Bengali Community at Delhi's Chitranjan Park Changes its to Mini Bengal during Nine days of Navratri

August 28, 2014 | P. Shenoy

Delhi, the capital city of India is usually inhabited by settlers of North Indian States. But there is one place which is starkly different in cultural and heritage aspects which is called as Chitranjan Park. This place is occupied by settlers from West Bengal and one gets to see the rich historical heritage of Bengal culture.

The Bengali community gets set for the grandest festival of the year and one gets to witness the Mini Bengal in Chitranjan park (popularly called as CR Park) during the Durga Pooja, the nine day festival celebrated to signify the nine forms of Goddess Parvathi. The nine-day festival ends on ninth day with Visarjan (immersion) of Durga idol in any water body. One has to set aside over 3-hour time to experience the whole of festival celebrations. Eating traditional Bengali foods, shooting the pictures of artisans making Durga Idols, unique shopping experience are some of the activities to explore during the visit to Mini Bengal in Delhi. Apparently, there are many deviations in modern style of celebrations as compare dot the early procedural celebrations in Bengal. In the evening, Goddess Durga is worshipped by offering flowers, saree, Panchaamrit and other sweets. The ladies thereafter perform the traditional dance to signify the arrival of Goddess to earth along with her Children Ganesha and Karthikeyan. It is believed that Goddess Parvathi after her victory over Demon Bull (Mahishasur) took a break from heavenly abode of Lord Shiva and came to earth on this very day.

The big open grounds is occupied with Pandals (huge tents) housing the shopping articles/eateries by different sellers. The guides are also available who take the guests around to explain the history of Durga Puja. The idol makers set up their temporary residence near the Shiva temple to make the idol ready for pooja. It is believed that Lord Rama worshipped Goddess Durga before He started attack on Demon King Ravana. One gets to see flea markets usually seen in Kolkata in Delhi also during second week of October every year at CR Park.

The breakfast is served in traditionally packed boxes full of Radha ballavi (stuffed puris with curries of blackgram) and a couple of side dishes. The shops offer the traditional pooja attire, cotton sarees in various colors and the most preferred done is white saree with colorful red or green borders. The men prefer wearing a turban and dhoti during pooja. The lunch includes mouth watering Bengali dishes apart from Rosogulla (sweet dish).


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