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5 Best Things to Do in Kolkata during Durga Puja in 2023


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5 Best Things to Do in Kolkata during Durga Puja in 2023

25 Oct, 23


5 Best Things to Do in Kolkata during Durga Puja in 2023

Durga Puja in Kolkata is a lively festival that turns the city into a cultural extravaganza worth seeing. As we approach Durga Puja 2023, the city's excitement and preparations are at their peak.

This article discusses the top things to do in Kolkata during Durga Puja. It includes cultural experiences, visiting pandals, trying local food, and participating in immersive traditions. These activities make this festival in Kolkata truly special.

People celebrate Durga Puja for five days, starting from 20th October. So, let’s discuss which are some of the things you can enjoy in Kolkata.

Things to Do in Kolkata During Durga Puja


Durga Puja, Kolkata


Get ready to experience Kolkata’s festive vibes at its best. This year, plan a trip to the city and attend some of the best Durga Puja Pandal in Kolkata. Try the local cuisine, participate in the rituals, and get a wholesome experience with your family.


1. Pandal Hopping

Durga Puja in Kolkata is synonymous with pandal hopping. The city has many pandals, each more intricate and artistic than the last.

These temporary structures house elaborately crafted idols of the goddess Durga, along with her children. From traditional to contemporary themes, each pandal showcases the creativity and devotion of the organisers. They plan something unique to captivate the attendees and show their devotion to Maa Durga.

Pandal hopping shows different art styles, from myths and legends to social problems and worldwide trends. Some of the famous Durga Puja pandals of Kolkata are Kumartuli Park Pandal and Gariahat Durga Puja Pandal.


2. Decking Up in Your Traditional Best

Kolkata takes its fashion seriously during Durga Puja. This is the perfect time to embrace traditional attire.

For the ladies, deck up in beautiful sarees, especially the traditional Bengali tant and Baluchari sarees. Adorn yourself with traditional jewellery, such as Jhumkas and bangles, and apply intricate mehendi designs. Men can choose to wear dhotis, a kurta, and a dhoti. Traditional attire adds to the festive spirit and allows you to immerse yourself fully in the celebration.


3. Try Delicious Local Foods

People know Kolkata for its delectable street food. During Durga Puja, the city turns into a culinary paradise. While pandal hopping, don't miss out on mouth-watering street snacks like Phuchka (Pani Puri), Kathi Rolls, and the famous Kheer Kadam.

Traditional Bengali cuisine is also a must-try during Durga Puja. You can try dishes like Macher Jhol, Shorshe Ilish, and sweets like Rasgulla, Sandesh, and Mishti Doi. The food stalls near pandals are a foodie's dream come true, offering a taste of authentic Bengali flavours.

4. Indulge in Various Cultural Activities

Durga Puja is not just about idol worship. It is a celebration of culture, art, and music. Many cultural programs and performances take place across the city during the festival.

You can enjoy traditional dance forms like Dhunuchi Naach. It is a captivating dance with an incense burner and mesmerising Rabindra Sangeet concerts. You can also catch the traditional dhak performances that add a rhythmic element to the festivities.

5. Attending The Immersion Ceremony

People mark the culmination of Durga Puja by immersing the idol in the river. Witnessing this ceremony at Babughat or Princep Ghat is a priceless experience. The procession to the river, with traditional music and dance, creates a joyful atmosphere. The sight of immersing the beautifully adorned idols is both poignant and joyous.

6. Attend the Kola Bou Bath

This ritual involves the symbolic cleansing of the banana tree used in the Durga Puja. It is a unique cultural experience that connects you with the traditions and rituals of the festival.

The preparation and execution of the Kola Bou Bath involve meticulous care and tradition. The red-bordered white saree usually drapes the banana tree, symbolising the bride.

A designated priest or an elderly female family member conducts the ritual. People use water from the holy Ganges River to bathe the tree, emphasizing the sacredness of the act. The goddess blesses this water, and we sprinkle it around the house to purify the surroundings.

7. Experience a Traditional Bonedi Bari Puja

Kolkata's old aristocratic families, known as 'Bonedi Bari, ' host their Durga Puja with unparalleled magnificence. These families have a long history in the city, and their Durga Puja celebrations are traditional. The significance of Bonedi Bari Puja lies in its preservation of the historical and cultural heritage of Kolkata. Visiting one of these pujas offers a glimpse into the city's historical and cultural heritage.

These traditional puja celebrations are unique in several ways:

  1. Bonedi families have been organizing Durga Puja for years, passing down rituals and customs through generations. Their pujas show Kolkata's past customs and traditions, revealing its historical and cultural roots.
  2. Traditional Rituals: Bonedi Bari Pujas adhere to age-old rituals and practices. People often consider the idols traditional, and they conduct the rituals with great precision. This glimpse shows how people celebrated Durga Puja in the past.
  3. Exquisite Decorations: The Bonedi families adorn the pandals and homes with exquisite decorations. They often feature antique items, family heirlooms, and classic art forms. These create an atmosphere of nostalgia and opulence.
  4. Cultural Heritage: The cultural performances during Bonedi Bari Puja are distinctive. They include traditional dance forms, classical music, and recitations of literary works, preserving and promoting classical art forms.
  5. Social Gatherings: The puja is often an intimate affair, bringing together family members and close friends. This creates a sense of togetherness and community bonding.

