Best Durga Puja Pandals to See in Kolkata

By: Sourav

The most awaited time for fun, merriment, partying, feasts, get-togethers, and grand ceremonies is only 40 days away. You have rightly guessed. It is the Durga Puja festival in West Bengal. Kolkata is the epicenter of this grand festivity. Bengalis and non-Bengalis have already begun listing of Durga Puja pandals 2014 in Kolkata because it is not possible to hop around hundreds of pandals across the city. People from out of West Bengal and from the suburbs list top pandals with the best themes to visit every year. I am sharing some details of top 10 Durga Puja pandals in Kolkata to make listing easy for you.   

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Tarun Sangha, Dum Dum Park

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Dum Dum Park Tarun Sangha in North Kolkata is one of the best Durga Puja organizers in the city. Colorful creativity is the mainstay of their Durga Puja themes every year. Tarun Sangha experiments with themes from the history, mythology and culture of India. The flamboyance of colors, reflected by Dum Dum Park Tarun Sangha Durga Puja pandal, is seen nowhere in Kolkata. Even the idols of Durga goddess are wonderfully crafted to the greatest extent of creativity. No doubt, this North Kolkata Durga Puja pandal is a crowd puller. The “curse of urbanization” was the theme of their Durga Puja 2013.

Lake Town Adhibasi Brinda

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One of the oldest puja committees in Kolkata, Lake Town Adhibasi Brinda is known for their contemporary Durga Puja themes. The theme of their puja pandals is inspired by contemporary issues with society, environment and rural life. The themes that Lake Town Adhibasi Brinda works on every year convey a message to the audience. Durga Puja 2014 will be their 52nd anniversary.

Mohammad Ali Park, College Square  

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Magnificence is the mainstay of Mohammad Ali Park Durga Puja pandal in College Square. Their pandal resembles magnificent architecture in size, grandeur and make. Mohammad Ali Park puja samity models pandals on historic monuments of ancient India and old palatial buildings in north Kolkata. They choose a simple but creative theme for pandal decoration every year, keeping with the age-old Bengali culture. The dazzling illumination of the entire park is a treat to the eye. The Durga puja pandal 2013 was modeled on Thailand’s Nag Temple, and the theme was based on the devastation in Uttarakhand. Their arrangement for Durga puja 2014 is expected to be a grand one.

Ekdalia Evergreen Club

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Ekdalia Evergreen Club puja samity makes one of the simplest yet best Kolkata Durga puja pandals. What holds the attraction of their pandals is the distinguished theme, presented in a creative way. The Ekdalia Evergreen Club puja is mainly known for modeling of pandals on the World Heritage Sites. Traditional Indian temples and monuments continue to inspire the theme of decoration. The traditional Durga idol in all its age-old charm that is distinctly different from modern-day art is the crowd-pulling magnet of the Ekdalia Evergreen Club puja.

Suruchi Sangha, Alipore

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Suruchi Sangha, a sports and cultural club in Alipore, is famous for one of the best Durga puja themes in Kolkata. What makes this South Kolkata based puja committee stand out among the top 10 Durga puja pandals is the uniqueness of themes, drawn from different states of India. Since its foundation in 1954, Suruchi Sangha has been known for cultural extravaganza in the design and decoration of pandals. “Bangla Amar Ma” was their Durga Puja theme in 2013 focusing on the need of environmental awareness for increasing pollution of rivers.

Ahiritola Sarbojanin Durgotsab

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The Ahiritola Sarbojanin Durgotsab committee has been organizing Durpa Puja for 75 years. One of the oldest puja organizers in Kolkata, it is known for the traditional way of Durga Puja celebration in north Kolkata. Their puja pandals and themes are inspired by the extravaganza of traditional Bengali culture. The Ahiritola Sarbojanin puja committee has won several awards in the “Best Dhaki” category till date. Their Durga puja celebration is accompanied by cultural programs for four days.

Maniktala Chaltabagan Lohapatty

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The Maniktala Chaltabagan Lohapatty is listed among the pioneers of Durga Puja celebration in Kolkata. With a bagful of several awards in different categories, this puja committee has been known for its distinguished puja pandals and illustrious themes since the year 1943. Their efforts have been rewarded with prestigious honors in the categories – “Best idol” and “Best Artisan”. The ambience they create inside and outside the Durga puja pandal casts a spell on the audience. Dhunuchi naach and sindoor khela are among the spectacular attractions of the Maniktala Chaltabagan Lohapatty puja.

Singhi Park Sarbojanin Durgatsab  

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It is a heritage Durga puja in South Kolkata. The Singhi Park Sarbojanin Durgatsab committee has carved a niche in the cultural being of Kolkata for its traditional manner of Durga Puja celebration. Their way of celebration in keeping with the age-old tradition is the point of distinction from other pujas in South Kolkata. Lighting from Chandannagore is the main attraction of their Durga Puja pandal every year. The other wonder of the Singhi Park Sarbojanin Durgatsab is traditional ekchala pratima (idol). No matter how innovative Durga Puja themes are across Kolkata, it keeps to its years-old identity.

Mudiali Club Durgotsab, Kalighat

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If Ekdalia Evergreen and Singhi Park clubs are known for their traditional fashion of Durga Puja celebration, the Mudiali Club is famous for its magnificent pandals and grand themes. The club ensures that its Durga puja pandal is as innovative as possible, and the theme is as creative as possible. The club draws inspiration for Durga puja themes from social events, day-to-day life, heritage sites, ancient monuments, crumbling temples and the legends of ancient India, for example a centuries-old temple in a remote corner of Orissa, and a zamindar’s rajbari (palatial building) in rural Bengal.

Kumartuli Park Durgatsab  

Kumartuli is the hub of Durga idol makers and famous for the making of Durga idols in the city. It is one of the oldest localities in North Kolkata. Kumartuli Park Durgatsab Committee presents one of the top Durga Puja pandals and themes, infusing the old world charm and the modern day grandeur of Kolkata. This puja committee draws themes for the styling and decoration of pandals from the traditional culture of India. It is their traditional Durga puja themes that fetch in audience even from the ultra cosmopolitan parts of the city. Kumartuli is easily accessible from Sovabazar Sutanuti. “13 Jyotirlinga” was their Durga Puja theme in 2013.

Hopefully, these Kolkata based puja committees and clubs have already jumped into a fray for the best Durga Puja themes in 2014.

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