How Salt Played An Important Role In Bhattacharya Family’s Durga Puja Celebration In Hooghly

by Shreya Ghosh

The biggest festival of Bengalis is here! Subho Chaturthi! Durga Puja calls for everything special; be it magnificent celebrations or extravagant pandals. We love exploring pandals and witnessing the glory of Maa. No matter how crowded it is, pandal hopping is a happy feeling. In between the buzz and crowd, bari’r pujo always holds a special corner in everyone’s hearts. The festival is about the arrival of Maa Durga and her entourage to Earth, five continuous days of worshipping the deity, following traditions, and so much more.

Bonedi Bari’r Durga Pujo Is A Magnificent Sight To Witness

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There are uncountable families in different cities and villages of West Bengal who have been celebrating Maa Durga’s arrival for decades and centuries now. Bari’s pujo is such a special and unique experience. These are the places where you can simply sit and spend hours just by looking at the priest worshipping Maa with dhaak er awaj in the background. Today, we are sharing the story of a well-known Durga Puja of a family and its connection with the Chinese salt business.

Also read: Durga Puja 2023: These Are Some Lesser-Known Traditions Of The Biggest Festival Of Bengalis

Story Of Puja Celebrations At Hooghly’s Bhattacharya Family!

Durga Puja

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Durga Puja celebrations at the Bhattacharya household are renowned in Hooghly. The family celebrates this glorious festival at their ancestral home in the Jorkul village and the historical beginning of the Puja in the household is an interesting story. The tradition of the annual Durga Puja started in about 1810.

Many Bengalis have this wish to experience the festival celebrated at Bonedi bari. Centuries back, Ujjwalamoyee Devi also wished the same to her son and asked him to visit Nantu Singh’s bari’r pujo with her, according to a report by The Telegraph India- My Kolkata. Nantu Singh was a well-known and influential zamindar of the Bhastara village.

After hearing this request from Ujjwalamoyee Devi, Haridas Bhattacharya, her son took the responsibility to start celebrating Maa Durga at their home in Hooghly’s Jorkul village. This was his way of fulfilling his mother’s desire and wish to take her to a zamindar’s household’s puja. Starting from the year 1810, Bhattacharyas continue to dedicate the celebration to Ujjwalamoyee Devi. The Bhattacharya family worships Ananta Basudev in their temple.

Also read: Durga Puja 2023: Howrah Bridge Gets Massive Alpona, Beautifully Hand-painted Along Sidewalk & Road

Bhattacharyas’ Durga Puja Has A Deep Connection To Chinese Salt Business

Durga Puja

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Durga Puja at the ancestral home of the Bhattacharyas has been continuing for more than two centuries now. The beginning of the grand festival shows an incredible relationship between a son and his mother and his tribute to his mother’s wishes. Haridas Bhattacharya was a trader and his guidance to a British trader of the East India Company helped him to become rich. Back in the day, he once selected a salt cargo and asked that trader to purchase it. The cargo was of China’s and it helped the foreign trader to earn a humongous amount of money.

Interestingly, he made such a huge revenue that he gave half of the total profit to Haridas. With this, the trader of Bengal made a good fortune, and the business with East India Company helped him to buy zamindari as well.

Also read: Durga Puja 2023: This Unique Phuchka-Themed Pandal Has Come To Kolkata. Khabe Naki?

Have you ever been to someone’s ancestral home’s Durga Puja celebrations?

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