Durga Puja is one of the most awaited festivals of Bengal and the devotees come together to celebrate this festival with open hearts, irrespective of their cast, community or religions. The festival marks the win of goddess Durga in the battle with Mahishasura. Across the country, the festival is celebrated with enthusiasm and fervor. People bring in home idols of Goddess Durga, organize jagrans, visit pandals, meet friends and relatives and relish on delectable Bong foods.
Mumbai is home to a significant number of Bengalis who organize community Durga Pujas in different parts of the city. These Pandals in Mumbai attract people from all walks of life, including Bollywood celebrities. Bhog, aarti, feast and cultural programs are organized by Bengali communities. During Durga Puja, Mumbai transforms into mini Kolkata.
Here’s a list of prominent Durga Puja Pandals in Mumbai:
1. The Bengal Club, Shivaji Park:
It is one of the oldest Durga Puja Pandals in Mumbai. The Puja rituals here are performed just as it is done in Kolkata's famous Durga Pujas. Aside the famous ‘Bhog’ one can also sample varieties of authentic Bengali dishes like fish chop, mutton chop and Bengali sweets near the Pandal. You can also find stalls selling jewelry, handicrafts and saree from Bengal.
Location: Bengal Club, Veer Savarkar Marg, Shivaji Park, Dadar West.
2. Balkanji Bari, Mukherjees:
The Balkanji Bari Durga Puja is hosted by actress Rani Mukherjee, Kajol and Tanuja.The Pandal attracts huge crowd including many Bollywood celebrities. The Balkanji Bari puja also hosts cultural programmes during the 5-day festival with participation from the Bollywood artists. The star-studded Pandal is open to visitors on all days during Durga Puja.
Location: Hotel Tulip Star, VM Road, Juhu
3. Powai Bengali Welfare Association Durga Puja
This Pandal is at Hiranandani Gardens in Powai and witnesses huge crowd during all days of the festival. The major attraction of this Pandal is the Master craftsmen from West Bengal who construct the Natmancha or theatre stage which over the years have featured Indian temples like Lotus temple, Konark temple, Sripuram Golden temple and many more. Other highlights include Dance competition and performances by famous Bollywood singers. Traditional lunch is served on the three main Puja days.
Location: Hiranandani Gardens, Powai, Mumbai
4. Lokhandwala Durgotsav
The Times of India Lokhandwala Durgotsav is one of the biggest Durga Pujas in the western suburb. Singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya has played a major role in making this Puja a huge success. The highlights of this Pandal are celebrity spotting, cultural programs and delicious food stalls.
Location: Lokhandwala Ground, Andheri West, Mumbai
5. Ramakrishna Mission
This Pandal celebrates Durga Puja in an authentic way. The traditional Kumari Puja is a major highlight of this pandal where young girls are worshipped by devotees to seek blessings on the day of Ashtami. The Pandal also offers delicious ‘Bhog’.
Location: Ramakrishna Mission Marg, 12th Road, Khar West.
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