Durga Puja of Kolkata’s ‘bonedi’ families (Part – II)

Durga Puja is the greatest festival of the Bengalees. It is celebrated both in India and abroad where there is the presence of Bengali community. In Kolkata there are a number of families who are celebrating the festival for a long time without any break. Some of the families are continuing the pujas for more than two centuries without any break. In 2017, in my blog Durga Puja of Kolkata’s ‘Bonedi’ Families I have included 38 families of the city, and, in a single year. But there are still a number of families where Durga Puja is being celebrated with equal pomp and splendour. In this blog I have included eight families of Central Kolkata; though I would like to mention that there are still a number of families left, which I hope to cover in the next year.

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Durga Puja of ‘bonedi’ families of Chetla

Chetla (now a place in South Kolkata) was once a very crowded business area as it was by the side of Adi Ganga, which was the main waterway of the Ganges. The area started populating after 1770. A number of bonedi families like Najir Bari (1861), Addya Bari (1830), Shyam Bose (1840) came to this place and started living here. Gradually they started Durga Puja in their thakurdalan. Some of the families are still continuing the age-old tradition. I along with Shri Subrata Kumar Brahma, a resident of Chetla visited four such pujas this evening.

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Durga Puja of Haldarbari of Baghbazar

Durga Puja is the biggest festival of the Bengalees and is celebrated in almost every corner of the globe where there is presence of Bengali community. This five-day festival is not only celebrated in the barowari pujas of the city of Kolkata; but it is equally worshipped in many households – from north to south. Some of the pujas of the bonedi families of Kolkata are very old and are meticulously performed with all rituals till date.

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Jhulan Festival of Central Kolkata

Jhulanyatra, a five-day festival is celebrated in the Bengali month of Shravan (August) every year. This festival is held in different parts of Kolkata; but there are several houses in Central Kolkata where Jhulanyatra is held with pomp and gaeity even today. Some of the household are celebrating this festival for more than 150 years. I was lucky to witness this Jhulanyatra for two years and I am describing here seven of those families who are still celebrating this festival; although there are many families who are still maintaining this age-old tradition.

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Jagadhatri Puja of Kolkata’s ‘Bonedi’ Families

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.

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