When visiting Bengali City, make sure to visit the famous Durga Puja pandals in Kolkata. This will allow you to witness one of India's most beautiful traditions.

Places To Visit in Kolkata During Durga Puja

Are you searching for the best places to visit in Kolkata during Durga Puja? During this time, beautiful decorations, heartwarming music, and a diverse atmosphere light up the city streets. Several event options to attend in Kolkata during Durga Puja exist. Here are some of them

  • Santosh Mitra Square: People know Santosh Mitra Square for its innovative and artistic pandals. The organisers here often choose thought-provoking themes that reflect social issues, cultural heritage, or environmental concerns. The pandal decorates beautifully and lights up well, creating a captivating ambience. Visitors can enjoy cultural performances and experience the creativity that goes into each year's theme.
  • Bagbazar: Bagbazar is one of the oldest and most traditional places to celebrate Durga Puja in Kolkata. The Bagbazar Sarbojonin Durgotsav has a rich history dating back to 1919. The puja here adheres to age-old rituals and customs. This maintains the traditional essence of the festival. People worship the idol with immense devotion, and you can witness various ceremonies and cultural programs.
  • College Square: College Square is famous for its stunning lighting displays and artistic pandals. The area around College Square transforms into a cultural hub during the festival. Numerous stalls sell local delicacies, handicrafts, and traditional items. The ceremony at College Square, where people take idols to the Hooghly River, is a big event.
  • Hindustan Park: Hindustan Park is in South Kolkata. People know this place for its contemporary and innovative approach to Durga Puja. The pandals have modern themes and abstract art, giving visitors a unique experience that combines tradition and modernity. The atmosphere at Hindustan Park is lively, with cultural performances, food stalls, and art installations.
  • Hindustan Club: Another popular location for Durga Puja in South Kolkata is the Hindustan Club. This place is renowned for its spectacular lighting arrangements and immersive decorations. The pandal here is often a sight, with intricate designs and themes that captivate visitors. The club also hosts cultural events and competitions, adding to the festive spirit.

Visit these well-organised events in Kolkata during Navratri and immerse in one of the sought-after festivals.

Significance of Durga Puja in Kolkata

Durga Puja is important in Kolkata because it is part of the city's culture, religion, and history. It is a celebration that holds immense importance and plays a pivotal role in the lives of the people of Kolkata. Here are several aspects that underline the significance of Durga Puja in Kolkata.

  • Religious Significance: Durga Puja is primarily a Hindu festival dedicated to Goddess Durga, the embodiment of divine feminine power. The festival celebrates the triumph of good over evil. It commemorates the victory of Goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasura. People invoke the goddess to rid the world of evil forces, and they see her arrival as a symbol of protection and blessings.
  • Cultural Show: Durga Puja in Kolkata is not just a religious festival; it's a grand cultural spectacle. During this time, the city transforms into an open-air art gallery. There are many beautifully made Pandals with goddess idols and people celebrating enthusiastically. These pandals showcase a remarkable fusion of tradition and contemporary art. This makes them one of the largest public art exhibitions in the world.
  • Kolkata has celebrated Durgotsav for centuries, and it holds a rich historical legacy. The first recorded Durga Puja in Kolkata dates back to the late 16th century. The Sabarna Roy Choudhury family of Barisha organized it at the time. Over the years, the festival has evolved and grown, reflecting the changing social and cultural dynamics of the city.
  • Community Bonding: Durga Puja is a time when the entire community celebrates. People form organising committees, known as "puja committees" or "Parar Pujo." During this time, people from different backgrounds collaborate to create a memorable celebration. This fosters a sense of unity, camaraderie, and social bonding among the locals.
  • Economic Impact: This festival has a significant economic impact on the city. The festival generates employment opportunities. This is particularly true in art, decoration, idol-making, and event management. It helps the local economy when businesses like restaurants, stores, and gift shops do well during the holidays.
  • Tourism: Kolkata sees a substantial influx of tourists during Navratri. People from India and other countries visit to see the festival's grandness and special cultural features. This tourism contributes to the city's revenue and promotes cultural exchange. Tourists can rent a car in Kolkata to experience the festival and attend various events with their families.
  • Artistic Expression: Durga Puja offers a platform for artists and artisans to showcase their creativity. The idols, decorations, and performances during the festival show the artistic and creative skills of the people of Kolkata.
  • Durga Puja is a happy time with celebrations and joy, not just a religious or cultural event. The city comes alive with music, dance, food stalls, and colourful processions. The scent of incense, the rhythm of traditional drums, and the sound of cultural performances fill the air.


Durga Puja in Kolkata is a celebration like no other. The city comes alive with rich colours, artistic expressions, mouth-watering food, and unwavering devotion to the goddess Durga. The experiences listed here are just a glimpse of what you can enjoy during this magnificent festival in 2023.

You can have an unforgettable Durga Puja celebration in Kolkata. You can see different pandals, wear traditional clothes, try local food, join cultural activities, and watch the immersion ceremony. So, rent a bike in Kolkata and witness the grand celebrations.



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