Bengal’s Durga Puja- A Hindu festival in full flow in pictures

Kumari puja at Belur Math, headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission. This ritual is usually observed on the seventh day of the festival, with an unmarried girl being worshipped symbolically as Goddess Durga.

Kumari Puja at Belur Math
This is usually observed on the seventh day of the festival and during this ritual, an unmarried girl is worshipped symbolically as goddess Durga.



Devotees at a community Durga Puja praying on the eighth day of the festival. It is marked by a grand evening arati (ritual of invocation of the goddess), which is believed to be the most important day of the festival.
The goddess is offered food and sindoor (vermillion) as part of the preparation of her final journey from the pandal (temporary tent erected for Durga Puja) to the river.
Married women mark each other with vermillion after offering the same to goddess Durga. This means the end of the 10-day festival and the devotees bid adieu to the goddess, who then returns to her abode in the Himalayas.
Women dance during a procession, which is part of the immersion ritual as the goddess makes her way from the temporary structures that are erected all over the city, to the river after the ‘Indoor Khela’.
A traditional Bengali dance being performed at the parade, as part of the Immersion Carnival, which showcases the best statues/idols during each Durga Puja.
Floats carry idols as they make their way to the river, as part of the Immersion Carnival that showcases the best statues. These are accompanied by traditional drums and other musical instruments that electrify the atmosphere.
The famous Dhunuchi Naach (a dance with an earthen incense burner) being performed by a priest on one of the floats on the Immersion Carnival. He has a clarified butter lamp in one hand and a brass bell in the other.
The most amazing sight of the festival is the immersion that happens at Taki, West Bengal. The Ichamati river flows through the town and the river also happens to be the border between India and Bangladesh. On this river, boats from India and Bangladesh carry the Durga idols for immersion, which is celebrated with fireworks, dance and music.
Statues, made from bamboo, straw and clay from the Ganges are immersed back into the river, completing a full circle at the end of the festivities. Before the immersions, there are huge processions from the place of worship to the river. Bearing in mind the effects of river pollution, the statues are removed by crane after the ceremonies.