Durga Puja Festival In India: Celebrating Good Over Evil

User By Katie May

India known for its rich tapestry of cultures, traditions, and festivals, showcases one of its grandest celebrations with unmatched enthusiasm and unity - the Durga Puja festival in India. Amidst the kaleidoscope of festivals that adorn the Indian calendar, one truly stands out as a symbol of triumph and togetherness. This festival transcends religious boundaries and brings millions of hearts together in unison. It's a festival that encapsulates the spirit of India – the land of diversity and unity.

Get To Know About the Durga Puja Festival In India

India's lively and spiritually significant Durga Puja Festival honors Goddess Durga and celebrates her triumph over the monster Mahishasura. Beyond its religious origins, the significance of the Durga Puja festival lies in being a diverse cultural feast enthusiastically observed nationwide. It exemplifies the blending of custom, creativity, and civic pride. The celebration normally takes place in Ashvin, a Hindu month, between September and October. On these days, Indians congregate to worship, take part in cultural events, and eat delectable meals. The entire country is filled with fervor, inventiveness, and a spirit of celebration during Durga Puja.

Durga Puja celebrates Goddess Durga's victory over Mahishasura

Durga Puja celebrates Goddess Durga's victory over Mahishasura 

What is Durga Puja Festival India?

One of India's holy holidays, the Durga Puja festival India is fervently and enthusiastically observed all around the nation. This yearly celebration honors Goddess Durga and commemorates the terrible struggle she won over the treacherous monster Mahishasura. Durga Puja is more than simply a religious celebration, though. In some regions, it is also observed as a post-monsoon harvest festival when the Goddess is revered as the mother force of all creation and life. Durga Puja falls on the same dates as Dussehra or Vijayadashami, commemorating Lord Rama's triumph over Ravana.

When is Durga Puja celebrated?

Durga Puja is celebrated in the month of Ashvin as per the Hindu calendar. According to the Gregorian calendar, the date usually falls between September and October. In 2024, the festival starts on the 20th and ends on the 24th of October. The celebration begins with Mahalaya, which is referred to as "Pitripokkher obosan" and "Debipokkher shuru" in the local language. On this day, people give prayers or "tarpan" to the Ganges to honor their departed ancestors.

Why do we celebrate Durga Puja?

Durga Puja festival India is a celebration deeply rooted in Hindu tradition and spirituality. It is observed in the month of Ashvin as per the Hindu calendar, typically aligning with the September-October timeframe in the Gregorian calendar. This vibrant festival marks the culmination of nine days of genuine worship of the nine different forms of Goddess Durga during Navratri. The celebration serves as a testament to the triumph of good over evil, with Goddess Durga's victory over the formidable demon Mahishasura at its core, making it a time for devout reverence and joyous festivities.

Durga Puja festival is a celebration deeply rooted in Hindu tradition and spirituality

Durga Puja festival is a celebration deeply rooted in Hindu tradition and spirituality 

How do Indian people celebrate the Durga Puja festival?

  • A Goddess Durga statue is erected with decorations on the first day in preparation for devotion. Nine days are devoted to worshiping this idol, with each day honoring a different goddess form. 
  • The goddess stages are decked with flowers and lights on the second day when prayers are made to her.
  • The goddess is worshiped on the third day in the guise of young girls, who stand for the purity of feminine vitality.
  • The goddess Maha Arti is highly revered on the fourth day.
  • The ceremonies for Durga Puja are carried out on the last day, along with red-colored gulaals or sindoor.

How Can You Celebrate Durga Puja as a Traveler?

The highlight of Durga Puja is surely seeing the several pandals of the goddess Durga, each of which is spectacular and beautifully adorned. The term "pandal hopping" refers to this action. The greatest time to go pandal hopping is at night, when they are illuminated.
The next best thing is to eat. During Durga Puja festival, there is no better time to sample Kolkata's legendary Bengali food. Food is available everywhere throughout the festival, including the streets, pandals, and specific Bengali eateries.

The food offered at the pandals is known as bhog, which is a gift presented to the goddess and subsequently distributed to the public to reduce waste. Bhog is often made up of a mixed vegetable curry, a sweet dish, a fried item, and chutney.

Bengali sweets such as Misti Doi, Sondesh, and Rashgulla are also widely consumed during the festival.

Top Things To Do In Durga Puja To Engage In Festival

1. Pandal hopping

Any time of day or night, Durga Puja is incomplete without pandal hopping. Budget hotels in Kolkata near well-known pandals are an option for travelers. The intricately carved pandals (temporary buildings) holding Goddess Durga's idols are at the center of the Durga Puja celebrations. Each pandal is an artistic creation, frequently based on one-of-a-kind themes and a monument to the organizers' imagination. Visit one of these pandals to see the astounding craftsmanship.

