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You are here : home > Indian Culture > Indian Festivals and occassions > Regional Names of Durga Puja

Regional Names of Durga Puja


The traditional Durga pooja is known by many different names. Read about some of them.


The festival of Dassera celebrates the victory of the goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasur. It also celebrates the return of the goddess, to her birth home. The ten days of the festival are considered to be a very auspicious time. Any new venture undertaken during this time is sure to be successful. The Durga pooja is an integral part of Dassera celebrations. It is known by different names in different regions of the country. The name may be a local one or it may be an indication of a particular ritual associated with the pooja.


Durga pooja

The pooja is called as Durga pooja in the states of West Bengal, Delhi, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh. Idols of the goddess are kept in 'pandals' (temporary tents), which are open to the public. The idol is worshipped for the nine days of Navratri, during which time devotees visit the pandals and pay their respects. On the tenth day, the idol is taken out for a procession, which culminates in the immersion of the idol in a water body. This procession is called as 'visarjan'.

In many parts of northern India, 'ram-leela' is performed. This is a play that is staged depicting the victory of Lord Ram over Ravan. The play is mostly performed in villages as a form of entertainment for the local people. Besides the ram-leela, there is also singing and dancing, based on the festival. In addition, sports competitions may also be held, which all people are encouraged to attend.


Navratri pooja

Navratri pooja is referred to the pooja performed in Punjab, Gujarat, and Maharashtra. It is named largely due to the festivities that are held in the region during the Navratri period. A pooja is performed for each of the nine days in most households.

A unique feature of the celebrations in this region is the traditional Gujarati dances of garba and dandiya ras. Garba is usually performed by women and consists of the women dancing in a circle, while singing traditional songs. Dandiya ras is a dance performed by men and women with the aid of wooden sticks called dandiyas.


Kullu Dassera

These celebrations are specific to the Kullu valley, in Himachal Pradesh. This place is also known as the valley of the living gods. In this area, a 'Rath Yatra' is taken out, which involves a procession with the idol of Lord Ram as well as other village deities. This happens on the tenth day of Dassera itself. The week following the rath yatra is dedicated to socialising between the people. A variety of religious and cultural activities are conducted during this week. Stalls are set up, offering locally made wares. The International Folk Festival is also held here during this week.


Mysore Dassera

This is the name given to the celebrations in Karnataka. The festival is celebrated on a very grand scale here. On the tenth day of the festivities, a procession of elephants is taken around the city of Mysore. The elephants are adorned with ornaments and they carry a statue of the goddess Chamundi.

After walking through the city, the procession ends at the base of the Chamundi Hill. From there, the idol is transferred to chariots, which ascend the hill and undertake another procession. This one is around the temple located on top of the hill. In addition to these processions, there are also many cultural activities and performances taking place in the great Durbar hall of the Maharaja's palace.


Bommai Kolu

This is the name given to the celebrations in Tamil Nadu. Bommai Kolu is purely a woman's festival. Women set up brightly decorated boards in the house. On it, they place dolls, which depict Gods, villagers, or wedding scenarios. The dolls are worshipped as symbols of art and divinity. A woman invites her friends to come and see the dolls and eat some snacks. A traditional sweet called Sundal is also prepared at this time. It comprises of coconut and bean sprouts.

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Sanjeevani.5 years ago
Durga puja is a grand affair in East India. almost every street has a durga pandal. It is basically a meeting point for people besides taking the blessings of Durga. We also take part in bhog distribution.
 
 
 
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Jeevan.5 years ago
We had a neighbour who was a south Indian. she used to arrange the dolls during Durga puja and we used to go there to see the decoration. It was very cute and interesting, something different. Then she used to give us prasad of boiled chana with coconut.
 
 
 
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Damini.5 years ago
I really loved this article. I got to know the different names of durga puja and also know how people celebrate it in different regions. It is very interesting to be a part of such celebrations.
 
 
 
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Discussion Forum - Recent Posts
Do these different celebrations of the same festival fascinate you? Have you heard of any other Durga pooja celebrations? How is Dassera celebrated where you live?
Aryan
Whats with the different names? Why not just have one name for the pooja? It gets way too confusing trying to remember the different names....
Vilas
I had no idea all these names were for the same puja. I especially liked the Mysore Dassera part. It must be so cool to see a procession of elephants....
Aruni
I loved the part about Bommai Kolu. The very thought of so many dolls in one place is amazing. Of course, my daughter would probably think she' s in doll heaven....
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