Durga Puja, the ceremonial worship of the mother goddess, is one of the most important festivals, is celebrated every year in the month of October with much gaiety and grandeur in India and abroad, especially in Bengal, where the ten-armed goddess riding the lion and killing the Buffalo-Demon (Mahishasura) is worshiped with great passion and devotion.
The traditional icon of the goddess worshiped during the Durga Puja is in line with the iconography delineated in the scriptures. In Durga, the Gods bestowed their powers to co-create a beautiful goddess with ten arms, each carrying their most lethal weapon. The tableau of Durga also features her four children – Kartikeya, Ganesha, Saraswati and Lakshmi.
The huge temporary canopies – held by a framework of bamboo poles and draped with colorful fabric – that house the icons are called ‘pandals’. Modern pandals in Kolkata are innovative, artistic and decorative at the same time, offering a visual spectacle for the numerous visitors who go ‘pandal-hopping’ during the four days of Durga Puja.