Being one of the most celebrated festivals in India, with mostly Bengalis in almost every part of the country getting immersed in prayers before the Goddesses Durga, celebrating her victory over ‘Mahishasura’, Durga puja is grandly ceremonialised during the last 4-5 days of Navratri. Though the celebration of the Puja is a major event in Kolkata during those days, but with grandeur of decorations, over-crowded food stalls near gorgeous Pandals and enthusiastic visitors, Delhi becomes mini-Kolkata during these four days of the Puja. This year Delhi will be celebrating the grand Bengali festival from the 7th of October till 11th and when all eyes will remain on searching for the best Puja pandals in the city, here are the list of a few places one must visit during the festive season:
CR Park Kali Mandir
Location: Mandir Complex, Chittaranjan Park
Closest Metro Station: Nehru Place
CR park, known as the mini Bengal in Delhi, has been organising four pandals since at least 37 years. The Durga Puja celebration at the Kali Mandir Chittaranjan Park is one of the most popular visiting spot during the festive season. The puja takes place in a permanent mandap in the Mandir which is decorated amazingly, attracting thousands of people every year.
Co-operative Ground Durga Puja Samity, CR Park
Location: Near K Block, Chittaranjan Park
Closest Metro Station: Nehru Place
Being the first to introduce themed pandals during Durga puja celebrations in Delhi, Co-operative Ground Durga Puja Samity, becomes the special attraction every year because of its sumptuous pandals. Special cultural nights during the five-days celebration, here, also attracts several people to visit the place during these days.
Location: B-2 Block, Safdarjung Enclave
Closest Metro Station: Green Park and AIIMS
Matir Mandir Samiti of Safdarjung Enclave will be celebrating their 50th Durga Puja celebration this year. What makes the Puja celebration at Safdarjung special and different from others is their creativity in selecting a different theme every year and modeling the pandal as a replica of an Indian temple.
Arambagh Durga Puja
Location: Panchkuian Road
Closest Metro Station: Ramakrishna Ashram
The Arambag Durga Puja is one of the big budget Pujas in Delhi. In its silver jubilee in 2013 it is rumored to have spent more than a crore for the Puja celebration. The puja samiti attracts thousands people every year through its grandeur in decoration and big budget pandals.
Milani Durga Puja, Mayur Vihar
Location: Mayur Vihar Phase 1
Closest Metro: Mayur Vihar Phase 1
The Milani Durga puja committee pandals are well known for maintaing a clean and beatifully decorated environment every year. The pandal being placed inside a park near the Supreme Enclave apartments makes it an interesting place to visit during the pujas. Other popular Durga pujas in Mayur Vihar are the Kalibari Durga Puja at Mayur Vihar Phase-1 and the Antaranga Durga Puja.
Location: Alipore Road, opposite Indraprastha College for Women in Civil Lines
Closest Metro Station: Civil Lines (Yellow Line)
The Kashmere Gate Durga Puja, also the oldest Puja of Delhi, started in the year 1910 and maintains the traditional aura and atmosphere at its celebrations akin to the ‘Rajbaris’ of Bengal. The Durga idol is made in a tradition ‘Daaker Saaj’, and her garments are crimped in decorations of silver and gold.
Minto Road Puja Samity
Location: The cross section of Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg and Ahalya Bai Road
Closest Metro Station: Rajiv Chowk
The Mito road Durga Puja samiti is well known for its ‘bonedi'(aristocratic) style of celebrations and the ‘Pushpanjali’ (offering with flowers). Started in 1913, after the Government of India Press shifted from Kolkata to Delhi, the Minto road puja is also famous for its Dhununchi Naach (traditional dance performed during Durga Puja).