It’s that time of the year when the heart of the bong gear up for their biggest festival of the year – that is Durga Puja. Well, in Kolkata, pretty much every person is exuberant about it and just can’t keep calm for the homecoming of goddesses Durga. Every nook and corner is beautified with lights and colours with great passion and love. The city of joy becomes the city of aesthetics. It is definitely more than just a festival, it’s the celebration of life, good spirit and togetherness. So, let’s talk a bit more about how Kolkata prior to Durga Puja is like.

It won’t be entirely an exaggeration to say that Bengalis world over spend a significant amount of their time planning and deciding what to do during the Durga pujas. From shopping outfits to the places to dine out, everything’s being decided beforehand. The shopper’s paradise, Newmarket (Esplanade),  Gariahat and Hatibagan are always brimming with pedestrians carrying huge shopping bags. Every face that you will come across is glowing with the excitement and can feel the pulse of the city.

The morning begins with the luscious smell of shiuli phool (night jasmine) and the gorgeous blue and partly cloudy sky with the sun rays, that are sweet enough to soothe you and altogether gives you major pujo pujo vibes.  With every passing day, the city gets more alive and fresh with the aura of the festival. You will also hear the beats of dhak (musical instrument) walking down the lanes and the by-lanes, especially in north Kolkata. The city reverberates with beats of dhak and echoes with the conch shells, which is no less than a divine feeling.

Durga puja becomes an expression of the city itself. It is almost that the city bursts into laughter during these few days. So, prior to the pujas, the air is absolutely thick with a feeling one gets just before the starting, the unravelling of something huge- the feeling you get just before reaching the peak of a much-awaited climax.  Therefore, if you haven’t visited Kolkata during the Durga Puja yet, then it’s the time you should come and get carried away with the vibes.

Nothing is complete without good food, here are my top five favourite cafes in Kolkata which will definitely give utmost joy. 

West Bengal Tourism arranges for Sharadotsav, visit the official WB tourism site now. 

May you all have a great shopping and a great Durga Puja 🙂

Picture Credit: Anirban Manna

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