For many, Durga Puja is synonymous to Kolkata. However, if I were to associate one place to this festival, it would always be Shillong. Barring seven years, I’ve spent every Durga Puja at home in Shillong.

Last year was my first Pujo in Kolkata in my adult life. And this year, would be my second here.

I spent all of the Pujo days in my neighbourhood in Salt Lake. Here every block had its own pandal. This increased my chances of ‘pandal hopping’ unbelievably! And so the days I wasn’t working, I stepped out and found a new one at every turn.

Food is another aspect without which Pujo is incomplete. Feasting on all types of Bengali delicacies (and unlimited street food) is a must. I remember gobbling up puchkas and egg rolls every day. Needless to say that sweets are found in copious amount everywhere.

Even though these photos don’t illustrate half of the madness in Kolkata during Pujo, this was how my short visits around Salt Lake looked like. And thanks to the tolerable crowds, I’m looking forward to it again this year.

Read: Photo Story: Walking Through the Heart of Kolkata

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One of my favourite idols.
Sherawali, on the entrance of one of the pandals.
Sherawali, at the entrance of one of the pandals.
The idol resting within a structure replicating Nepal's Bhaktapur Durbar Square.
The idol resting within a structure replicating Nepal’s Bhaktapur Durbar Square.
The seamless use of camera photography.
The seamless use of camera photography.
Offerings to the Goddess.
Offerings to the Goddess.
Bahai Temple in Kolkata.
Bahai Temple in Kolkata.
Srimonto Das in GD Block, making me a delicious egg roll.
Srimonto Das in GD Block, making me a delicious egg roll.
The sound of dhaak fills me with nostalgia.
The sound of dhaak fills me with nostalgia.
The last day before the Goddess leaves.
The last day before the Goddess leaves.
Women climbing over rickety ladders while bidding farewell to Goddess Durga.
Women climbing over rickety ladders while bidding farewell to Goddess Durga.
Sindoor Khela.
Sindoor Khela.

Read: Top 5 Cocktails Bars in Kolkata 

Which is your favourite city for Durga Puja?

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Amrita Das

Amrita is a freelance travel writer and professional travel blogger. She has been contributing to some of the top publications in India and internationally. She propagates female solo travel and shares her experiences from off-beat, culture and adventure travel through her writing.

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4 thoughts on “Photo Story: My First Durga Puja in Kolkata

    1. It is a madhouse during Pujo. But it’s one of those must-see in certain destinations events :)

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