Durga Puja 2017

Durga Mata

About Durga Puja

Durga Puja is widely celebrated in West Bengal and some other parts of India. It is observed every year during late September or early October. This festival is a celebration of the victory of Goddess Durga over the buffalo demon, Mahishasura. In 2017, Durga Puja is going to be celebrated on 26th September, 2017 with the Panchami Puja and will end on 30th September, 2017. The dates of this festival usually coincide with the last 5 days of Navratri, a popular celebration of the Hindus.

The arrival of Goddess Durga on earth is observed as Mahalaya. The actual Durga Puja celebrations start 7 days after Mahalaya which is considered to be the day when Goddess Durga comes to our abode.


Durga Puja Calendar

EventsDayDate
Mahalaya 2017Tuesday19 September 2017
Maha Panchami 2017Monday25 September 2017
Maha Sasthi 2017Tuesday26 September 2017
Maha Saptami 2017Wednesday27 September 2017
Maha Ashtami 2017Thursday28 September 2017
Maha Nabami 2017Friday29 September 2017
Bijaya Dashami 2017Saturday30 September 2017

Durga Puja Dates

Durga Puja Day 1

Shashthi

Bilva Nimantran

Kalparambha, Akal Bodhon
Amantran and Adhivas

1

26th
September 2017
(Tuesday)


Durga Puja Day 2

Saptami

Bilva Nimantran

Kalparambha, Akal Bodhon
Amantran and Adhivas

2

27th
September 2017
(Wednesday)


Durga Puja Day 3

Ashtami

Durga Ashtami

Kumari Puja,
Sandhi Puja

3

28th
September 2017
(Thursday)


Durga Puja Day 4

Navami

Maha Navami

Durga Balidan,
Navami Homa

4

29th
September 2017
(Friday)


Durga Puja Day 5

Dashami

Durga Visarjan, Vijayadashami

Sindoor Utsav

5

30th
September 2017
(Saturday)



History of Durga Puja

Here's how the worship of Goddess Durga came into practice.

Creation of Goddess Durga:

In ancient times, there existed a buffalo demon called Mahishasura who had received a boon from Lord Brahma. According to this boon, no man or deity could kill Mahishasura. Having received blessings from Lord Brahma, Mahishasura started killing people mercilessly and harassing the gods. He was even successful in driving the gods away from their abode, that is, heaven.

To fight the demon and protect themselves as well as people on earth, the gods sought help from Lord Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. The supreme Gods were enraged at the exploits of Mahishasura.Their anger led to fires and thunderbolt. The energy of the fires resulted in the birth of Goddess Durga. She received her ten arms from Lord Vishnu and her legs from Lord Brahma.

Goddess Durga's face developed from the light of Lord Shiva. She received all the weapons to fight Mahishasura from the gods. Armed with these weapons, Goddess Durga defeated Mahishasura and helped the gods return to heaven. Since then Goddess Durga is worshipped by all gods and human beings.


Story of Lord Rama in relation to Durga Puja:

According to Ramayana, Lord Rama worshipped Goddess Durga Puja before he set out for the war against Ravana, the demon king of Lanka. He performed the Puja so that Goddess Durga would shower her blessings and give him the strength to kill Ravana, who had abducted Lord Rama's wife Sita.


Goddess Durga was pleased to see that Lord Rama was ready to offer one of his eyes (which resembled blue lotus) as he could collect only 99 blue lotuses to offer to the deity. She blessed Lord Rama so that he could win the battle which started on Maha Saptami. Lord Rama was finally able to kill Ravana on the 'Sandhikshan'. The 'Sandhikshan' is the crossover period between Ashtami and Navami (the 3rd and 4th days of the Puja). Ravana's cremation took place on Dashami which is the day when Dussehra is celebrated by the Hindus.


Durga Puja Celebrations and Traditions

Durga Puja is the most popular festival of the Bengali community. It involves the worship of Goddess Durga who is considered as the symbol of strength. The festival is widely celebrated in the state of West Bengal in India. However, there are other Indian states which conduct the Puja. Durga Puja celebrations include a variety of traditions, customs, and rituals that set the festive mood for the occasion.

Here's an insight into Durga Puja customs, traditions, and rituals followed on each day of the festival. 

Welcoming Goddess Durga:

  • On Shashti, the first day of Durga Puja, people welcome Goddess Durga by performing a ritual known as 'Pran Prathistha'. This ritual is all about worshipping the goddess to invoke her holy presence into the idols.

  • Unveiling the face of the deity: On the evening of Shashti, the face of the idol is unveiled. This Durga Puja custom is known as 'Bodhon'. It is considered as an occasion when the devotees invite the Goddess for the festivities.

  • A number of ingredients are required to perform this ritual, such as Bel tree, a green coconut with stalk, flowers, four bamboo arrows, and other items.

