MobileGIRI at various Durga-Pooja Pandals around Noida, INDIA

On Ashtami, some of us planned to visit various Pooja Pandals. We visited 4 different Durga-Pooja pandals in Sector 62, 61, 26 and 50. This Photo Journey shares some of the mobile clicks from these pandals. So let's check some interesting stuff from these Pooja Pandals...
Above photograph was clicked in Sector 50 pandal, which was most beautiful pandal we visited yesterday.  

Durga Puja includes the worship of Shiva, who is Durga's consort (Durga is an aspect of Goddess Parvati), in addition to Lakshmi, Saraswati with Ganesha and Kartikeya, who are considered to be Durga's children. Please see above photograph and you will notice all of these in the photograph. Worship of mother nature is done, through nine types of plant (called 'Kala Bou'), including a plantain (banana) tree, which represent nine divine forms of Goddess Durga. Modern traditions have come to include the display of decorated pandals and artistically depicted idols (murti) of Durga, exchange of Vijaya greetings and publication of Puja Annuals.

 Durga Puja also referred to as Durgotsava is an annual Hindu festival in South Asia that celebrates worship of the Hindu goddess Durga. It refers to all the six days observed as Mahalaya, Shashthi, Maha Saptami, Maha Ashtami, Maha Navami and Vijayadashami. The dates of Durga Puja celebrations are set according to the traditional Hindu calendar and the fortnight corresponding to the festival is called Devi Paksha ... Devi Paksha is preceded by Mahalaya , the last day of the previous fortnight Pitri Paksha, ‘Fortnight of the Forefathers’, and is ended on Kojagori Lokkhi Puja (‘Worship of Goddess Lakshmi on Kojagori Full Moon Night’).

One of our Bengali friends took us to these places and it was an amazing experience. In all these pandals, there were nice arrangements for entertainment with short performances, music & yummy food stalls. In Sector 26, there were some begali food stalls and it was really great to have Fish rolls & veg snacks. I am not able to recollect right names of the snacks we tried but we really enjoyed most of them.

First we visited Sector-62 Pandal which was near Tot-mall, a small market. Then moved to Sec-61, where we enjoyed some Bengali musical instruments. After a brief round in the pandal and listening to Bengali bands, we moved to Sector-26. At Sector-26 Noida we spent most time and had some Bengali snacks and they were fabulous. Finally moved to Sector 50 Pandal, which was quite intersting with great stuff in snacks. Had some Rabri & Chicken-kababs there...

 Here is a photograph of Sector-62 pandal. It was huge and some great performances were going on there. I have also clicked few pics with my DSLR and will share them soon.

The entire process of creation of the idols (murti) from the collection of clay to the ornamentation is a holy process, supervised by rites and other rituals. On the Hindu date of Akshaya Tritiya when the Ratha Yatra is held, clay for the idols is collected from the banks of a river, preferably the Ganges. There is age-old custom of collecting a handful of soil (punya mati) from the nishiddho pallis of Calcutta, literally ‘forbidden territories’, where sex workers live, and adding it to the clay mixture which goes into the making of the Durga idol. After the required rites, the clay is transported from which the idols are fashioned. An important event is 'Chakkhu Daan', literally donation of the eyes. Starting with Devi Durga, the eyes of the idols are painted on Mahalaya or the first day of the Pujas. Before painting on the eyes, the artisans fast for a day and eat only vegetarian food.

Thanks Roy for taking us to all these places and sharing wonderful information about the customs associated with Durga Pooja.

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