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Famous India > Festivals in India > Durga Puja
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Durga Puja

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Durga Puja is one of the biggest festival of Hindus in India. The festival is celebrated for a period of nine days in the month of Ashwin or Kartik which corresponds to the month of September or October according to the English Calendar. Though the festival is celebrated with faith and enthusiasm all over India there is no parallel to Durga Puja celebrations as seen in the state of West Bengal. For the Bengalis it is their biggest festival and they celebrate it will full pomp and gaiety. Huge and elaborately decorated idols of Goddess Durga are set in magnificent pandals. These are visited with devotion by the Devi bhakts during the festival.

Durga Puja
Durga Puja
Durga Puja
Durga Puja
Durga PujaLegends Behind the Festival :
According to Puranic legend, Durga is believed to be an almighty Goddess who symbolizes the united might of the divine forces (Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh) against the evil and wickedness. Goddess Durga is said to have relieved the earth from the buffalo demon Mahishasur who threatened the Kingdom of Gods in heaven. His slaying by Durga represents victory of the spiritual urge of man against his baser instincts.

A legend from Ramayana says that Lord Rama performed 'Chandi Puja' to invoke blessing of Durga Ma to kill Ravana - his wife Sita's abductor and demon King of Lanka. Pleased with the devotion of Rama Durga Ma divulged the secret because of which Ram was able to kill Ravana and rescue Sita. Death of Ravana by Rama is celebrated as Dussehra or Vijaydashmi.

Rituals of Durga Puja :
Preparations of Durga Puja begins months before the festival as artists engage themselves in creating new and innovative idols of Goddess Durga. Massive and artistic pandals are erected which are thronged by devotees and visitors on all the nine days of the festival. Greater rush can be seen on the seventh, eighth and ninth day as before that the face of the goddess remain covered. This is because for six days the Goddess is worshiped as Kumari or young girl. She comes in her real form on Sashti, sixth day after the new moon. Thus the greatest fervour for the festival can be seen on Mahasaptami (the seventh day of the moon), Mahastami (eighth day) and Mahanavami (ninth day). On Dashami, the tenth day, the idols are carried in procession to the local river or pond for visarjan (immersion).

Durga Puja Celebrations :
The atmosphere is quite jubilant at the time Durga Puja celebrations. People can be seen wearing bright new clothes and enjoying the festival in the best of spirit. Outside the Devi Pandal there is a fair like scene. Several eating kiosks besides those selling toys and trinkets crop up to adding joy to the festivities. Musical programmes are also organised by several societies for the entertainment of the people.

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