From Chhow Mask To Exquisite Installations, How Art Has Transformed Durga Puja Celebrations

by Shreya Ghosh
From Chhow Mask To Exquisite Installations, How Art Has Transformed Durga Puja Celebrations

Durga Puja is not just a festival for Bengalis but it is an emotion to us and holds a special corner in our hearts. From standing in lines for at least an hour to enter inside the puja pandals to getting mesemerised after Maa Durga’s darshan, nothing can come close to the days of Durga Puja. And to make the pandal exquisite and a grand success, art has played a significant role. Some ways of celebrations have transformed over the years and it has only become better and grander.

Impact Of Art On West Bengal’s Durga Puja Celebrations

Durga Puja
Picture credit- Barshan Biswas

It has been more than 2 centuries since when Bengalis began celebrating the festival in a neighbourhood, also known as barowari pujo. People from nearby places come together to contribute to this spiritual puja and celebrate the days in glory and joy. Over the past decades, the pandals have become extravagant and extraordinary. Budgets for renowned pandals in different cities are increasing with the inclusion of massive changes in the construction of pandals. To beautify the designs and decor and to dazzle up the places, art plays the most crucial role.

Also read: Kolkata Durga Puja 2023: From Traffic Guidelines To Helpline Info; Here Are The Updates To Note 

With different decor and new innovations, artists’ craftsmanship is beautifully represented in every corner of Durga Puja pandals. Durga Puja in West Bengal is a lot more than celebrating our happiness to welcome Maa Durga and her entourage to Earth.

Durga Puja
Picture credit- Sanchita Ghosh

The pandals reflect the exquisite skills and talent of artists and how art can spark life into simple objects. The hype and glory of these pandals and structures are known all over and the stunning representations justify all the hype and long wait to witness the magnificence of craftsmanship.

The pandals are not just about recreating a popular establishment but the themes also focus on several important aspects of the society and deep-rooted issues that we often come across. Durga Puja is an absolute delight for everyone and every creative person needs to see these presentations at least once.

Visitors’ Desires To Explore Are Increasing!

Durga Puja
Picture credit- Barshan Biswas

Different forms of art are displayed in different pandals every year. In fact, exhibitions are organised to represent excellent skills. Chhow mask is common among Bengalis and this is a loved art form portrayed in many places. With the influence of art and the addition of different forms of artistry, people’s interest has only grown over the years. Our consumption of the pandals has also changed a lot over the decades.

I remember visiting puja pandals in my hometown, Chakdaha, where idols were made using vegetables in one year. The same pandal committee presented idols built with pulses once and utensils in another year. From experimenting with the materials used in building the idols to changing the pattern of constructing pandals, every year calls for some innovations.

Back in 2019, the West Bengal government and the British signed an MoU. The estimation of the vast creative industries working for the festival in West Bengal was about ₹32,377 crores, according to a report by The Hindu. Durga Puja contributes 2.58% to the GDP of West Bengal.

Also read: Durga Puja 2023: This Kantara-Themed Pandal In North Kolkata Is Winning Hearts; It’s A Must-Visit

To See Some Intricate Designs In Durga Puja Pandals, Head To:

  • Kashi Bose Lane Durga Puja
  • Chorbagan Sarbojanin
  • Tridhara Sammilani
  • Hazra Park Durgotsab
  • Rajdanga Naba Uday Sangha
  • Hindustan Club
  • Tala Prattay
  • Barisha Club
  • Mudiali Club
  • ITI Luminous Club, Kalyani
  • Jorasanko Sadharon Durgotsav

There are reasons why people voluntarily wait in lines for hours and walk mile after mile just to visit pandals. No one wants to miss the opportunity to bless their eyes with such stunning skills of artists.

Cover Image Courtesy: Sanchita Ghosh, Barshan Biswas

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