Durga puja of West Bengal

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Durga Puja
দুর্গা পূজা
Debi Durga Sculpture by Sandalwood Murshidabad WB 30 01 2018.jpg
Debi Durga Sculpture By Sandalwood, found in Murshidabad, West Bengal, India. Now it is kept in Indian Museum, Kolkata
Observed byBengali
TypeHindu
ObservancesCeremonial worship of goddess Durga
BeginsSixth day of Ashwin shukla paksha[1]
EndsTenth day of Ashwina shukla paksha[1]
2018 date15 October  – 19 October
2019 date4 October - 8 October
FrequencyAnnual
Related toMahalaya, Shakta Rash

Durga puja (দুর্গাপূজা) is one of the oldest traditions of Bengali Hinduism. Durga Puja festival is also the largest festival of Bengalis as well as of West Bengal. West Bengal is the birthplace of Durga puja festival.[2] Later this festival spread across eastern Indian states like Assam, Odisha, Bihar from West Bengal. Durga puja is not only the largest festival of West Bengal, it is also a carrier of Bengali culture and largest industrial investment[3][4] and one of the important attractions of Bengal tourism.

Origin of Durga puja in West Bengal[edit]

Stone sculpture of Devi Durga found in Bengal. Durga Mahishasura-mardini, the slayer of the buffalo demon

According to Markedeyapurana (sri sri Chandi) king surath, who was the first worshipper of goddess durga, was an emperor of Bolipur(Bolpur) (currently in west Bengal).[5] Asram of Medhas muni is also established (in Garh Jungle) here. Near about cent percent Bengali people obey shaktism. Durga is an important Goddess of shakta bangali. Goddess durga was worshipped here from the beginning of the civilization of Bengal. Durga (Mahisasuramardini) was worshiped in Pala Empire of Bengal. In pala empire, huge numbers of Mahisasuramardini statue were built. These statues were built by following classical Bengali style architecture. One of them, which was built in 12 century C.E, was found in a temple of purulia district, which is protected in Indian Museum, Kolkata.[6][7] A 18 hands durga statue, called bhadra kali, which was built in 12 century C.E also.[8] Durga status was found out in Pandu Rajar Dhibi, which is the one of the oldest civilization (1200B.C. to 750 B.C.) of Bengal.[9]

Durga Puja category according to the organizer[edit]

Durga puja in west bengal is organized as Banedi pujo(বনেদী পুজো), Paribarik pujo(পারিবারিক পুজো), Baroyari pujo(বারোয়ারি পুজো) and Shakti Peetha pujo(শক্তিপীঠের পুজো). Durga puja is organized in zaminder house and royal palace of bengal, this type of puja called sabeki(সাবেকি) or banedi barir puja(বনেদী বাড়ির পুজো).Sabeki or Banedi Puja is organized in royal style. All the accessories used on this type of arrangement are traditional and ancient. Puja is also organized in parsonal Initiatives, this type of puja called paribarik puja(পারিবারিক পূজা). Puja arrange in temporary stages( which is called pandal) this type of puja called baroyari puja( বারোয়ারী পূজা). Puja also arranged in shakti peetha (শক্তিপীঠ) and old temple of Bengal.

History of Durgapuja in Zaminder House[edit]

The first grand worship of Goddess Durga in recorded history is said to have been celebrated in the late 1500s. Folklores say the landlords, or zamindar, of Dinajpur and Malda initiated the first Durga Puja in Bengal. According to another source, Raja Kangshanarayan of Taherpur or Bhabananda Mazumdar of Nadiya organized the first Sharadiya or Autumn Durga Puja in Bengal in c. 1606.

The origin of the community puja can be credited to the twelve friends of Guptipara in Hoogly, West Bengal, who collaborated and collected contributions from local residents to conduct the first community puja called the 'baro-yaari' puja, or the 'twelve-pal' puja, in 1790. The baro-yaari puja was brought to Kolkata in 1832 by Raja Harinath of Cossimbazar, who performed the Durga Puja at his ancestral home in Murshidabad from 1824 to 1831, notes Somendra Chandra Nandy in 'Durga Puja: A Rational Approach' published in The Statesman Festival, 1991.

