Where Ma Durga Comes to Celebrate: A Look at the Chattaraj Family’s 200-Year-old Tradition to Welcome the Goddess
The festivities and puja are conducted in the special verandah constructed for prayers, called ‘Thakur Dalan’.
West Bengal has a long tradition of lavishly celebrating Durga Puja, an annual Hindu festival that reveres the goddess Durga. Elaborate pandals with huge crowds, over the years they have become a popular display of creativity and grandeur. The history of Durga Puja in Birbhum district goes back to nearly 200 years when Bhairab Chandra Chattaraj, a renowned person from Suri, West Bengal saw goddess Durga in his dreams where she instructed him to conduct Durga Puja festivities at his home.
West Bengal has a long tradition of lavishly celebrating Durga Puja
Since that day, Durga Puja has taken place in the Chattaraj family. Bhairab Chandra used to treat patients with snake bites. Puja at his temple takes place with tantra rituals and goat sacrifice. During the festivities, relatives of the family join from across the world and they enjoy together.
Shiladitya Chattaraj, a member of the family says, “Wherever we are around the world we wait for ma to come and we come down to Birbhum to enjoy Durga Puja, that’s the essence.”
On the Visarjan day, members of lower caste communities along with male members of the family carry the idol and walk up to the ghat. More interesting is that the family members claim that the plate on which women offer their prayers to Ma always sees her footprints on the day of Visarjan.
The festivities and puja are conducted in the special verandah constructed for prayers, called ‘Thakur Dalan’. Also, the traditional Dhak players are a big part of the family, and during festivities, all members play “Dhak” along with these players. Pujo is about traditional heritage, emotions, and themes. In the past few years, festivities have become famous tourist attractions.
Courtesy : News18
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