idol.

Pandals and theme-based Durga Puja

The Durga puja pandals were simple before. The theme-centric puja pandal ideas are becoming popular nowadays. Members of communities and clubs collect donations and book artisans for building theme-based pandals.

Themes like “womanhood,” “celebration of humanity,” “celebration of cinema,” etc., were popular. Some pandals replicated the existing monuments, temples, and structures. There is intense competition among clubs, and the best even wins prizes.

Deshapriya Park stunned everybody with their 88-foot-tall idol of goddess Durga in 2015. Newspapers reported that they attracted more than a million visitors that year.

Durga Puja Shopping

Online shops like Flipkart and Amazon sell huge products in Kolkata those days. Also, street shopping in Kolkata is fantastic. Food giants like Uber Eats, Zomato, and Swiggy did good business in this festive season. Nowadays, Kolkata is covered with ads, banners, lighting, etc. A few puja pandals organise photography competitions too.

These days, flight hotel booking is in a rush. Try trivago,Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, and MakeMyTrip, or arrange accommodation in your relative’s houses before this event.

Esplanade, Hatibagan, and Gariahat markets are the most crowded places for offline shopping.

Durga puja pandal themes are based on:

  1. Current circumstances,
  2. Science-based,
  3. Educational, or
  4. Antiques- culture, monuments, sculptures, etc.

Club committees hire famous artists 8 to 9 months before the start of next year, Durga Puja, to prepare their theme.

Theme-based competitions:

Recently, Theme-based competitions have also started among the well-known puja committee.

Kumartuli – The Idol-Making HUB

Every year, I visit Kumartuli before Durga Puja. Kumartuli murti or idols are famous all over West Bengal. Various types of idols are made by hand only, and they don’t use machines to make idols. It can be a memorable experience for anybody. They are experts in building all kinds of Devi murtis and Durga maa.

Kumartuli before Durga Puja
Kumartuli before Durga Puja

The Red road Carnival Kolkata

The red road immersion ceremony happened with eye-catchy lighting processions. The state government conducts the procession after the traditional Bisarjan finish in Dashami.

About 100 best pujas committees in Kolkata take part in this carnival. All puja processions gather on the red road and start their procession. Finally, when they reach Babughat, they visarjan the Durga Idol.

Red road carnival
Red road carnival

Read How Many Days Left For Durga Puja

Red Road Durga Puja Carnival Date

Yet not announced.

Durga Puja Dates 2023

Mahalaya14th of October 2023
Maha Shashti20th October 2023
Maha Saptami21st October 2023
Maha Ashtami22nd October 2023
Maha Navami21st October 2023
Maha Dashmi24th October 2023
Durga Puja Dates 2023

List of South North Central Durga Puja in Kolkata

  1. Sealdah Railway Athletic Club
  2. College Square Sarbojonin Durgotsab Committee
  3. Md. Ali Park (Youth Association)
  4. Santosh Mitra square durga puja or Lebutala park
  5. Manicktala Chaltabagan Lohapatty Durga Puja
  6. Brindaban Matri Mandir
  7. Karbagan Sarbojonin Durga Puja
  8. Telenga Bagan Sarbojanin Durgotsab
  9. Nalin Sarkar Street Sarbojanin Durgotsab
  10. Hatibagan Sarbojanin
  11. Hatibagan Nabinpally Sarbojanin Durgotsav
  12. Sikdar Bagan Sadharan Durga Puja
  13. Kashi Bose Lane Durga Puja Committee
  14. Azad Hind Bag (Hedua Park Durga Puja)
  15. Simla Byayam Samity
  16. Jagat Mukherjee park
  17. Sovabazar Rajbari Durga Puja
  18. Ultadanga Yuba Brinda
  19. Ahiritola Sarbojanin Durgotsab
  20. Ahiritola Jubak Brinda
  21. Sovabazar Beniatola Sarbojanin Durgotsab Samity
  22. Kumartuli Park Sarbojanin Durgotsab Committee
  23. Kumartuli Sarbojanin Durgotsab
  24. Bagbazar Sarbojanin
  25. Deshbandhu Ladies Park
  26. Tala Barowari Durgotsab
  27. Tala Park Prattay
  28. Sree Bhumi Sporting Club
  29. Dum Dum Park, Tarun Sangha
  30. Dum Dum Park Sarbojanin
  31. Dum Dum Park Bharat Chakra
  32. Lake Town Adhibasi Brinda
  33. Badamtala Ashar Sangha
  34. 66 Pally Sarbojanin Durgotsab
  35. Nepal Bhattacharya Street Durga puja
  36. Chetla Agrani Club
  37. Deshapriya Park Durga Puja
  38. Samaj Sebi Sangha
  39. Ballygunge Cultural Association Durga Puja
  40. Tridhara Sammilani
  41. Hindustan Park Sarbojanin Durgotsab Committee
  42. Singhi park Sarbojanin Durga Puja
  43. Ekdalia Evergreen club
  44. Falguni Sangha
  45. 21 Pally Sarbojanin Durgotsab Samity
  46. Bosepukur Sitala Mandir
  47. Bosepukur Talbagan
  48. Rajdanga Naba Uday Sangha
  49. Babu bagan Club Sarbojanin Durga Puja
  50. Selimpur Pally Sarbojanin
  51. Jodhpur park
  52. 95 Pally Jodhpur Park
  53. Trikon Park Durgotsab
  54. Pally Mangal Samity Sarbojanin
  55. Santoshpur lake pally
  56. Mudiali Club
  57. Shiv Mandir Sarbojanin Durga Utsav Samity
  58. Suruchi Sangha
  59. Hindusthan Club
  60. Behala Club
  61. Barisha Sarbojanin
  62. Raipur Club
  63. Naktala Udayan Sangha
  64. Maddox Square Durga Puja

Arrival and the departure of Devi Durga 2023

Devi Durga arrives and departs by Horse.

