It is that time of the year when Maa Durga is welcomed by the devotees with utmost fervour and devotion. It is believed that goddess Durga along with Laxmi, Saraswati, Ganesha and Kartikeya descend to earth to visit her parents' abode.
The festivity marking the victory of good over evil continues for 5 days and during Durga Pujo (as Bengalis call it), cultural activities, food fiesta and pandal-hopping keeps everyone in happy spirits.
Durga Puja and the 9-day long Navratri festival coincide, making it a month of celebration. This year Durga Puja begins from October 3 and if by chance, you happen to be Delhi-NCR, we thought of helping you out with some must-visit pandals.
Here's a list of various majestic Durga Puja Pandals in Delhi-NCR:
Minto Road Puja Samity
(Pic Courtesy: Minto Road Puja Mrps/Facebook)
The Minto Road Puja Samity is one of the oldest ones in Delhi. The Minto Road Puja Samity started its religious activities in the year 1913 at Timarpur, when Government of India Press shifted from Kolkata to Delhi, as per its website. It is famous for maintaining the aristocratic feel of the pujo. So, you can experience Bonedi Pujo (aristocratic) while visiting this pandal.
Kali bari, Mandir Marg
(Pic Courtesy: New Delhi Kali Bari, Mandir Marg, New Delhi/Facebook)
The Kali Bari, Mandir Marg Durga Puja is one of the oldest one in Delhi, dating back to 1925. The puja celebration at Kali Bari is traditional. You will find traditional ekchalar thakur (single frame for idols) and sholar kaaj. Interestingly, the puja rituals too have remained unchanged since 1936. The traditional competitions in Rabindra sangeet and recitation are still organised during the pujo.
Timarpur and Civil Lines Puja Samity
(Pic Courtesy: Timarpur and Civil Lines Puja Samity [Estd.1914]/Facebook)
One of the most revered Durga Puja Samity in the capital happens to be the Timarpur and Civil Lines Puja Samity, which was established in 1914. More than 100 years old, the puja organised by this committee is attended by many devotees every year. It is the second oldest Durga Puja Samity in Delhi. It is quite famous for its artistic Durga idols. This time it marks the 105th year of the pujo celebrations.
(Pic Courtesy: B-Block Durga Puja, CR Park. New Delhi/Facebook)
CR Park is inhabited majorly by Bengalis, therefore making it one of the must-visit places during the Durga Pujo. There are numerous pandals in the vicinity which attract a lot of visitors every year.
CR Park Kalibari is one of the most colour-rich and beautiful Durga Puja pandals in the capital. Interestingly, it has been 40 long years for the CR Park Durga Puja Samiti at B-Block to welcome the goddess. However, there are other Durga Puja Pandals or Samitis in C.R Park too. For example: C.R Park Durga Puja Samity B Block, Durga Puja Samity K Block Co-operative Ground, Chittaranjan Park Kali Mandir Society Puja, Mela Ground Durga Puja Chittaranjan Park.
Sahasrabdi Durga Puja Committee (SDPC), Gurugram
(Pic Courtesy: Sahasrabdi Durga Puja Committee)
The Sahasrabdi Durga Puja Committee (SDPC) was founded in Gurugram back in 2000. The committee organises one of the largest Durga Pujas in the city, and this time, it will mark its 20th year of celebrations. Hundreds of people from all walks of life throng the grand pandal to witness the traditional pujo.
SDPC is famous for its pandal and various cultural activities. The artisans are roped in from West Bengal to prepare the pandal. This year, the pandal has replicated one of the ancient temples of Bengal. Madhu Azad, the Mayor of Gurugram, will inaugurate the puja celebrations.
The five days during the puja are fun-filled with back-to-back cultural performances. Various artistes from Mumbai fly down to Gurugram to add stardust to the celebrations. The members also provide philanthropic support to various NGOs and foundations involved in relief and humanitarian work.
Matri Mandir, Safdarjung Enclave
(Pic Courtesy: Matri Mandir Samity/Facebook)
This one is managed by the Matri Mandir Samity in Safdarjung Enclave. The Matri Mandir Samity is a society registered in 1966 under the Societies Registration Act. This time it marks the 49th year of Durga Puja celebration by the Samiti at Safdurjang enclave. They are famous for keeping theme-based pandals every year. The Durga idols too are different and never-seen-before.
Milani puja, Mayur Vihar Phase-1
(Pic Courtesy: File photo of the Durga Puja celebrations at Milani, Mayur Vihar in 2015)
Delhi literally looks like mini-Kolkata during Durga Puja. Another interesting pandal to visit is the one in Mayur Vihar Phase-1. The Milani Puja Committee maintains a very clean and beautifully decorated pandal each year. The committee always comes up with different themes in coming up with Durga idols too. The Milani puja pandal is situated in Mayur Vihar Phase -1, New Delhi. The pandal is decorated inside a park near Supreme Enclave apartments. Other famous pandals in Mayur Vihar are Kalibari Mayur Vihar Phase-1, Antaranga Durga Puja Samiti Mayur Vihar Phase I Extention (near Samachar Apartments), Purvasha Durga Puja Samity Mayur Vihar Phase I B Block (Anandlok Apartments).
Arambagh Durga Puja Samity
(Pic Courtesy: Pixabay Representational Image)
This one often attracts a large number of devotees—all thanks to its big-budget expense list. The Arambagh Durga Puja Samity spent a whopping crore on its silver jubilee in 2013. It always comes up with interesting new themes, idols and puja pandals. Creatively and aesthetically, this one will really make you wonder with amazement.
(Pic Courtesy: Pixabay Representational Image)
The Kashmiri Gate Durga Puja Samiti is the oldest one in the capital, dating back to 1910. Held in the lawns of Bengali Sr Sec School, Alipur Road, Delhi, the idol of Durga is always in the traditional 'Daaker Saaj' (with one frame idol), her garments are stylish, crimped decoration in silver and gold, with an intricate glittering crown and huge earrings
So, get ready in your traditional best to welcome Maa Durga with full gusto and spirit!