Durga puja (Bengali:দূর্গা পূজা, pronounced [ˈd̪ʊrɡaː ˈpuːdʒaː]; (listen: Durga Puja (help·info)),‘Worship of Durga’), also referred to as Durgotsava (Bengali:দুর্গোত্সব, listen: Durgotsava (help·info)), ‘Festival of Durga’) or Sharadotsav [3]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 (Bengali:দেবী পক্ষ, ‘Fortnight of the Goddess’). Devi Paksha is preceded by Mahalaya (Bengali: মহালয়া), 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’).

Pandals and idols inspired by a particular theme have been the hallmark of many community or Sarbajanin Pujas in Kolkata since the 1990s. Puja committees decide on a particular theme, whose elements are incorporated into the pandal and the idols. Popular themes include ancient civilizations like the Egyptians or Incas. Contemporary subjects like the RMS Titanic and Harry Potter have also been the subject in some pandals.

Discover more inspiring photos like this one.

Download the FREE 500px app Open in app