Mumbai all set to celebrate Durga puja

Mumbai all set to celebrate Durga puja

This time, Durga puja would be celebrated from 15-19 October and a weekend before that would add to the festivities. (DH file photo/Mrityunjay Bose)

The commercial capital of the country, Mumbai, and its suburbs are all set to celebrate Durga Puja with gaiety and traditional fervour.

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) comprising Mumbai and parts of Thane, Raigad and Palghar districts are home to several Bengalees and they celebrate the festival with the same fervour and tradition like it happens in West Bengal. There are over a 100 Durga Puja celebrations pandals by the Bengali community in MMR.

This time, Durga Puja would be celebrated from October 15-19 and a weekend before that would add to the festivities.

For the Bengali community, it’s time for invoking the blessings of Ma Durga, community lunches, feast in the evenings, a lot of cultural programmes and themes. Besides, they do indulge in pandal-hopping. 

"The spectrum is very wide and it is time when all of us come together," said Gautam Chatterjee, the secretary of Vasai-based Pragati, adding that Durga pooja also means new clothes and a variety of traditional food.

The most prominent of the Durga Puja is at the Shivaji Park at Dadar in central Mumbai.

While one of the oldest Durga pooja is at Kalbadevi – which is predominantly organised by goldsmiths and artisans. 

There are mega poojas like the pooja organised by Lokhandwala Sarvajanik Durgautsov Samiti spearheaded by singer Abhijeet. The Bollywood has its own share in the celebrations – while Abhijeet's programmes are held in Lokhandawala, the Mukherjee family holds their pooja in Santacruz and Kajol and Rani Mukherjee takes a keen interest in the celebrations. 

Yesteryears actor Biswajeet, too, organises a pooja. The Durga Puja at Vashi in the satellite town of Mumbai, too, attracts a huge crowd and so as the one in Powai.

There are some unique poojas too - Khar's Ramakrishna Mission, while in Sion, officers and men of the IAF organise a pooja in a small way. On the other hand in Goregaon, a 'sarvajanik' pooja is organised by an all-women association. 

There are nearly five to six lakh Bengalees in this metropolis and its suburbs, according to an estimate. Such is the dedication to the culture that in a far-flung suburb like Vasai there are four Durga poojas – Pragati, Pragatisheel, Kaplataru and Bassien Bengal Club.