Durga Puja is incomplete without pandal hopping

Durga Puja is incomplete without pandal hopping 

2. Gorge on delicious local fare

Durga Puja is a culinary extravaganza in Kolkata, with eateries popping up on every street corner, offering a delectable array of dishes. Favorites include egg rolls, fish fry, noodles, chicken/egg chops, kachauris, jalebis, ghugni, shingara, and the iconic puchka. When wondering what to eat during Durga Puja, you can satisfy your cravings at renowned restaurants like 6 Ballygunge Place, Bhojohori Manna, or Kasturi for authentic Bengali cuisine. For those looking for a fusion experience, Bohemian offers treats like Malpua cheesecake and Gondhoraj Souffle. You can also explore Chinatown in Tangra or indulge in Chinese, Oriental, and Continental dishes near Park Street, including iconic spots like Mocambo, Peter Cat, Bar B Q, or Olypub. And for biryani lovers, Arsalan, Rahmania, and Aminia are must-visit destinations during this festive season.

3. Participating in the immersion ceremony

A memorable celebration-themed event is participating in the immersion ceremony during Durga Puja. On the last day, large crowds assemble to see the idols being submerged in the Ganges or other sacred waters as a magnificent goodbye. Songs, prayers, and brilliant fireworks light up the night sky, creating a dreamlike environment. Communities join together for the joyful "bhasan" ritual, singing and dancing up until the moment of immersion. People celebrate in the streets, smearing paint and dancing to upbeat music. The immersion rites are a visual extravaganza that displays the city's charm, especially at important ghats like Babughat. Durga Puja's immersion ceremony is an opportunity to witness Kolkata in all its splendid glory, making it a highlight of the festival.

Durga Puja's immersion ceremony in Kolkata is a festival highlight

Durga Puja's immersion ceremony in Kolkata is a festival highlight 

4. Taking part in a variety of cultural events

Durga Puja is not only a feast for the senses but also a vibrant celebration of culture and tradition. Explore the diverse cultural activities that unfold at major puja pandals, where you'll find music, dance, and theater performances, often featuring renowned celebrities. Don't miss the heartfelt tradition of offering prayers, known as anjali, to the Goddess on Ashtami, and the lively sindur-khela on Dashami, where women affectionately smear each other with red vermilion. Each day at the pandals is filled with rituals, and the delicious bhog offerings are a treat for visitors. Immerse yourself in the rhythmic beats of the dhak, the soul-stirring aartis, and the captivating dhunuchi naach, a dance with incense burners that promises fantastic photo opportunities.

5. Dress in traditional attire

What to wear at the Durga puja festival? Dressing in traditional attire is an integral part of the Durga Puja festival in India. It's a time when the vibrant colors and rich fabrics of sarees for women and dhoti-kurta for men come to life. Ashtami, one of the festival's significant days, is significantly incomplete without the elegance of white sarees adorned with attractive red borders for women. Men, on the other hand, have a plethora of colorful kurtas to choose from. To immerse themselves fully in the tradition, women can explore stores like RMGC Basak and Traders Assembly at Gariahat market. At the same time, men can find their traditional attire at places like Kimbadanti or the Dakshinapan Shopping Complex, ensuring they are perfectly attired for this auspicious occasion.

Dressing in traditional attire is an integral part of the Durga Puja festival in India

Dressing in traditional attire is an integral part of the Durga Puja festival in India

What to eat during Durga Puja festival?

Durga Puja is one of the most important and grand Hindu festivals. This festive season, people can get together and enjoy a variety of delicious dishes. A variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes can be enjoyed during Durga Puja. It is a great time to experience the taste of traditional Bengali cuisine.

Popular dishes include lamb biryani, fish curry, hilsa fish with mustard sauce, shrimp with coconut milk, mustard leaves, and potatoes with poppy seeds.

Durga Puja is the time for a feast, and many delicious dishes are traditionally prepared and consumed during this feast. In addition to lamb chops, lamb kosha, ilish mah bappa, hilsa fish with mustard, muglai parata, kati rolls, and guguni, there are a myriad of vegetarian dishes that can truly be tasted this season.


Durga Puja festival in India transcends mere festivity; it symbolizes India's resilience in the face of adversity and the strong sense of unity that binds its people. Everyone is warmly welcomed to partake in the festivities, appreciate the exquisite artistry and devotion, and commemorate the triumph of righteousness over malevolence. This grand celebration showcases India's diversity, vitality, and enduring spirit of jubilation, underscoring that every Indian festival is an opportunity to celebrate achievement and harmony. To get a chance to attend the Durga Puja event in India with your friends, apply for an India visa right now. You can choose apply for a visa through Indian Immigration Services website