Durga Puja rituals are unique. From Kola Bou Snan at the different ghats on the Hooghly on Mahashaptami to Dhunuchi Naach with burning incense pots in front of Maa Durga, this festival is a spectacle to behold. Outlook Traveller puts across a story in pictures of the rituals that make Durga Puja so unique.

(Captions: Sharmistha Chaudhuri) 

Manjit Singh Hoonjan
Bodhon is held on Mahashasthi and this ritual indicates the beginning of Durga Puja. It means Maa has arrived at her paternal home from her heavenly abode and it’s time to start the celebrations. Outlook Traveller went to Sabarna Roy Choudhury’s house in Barisha where Durga Puja began 400 years ago to see this unique ritual, accompanied by dhaak beats
Bodhon is held on Mahashasthi and this ritual indicates the beginning of Durga Puja. It means Maa has arrived at her paternal home from her heavenly abode and it’s time to start the celebrations. Outlook Traveller went to Sabarna Roy Choudhury’s house in Barisha where Durga Puja began 400 years ago to see this unique ritual, accompanied by dhaak beats
Manjit Singh Hoonjan
Kola Bou Snan is held at the various ghats along the Hooghly on Mahasaptami


Manjit Singh Hoonjan
A banana plantain with eight other plaints is tied with scared threads, draped and bathed in holy water and then after a pujo is placed on Lord Ganesha’s right hand side
A banana plantain with eight other plaints is tied with scared threads, draped and bathed in holy water and then after a pujo is placed on Lord Ganesha’s right hand side
Manjit Singh Hoonjan
Kumari Pujo at Belur Math is a massive crowd puller. A young Kumari is decked in finery and is worshipped by priests just as they would to Maa Durga on Mahashtami
Kumari Pujo at Belur Math is a massive crowd puller. A young Kumari is decked in finery and is worshipped by priests just as they would to Maa Durga on Mahashtami
Manjit Singh Hoonjan
108 lotus flowers are required and lamps are lit for this special Sandhi pujo
108 lotus flowers are required and lamps are lit for this special Sandhi pujo
Manjit Singh Hoonjan
Sandhi Pujo is very auspicious on Mahashtami. It’s the exact time Maa transformed into Devi Chamunda
Manjit Singh Hoonjan
Dhunuchi Naach is very impromptu. People with burning incense pots dance and do tricks holding them in front of Maa Durga as the beat of the dhaks give way to frenzied movements. It’s entertaining and a great photo op!
Dhunuchi Naach is very impromptu. People with burning incense pots dance and do tricks holding them in front of Maa Durga as the beat of the dhaks give way to frenzied movements. It’s entertaining and a great photo op!
Sandipan Chaterjee
Sindoor Khela is held on Mahadashami when it’s time to bid adieu to Maa
Sindoor Khela is held on Mahadashami when it’s time to bid adieu to Maa