Step into the captivating world of 100-year-old Durga Puja committees in India, where tradition meets devotion and history mingles with spirituality. These revered institutions have been orchestrating the grandest celebrations of Goddess Durga for generations, spanning over a century in some cases. Each committee has its own unique story to tell, from the opulent splendour of Kolkata’s Sikdar Bagan Sadharan Durga Puja to the spiritual sanctity of Hari Sabha in Panbazar, Guwahati. Join us on a journey through time and tradition as we unveil the fascinating tales of these cultural treasures, where the essence of Durga Puja has been preserved with unwavering dedication for over a hundred years.
100+ Year Old Durga Puja Committees In India
1. Sri Sri Barwari Durga Puja Committee, Kanpur
Established in 1868, the Sri Sri Barwari Durga Puja Committee in Kanpur boasts a rich legacy of 155 years. Held annually at AB Vidyalaya on Mall Road, this puja has become a revered tradition for Bengali families in the city, drawing devotees seeking Goddess Durga’s blessings throughout the five days of festivities.
2, West Guwahati Puja Samiti, Guwahati
With its origins dating back to 1901, the West Guwahati Puja Samiti has completed 122 years of Durga Puja celebrations. This committee follows a unique spiritual approach devoid of animal sacrifices, adhering closely to traditional Puranic worship. Puja activities include Ojapali, Nagara Naam, Aayotir Naam, and Chandi Paath.
3, Hari Sabha In Panbazar, Guwahati
The Panbazar Sanatan Dharma Sabha, commonly known as Hari Sabha, has been celebrating Durga Puja since 1915. This historic 104-year-old puja venue in Guwahati stands out for its emphasis on spiritual worship over modern decorations and grand pandals. Notably, the idols for this puja have been sculpted by the same family for over a century, and the priests have remained from a single family since its inception.
4. Balu Bazaar Puja Committee, Orissa
The Binod Bihari-Balu Bazar Puja Committee has been conducting Durga Puja for a remarkable 509 years, ever since 1514. This puja stands out for its exquisite Mrunmayee Murti of Devi, adorned with fine silver jewellery. The magnificent tableau of Goddess Durga, accompanied by idols of Lord Ganesh, Kartik, Goddess Lakshmi, and Saraswati, creates a majestic spectacle against a 30-foot-high silver filigree backdrop. The community puja at Balu Bazaar witnessed a footfall of at least a lakh during the festive four days.
5. Kashmiri Gate Durga Puja Samiti, Delhi
The Delhi Durga Puja Samiti, also known as the Kashmere Gate Durga Puja, has a legacy dating back to 1910 when it commenced as a “Baroyari Puja” near Nai Sarak. Over the past 113 years, this Durga Puja community has evolved while retaining its traditional charm. The idols here are adorned in the traditional ‘Daaker Saaj’ style, and the puja culminates with a grand procession to immerse the idols in the Yamuna River.
6. Sri Sarvojanin Durga Puja Committee, Jamshedpur
Located in Basurda, the Sri Sarvojanin Durga Puja Committee celebrated its centenary in 2022. Established in 1922, this committee has consistently marked the traditional rhythms of Durgotsav for a hundred years. Amid the beats of traditional dhak drums, this committee continues to embrace and cherish its celebratory heritage.
7. Bhowanipore Sanatan Dharmatsahini Sabha, Kolkata
Founded in 1910, the Bhowanipore Sanatan Dharmatsahini Sabha pioneered community Durga Puja in Kolkata. In an era dominated by Zamindari families, 12 freedom fighters joined hands to bring the goddess to the masses. This puja is celebrated with a focus on tradition and simplicity, offering a delightful departure from the extravagant theme of pujas prevalent today.
8. Timarpur And Civil Lines Puja Samity, Delhi
Established in 1914, the Timarpur and Civil Lines Puja Samity hosts one of India’s oldest Durga Pujas. This puja is renowned for its artistically crafted idol and is deeply rooted in tradition. For the past 109 years, it has maintained the cultural and spiritual essence of the festival. The highlight of this puja is the immersion ceremony at Geeta Ghat on Dashami.
9. Sikdar Bagan Sadharan Durga Puja Pandal, Kolkata
The Sikdar Bagan Sadharan Durga Puja, founded in 1913, is Kolkata’s oldest Durga Puja. Despite space constraints, this puja committee exudes a century-old tradition, cultural richness, and a profoundly spiritual ambiance. The centrepiece is the skillfully designed pratima of Goddess Durga, creating a vibrant festival atmosphere with decorative lights and lively surroundings.
10. Ahom Royal Family’s Uzanbazar Barowari Puja Mandap Samiti, Guwahati
Guwahati’s oldest Durga Puja celebration unfolds at Uzanbazar’s Barowari Puja Mandap, having completed 134 years. Originating in 1889 under the patronage of Ghanakanta Singha Rajkumar of the Ahom royal family, this puja has remained a cherished tradition. The organisers expect devotees to gather in large numbers to partake in the rituals and seek blessings.
These remarkable Durga Puja committees serve as living testaments to India’s cultural heritage, showcasing unwavering devotion and a commitment to preserving age-old traditions.
Cover Image Courtesy: Canva
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