Durga Puja Day 1
Kalparambha, Akal Bodhon
Amantran and Adhivas
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 2019, Durga Puja is going to be celebrated on 4th October, 2019 with the Panchami Puja and will end on 8th October, 2019. 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 Day 1
Kalparambha, Akal Bodhon
Amantran and Adhivas
Durga Puja Day 2
Kalparambha, Akal Bodhon
Amantran and Adhivas
Durga Puja Day 3
Durga Puja Day 4
Durga Puja Day 5
Durga Visarjan, Vijayadashami
Here's how the worship of Goddess Durga came into practice.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Names of Durga||Meaning|
|Durga||One who is inaccessible|
|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|
|Divamalya Vibhooshita||Decorated with garlands|
|Khadgaketaka Dharini||One who holds the sword and shield|
|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|
|Surashreshtta||Supreme of all the celestials|
|Shiva||Lord Shiva’s half|
|Jaya||One who attains victory|
|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|
|Siddhi||One who has achieved success|
|Hri||Holy chant of hymns|
|Santati||One who grants issues|
|Mati||One who’s wise|
|Jyotsana||Radiant like flames|
|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: 13th March, 2019