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Durga Puja is a celebration of the Mother Goddess, and the victory of the revered warrior Goddess Durga over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura. Durga Puja is celebrated in West Bengal, particularly in the city of Kolkata. Bengali communities in other locations across India celebrate Durga Puja as well. Substantial Durga Puja festivities take place in both Mumbai and Delhi.
Durga Puja 2013 in Mumbai
Nearly 90 years back, the Durga Puja festival was started on small base in Mumbai through Bengali goldsmiths. Today, over 85 big pergolas existing where Goddess durga is adored for five days. The Durga puja, started on right time with most of 1.2 million Bengalis existing in Mumbai and Thane district though other communities also take part in the Mumbai Durga Puja festival with same admiration. The making of idols of Goddess Durga generally starts in late July after acquiring special clay from Kolkata. These idols were made and dried in the humid air of Mumbai and then painted and ornamented. Then the delivery of idols sent to different venues when they are supposed to reach. Durga Puja in Mumbai is popular among film stars as well. Rani Mukherjee, Kajol Mukherjee, abhijit, Kumar Sanu celebrates Durga Puja in Mumbai
When is Durga Puja Celebrated?
Durga Puja is celebrated during the last five days of Navaratri. In 2013, Durga Puja will take place from 9th Oct to 13th Oct. Immersion is on October 14, 2013. Starting from the day of the Mahalaya, the days of Sashthi, Saptami, Ashtami, Navami and Dashami or Bijoya Dashami every day has its own unique rituals.
DURGA PUJA 2014 DATES
How is Durga Puja Celebrated?
The start of the festival sees statutes of Goddess Durga installed in homes and beautifully decorated podiums all over the city. At the end of the festival, the statutes are paraded through the streets, accompanied by much music and dancing, and then immersed in the water.
After the Durga Puja, Bengalis look forward to the bhog that includes Khichudi, Ladba (mixed vegetable), Bhaja (usually brinjal or potatoes), tomato chutney, Paayesh or Mishti. Your Bengali friends in the city swear by the unique taste of Durga Ma’s bhog, which cannot be duplicated at home.
Famous Durga Puja Pandals in Mumbai
Even though not as big as it is in Kolkata, Mumbai has its own flavour when it comes to Goddess Durga Pandals. Mumbai makes up for the lack of numbers in Goddess Durga Pandals with its celebrity touch and luxurious pandals. Mumbai has about a 100 Goddess Durga Pandals and some of them attract Bollywood celebs and their families and friends.
Major venues of Durga Puja in Mumbai include Charni Road, Kalbadevi, Shivaji Park, Bandra, Kandivali, Chembur and Powai. Nearly a dozen of them are organised on extensive budgets, ranging from Rs.5 million to Rs.20 million, while the rest are modestly estimated, ranging from Rs.400,000 to Rs.2 million
Powai Bengali Welfare Association
Powai Bengali Welfare Association is famous Durga Puja Pandal for its big budget spendings every year. It attracts the highest crowd every year and they come up with innovative themes every year. Last year it had a replica of the Sripuram Golden Temple. Powai Bengali Welfare Association is located in Powai Hiranandani Gardens in Powai
Vashi Sarjavanik Durga Puja Pandal Navi Mumbai
Celebs like Udit Narayan and Mahalakshmi Iyer will make their presence felt at the Bengal Trust’s Sarvajanik Vashi Durga Puja. With a budget of Rs 60 lakhs and list of celebrities lined up for cultural programmes, this organisation will definitely draw devotees from near and far like it does every year.The venue has changed to NMMC football ground (opp. mini seashore), sector 10A, Vashi. The huge venue will be able to welcome excess of 50,000 people every day. While Mahalaksmi Iyer will perform on October 11, Kunal Ganjawalla and Udit Narayan will regale the crowd on 12th and 13th respectively. The 15-feet-tall eco-friendly idol of goddess Durga will truly stand out. The idol will be decorated with shola, a weed found in natural water bodies of West Bengal, Assam and Orissa. A truck load of Gangamati (sediments from riverbed of Ganges) has been specially brought from Diamond Harbour, the confluence of Ganges and the Bay of Bengal. fire-proof auditoria will be made of steel girders, trusses and corrugated metal sheets. More than 40,000 people will be able to move around inside the venue. A wide array of stalls at the food court is on the cards. Bengal Trust wishes to set up a school for under-privileged children and is raising funds for the same.
Balkanji Bari in Santacruz
Balkanji Bari in Santacruz is famous for its celebrity touch. Balkanji Bari in Santacruz is organised by the Mukherjee family and celebs from the family, Kajol, tanisha, Rani Mukherjee attend the feast. It is located next to Lions Garden in Juhu Road Santacruz West.
Shivaji Park in Dadar
Shivaji Park in Dadar is famous for being the oldest Pandal in the City. Shivaji Park in Dadar is famous for its food court. You get to taste the bengali sweets and pick up traditional sarees and jewellary from this place. Located at the Bengal Club in Veer Savarkar Marg in Shivaji Park Dadar.
