October 20, 2015
Bonedi Bari Durga Puajs of Kolkata – 1
During Durga Puja festival at Bengal the star attraction are the different Barowari Pujas conducted by several clubs and associations. Generally overlooked by the Pandal hoppers are the Durga Pujas held privately in several families some of whom were affluent and stalwarts in yesteryear, especially during the Colonial Regime. These families till date perform Durga Puja with dedication maintaining all the rituals. The Pujas are all of 100+ years, some even 200+ and 300+ years old. Every one of the families gathers to celebrate Durga Puja with pomp and show as an annual get-together.
Let’s take a look at some of the Bonedi Bari Pujas:
SABARNA ROYCHOWDHURY FAMILY AATCHALA PUJA
26, Sabarna Para Road, Kolkata – 700008, Barisha
(Near Sakherbazar. One has to go straight from Behala Chowrasta through Diamond Harbour Road to reach Sakherbazar bus stop. Turn right to land at K.K. Roychowdhury road which eventually right turns into Sabarna Para Road besides the Dwadash Shiva Temple ( 12 Shiva Temples). )
Celebrated since 1610 at their ancestral home at Barisha, this is perhaps the oldest family Durga Puja or it might even be the first organized Durga Puja of Bengal. The family performs eight pujas by its different branches, the main being the Aatchala. Out of these eight pujas, six are at Barisha, the seventh is at Birati while the eighth at Nimta.
SOVABAZAR RAJ BARIR PUJA
36 and 33, Raja Nabakrishna Street, Sovabazar, Kolkata – 700005
(Near Sovabazar Metro Station. After you get down from metro Walk backwards towards Shyambazar keeping the Red temple (Lal Mandir) on your left. Raja Nabakrishna Street will fall on your right. The house on the left in this street is No 33 – the old Rajbari and the one on the right at No 36 is the New one )
It was in the year 1757 after the Battle of Plassey, the first Durga Puja at the Shobha Bazar Choto Rajbari at 33 Raja Nabakrishna Road was initiated. Lord Clive and Warren Hastings were invited to the Durga Puja. Eminent personalities like Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Swami Vivekanada and Rabindranath Tagore had visited the Rajbari on numerous occasion.
BAIDYANATH(DE) MALLICK FAMILY’S SINGHABAHINI DURGA PUJA
39, Jatindra Mohan Avenue, North Kolkata or Kashinath Mullick Thakurbari, 142, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Kolkata – 700007
( Direction 1 : Jatindra Mohan Avenue is the northern extension of Central Avenue. If you are driving towards Shovabazar, the Mallick House will come on the left just before Mitra Cafe near to Shovabazar Metro)
(Direction 2 :Kashinath Mullick Thakurbari is located at the junction of Mahatma Gandhi Road and Rabindra Sarani. The house is located on the Southern side of the road opposite to Bangur Buildings)
About 400 years old, this Durga Puja is perhaps one of the most professionally managed large scale Bonedi Barir Durga puja of 2013. The Idol worshiped here is of a Astadhatu Singhabahini (Lion Rider, a form of Durga) which has an interesting hsitory. Around 1614, Baidyanath De Mallick acquired this idol from a cave at Chandranath Hill of Chattagram ( Now at Bangladesh), where Singhabahini was being worshiped secretly, By instruction through Divine intervention in his dream, Baidyanath De Mallick brought the idol back to his home at Saptagram of West Bengal. The puja of this idol alteratively takes places at Jatindra Mohan Avenue house or at the Kashinath Mullick Thakurbari at Mahatma Gandhi Road, at Jatindra Mohan Avenue in 2015.
BAGHBAZAAR HALDARBARI DURGAPUJA
17/2, Kaliprasad Chakraborty Street
(The house is located at Kaliprasad Chakraborty Street,Bagbazar,Near Bagbazar Gouriya Math & opposite to Khirodeprasad Bidyabinod Mancha on Bagbazar Street & very near to Baghbazar Sarbojaneen Durgapujo Pandal)
The Durga Idol of the Haldar family ages over 400 years. It is said that one of the Haldar Family ancestors dreamt of this idol buried under Fisherman’s Hut. The idol was dug and recovered. However in 19th century the family left this statue unattended and worshiped a larger idol.
BEHALA ROY FAMILY’S DURGA PUJA
Amarendra Bhavan, 4/1, Roy Bahadur A.C. Roy Road, Behala, Kolkata
Behala, (Near Behala Thana)
Started by Ray Bahadur Ambika Charan Roy on 1756, Behala Ray Barir Pujo is being celebrated now at the palatial residence “Amarendra Bhaban” of his third son Amarendra Roy’s Family. Ambika Charan Roy had amassed enough wealth to be set aside solely for the purpose of conducting the Durga Puja over the years. Other than Durga Puja, Jagadhatri Puja is also celebrated here.