Durga Puja Festival 2018 at Delhi with Pandal Hopping

Durga Puja Festival 2018 at Delhi with Pandal Hopping
Just so swiftly, the ten days of Navratri Nine-Night Festival gets over. We were just waiting for it and the atmosphere was vibrant few days ago. Just like each year, the ten days were nothing less than a splash of colors and culture once again. Here is my experience from Durga Puja Festival this year.
As shared in my previous blog on Navratra festival the event started with idol making. This years idol making was again very colorful. Read my previous blog on Idol Making to know more at Ten pictures of Idol Making during Durga Puja

Here’s a picture from this years idol making at Kali Temple at CR Park.

 

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Navratri is usually observed with fasting ritual in most of North India, but East India and West Bengal celebrate Navratri like a food fiesta. There were many food stalls and the nine days feast just began with home cooked festival Anand Mela.

Here is my previous blog on Food I relished during the last year celebration, Nine Street Food we tried during Navratri

Anand Mela at B Block

Soon the Anand Mela arrived and I visited the B Block Puja. We ate delicious home cooked food. Heres the idol at  B Block this year. I love idols and how unique they are every year. This idol has five animal each which depicts the vehicle of Gods.

 

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Notice 5 rat, owl, lion etc. Amazing isn’t it! The pandal was mostly made with the environment-friendly biodegradable material. The crowd gathered and celebrated Anand Mela, where home cooked food was served. Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian both. I have a sweet tooth, so I relished various desserts here.
One interesting fact about the B Block Pandal puja is that the tenth-day ‘visarjan’ or immersion of idol here also takes place in a temporary pond created inside the pandal. This is done in order to save the environment. I am really impressed with how each year the puja is getting more and more environmentally conscious.
Navratri and Durga Puja is the nine-night festival dedicated to Ma Durga and her various forms. She brings depicts victory of Good over evil as she kills the demon Mahisashura. It is for these ten days there’s so much effort put in.
India’s culture and festival can keep you busy and happy all your life. Recently I was asked a question what is a success? Being a banker my mind went towards calculation in terms of assets and wealth, but then I realized that real wealth is to be happy. So my answer to the question was “Success is a happy state of mind”.
I saw so many happy faces in the Puja and here they were all successful in that happy state dancing, praying and celebrating. Bonus to all this they were getting a blessing from the most powerful Goddess Ma Durga.
Coming back to the Delhi Puja, CR Park is the hub of the Puja.
Map
For nine days this place transforms into mini Bengal and one can not even feel they are living in Delhi. The only challenge is to visit during crowded nights and stand in the line for long.
If you have a link you can get passes but mind you, there is a line for passes holder too and it’s a long one!
The best strategy to visit all pandal called “Pandal Hopping“,  is to visit them during morning hours.

 

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Tips

Attending the prayer ceremony is the real idea of attending the Puja then comes anything else so there is morning prayer or arti and evening prayer. Do attend the prayer. If you want to see the night lights and dance night is a better option but then you must reach the area by evening. Dance is done post the prayer or during the prayer on the beats of drums, it is called as dhanuchi dance. If possible learn the simple steps an hop inside the dance area and join the group dancing for Goddess Durga Ma, this is also one form of worship. People dress up well in the Puja and try to wear a traditional outfit in red and white or cream border.

Day Six or Shashti at GK 2 Durgotsav

On this day we visited the B block Puja followed by a celebration at the GK2 Durgotsav Puja. Not only C R Park but amazing puja are performed all over Delhi.

 

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This is Shashti puja at GK2. This is also one of my favorite pandal. The idol is so powerful. The mortals pray to the Goddess to bless. Mother Goddess has arrived to bless us all. Welcome MA Durga!

Day seven or Maha Saptami at Mela Ground, The Pocket 40, J Block

On this day I visited the Mela GroundPuja. This is one of the biggest Puja in CR Park and is done with detailed rituals. It is one of my favorite Puja too. This time the idol here has won the best idol award, Do you see those crying faces of trees, that’s to create awareness on saving the trees.  Yes, there is competition all across Delhi on best Pandal, best Idol, best food served etc. Inside the pandals too, there are drawing, dance, cooking competition. The evening is filled with concerts, music and dance performance. Like each year this was a great place to be.

 

 

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Another Puja we attended at The Pocket 40 Navapalli Puja
This community Puj got appreciated for allowing everyone to attend the Puaj symbolizing the quality for all. Day 7 or Saptami is an important day at Navratri-nine-nights-festival-India. We were lucky to have visited this new pandal and also attend the Maha Saptami Arti or prayer. The sound of drums/dhaks was surreal. Goddess is blessing us all. Notice the beautiful idol in a golden hue.

 

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We then went to J Block. The idol here was grand a so was the celebration. The colors here were amazing. The stalls were vivid.  The prayer was spiritual. That just made my Ashtami perfect.

 

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Day eight or Ashtami at D Block E Block and GK

 I was ready to see some major celebration and prayers as this is one of the biggest days of the Puja. I was dressed in a white sari with a red border. I wore bangles of the same color and reached the Puja at B Block.
We also saw block puja at The D Block E Block GK 2 Market
The main pandal was too crowded so we decided to explore the smaller pujas happening in each block.

 

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This is puja idol from D bock, E block, and GK2 M Block. There are many pujas happening in this area and I have not seen such high scale celebration anywhere else in north India. That’s why C R Park is called as mini Bengal.

Day Navmi or Navmi at GK2 and Kali Mandir

 

I visited my another favorite the GK2 Puja which is called as Durgotsav GK2. The prayer ceremony here will leave you to spellbound. It’s perfect and enchanting. I felt truly blessed and walked towards the J Block. I could not enter the J block pandal despite having the pass because the queue for the pass was long too. But we had many options as in the entire area thousands of people were walking and the mood was festive.

 

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During the day we reached Kali Mandir/ Temple for the Prasad. We saw Havan and Puja.

We relished the Prasad of special Veg Thali which was from the Kali Mandir / Temple.

 

 

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Being the last day of the Puja, I walked towards the Kali Mandir in the night around 10 pm. For the next 2 hours, I loved the atmosphere around and inside the Kali Mandir. Around 12 I ate “Golgappas” and it was served by a known driver. Yes, the driver, hawkers, vegetable vendor all put up a stall here and sell food items.  In a happy state of mind, I walked back home.

The tenth day or Dashmi at Mela Ground

 

On Dashmi the day of visarjan I was thrilled to attend the sindoor khela. Here everyone celebrates the Sindoor Khela by putting red vermilion on each other’s faces and bangles. Everyone dance is joy and wishes each other happy tenth day or ‘Shubho Bijoya’.I was so lucky to attend this event today and pray to the idols with flower vermilion beetle nut sweets etc. I purchased a plate and items for puja and walked towards the idols. I prayed to the Goddess to bless and also come back soon next year.

 

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In a joyous environment, After the sindoor khela with the lady joyous ladies, it was time to say goodbye to Ma Durga. She has visited and blessed us all and will come back next year very soon. After this event, the idol is immersed in water depicting farewell to the Goddess Durga. Also follows the dip in energy levels of each participant after celebrating the Navratri-nine-nights-festival-India in full energy. But there’s a rise in positivity as each participant feels truly blessed.

Aashe Bochor Aabar Hobe
Aasche-Next
Bochor- Year
Aabar- Repeat / again
Hobe – Will happen
Goodbye Durga Puja 2018. We will wait for next year celebration now. It’s happening again soon!

Heres a Mini Movie from all of the ten days celebration!

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Durga Puja Festival 2018 at Delhi with Pandal Hopping

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