Ramkrishna Mission in Khar
Ramkrishna Mission in Khar is Famous for its traditional Kumari Puja in which an eight year old girl is decorated as Goddess Durga on Durga Asthami and seated on a thrown and worshipped by the crowd with flowers. You can go to this place for its authentic bhog served in the afternoon. It is located in Ramakrishna Mission Marg in Khar.
Mulund Durga Puja
Mulund Durga Puja to be held at Kalidas Natya Mandir Complex from 29th September to 4th October, 2014. This will be Mandal’s 29th Durga Puja.
Thematic pandals of Koparkhairne
The organisers of Thematic pandals of Koparkhairne here really give some thought to the pandal decoration. From green themes to glass houses, the interiors of the pandals here will not cease to amaze you year on year.
The Kali Bari in Bhayander
The Kali Bari in Bhayander Designs its pandal like its namesake in Kolkata. Its beauty and intricate design is a must-see for every Bengali, especially for the ones missing their very own Kolkata Pujo
Durga Puja by the Indian Air Force staff in their housing colony at Sion is on a shoe-string budget, with a 5-feet tall idol of Goddess Durga and home-cooked `prasad`.
Bengal Club`s Durga celebration at Shivaji Park will have all functions during the day, adhering to the noise pollution restrictions recommended by the Bombay High Court.
A large group of serving and retired commercial pilots will hold a modest puja, near Amitabh Bachchan`s bungalow at Juhu while Bengalis serving in the Indian Navy will celebrate at Navy Nagar, Colaba, south Mumbai.
Mumbai Asomiya Sarvajanin Durga Puja Samiti: The Members of the Puja Committee take the pleasure to Invite you and your family and friends to your very own “Shri Shri Durga Puja”(From 29th Sept 2014 to 4th Oct.2014) and “Shri Shri Lakshmi Puja”(on 4th Oct.2014) being solemnized at the premises of the Assam Bhawan, Mumbai located at Vashi.
Andheri Lokhandwala Sarvajanin Durgotsav Samiti : Popular Hindi film singer Abhijeet, who is the soul behind Lokhandwala puja.
Kandivali Durga Puja East Bengali Association
PBWA Durga Puja in Powai Durga Puja
New Bombay Bengali Association (NBBA)
New Bengal Club – Thane Durga Puja
Bandra Durga Puja
Nare Park Sarbojanin Durga Puja, East Parel
south Mumbai Durga Bari Samiti
Kalbadevi Durga Puja
Pragati Club – Vasai Durga Puja
Assam Bhawan Durga Puja, Vashi, Navi Mumbai
The Bombay Sarbojonin Durgotsav
Interesting facts about Duga Puja 2014
Every pandal has Dhakis, who play the Dhak during the aarti taking the spiritual fervour many notches higher. Similar to the Nashik dhol, the Dhak, is indigenous to Midnapur, a village in West Bengal. During the festival, the Dhakis are especially invited by the city pandals to play. Bengalis also perform the Dhunuchi dance to the Dhak’s beats. Well, if you are wondering what it is, Sanjay Dutt did it in the film Parineeta. Pandals, in fact hold Dhunuchi dance competitions, where men men and women perform with clay incense burners, and the old folks surprise you with their agility. PS: Bengal Club’s Durga celebration at Shivaji Park will have all functions during the day, adhering to the noise pollution restrictions recommended by the Bombay High Court.
Most pandals have a heavy lineup of performers. Bollywood singers like Alka Yagnik, Shaan, Sukhwinder Singh, Hariharan, Shalmali, Ritu Pathak, Kunal Ganjawala, Abhijit and Usha Uthup draw huge crowds at various pandals where they perform. The DN Nagar pandal in Mumbai will also have an act by comedian Raju Shrivastav. But if you want a seat for any of these entertaining shows, you’ll have to reach hours before the actual time.
Themes you must see
This year, most sarvajanik Durga puja themes revolve around Swami Vivekananda, whose 150th birth anniversary is being celebrated. Some pandals though, have interesting themes constructed on a large scale like we see during Ganeshotsav. The Powai Bengali Welfare Association has created a Bengali village made
from hay and bamboo. They’ll also have Bengali artisans who will craft pottery. And the Bengalee Association, Antop Hill in Wadala has attempted a 32-ft replica of a Shivling that will serve as the pandal. At the Juhu Scheme Sarvanajik Durgotsav Samiti, an exhibition on 100 years of Indian cinema has been organised by Biswajit.
The Shivaji Park pandal is famous for its shopping stalls, where you can pick up clay jewellery, books and even traditional chhaapa sarees. A tip: Make sure you bargain well.
The traditional puja
The puja at Ramakrishna Mission, Khar, is considered as the most authentic as it follows the Bengali traditions more closely than any other Puja. It is the only venue where a prepuberty girl is worshipped as Goddess Durga in a ‘Kumari Puja’ on Ashtami Day, which is a major draw among devotees.
The Times of India Lokhandwala Durgotsav is known to draw many celebrities who come for the puja. At the Mukherjee Badi Puja, organised by Rani Mukerji and Kajol’s families, the cousins personally serve the bhog to the devotees on the second day. This year, we hear that the Sarvajanik Vashi Durga Puja in Navi Mumbai will have a ‘Shah Rukh Khan Live’ night too.