As families celebrating Navaratri gear up for Durga Puja, the common air around is filled with the joy of good winning over evil. Durga Puja marks the victory of Goddess Durga over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura and reestablishes peace and sanctity on earth.
Durga Puja, also called as Sharodotsav is a major festival for Bengalis. The feminine power -Shakti- is celebrated and worshipped during Durga Puja. An elaborate arti is performed on this day, which is then followed by a traditional dance ‘Dhunuchi nritya’ or or ‘the dance with effervescent smoke’.
The event of Durga Puja is of great importance in Kolkata. However, Mumbai, the melting hotpot of almost all Indian cultures and traditions, has various lavish Durga pandals across the city. Thousands of Mumbaikars come together at these pandals to worship the Goddess Durga and wholeheartedly indulge in the festivities.
The best Durga Pandals to visit in Mumbai are:
Hosting Durga Puja for the 24th year, the Lokhandwala Durgotsav has become a prominent hotspot for devotees and visitors hopping different pandals during the season.
Situated right in one of the most affluential and busy parts of Mumbai, the Lokhandwala Durgotsav is frequented by various television celebrities. One of the major attraction of this pandal is Bollywood singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya leading the Maha Aarti.
Balkanji Bari is hosted by the well-known Mukherjee family, accompanied by Bollywood actress Kajol and her mother.
The pandal is flocked by several common people to worship Maa Durga and to watch the women from Bollywood performing religious traditions. The pandal hosts several indoor games throughout the festival to keep the devotees entertained.
Dadar’s Bengal Club is one of the oldest Durga Pandals in Mumbai. It has a legacy of following all customs and traditions of the festival, starting from the morning aarti to the Maha aarti. The Maha Aarti is performed with ‘Dhaakis’ (traditional drummers) from Kolkata.
The pandal is also a hotspot for foodies. The pandal hosts several food stalls selling traditional Bengali sweets and snacks.
Powai Sarvajanin Durgotsav
The Powai Bengali Welfare Association have been organizing the Powai Sarvajanik Durgotsav every year from 2006. The pandal is set up at the famous Hiranandani Gardens in Powai.
The Pandal is known for setting up unique themes and innovative ideas for the festival each year. This pandal also hosts a Dhunuchi dance competition.
The Vashi Durga Pandal is located near the CIDCO Exhibition Center in Vashi. The organizers come up with innovative themes and ways to celebrate Durga Puja.
The Durga idol here is adorned with gold ornaments. Various Bangali artists visit the Vashi Durga Pandal and perform traditional songs and dance.