Updated: Mar 23
Discover offbeat trails of Bengal with our travel expert Reetwika Banerjee
While most of the Indian states observe Diwali, West Bengal witnesses a traditional ethnic style of celebrating the first new moon night of Hindu calendar month ‘Kartik’ by worshipping Goddess Kali. The same day is dedicated to the puja of Goddess Lakshmi by others, but Bengalis perform stringent devotional sacrifices towards Goddess Kali at home, public pandals and cremation grounds (especially where she is believed to dwell) on the eve of Bhoot Chaturdashi.
For covering puja pandals, polaroids play an important part. They are handy and more easy to handle.
Of late, like Durga Puja, Kali Puja (also known as Shyama Puja as ‘Shyama’ is the other name of the deity) is also becoming a festive extravaganza of the city of joy, especially in Rajarhat (North) and Bhowanipore (South). Eye catching high budget pandal decorations (ranging from two lakhs and above), creative idol making, firework competitions, whole night cultural programs for three days, indigenous funfairs, amusement shows and flocking of thousands of devotees make Kali Pujas of Kolkata a colourful festival .
Some of the top theme based Kali Pujas of Kolkata of 2019 which caught my eyes are:-
· Lalkuthi Netaji Sangha (Theme: Metamorphosis)
· Narayanpur Pallishree Sangha (Theme: Hindu religious ingredients)
· Azad Hind Pally Yubak Brinda (Theme: White pearl decor)
· Tetultala Sarbojonin (Theme: Emoji)
· Aab Gopalpur Netaji Yubak Sangha (Theme: Plastic household items)
· Ghoshpara Sangketik Club (Theme: Traditional)
· Binay Badal Dinesh Sangha (Theme: Birds)
· Jagadish Sporting Club (Theme: Womb)
· Pragati Sangha (Theme: Sun God)
· Rabindra Sangha (Theme: Domestic Puja of Royal Family)
· R.F.A. (Theme: London Bridge)
· Chira Kishore Dol (Theme: Kalighat Temple idol)
· Bakul Bagan Young Circle (Theme: Traditional)
· Sebak Sangha (Theme: Daaker Saj or Thermocol décor)
· Kali Park Tarun Sangha (Theme: Rural Bengal)
· Baligari Chak Panchuria (Theme: Opera House of Paris)
· Salua Nabarun Sangha (Theme: Bora Cave)
The above list denotes my personal favourites based on the public Kali Pujas of Kolkata I visited this year. It does not indicate any formal ranking or announcement of winning entries endorsed by me or T&J.