Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Delhi's Durga Puja - 2012

Like every year, I went around the city covering all the major Durga Puja pandals and meeting so many new people on my way. And like every year, I found it all the more fascinating.
This year, I had planned to visit the Pujas on Saptami and Ashtami, leaving the Navami to myself (which I eventually spent being ill and sitting at home).
So here's more or less an account of my 2012 tour-de-delhi-pujas.
We started on 21st October afternoon to cover all the Pujas at Chittaranjan Park area. The place gets too crowded in the evening and stays like that till late night for which he had suffered last year. Hence, visiting the pandals in the afternoon proved to be a good decision although it didn't allow us to appreciate the lighting intricacies (which seems too bland in comparison to Kolkata).
Nobo Polli Durga Puja - CR Park

Mela Ground Durga Puja - CR Park
CR Park Kali Bari Durga Puja
People at CR Park Kali Bari
CR Park Co-Operative Durga Puja
CR Park Co-Operative Durga Puja's Pandal
CR Park B-Block Durga Puja
CR Park - B-Block Durga Puja Pandal
Purbasha Kali Bari Durga Puja - Ramakrishna  Vihar

After the colorful journey through our favorite Durga Pujas in the rich Bengali hub of Delhi, we planned to call it a day. On our way back we hopped on Purbasha Kali Mandir Durga Puja and Kaushambi Durga Puja.

Kaushambi Durga Puja - Ghaziabad

The next day we decided to cover the Pujas all around the capital. Since no two important Pujas are closely spaced, the traffic problem is not as serious as it gets in CR Park area. So evening was the preferred time of visit.
Our first stop was the Kashmiri Gate Durga Puja which is rumored to be the oldest Durga Puja in Delhi.

Kashmiri Gate Durga Puja - the oldest Puja in New Delhi
From there we went to Minto Road Kali Bari Durga Puja, one of the most awarded and visited Durga Pujas in Delhi. It is also one of the oldest.

The idol at Minto Raad Kali Bari Durga Puja

From Minto Road we headed towards New Delhi Kali Bari Durga Puja, which was the most crowded of all the Pujas we visited this year. This made taking a good picture very difficult.
New Delhi Kali Bari Durga Puja
The wave of devotees at Delhi Kali Bari Durga Puja

Then we headed southwards to reach Matri Mandir Durga Puja at Safdarjung Enclave, last year’s runners up in the Best Puja competition of Delhi. This year the theme of Matri Mandir Puja was the Olympic and the pandal was decorated in the context of India’s dream run at the Olympics.
Pandal of Matri Mandir Durga Puja, Safdarjang Enclave
 Idol at Matri Mandir Durga Puja, Safdarjang Enclave 
 People at Matri Mandir Durga Puja, Safdarjang Enclave 

Matri Mandir had invited Chandrabindu to perform on Ashtami and the program was very well held. Chandrabindu, being one of the most popular Bengali bands, could glue us down to our seats till the very end of the show.
 Chandrabindu performing at Matri Mandir Durga Puja, Safdarjang Enclave 

It was late and we still had to cover Mayur Vihar.
Mayur Vihar was on the way back. It was 1o’clock in the night when we reached the Miloni Durga Puja, last year’s champions. People had left the pandal for it was too late but it gave us a nice time to stare into its intricacies in awe. The idol was mesmerizing and was the one of the most innovative idols of this year’s Puja.
Miloni Durga Puja, Mayur Vihar-I
We came back tired, yet fulfilled.

The four days were spent fast. As I pointed out earlier, these four days were indeed spent as if in trance. The dhunuchi naach with the beats of the dhaak, the new pair of jeans, the creased shirts, the gathering in pandals and chatting with friends, so so many things done, in such a small window of time.
 About Delhi’s Durga Puja 2012, this year’s Pujas in Delhi were undoubtedly better than last year’s and may God will, it will be even better in 2013.
Asche bochor abar Hobe! (Next year, it’ll happen again)    

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