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The Story of Dussehra

The Story of Dussehra

Dussehra, also called Vijayadashmi (or Bijoya in Bengal), is the culmination of the nine-day Navaratri celebrations. It is a festival that marks the killing of Ravana, his son Meghanatha and brother Kumbhakarna, by Rama. It is seen as the vistory of good over evil The Ramayana The epic Ramayana, describes the story of Rama. Rama was the exiled prince of the kingdom of Ayodhya. While in exile, he lived in the forest with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana....

Durga Puja in Calcutta

Durga Puja in Calcutta [Illustration by Shiju George] Durga Puja is the biggest festival in Bengal. We celebrate this puja very nicely in our city. We look forward to Durga Puja every year It is a joyous occasion for all of us. In Calcutta, Durga Puja is a wonderful celebration. Being vacation time, we enjoy ourselves very much. Durga Puja usually lasts for five days. It begins with ‘Shashti’ and ends with “Dashami”....

Dussehra Coloring Pages

Dussehra Coloring Pages

Dussehra Coloring Pages for kids. Dussehra and Durga Puja are round the corner, and we have outlined the special features of these festivals. You provide the colors. Click on any image to view an enlarged version. Print it and color it.

The Nine Nights of Navaratri

This year, the end of September marks the onset of Navaratri or “nine nights” in the Hindu calendar. With this begins one of the most festive phases in India, with Durga Puja in east India, Dussehra in north, central and west India, and Saraswati Puja in South India. It also sets the stage for Diwali in the near future. Navaratri literally means ‘nine nights’. This nine-day period, sacred to Durga, is celebrated sometime in the months of October and November....

Save rivers, lakes from worshippers

Save rivers, lakes from worshippers

Before every Ganesh Chaturthi, people from across India, especially Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Orissa, get busy with preparations for celebrations. But, as the momentum of activity increases, officials of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) start feeling queasy in their stomachs. For, though festivals like Ganesh Puja and Durga Puja are a time for fun, it is also the time when rivers and lakes around the country are abused. Unlike in the past when the idols of gods and goddesses were made of ordinary colours and plain clay that dissolve in water easily, without causing widespread pollution, now they are made of plaster of Paris, distemper, plastic paint, dyes, metallic powders, adhesives, varnish, fluorescent powders and oil paints, which can have an adverse effect on the eyes, skin and respiratory system....

The Making of the Goddess

The Making of the Goddess

On an ordinary day, the names Kumartuli and Krishnanagar would not make much of a difference to a Bengali. But come Durga Puja, and these two ordinary towns near Calcutta, become the focus of great attention. For it is here that the clay idols of Durga are made. This age-old tradition of clay sculpture has been preserved by the community of Pals. Months before the Puja, clay artisans start to breathe life into the images of Durga....

Here Comes Pujo!

Durga Puja is the most important festival for the people of West Bengal, the Eastern Indian state that has been home to three Nobel Laureates – Rabindranath Tagore, Amartya Sen, and Mother Teresa – as well as Oscar awardee Satyajit Ray. Durga Puja, or Pujo as it is usually referred to, ushers in a sense of well-being, with Diwali following close on its heels. The timing is just right: the sweltering heat, and the post-monsoon humidity gives way to Sharat or autumn....

Polluted India

Polluted India

Where: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India Hussain Sagar in Hyderabad is a lake famous for the thousands of migratory birds it attracts from other parts of India and abroad, in the winter months. But the seagulls, ducks and other migratory birds no longer find it hospitable. They only use it as a stopover and prefer to fly away elsewhere. Too many idols spoil the lake The lake has seen more clay idols of deities such as Ganesh and Durga being immersed in its waters than any other lake in the vicinity....

The Tiger Cubs who Lost their Parents

The Tiger Cubs who Lost their Parents

August 5: What’s the worst thing that could happen to a kid? The death of his parents. But it’s not just us humans who feel the pain of becoming orphans. Three orphaned tiger cubs have shown that when you lose your folks, it doesn’t matter whether you’re an animal or not. The pain is the same. The Tiger Cubs who Lost their Parents [Illustration by Shiju George] A happy white tiger family lived in Nandankanan Zoo in Orissa....

The Business of Festivals

The Business of Festivals

What is special about Durga Puja is that it’s a community celebration. In Calcutta, specially, almost every neighbourhood has a Puja Committee to organise the Puja in their locality, every year. Come September and the Committee members begin to meet at each other’s houses and chalk out plans for grand celebrations over endless rounds of cha(tea) and adda (discussion). Anyone can qualify – all one needs is boundless enthusiasm. These people set up the pandal or the tents that house the festivities....

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