AK Block Salt Lake City
This pandal won the Biswa Puja Award, 2016. It portrayed the cottage industry and heritage of the state of West Bengal.
The whole pandal was made using tree leaves, jute and related eco-friendly material
Definitely one of the best and my favorite this year. Known for its attention to detail and the grandest of display, this puja is as old as 59 years now.
The hostel initially established only for Hindu students has been opened for students of all religion. At the time I visited, it was closed for repairs and renovation. So maybe its not neglected but the old is being preserved in the new manner.
Walking around College street, I stumbled across this old building withering away, reeking of negligence. But it wasn’t just any building but a notable lodging for Presidency College students of Kolkata.
A sign on the front gate proudly boasted the place to have been inhabited by our country’s first President Dr. Rajendra Prasad
One of the oldest and the original adda (hangout place) of the country. Situated in the academic hub of Kolkata, the College Street was once graced by regular visits from the most eminent people in the Bengali culture and intellectuals shaping the history of this place as well as the whole country.
In the age of rising Cafe culture , this place hasn’t lost its uniqueness as well as popularity. Again in a battle between the old and the new this old gem has survived and is one of the iconic places to visit in the city today.
Just Opposite Calcutta University, located near the lake was this pandal, considered to be among the top 10 in Kolkata.
This one was set up in 1948 and is located in one of the most popular areas of the town, college street. The lighting of the pandal reflecting in the lake makes it a sight worth visiting.
Kolkata epitomizes Paan culture in India.
This betel leaf with areca nut preparation is a must try and hence I did at Kalpataru Paan Bhandar. This Paan shop is close to 77 years old and has been graced by visits from former prime ministers and presidents of the country.
Just an old building in South Kolkata. There’s something about these windows that I really like. This small yet significant piece of old architecture is being phased out by the new cosmopolitan one.
The yellow Ambassador is something you cannot miss in Kolkata, and shouldn’t too. It has become as much a part of the culture as it is a part of daily lives of the locals. My favourite thing these yellow locomotives, although very much in use even today, incite a sense of nostalgia about the city
Chetla Agrani Club,
This Puja Pandal holds a key position among the best pujas in town. This year the whole display was very colourful including the idol and seemed to be representing the zen meditation.
Tridhara Sammilani Club,
Creativity put into setting up this pandal was praiseworthy. Designers had successful highlighted the rich culture of the tribes of India through the beautiful display
Tridhara Sammilani Club,
This Puja Pandal is known for its innovative theme and design every year.The theme this year was Indian tribes. Display involved tribal hunting weapons and all things associated with their culture (Buffalo head as can be seen here)
Hidustan Park Durga Puja,
Hindustan Durga Puja is being celebrated since 1931. Theme of this year’s Puja seemed to be a walk down memory lane. It takes you back to your childhood, to the time of your grandmothers stories.
Finally I got to see this amazing dance form of the east at one of the Pandals. The Purulia Chhau is kind of a tribal martial dance form from the eastern part of the country. The dancers mostly enact various stories from Hindu epics, like in this case it was the story of Mahishasur
Another Pandal in Salt lake City. The time I visited this was at the time of the evening aarti (ritual), hence I got to see the ‘Dhak’ performers. Dhak is a traditional Bengali drum. Durga Puja is incomplete without a Dhaki drum beats
A memento of the British Raj. Built along the Kolkata bank of the Hooghly River in India, the palladian porch is dedicated to the renowned Anglo-Indian scholar- James Princep, hence named after him. It is one of the oldest recreational spots in Kolkata and its right here that my trip came to an end.