  • Pre-dawn bath on Maha Saptami: Nine types of plants including a small banana tree are bathed and worshipped during pre-dawn hours of Saptami. This Durga Puja ritual is known as 'Kola Bou Snan' or 'Nabapatrika' in Bengali. 'Kola Bou' refers to the small banana plant that is bathed during this ritual.

Goddess Durga

Rituals Observed During Durga Puja Fast

Durga Puja, one of the famous festivals of the Bengalis, is observed with great religious fervor and enthusiasm in West Bengal and other parts of India. It is also celebrated in some parts of Europe and U.S. by the Bengali community residing there. During Durga Puja and Navratri, a famous festival of the Hindus which coincide with the former, the devotees go for fasting in their efforts to seek the divine blessings of Goddess Durga.

  • Fasting during Durga Puja and Navratri is conducted by people in West Bengal and Northern India.

  • The people perform a fast for around 7 days out of all the 9 days of Navratri.

  • The fast usually ends on Ashtami or Navami. The devotees consume only milk and fruits while observing Durga Puja fast.

  • Some devotees take only one meal on each day of Durga Puja fasting. This ritual is known as 'Ekana'. However, they are not allowed to consume non-vegetarian food and intoxicating items.

  • Some devotees observing the fast prefer sleeping on the floor so as to avoid the comfort of a bed. Men who fast during this festival are not allowed to shave until their fast is over. 

  • There are devotees who sow barley seeds for the time period during which they observe a fast on the occasion of Durga Puja. They prepare a small pot with mud and sow barley seeds in it. The devotees then keep the pot in their puja room. They take special care of the seeds so as to help them grow up to a certain height. These seeds are later on offered to the deity. 

  • A modern trend seen during Durga Puja fast is eating food items like 'vrat ki chat' and 'vrat ki namkeen' sold by stalls in big Indian cities. Sometimes, the devotees offer food to beggars after they end their fast. This is how Durga Puja fast and its rituals are observed.


Temples of Durga

Vaishno Devi

The shrine of Vaishno Devi is one of the widely visited pilgrimage sites of India. The idol of Goddess Durga is placed in a cave in the Trikuta Bhagwati Hill. The shrine is situated at a height of 5,300 ft. in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is located 61 km away from Jammu. However, the last 13 km of the way to Vaishno Devi shrine needs to be covered on foot. This holy shrine is considered to be unique because this is where you'll find idols of Goddess Durga in three forms - Maha Kali, Maha Lakshmi, and Maha Saraswati, which have different attributes.

Vaishno Devi

Chattarpur Mandir

The Chattarpur temples are one of the finest temples of Durga in India. Located 4 km distant from Qutb Minar in Delhi, this temple is made of white marble. The main temple dedicated to Goddess Durga has been constructed in the South Indian style.The temples of Chattarpur cover a wide area of land. There are beautiful gardens in and around the temples. Although people visit these temples all around the year, the crowd gets larger during the Navratri festival. This is when devotees come from distant places to worship Goddess Durga.

Chattarpur Mandir

Kamakhya Temple

Located in Guwahati, the Kamakhya Temple is among the 108 shakti piths of Goddess Durga. In this temple, Goddess Durga is worshipped in the form of Mother Goddess Kamakhya. She is considered to be the essence of female energy.

The Kamakhya Temple was reconstructed in 1665 because it was ruined through Muslim invasion. In this temple, Durga Puja is performed every year during Navratri. It is celebrated for 3 days, and it attracts devotees from all around India. Aside from Durga Puja, the festival of Ambavuchi (fertility festival) is celebrated here. During this time, the Goddess is believed to be in her menstrual period.

It is said that Goddess Kamakhya came into being when the genitalia of Sati fell on the ground while her husband, Lord Shiva was carrying her corpse. The temple stands as a natural cave within which there is a dark chamber where the idol of the Goddess is placed.

Kamakhya Temple

Durgiana Temple

The Durgiana Temple stands outside the Lohgarh Gate in Amritsar, Punjab. This is one of the temples of Durga that not only reflect the traditional architecture of Hindu temples but also the art and design of the Golden Temple in Amritsar. The Durgiana Temple is at a few minutes distance from the Golden Temple. It is also known as the Lakshmi Narayan Temple. Aside from the idol of Durga, the deities Lakshmi and Narayan are also worshipped in this temple.

Durgiana Temple

Dakshineswar Kali Temple:

This temple was built in 1847 along the Vivekananda Bridge in Kolkata. It was Rani Rashmoni who had this temple constructed. It is well-known for its association with Shri Ramkrishna Paramhans who had attained spiritual vision there. The Dakshineswar Kali Temple is surrounded by temples where Lord Shiva is worshipped. It is one of the famous pilgrimages where devotees come in large numbers to offer their prayers to Goddess Kali, a form of Durga.

