Kolkata International Book Fair

A rendezvous with books- Kolkata International Book Fair

Durga Puja is the biggest festival of Kolkata? Well, Kolkata International Book Fair is not far beyond, it is a festival for the City of Joy; whether you love books or not, Kolkata International Book Fair beckons all.

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Kolkata International Book Fair is held every year during the last week of January and runs approximately for 10 days. From local book stalls to international book stores, you have a varied flavour of books here; United States, Costa Rica, Bangladesh and United Kingdom create a magnificent fiesta of books at the Milan Mela ground, Kolkata.

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Kids never feel left out at Kolkata International Book Fair; they are the special guests of the fair. From the colourful comics to the happy mascots, kids learn to love books at Kolkata International Book Fair.

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Are you an academician? Dive into the ocean of knowledge at the book stalls specially stuffed with books of science, history, art and technology. While the English and Bengali detective books are there to sharpen your brains, discover the thrill of jungles with Jim Corbett.

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Kolkata International Book Fair is just not about book stalls, it is a get together of creativity; throughout the fair, several literary meets are arranged at the halls along with the little magazine counters, where you get to see and hear your favourite authors; who want to miss the golden opportunity to autograph their favourite book from their favourite author?

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Now, Kolkatans love food and hence any fair without food joints are incomplete; Kolkata International Book Fair is not an exception. From tangy chaats to sumptuous lunch platters, from lip smacking ice creams to piping hot tea, you have all to set off the right mood for books.

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Kolkata International Book Fair is a huge event not only for the city but people throughout Bengal gathers here to feel books. Hence to keep the momentum, numerous buses are arranged for accessibility while subways look into the safety of the booklovers.

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Hence it can be fairly said, how popular may be e-books, we still love to bask in the fresh smell of book pages.

Durga Puja @ Durgapur’15- A different aspect of devotion

Siuli Flowers Declaring the arrival of Durga Puja
Siuli Flowers Declaring The Arrival of Durga Puja

As Ma Durga visits her father’s home from Kailash, Durgapur, the city named after the Goddess, begins the celebrations. If you want to experience the real feel of Durga Puja without suffering from suffocation and crowd, visit Durgapur.

Idol Making At The Eve Of Durga Puja
Idol Making At The Eve Of Durga Puja

As the tiny ‘siuli’ blossoms to fall like droplets on the dew drenched grass and the green fields are blanketed by white ‘kash’ flowers, Durgapur wakes up to celebrate the largest festival of the Bengalis, Durga Puja. Durga Puja at this smart city means gorgeous idols of the Goddess, glittering puja pandals, colourful fairs and an occasion to relish delicious platters.

The Gorgeous Devi Idol
The Gorgeous Devi Idol

The complete city of Durgapur rejoices the festival of Durga Puja. Most of the puja done at this city are ‘barwari’ pujas, that is, pujas organized publicly by different residential areas, popularly known as ‘parar poojo’.

Parar Poojo
Parar Poojo

Durga Pujas at this city are also influenced by the trend of theme pujas and you will find spectacular puja pandals here, encircled with astounding scenic beauty. The local artists do not leave any stone unturned to transform the mere pandals into exquisite temples of worship; innovative, perfect and artistic.

Spectacular Puja Pandals
Spectacular Puja Pandals

The deities of Goddess Durga found at these puja pandals are epitome of elegance. Every idol is different from the other, depicting the mythological tales lying behind this festival. While some deities are in the form of tribal idols, others are the varied incarnations of the Goddess of Power.

Different Incarnations of Goddess Durga
Different Incarnations of Goddess Durga

If you want to meet the crowd of the city, visit the joyous fairs of Durgapur. Simplicity is beauty; this is the untold theme of the fairs of the Steel City. From the delicately designed handicrafts of West Bengal to the day to day home products, from the tinkling sound of glass bangles to the exciting rides, these fairs are a world in themselves.