"The baro-yaari puja gave way to the sarbajanin or community puja in 1910, when the Sanatan Dharmotsahini Sabha organized the first truly community puja in Baghbazar in Kolkata with full public contribution, public control, and public participation. Now the dominant mode of Bengali Durga Puja is the 'public' version," write M. D. Muthukumaraswamy and Molly Kaushal in Folklore, Public Sphere, and Civil Society. The institution of the community Durga Puja in the 18th and the 19th century Bengal contributed vigorously to the development of Hindu Bengali culture.

Glories related to Durga Puja[edit]

The glory of Nabadwip' Ras[edit]

Dumureswari Mata, Nabadwip

Lord Chaitanya Nabadwip, as it is known to most of India, prepares to welcome Devi Durga. Goddess durga is worshiped in Nabadwip dham three different times of every year. Durga puja in Nabadwip observed as Sharadiya Puja in the bangla month of Ashwin (September–October), Rash kali puja or Pata purnima in the Bangla month of kartik (October–November) and Basanti puja in bangla month chaitra (March–April). In Bengal people call the Nabadwip ras Shakta ras or Raskali puja or Patapurnima. It is noteworthy that the co-worship of Mahisamardini Durga and Goddess kali and different different forms of goddess durga, prevails from the 15th century, of Nadia raj, in Nabadwip.

The Raskali puja of Nabadwip has its origin in folk culture. This fact is evident from the local folk names and shashtria names they bear such as Bhadrakali mata, Dumureshwari mata, Gourangini mata, Chandi mata, Nabadurga mata, Debi gostha mata, Mahishamordini mata, ranachandi, Bindhabasini mata, Krishna mata etc. There are several local traditions and legends behind the names of the Durga.

At Nabadwip, the clay idols of the durga are depicted in a unique manner, which gives an impression that the festival is one of the traditional festival of India. Here, in this case, the clay idol of durga is decorated by tradisional Bengali paraphernalia. Idols are decorated by sola, gold and tantuja shari. The clay idols of the durga is very large near about 30 ft to 50 ft( 18 hands to 25 hands in Bengali). The face of durga idols is large and the eyes are long, this unique type face is called bangla mukh.

Place related to Markandeya Puran[edit]

Many place of west bengal is mentioned in Markandeya Purana . Supur or swapur, which was mentioned as the capital of surath raja, is currently in Bolpur in Birbhum West bengal . One million animals were sacrificed here to worship Goddes Durga. This term "animal sacrifice" is known as "bolidan"(বলিদান) in Bengali. this place is famous as Bolipur or Bolpur form the Bengali terminology of animal sacrifice(বলিদান). The other place, which was also related to Devi Mahatmya of Markandeya Purana, is Garh Jungle, Durgapur. The asharm of medhas muni, where raja surath and samadhi baishya learned Devi Mahatmya first time, is in Garh Jungle. Temple of Tri Debi ( Maha kali, Maha saraswati and Maha lakkhi ) is established here. In Garh Jungle, Durga Puja is celebrated very much fervour in the spring of every year.

Durga Puja in Shakti peeth[edit]

Bengal is the origin of shaktism. There are huge number of Shakti Peetha, upa Peeth and siddha peeth in west bengal. Mahishamardini is the principal goddes of many peeths of bengal. Bakreshwar peeth is one of them. Durga is the principal god of Bakreshwar. Other famous peeth is Jogadya(যোগদ্যা),at khiragram(ক্ষীরগ্রাম) in Bardhaman. In earlier days, goddess Mahishamardini was worshiped as Bhadrakali mata. Bhadrakali mata is main goddes of Jogadya. This Jogadya peeth was mentioned in Krittivasi Ramayan. Goddes Kali, Tara and UgraTara are the principal goddes of other shakti Peetha of Bengal. Kalighat, which is in kolkata,one of oldest Shakti Peetha of India. During sharadiya puja and Basanti puja Kali, Tara and UdraTara are worshiped as Durga in this Shakti Peetha.

Durga Puja in zaminder house[edit]

Zaminder bari or banedi bari puja of West Bengal in the main attraction alone with the theme based puja pandel. A long year back Zaminder of undivided Bengal started worshipping Durga, giving their Zaminder titel.

Shobhabazar Rajbari[edit]

Shobhabazar Rajbari is one of the oldest Royal houses of Kolkata built by Raja Nabakrishna Deb in the middle of 1700. In the year 1757 the first Durga Puja at the Rajbari was initiated. The choto rajbari puja started at 1790. This traditional puja is oraganised at the large Nath Mandir or Thakur Dalan.

