Bengalis across the globe are all set to rejoice as the time has come to celebrate Maa Durga and the triumph of good over evil. Durga Puja kicks off with Mahalaya, which marks the commencement of Devipaksha. The five-day-long Maha Durga ustav is observed with utmost joy and fervour. During this time, all eyes are on the celebrations taking place in West Bengal. From bonedi barir Durga puja to popular puja pandals, festivities are at their peak in the City of Joy.
Today, we will talk about one such bonedi barir Durga puja, which takes place at Zamindar Janardan Chowdhury’s household in Makardaha Chowdhury Para, in Howrah. It’s a 500-year-old puja. The tradition is being followed in the memory of Shri Janardhan Chowdhury, who was the zamindar of Andul Rajbari.
The puja is still performed following the beliefs of Zamindar Janardan Chowdhury. The idol comes from Thakurdalan in Behala.
According to the locals, maa Durga is worshipped here as per Kalika Purana. The idol is offered khichuri bhog in the daytime and luchi at night.
On day eight – Maha Ashtami – locals living in the area gather at Chowdhury house and worship maa Durga in the temple during sandhya arati, also know as sandhi pujo. It is considered to be an auspicious muhurat. Later, bhog is served to all the locals.
Similarly on the ninth day, as per the ancient tradition of the Chowdhurys, people in large numbers gather for the maha bhog.
On the tenth day, which is bishorjon day, all the women in the village play performs the baran ceremony and play with vermilion – sindhoor khela.
After the bishorjon, villages greet each other by saying “subho bijoya” and children seek blessings from the elder members of the family.
It is being said that along with Maa Durga’s idol, an idol of Janardan Chowdhury is also immersed in Makarchandi pond.
It is also believed that at the time of Ekadashi puja, Chowdhury was the first to perform puja following the rituals in the ancient Makarchandi temple.