Zamidar / Bonedi barir Durga puja

Zamindar / Bonedi barir Durga Puja is still reminiscent of the culture and tradition of monarchical Bengal. This puja is celebrated in the household of Bengal. Some pujas even date back to the time before Calcutta existed. You witness close family bonding and traditional customs and rituals there. The famous Bonedi Bari Durga puja in Kolkata are:

  • Atchala Durga: Sabarna Roy Chowdhury.
  • Jagat Ram Mukherjee Durga Puja: Behala.
  • Roy Family Durga puja: Behala.
  • Bhukailash Rajbari.
  • Raj Bari Durga puja: Sovabazar.

The main ritual of their puja is

  • The eldest daughter of their family will say to Maa Durga, “Asche Bochor Abar Esho Ma.”
  • Trinayani Maa Durga is worshipped in the Zamindar Bari of Daker Saaj, wearing a red and white saree with gold jewellery.
  • It covers the outer part with Chala, where the images of the story of rural Bengal emerge.

Visitors enter:
Visitors are allowed to enter the premises and enjoy the puja. However, they are not allowed at the puja stage.

Famous Zamidar/Bonedi barir list

  1. Sovabazar Rajbari
  2. Maharaja Nabakrishna Deb’s Palace
  3. Chatu Babu and Latu Babu Bari
  4. Rani Rashmoni Bari
  5. Bhawanipur Mallick Bari

Top 5 Durga Puja Pandal in Bangalore

  1. Amader Pujo by KARBA- South Bengaluru:
    Elaan Convention Center,
    46, Kothnur Main Road.
    Opposite- Puttenahalli, JP Nagar 7th Phase,
    Bengaluru, Karnataka 560078
  2. Barsha Bengali Association:
    Address: BBMP Playground, 19th Cross Road, Parangi Palaya, Sector-2, HSR Layout, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560102.
  3. Jayamahal Durga Puja:
    Address: Jayamahal Extension, Jayamahal, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560046.
  4. WCA- Whitefield Durga:
    Whitefield Cultural Association – WCA
    Inner Circle Ground Road, Dodsworth Layout, Whitefield,
    Bengaluru, Karnataka- 560066.
    Sarjapur Outer Ring Road Bengali Association (SORRBA)
    6, Doddakannelli – Kaadubeesanahalli Road, Janatha Colony, Doddakannalli, Bengaluru, Karnataka- 560035

Pandal of Durga puja in Jamshedpur

  1. Agrico Durga Puja:
    Address: CSIR-NML Residential Complex, Agrico, Jamshedpur, Jharkhand 831009.
  2. Kadma farm sarbojanin The Durga puja committee, Jamshedpur:
    Address: Farm Area, Kadma, Jamshedpur, Jharkhand- 831005
  3. Kasidih Durga Puja Maidan
    Address: Jamshedpur, Kasidih, Jamshedpur, Jharkhand 831001
  4. Sonari Durga Puja Ground:
    Address: Adarsh Nagar- Sonari, Jamshedpur, Jharkhand 831011
  5. Baridih Durga Puja Maidan:
    Address: Tube Colony, Baridih, Jamshedpur, Jharkhand-831017.

Durga puja pandal in Mumbai

  1. North Bombay Sarbojanin Durga Puja Samity:
    Address: Tulip Star Hotel
    23-B, Vaikunthlal Mehta Rd, Uditi Tarang Housing Colony, Airport Area, Juhu, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400049
  2. Lokhandwala Durgotsav:
    Address: B-702, Maharana Pratap Road, Lokhandwala Complex, Andheri West- Mumbai, Maharashtra- 400102
  3. Malad West Sarbajanin Durga Puja:
    By Maitree Cultural Association
    Address: Tulip Lawns, Daffodils 23, Link Road, Near Toyota Showroom, Malad West, Mumbai 400064, Maharashtra.
  4. Kalbadevi Sarvajanin Durga Puja Committee(KSDPC):
    Address- L-3, Kanak Chambers, Ground Floor, 267 / 271, Kalbadevi Road, Opp Adarsh Hotel
    400002 Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
  5. HRCWA(Hillside Residents’ Cultural & Welfare Association) Durga Puja Ground:
    Address: Flat No. B-1208, Bhoomi Valley
    next to N G Suncity,
    Thakur Village
    Kandivali East, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400101

Durga puja pandal in Delhi

  1. Regar Pura Durga Pooja Pandal
    Address: Vishnu Mandir Marg, Neta Ji Subhash Market, Block 32, Krishna Nagar, Karol Bagh, New Delhi, Delhi 110005
  2. Cooperative Durga Puja Pandal:
    Address: Bipin Chandra Pal Marg, Block J, Chittaranjan, New Delhi, Delhi 110019
  3. Shastri Park Kali Bari Durga Puja Samiti:
    Address: Shastri Park, Main Rd, E-Block, Near De-Aqua (Hotel)
    Delhi 110053
  4. Delhi Durga Puja Samiti:
    Address: 33, Rajpur Road, Civil Lines, Delhi- 110054
  5. Navapali Durga puja samity:
    Address: Block-H, Chittaranjan, New Delhi, Delhi- 110019.


Durga puja is celebrated yearly with many joyous preparations to honour Goddess Durga, especially in Kolkata. But Durga Puja in Mumbai, Bangalore, orisa, and Delhi have the same charm. Due to the cultural aspect, the Durga puja is on the UNESCO cultural heritage list.