Wednesday, June 23

Check out these centuries-old Kali Pujas of the city

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Brahmomoyee Bhavan, Dorji Para 

History: This year, this Kali Puja will complete 162 years. The idol is special because it’s red in colour and also doesn’t have the idol of Lord Shiva below her feet.

‘Animal sacrifice was stopped in 1936’
Our family follows the Dakshina Kali Puja norms. We’ve heard that there used to be animal sacrifice, but it was discontinued from 1936. Now, every Kali Puja becomes an
occasion for a family get-together.

— Debashish Bhattacharya, family member

Darji Para Raj Krishna Mitra Bari, Central Avenue

History: This Kali Puja was started 227 years ago by Raj Krishna Mitra’s predecessor, Pran Krishna Mitra, who created the idol while playing with his artisan friends.

‘We don’t offer joba flowers’
Our idol has her left foot forward, but we continue to pray to the idol he established. Moreover, we have no norm that says we have to offer joba flowers to the goddess. We offer her 108 aparajita and 108 deepmala. 

— Anusua Biswas, family member

Ankur Dutta Bari, Dharmatala

History: The family members no longer stay here, but the
caretaker told us that the Kali Puja is being held here since the time of Rani Rashmoni.

‘The idol is prayed to every day of the year’
No one stays here anymore, but the extended family gathers here to celebrate Kali Puja together. We don’t conduct animal sacrifice and the idol is prayed to every day throughout the year.

— Shyam Sundar Das, caretaker

Mitra Bari, Bhowanipore

History: The Mitra family has been celebrating Kali Puja at this house for more than 200 years. They start the rituals as soon as amavasya begins and it’s a norm to complete everything before dawn.

‘We offer 11 types of naibedya’
It’s a norm in our family to offer the goddess 11 types of naibedya and we also offer sachi kumro in sacrifice. There used to be jatra performances earlier, but they are not held now.

— Moumita Mitra, family member


Hatkhola Dutta Bari, Jorabagan

History: Started in 1794, this Kali Puja begins every year with a boron done by unmarried girls of the family.

‘Our puja is done in two separate rituals of abahon and bishorjon’
Like other pujas, our Kali Puja is not solemnised in one ceremony covering abahon and bishorjon. It’s done in two separate parts. First, within 11.30 pm of the Kali Puja night, all the rituals are completed. The next morning, the symbolic immersion is solemnised.

— Astik Kumar Dutta, family member


Tarak Pramanik Bari, Simla Kansaripara

History: This Kali Puja is more than 230 years old. Among its specialties is the nearly 100-year-old brass chaalchitra with nickel embellishments.

‘We’ve heard that Ishwar chandra vidyasagar visited our Kali Puja’                                                                   We do arati with 108 prodeeps. A kumari puja is also held that night. We use 1,400 jobas and 1,400 aparajitas in the rituals. We’ve heard that Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was Tarak Pramanik’s friend and he visited our home several times to attend the puja.

— Soumitra Kr Pramanik, family member
— Arijit Dutta & Samik Sen


Source: Times of India

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