After the Durga Puja festivities are over, people in West Bengal look forward to the Jagadhharti Puja, and Chandannagar in Hooghly district is famous for organising some grand pujas. Apart from the splendid themes and high-soaring deities, some of the old-age baroari (household) pujas are the places that the puja revellers have listed in their itinerary.
Nichupati, Chaulapatti’s Jagaddharti
Is one of the oldest – considered to be around 350 years old puja, dating back to the 18th century when the French ruled the area. Indranarayan Chowdhury, who was the Dewan of the French government in Chandannagar, introduced the Puja in the Chaul Patti area of the town. Apart from the historical significance, the reason for which Adi Maa, Jagaddharti Puja is known is the spirit of altruism among the committee members.
“The goddess is different here. Every year, on Dashmi (the final day), bhog is served to everyone. Fruits up to one quintal are donated to patients admitted at Chandannagar Mahakuma Hospital. The Benarasi silk sarees that are worn by the deity are given to the newly wed brides who come from economically weaker sections of society,” said Chandan Ghosh, general secretary of the Puja Committee.
Doibok Pata Sarbojonin Jagaddharti Puja
Another alluring pandal is Doibok Para Sarbojonin, which is quite recent (51 years). With lights and mirrors all around, the theme of this year’s pandal is “Jyotirmoyi”- the illuminator of university. Bijay Guha Mallick, general secretary of the puja committee, said: “Our puja pandal was virtually inaugurated by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. This year we have a budget of Rs 35 lakh and our goddess stands apart with 17 ft in height.”
Highlighting the Israel-Hamas war, the puja committee has arranged a drawing competition for children to highlight children getting killed in the conflict.