Over the years Kolkata Durga Puja has evolved as an excellent display of installation art that I can never have enough of. Its not about religious fervor any longer but of homecoming, celebration of creativity the energy and talent for which flows from the supreme. I have been following this ritual for many years but started documenting the beauty of the art on display for those 5 days. Like every year, I visited close to a 100 pandals over 4 days across the city and marvelled at the way the themes took shape and the representation of ideas. It was no mean task to choose my 10 Best Kolkata Durga Puja 2016 but it is just a memory for the future.
The City appeared like an Art Gallery in 2013 and there on in 2014 I identified 25 Best Durga Pujas in my eyes from what I had seen. I followed up to list down the unmissable 25 Kolkata Durga Puja in 2015 but in 2016 have decided to stick to just 10 since almost everything beyond that was good and it would not be fair on my part to favor one over the other.
I would like to give a standing ovation to Ultadanga Pallysree for choosing a theme that allowed them to paint the neighbouring buildings in bright colors. If every pandal chose to take the initiative of brightening the space around perhaps Kolkata would get a beautiful face lift.
In 2017, Durga Puja will be held between 26th September to 30th September
10 Best Kolkata Durga Puja Pandals in 2016
Ultadanga Pallysree – North Kolkata – Colorful art, painted buildings in lane
66 Pally – South Kolkata – Sepia Representation of Kolkata
Tridhara – South Kolkata – Representation of Tribal Lifestyle
Abasar – South Kolkata – Fairy Land with net and paper art
Uday Sangha – South Kolkata – Terracotta and Kantha Craft
Suruchi Sangha – South Kolkata – Bhutan Pagoda and Culture
Jodhpur Park – South Kolkata – Rural Bengal (Kumor Pardar Gorur Gadi)
Bharat Chakra – North Kolkata – Dogra Art
Telengabagan – North Kolkata – Installation art from Dhaka
Nabin Pally – North Kolkata – Kabad Art from Rajasthan
10 Favourite Kolkata Durga Puja Idols in 2016
If I look at it spiritually or through the looking glass of religion then I am in no position to prefer one form of the Goddess over another. When I look at it as an art form, a representation of one person’s interpretation of the many moods of the mother goddess; it becomes easier to prefer a few over the others. It was a very difficult choice to select these since I liked almost all of them. However, these unique presentations of the goddess drawing images of a woman from different walks of life and through the ages left a special impression on my mind. The truth is she is the all powerful ageless one who steers me through my life.
Thakurpukur State Bank Park where Durga is an everyday working class womanBhowanipur Uday Sangha where Durga is how I have always known her to be
Behala Barisha Durga is young, calm but with a firm resolve
Durga in Kashi Bose Lane had a very heartwarming charm about her
When I saw Durga in Behala Friends she appeared like an indulgent teacher
The Durga Idol of 75 Pally in Bhowanipore was an image of girl next door
When I saw Durga in 41 Pally in Haridebpur, she was the young one dressed impeccably with fire in her eyes that could change the world
The idol in Milan Sangha was of a quiet peaceful mother straight out of the literature books who has the power to induce calm
I fell in love with the meditative Durga in Hindustan Park
Durga was an image of beauty, calm, strength, peace, happiness and everything she stands for while she was being worshiped in Behala Notun Dal
- 25 Must See Durga Puja in Kolkata, 2014
- 25 Must See Durga Puja in Kolkata, 2015
- Durga Puja Immersion