Colourful Puja Fairs
Colourful Puja Fairs

Now, Indian festivals are incomplete without lip smacking cuisines and Durga Puja is not an exception. There are numerous food joints throughout the city where you can relish authentic Bengali to Mughali cuisines, from Chinese to Continental dishes. All the five days of the puja people out here forget about diets and calories and treat themselves with crunchy papri chats, spicy and steaming hot ‘ghoogni,’ delicious egg chicken rolls; gulping ‘puchkas’ and devouring on ‘malai’ ice creams marks the conclusion of a hearty feast.

Puja Delicacies
Puja Delicacies

Students and the working mass of Durgapur who spend most of the year outside the city, are seem flocking to their hometown to spend some time with their childhood pals, parents and loved ones. Hence, Durga Puja is just not another festival to the locals; it is a celebration of life overlooking all flaws of life.

BIdding Goodbye to the Goddess
Bidding Goodbye To The Goddess

Durga Puja- The Celebration of Life

Durga Puja is considered as one of the largest festivals in India. Be it West Bengal or any other part of India or world, Durga Puja has a special place in the hearts of Indians.

Traditional Idol
Traditional Idol

This festival is celebrated with great pomp and show at West Bengal. As the puffy clouds start floating at the autumn sky, milky white ‘kash’ flowers cover the green fields and the
aroma of dew drenched shiuli fill the air, nature announces the arrival of the Goddess, Devi Durga.

Durga Puja
Blissful Nature At Puja

The Durga Puja that we celebrate at the month of September or October; is the puja the Lord Rama did prior to his fight with Ravana. Sasti, Saptami, Asthami, Navami and Dusherra are the five days when goddess Durga is worshipped at Bengal.

Lord Rama Worshipping Devi Durga
Lord Rama Worshipping Devi Durga

Durga Puja is just not the worship of the goddess of power; it is the divine joy of reunion of parents with their children, friends, sisters and brothers, who spent the whole year at an unknown land and return to their soil during the puja. Hence, if you peep at the interiors of any Bengali family during the puja, you will find groups of people chit chatting, forgetting the world; popularly known as ‘adda.’

Durga Puja Adda
Durga Puja Adda

With time, Durga Puja has also gained momentum and the concept of theme puja has given a different edge to it. As you enterany puja pandal, you will feel as if you are entering an historic site; most of the puja pandals now-a-days are replica of historic monuments, like Khajuraho temple, Konark temple and many more.

Themed Durga Puja
Colourful Durga Puja Themes

The colourful lighting enhances the beauty of the puja pandals and also portrays different facets of life. The puja committees spend lavishly on the idols and the pandals to be the best of the town; there are several prestigious awards given at the end of the puja to the best puja, pandals and lighting. Thus, the traditional Durga Puja has also not been able to avoid the sting of competition and rat race.

Colurful deities
Ecstatic Beauty of Devi Durga

Shopping is an indispensable component of Durga Puja. Shopping starts much before the festival, as people of all ages start preparing themselves; everyone wants to greet Mother Durga in their best attire.

Crazy Shopping Crowd
Crazy Shopping Crowd

Last but not the least; Durga Puja is the best time to relish authentic Bengali cuisines. During this festive season, the day at a Bengali house starts with a lip smacking breakfast menu of piping hot luchi, aloo dum and rajbhog, the lunch and dinner is sumptuous with steaming hot rice or pulao, varied fish items and spicy mutton curry.

Puja Platter
Puja Platter

Bengalis are in love with street food and hence near every puja pandal you will surely find numerous food stalls, selling egg and chicken rolls, chaats and puchkas. Sweets have a special place is the hearts of the Bengalis and hence are a must in the festive season. Barfi, nariyal and besan ladoo, rasamalai, rasgullas are to name a few.

Street Food Fiesta
Street Food Fiesta

Durga Puja hence is just not a religious occasion, it is a time when people from all walks of life revive from the daily stresses and spend some moments of pure happiness and life.

Durga Puja Crowd
Durga Puja Crowd