Sabarna Roy Choudhury Bari[edit]

Baghbazar Haldar Bari[edit]

Tradisional barayari puja in bengal[edit]

Bagbazar Sarbojonin Durgotsav 2018 closeup [বাগবাজার সার্বজনীন দুর্গোৎসব ২০১৮ (মুখ্য দূর্গা প্রতিমার অতিনিকট চিত্র)], a prominent puja in Kolkata

Puja hold in old temple of bengal[edit]

  • Mrinmoyi temple: Durga puja of Mrinmoyi temple of Bishnupur, Bankura district is one of the oldest Hindu festival. Mahishamardini durga is worshiped hare. Mrinmoyi mean in Bengali a durga idol, which was made by clay. This clay idol of goddess durga of Mrinmoyi temple is one of the oldest clay idol. Mrinmoyi temple and this clay idol of Mahishamardini were built in 997CE. This Durga Puja was also started in 997CE. Creator of this temple, clay idol and Durga Puja was Jagat Malla, who was a king of Mallabhum kingdom of Bengal.
  • Baradebi Temple:Durga puja of koochbihar rajbari is the one of the oldest Durga puja North Bengal.Here, Goddess durga is well known as Baro Debi. The clay idol of Mahishamardini is very unique hare. The durga idol is very large, hight of the idol is near about 30 ft, colour of durga status is red. Lion and tiger both are present as mount of Goddess durga in this durga idol. Joya and Bijoya are present with Goddess Durga, a Mashal continue burn in their hand during the puja. But Saraswati, Lakshmi, Ganesh and Kartik are not present with Goddess Durga. This type of Durga status don't found any where with out the royal palace of koochbihar. Biswa singh,who was King of koochbihar, created this puja in 1600AD.
  • Mather Ma: Durga is known as "Mather Ma"(মঠের মা) in Jirat, Hooghly District. Mahisamardini Durga statue is exception here. Ten hands of durga statue are not equal here. Eight hands are very small than other two hands. Durga is worshiped by following Tantra. So, huge number of animals are sacrificed during annual durga puja festival. In old days, human was sacrificed but now this taboo is abolished. The replica of human, which is made by pituli, is sacrificed during annual sharadiya durga puja.

Durga statues in terracotta temple[edit]

Durgapuja in bengali literature[edit]

Durga Puja industry[edit]

Kolkata kumortuli[edit]

Clay industry of nadia[edit]

Media attention[edit]

Theme based puja in Bengal[edit]

Not only in West Bengal, but also in other parts of the country, different Puja committees present their Puja in unique themes. In West Bengal, theme pujas are a common sight. These themes are generally made on national, environmental & cultural basis. Unique themes of Durga Puja are the main centres of attraction to people.

Puja of Bengali Hindu disapora[edit]

Durga Puja is celebrated throughout the U.S and Europe by many Bengali communities. A notorious Durga Puja would be the one in Houston,Texas known for its bustling Bengali population and colorful events and decoration. Many other cities celebrate it as well such as Dallas, Atlanta and Omaha.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Durga Puja Tithi and Timing". Retrieved 17 July 2012.
  2. ^ "Garh Jungle, Durgapur- Garh Jungle Photos and Timings". www.holidify.com.
  3. ^ "Durga Puja industry to touch Rs 40,000 cr by 2015: Assocham". 9 September 2013.
  4. ^ "Bengals Durga Puja industry to touch Rs.40,000 crore in 2015".
  5. ^ "Why people of Bengal worship Durga also during Basanti Puja?". hinduism.stackexchange.com.
  6. ^ "'Statue of Goddess Durga as Mahishasuramardini, ca. 12th century C.E.' - photo by K.J.S.Chatrath". indianheritagephotos.blogspot.in.
  7. ^ "File:Statue of Durga slaying Mahisasura, Dulmi, Manbhum district in 1872-73.jpg - Wikimedia Commons". commons.m.wikimedia.org.
  8. ^ "Beauty of Indian Sculptures & Indian Mythology Around the World". www.pinterest.com.
  9. ^ "Pandu Rajar Dhibi - Banglapedia". en.banglapedia.org.

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