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Photographer's Note

What are you thinking that this is a picture of an age old city? No my friend. This is a creation of an artist. This is a Pandal of Durga Puja (*) organized by a club named ‘Jatra Shuru Shangha’ in this year (2007). The effects are so real that any body can make a mistake.

* Taken From ‘wikipedia’: Durga Puja is the biggest festival of Hindus in Bihar, West Bengal, East Bengal, Jharkhand, and Bengali Hindus all over the world. It is also called Akalbodhan, Vijaya Dashami, Dashain, and Dussehra.
The actual period of the worship however may be over the preceding nine days Navaratri or five days ("Sasthi", "Saptami", "Asthami", "Nabami" & "Vijaya Dashami")

Durga Puja 2007 was held from 2007-10-17 (ShashThi) to 2007-10-21 (dashamI).

The worship of Durga in the autumn ('Sharad') is the year's largest Hindu festival of Bengal. Durga Puja is also celebrated in Nepal and Bhutan according to local traditions and variations. Puja means "worship," and Durga's Puja is celebrated from the sixth to tenth day of the waxing moon in the month of 'Ashwin', which is the sixth month in the Bengali calendar. Occasionally however, due to shifts in the lunar cycle relative to the solar months, it may also be held in the following month, Kartik. In the Gregorian calendar, these dates correspond to the months of September/October.
In the Krittibas Ramayana, Rama invokes the goddess Durga in her battle against Ravana. Although she was traditionally worshipped in the spring, due to contingencies of battle, Rama had to invoke her in the autumn akaal bodhan. Today it is this Rama's date for the puja that has gained ascendancy, although the spring puja, known as Basanti Puja, is also present in the Hindu almanac. Since the season of the puja is Shτrot autumn, it is also known as Sharodia.
The pujas are held over a ten-day period, which is traditionally viewed as the coming of the married daughter, Durga, to her father, Himalaya's home. It is the most important festival in Bengal, and Bengalis celebrate with new clothes and other gifts, which are worn on the evenings when the family goes out to see the 'pandals' (temporary structures set up to venerate the goddess). Although it is a Hindu festival, religion takes a backseat on these five days: Durga Puja in Bengal is a carnival, where people from all backgrounds, regardless of their religious beliefs, participate and enjoy themselves to the hilt.

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Additional Photos by Arijit Saha (arijitsaha) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 16 W: 0 N: 12] (78)
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