134-Year-Old Bonedi Barir Durga Puja: Dutta Bari@Balaram De Street
Durga’s appurtenance, the Lion has a horse face at Dutta Bari, Balaram De Street, Kolkata, where the Ghosh family is carrying forward a rich tradition of Bonedi Barir Durga Puja for 134 years.
All pictures used in this article have been provided by the author of this article.
The Ghosh Family residing at Dutta Bari at 159, Balaram De Street (near Girish Park Metro Station), Kolkata, is carrying forward a rich tradition of Bonedi Barir Pujo for 134 years.
Our Forefather Shri Shyamal Dhon Dutta (Solicitor High Court) who hails from Hath Khola Dutta Bari inaugurated this Puja in the year 1882 and till date the 6th descendant of the family is carrying the tradition forward.
The Pratima (Idol):
The Pratima is made on the Kathamo which is divided into three parts. The kathamo pujo is done on the day of Ulto rath.
The Chaalchitra is divided into three parts. On the upper right side of the is the painted image of Radha Krishna while at the bottom is the image of Chandi of ‘Nishumbha’ war. On the upper left side of the Chaalchitra is the picture of Ram and Sita while at its bottom is Chandi in her ‘Shumbho’ form.
At the top middle of the Chaalchitra is the image of Kali and at the bottom is the painted image of 10 avatars of Vishnu. On the curved frame work of the Chaalchitra are two parrots.
Towards the idol of Lakshmi on the Chaalchitra is the image of Shiva on an ox while towards the idol of Saraswati is Ram and Hanuman.
Durga’s appurtenance, the Lion has a horse face.
The entire dress of the Pratima is made of clay. The weapons of the partima is of pure silver which is changed on Dashami.
The Puja (Ritual):
The Chandipath starts on the holy day of Krishna Nabami and continues for 15 days with 7 Brahmin priests doing the regular rituals.
On the Mahashashti the Mother Goddess is welcomed home with bodhon at dusk.
On Mahasaptami the puja starts with the kala bou snan at the Ganga.
On Mahashtami, we have the ritual of Dhuno Porano where the married ladies of the family hold the burning malshas in their hand. At the time of Sandhi Puja the 108 Maha Pradeep is lightened by all the family members.
The Sadhaba Pujo and the Kumari Pujo is held on all the three days (Mahasaptami, Mahashtami and Mahanabami).
The Maha Bhog of the Pujo consists of Radhaballabi, Ledikeni, Dorbesh, Narkel Naru, Doi, Khasta Kachuri and Luchi.
On Dashami we have the Daridra Narayan Seva where Khichuri bhog is distributed.
At the time of dusk the immersion of the Pratima is done with a unique ritual. The Pratima is taken to the Ganga on the shoulders with the family members joining the coolies. This is considered a holy ritual. The Chaalchitra is attached to three bamboos – a tradition specific to the family.
We have the ‘Nilkontho’ ritual, where one of the birds are set free on the day of immersion while the other one is let out after the immersion. Due to government restriction now only a clay form of Nilkontho immersed along with the idol.
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