When we speak of Jagadhatri Puja, we think of Chandannagar, Mankundu, Bhadreswar in Hooghly district and Krishnanagar in Nadia district of West Bengal. In Hooghly district it is a five-day festival starting from Sasthi to Dasami like that of Durga Puja whereas in Krishnanagar the puja starts in Nabami.
Mostly these pujas are barowari pujas. In Kolkata, also Jagadhatri puja is celebrated equally not only as barowari pujas; but there are a number of bonedi families where it is celebrated with much pomp and granduer in Nabami. I am listing some of the pujas held in the bonedi families of Kolkata.
1. Madan Gopal Dey’s family Jagadhatri puja: This puja was started by Madan Gopal Dey 130 years back. This puja is presently held in the ancestral house of Dey’s in Madan Gopal Lane in College Street area of Kolkata. According to Sri Biswanath Dey, family member, the family had its root in Chandannagar. Madan Gopal Dey had a dream and, after that, he started the puja. The puja is held according to Vaisnav rituals.
The puja is held in the day of Nabami at dawn with chokhu daan, followed by Saptami, Astami, Sandhi Puja and Nabami. In Saptami, Astami and Nabami, 28 plates of Naibidya are offered to the goddess. During Sandhi puja, like that of Durga puja, 108 oil lamps are lighted. Dhuno porana is another attraction here. Next day, Dasami puja is held followed by ghat bisarjan, charan darshan and finally immersion in the evening.
2. Thanthania Dey Barir Puja: This puja was started way back in 1897 by Girish Chandra Dey. The puja is celebrated every year on the day of Nabami by the Dey family of Thanthania in North Kolkata. The puja is presently held in Manik Lal Dey’s house. This puja is close to Thanthania Kalibari.
3. Chorbagan Maitra Batir Puja: The puja is held at 1, Muktaram Babu Second Lane, Kolkata. The puja is nearly 250 years old. The family had its roots in Rajshahi (presently in Bangladesh). Later the ancestors of this family settled at a place in Maitrabagan at Adharmanigram in Basirhat of North 24 Parganas. The puja was stopped for a year in 1917. According to a family member, Iswarchandra Vidyasagar had given the name Maitra Bati. Many people came here to witness the puja. The house is pretty old. There are two figures of Jaya and Bijoya on either side of Maa Jagadhatri.
4. Batakrishna Pal’s Jagadhatri Puja: Batakrishna Pal (1835-1914) orginally had its ancestral home in Shibpur of Howrah district, where Durga Puja is famous. There Abhaya Durga is worshipped. Later he came to Calcutta and, in 1855, he set up his medicine shop in Shovabazar area. Jagadhatri Puja here is more than 100 years old. Along with the idol of Jagadhatri, there are two sakhis on either side of the goddess. According to Sri Anup Kumar Pal, the chalchitra on the background is made of copper and had both gold and silver platings was prepared by B.K.Pal Company.
5. Durga Charan Mitra’s Jagadhatri Puja: The puja here is pretty old; it started way back in 1752. The dalan where the puja is presently held is the third dalan and is more than 150 years old. The first dalan is in the present-day C.R. Avenue, through which the road passes. There is no Kumari Puja, no Sri barandala and no encircling of bedi by tir kathi. The puja is held according to Shakta rituals. Earlier bali or sacrifice was practiced but was stopped completely in 1989. The colour of the face of the goddess is like the colour of stem of siuli flower. The lion here has the face of a horse – ghotak mukhi. Kanakanjali was performed on the day of Dasami.
6. Jagadhatri Puja of Chatu Babu and Latu Babu’s house: The puja here is more than two hundred years old. The Jagadhatri puja was started in 1780 by Ramdulal Dey (Sarkar). The puja, like other bonedi families, is held on the day of Nabami. The goddess is sitted on a wooden throne. The puja here is held according to tantric rituals. Kumari puja and Sandhi puja are held here. Vegetarian bhog is offered to Maa Jagadhatri. Kanakanjali and baran are held on Dasami. The Durga puja is equally famous here.
7. Nilmoni Dey Thakurbarir puja: The puja of Nilmoni Dey’s thakurbari in Bowbazar area of Kolkata is more than 135 years old. On the day of Nabami, four pujas are held. The ritual of dhuno porana is also practiced here. Vegetarian bhog is offered to the goddess. The house had a very beautiful and well-maintained thakurdalan.
Date of posting: 16th November, 2018.