Durga Puja 2018: 6 pandals you must visit in Mumbai
It is that time of the year again when Bengal ushers in the 10-armed-goddess into their hearts and homes. Though the festivities in Kolkata turn into on a grand, larger-than-life experience, Bengalis in Mumbai are not too far behind in recreating the magic of Durga Puja.
While the pujas in Mumbai may not be as large as that of Kolkata, it manages to capture the magnificence and the bliss of the festival with equal fervour.
Here’s taking a look at 6 of the top pujas in Mumbai you must visit.
Chembur Durga Puja Association
Entering its 64th year, the puja sees over 2 lakh devotes each year. Known for its traditional bhog, the pandal also organises cultural activities for the five days of festivities. Popular for the lip-smacking delicacies being sold at the premises, this year will see performances by popular Bengali band Dashmik and singers Arpita and Ayan.
When: October 15 to 19 and 24
Where: Chembur High School Ground, Swami Vivekananda Chowk, Chembur East
Bombay Durga Bari Samiti
Entering its 88th year, this is one of the oldest Durga Pujas in Mumbai. This year the Samiti’s theme for Durga Puja is ‘Mela’ i.e. fair.
Mela is the Sanskrit word for a gathering of people for an occasion. In this case, it signifies the congregation of different communities from all walks of life to celebrate Durga Puja, the victory of good over evil.
The Samiti’s Durga Puja at Tejpal Hall and Auditorium will be a festive affair where the fun filled atmosphere will encourage even the elderly to revisit their childhood memories and enjoy themselves to the fullest.
The ‘Protima’ i.e. idol, will be dressed in a traditional hand woven saree and adorned with handcrafted silver jewellery.
When: October 15 to 19
Where: Tejpal Hall and Auditorium, Grant Road
Powai Bengali Welfare Association
Known for its theme and idol. Initially started as an endeavour by the Powai Bengali Welfare Association (PBWA), the puja has, over the years, established itself as one of the must go-to places during Durga puja. The USP of the puja is its innovative theme and each year, they recreate an architectural heritage of India.
When: October 14 to 19
Where: Durga Puja Ground, Next to BEST Depot, Hiranandani Gardens, Near Hiranandani Bus Stand, Powai
North Bombay Sarbojanin Durga
Known for its celeb-spotting, North Bombay Sarbojanin Durga Puja was started in 1947 by Paddamshri Shasdhar Mukerji along with 26 like-minded friends. Interestingly, the idol, which they specially flow in from Kolkata is possibly the biggest eco-friendly Durga idol in the city.
When: October 15 to 19
Where: Golden Tobacco Ground, Tobacco House, Indira Nagar, SV Road, Vile Parke West
Ramakrishna Math & Mission Puja
Known for its heritage and the Kumari Puja, the venue is popular for maintaining traditions. The age-old custom of Kumari Puja was started by Swami Vivekananda, where a young girl is worshipped as Goddess symbolising the power that regulates the creation, stability, and destruction of the Earth.
When: October 14 to 18
Where: Ramakrishna Mission Marg, 12th Road, Khar West
Vikhroli Bengali Association Durga Puja
Entering its 53rd year, the Vikhroli Bengali Association try to vary their themes every year. This year, however, they have decided to go back to their roots and subsequently, they have gone the traditional way with the ‘Daker Shaaj’ in which the goddess is adorned with a complete white decor made of styrofoam base. This decoration has been handcrafted in the rural areas of West Bengal. The puja organisers also have an open lunch service for any and all who wish to have bhog prasad on the days of Puja.
When: 14th to 19th October
Where: Tagore Nagar Association Premises, Vikhroli East
Other places that one may visit in Mumbai include Lokhandwala and Mulund to savour the flavour of Durga Puja.