Durga Puja is Bengali’s biggest festival when Kolkata gets more colorful lights and decorations. Various theme pandals are made to attract more visitors, centering worship goddess Durga and her children (Ganesh, Karthik, Lakshmi, and Saraswati). Millions of people hop into pandals dodging crowds, break their diet habits to eat anything and wear the current trend. People fascinate about award-winning pandals, idols, even ambiance. We start to do reverse countdowns to feel every inch of happiness. In the future, we will discuss the mythological significance of Durga Puja.
Almost every state of India even many foreign cities also witness Durga puja. This emotion, rituals, and happiness bind everyone tight siding their religion and caste.
From Indian economical perspective, Durga puja holds a very important role. Bengalis spend close to 30% – 50% of their annual budget, be it in food, transportation, shopping even few people like to travel to places during this holidays. Almost every brand put advertisements, stalls to promote and sell their products. Nowadays, Durga puja is not just worshiping god but a huge platform for business and every year this perspective evolving rapidly. But for Bengalis Durga puja is something that can’t be explained in words, pure happiness.
In this very article, we will discuss Durga Puja 2019 Dates, Transportation Options & Parking, Shopping & Joy Rides, Foods, Safety rules we should follow.
Kolkata Durga Puja 2019 Dates
Mahalaya (মহালয়া) – 28th September 2019
Panchami (পঞ্চমী) – 3rd October 2019
Sasthi (ষষ্ঠী) – 4th October 2019
Saptami (সপ্তমী) – 5th October 2019
Ashtami (অষ্টমী) – 6th October 2019 | Sandhi Puja (সন্ধি পূজা) – 01:57 PM to 02:45 PM
Nabami (নবমী) – 7th October 2019
Dasami (দশমী) – 8th October 2019
Transportation options & Parking
Although Kolkata has every kind of transportation from budget to luxury and they became more frequent during puja days but the only problem one can face is the price hike. Yes, almost every Auto routes and cab services like Ola, Uber standardize their rates at 1.5X to 2X minimum. Bus and Metro service operates at regular price seems to be the cheapest and most budget-friendly options although both have their own demerits. While the first one takes more time to reach the destination and the later one, starts its operation at noon and continue till early morning next day each day (Saptami to Nabami). Below is the metro timings from last year
No doubt the best option could be walking small distances between pandals. We will be sharing our experience in the recommended sequence to watch pandals to minimize time waste without bombing your pocket.
Lastly, few people love to take their own car or rented car to hop pandals, for them parking will be the most frustrating issue. As millions of people visit pandals every year, Kolkata police barricade the roads to ensure everyone’s safety and manage the crowd effectively. Due to this fact, most of the time, one has to walk a little more to get to car parking. Please keep in mind the aged persons, children might need a car for obvious reasons (Best time to minimize this hassle will be early morning 5 AM to 2 PM) but still using the combination of walking and public transport remain the best choice.
Shopping and Joy Rides
Many of us love to purchase goods from Puja pandal premises. Be sure those are well priced and functional, some time due to rush we may get cheated. Also, check the balance before you leave the stall/shop. Joy rides are one of the fascinating activities in pandals especially for kids, always accompany them and make sure that ride should not pop health hazards to them.
This is my favorite part during puja, we get to taste almost every possible variety of foods at a comparatively cheap price obviously at the cost of quality. But for a few days, I feel okay to break the diet or even quality hunting. Although, the food should be prepared or at least served hygienically. Mostly chaats, Panipuri (ফুচকা), ice creams, hot/cold beverages get sold continuously, so there are high chances of getting those fresh.
Safety rules we should follow
- Please cooperate with Kolkata Police and Local Volunteers, although sometimes we feel they may route us longer but believe us, that is for our own safety.
- Jaywalking the road or dripping the barricades may save your time a bit but could risk your life.
- Be careful of your belongings especially in-crowd.
- Report missing objects and person/child to the Pandal committee, while chances of getting your belonging back are rare but at least you will definitely find your close ones.
- Ask rates before boarding Autos or cabs.
- Have junk food but hygienic.
- Don’t push crowd or misbehave with others, eventually, all will get a chance.
- Take some cash aside for emergency situations like pickpocket or baggage misplaced.
- Don’t push yourself too much otherwise you may not be able to enjoy the whole Puja.
- In case of any problem feel free to take help from Kolkata Police or Local Volunteers.
- We all love to make memories by taking a few selfies or photographs but we often forget this might slow down the crowd flow or create rush among people waiting outside. Take photographs and selfies during the move. We should be happy to capture the moments rather not being selfish.
- Don’t throw garbage like plastic, foods, bottles on roads but at designated bin/place. We should maintain our city clean.
Lastly, thanks to Kolkata Police for managing this biggest festival with ease, their continuous dedication and duty always keep us safe. They also put nearest pandal direction board, publish print-ready hand maps and most importantly control traffic congestion.
Most of us like to hop into as many pandals as possible but few of them actually know the correct sequence to minimize time waste, sometimes even miss the famous puja pandal. So, we will bring you the recommended sequence based on our experience.
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Have you ever experienced Durga Puja in Kolkata? If yes, do let us know how was it?