Dakshineswar Kali Temple

Durga Temple, Varanasi:

This is one of the Durga temples in India that was built in the 18th century. This temple displays the Nagara style of architecture. It is built with a multi-tiered shikhara which includes small spires constructed in layers, one above the other.

The Durga Temple sits on the Durga Kund. The Durga Kund is a large rectangle-shaped tank situated on the southern part of Varanasi. According to popular belief, the idol of Durga at this temple had not been established by any human being. The devotees believe that the idol is a self-manifestation of Goddess Durga.

Durga Temple, Varanasi

Popular Names of Durga

Names of Durga Meaning
Durga One who is inaccessible
Devi The deity
Tribhuvaneshwari Ruler of the three worlds
Yashodagarba Sambhoota One who’s emerged from Yashoda’s womb
Narayanavarapriya Fond of Narayana’s blessings
Nandagopakulajata Daughter of Nandagopa Race
Mangalya Holy and auspicious
Kulavardhini One who develops the race
Kamsavidravanakari One who threatened Kamsa
Asurakshayamkari One who reduces the number of demons
Shilathata Vinikshibda One who’s slammed at birth by Kamsa
Akashagamini One who flew in the sky
Vasudevabhagini Vasudeva’s sister
Divamalya Vibhooshita Decorated with garlands
Divyambaradhara Beautifully dressed
Khadgaketaka Dharini One who holds the sword and shield
Shiva Auspicious
Papadharini One who bears others’ sins
Varada One who offers blessings and boons
Krishna Sister of Lord Krishna
Kumari A young girl
Brahmacharini Seeker of Brahman
Balarkasadrushakara One who’s like the rising sun
Purnachandra Nibhanana As beautiful as the full moon
Chaturbhuja Having four arms
Chaturvakttra One who has four faces
Peenashroni Payodhara Large Bosomed
Mayoora Pichhavalaya One who wears peacock-feathered bangles
Keyurangadadharini Wearing armlets and bracelets
Krishnachhavisama Like Lord Krishna’s radiance
Sankarshanasamanana Equal to Sankarshana
Indradhwaja Samabahudharini Having shoulders like the flag of Lord Indra
Patradharini Holder of the vessel
Pankajadharini Holder of the lotus
Kanttadhara One who holds Shiva’s neck
Pashadharini Holder of rope
Dhanurdharini Holder of bow
Mahachakradharini One who holds chakra
Vividayudhadhara One who bears various weapons
Kundalapurnakarna Vibhooshita One who wears earrings covering the ears
Chandravispardimukha Gorgeous like the moon
Mukutavirajita Adorned with a crown
Shikhipichhadwaja Virajita Having peacock-feathered flag
Kaumaravratadhara One who observes fasts just as young girls do
Tridivabhavayirtri Goddess of three worlds
Tridashapujita Goddess of the celestials
Trailokyarakshini One who protects the three worlds
Mahishasuranashini One who has destroyed Mahishasura
Prasanna Cheerful
Surashreshtta Supreme of all the celestials
Shiva Lord Shiva’s half
Jaya One who attains victory
Vijaya Conqueror
Sangramajayaprada One who grants victory in war
Kamacharini One who acts on one's own accord
Papaharini One who destroys sins
Kirti One who is famous
Shree Auspicious
Dhruti Valiant
Siddhi One who has achieved success
Hri Holy chant of hymns
Vidhya Wisdom
Santati One who grants issues
Mati One who’s wise
Sandhya Twilight
Ratri Night
Prabha Dawn
Nitya Eternal
Jyotsana Radiant like flames
Kantha Radiant
Khama One who is the embodiment of forgiveness
Daya One who’s compassionate
Bandhananashini One who’s detached from attachments
Mohanashini One who ruins all desires
Putrapamrityunashini Sustainer of son's untimely death
Dhanakshayanashini Controller of wealth decrease
Vyadhinashini One who eliminates ailments
Mruthyunashini Destroyer of death
Bhayanashini One who eliminates all fears
Padmapatrakshi Having eyes like lotus leaf
Sharanya One who provides refuge
Bhaktavatsala Lover of devotees
Saukhyada Bestower of well-being
Arogyada One who grants good health
Rajyada Bestower of kingdom
Ayurda One who grants longevity
Vapurda One who grants good looks
Sutada One who grants issues
Pravasarakshika Protector of travelers
Nagararakshika One who protects the land
Sangramarakshika Protector of wars
Shatrusankata Rakshika One who protects from distress caused by foes
Ataviduhkhandhara Rakshika Protector from ignorance and distress
Sagaragirirakshika Protector of seas and hills
Sarvakaryasiddhi Pradayika One who grants success in every attempt

Last Updated: 30th August, 2017

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