Kolkata : Durga Puja has been recognized as Inalienable Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. But the heritage of Durga Puja is not only understood by its splendor but also by its history. The history of this Durga Puja in the city of Kolkata is quite ancient. According to the records so far available to historians, the oldest Durga Puja in Calcutta is the Durga Puja of the Savarna Roy Chowdhury family of Barisha. A book was published just before the puja to inform the general public about a part of that history, i.e. the puja history of Banedi houses in Calcutta.
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The book published by Kalikhata Prakashani will highlight many unknown facts about the puja of 7 elite houses of old Kolkata. The name of the book is “Durgotsava of Banedi Calcutta”. The author of this book, Shubodeep Roychowdhury himself is a member of the Savarna Roychowdhury family. The book will highlight the unknown information about the seven old Durga Pujas of North and South Kolkata. Subhodeep himself grew up watching family pujas from his childhood. He has heard the history of home puja from the elders of the house since his childhood. Not only the oldest puja of the Savarna Roy Chowdhury family, the Atchala house puja, but also seven other poojas of the Savarna Roy Chowdhury family, which have been divided into later generations, have also seen Shubhdeep.
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Atchala, Barobari, Mezobari, Benaki Bari, Kalikingkar Bhaban and Magherbari are worshiped in Barisha area. Two more pujas of the family’s family take place in Virati and Nimta Pathanpur areas of the present North 24 Parganas district. There are several differences in the rules and regulations in many pujas even if they belong to the same family. Somewhere there are different types of non-vegetarian food as well as there is a difference in the skin color of idols.
Apart from all these detailed information, Subhodeep has presented the unknown information about pujas of six more Banedi families in the city of Kolkata in his book. Apart from Savarna Roy Chowdhury, the Durga Puja details of Shobhabazar Rajbari, Bagbazar Haldar family, Hatkhola Dutta family, Southern Avenue Ghosh Roy family, Bhavanipur Mitra family, Kolutola Motilal Sheel family have been highlighted. It is the author’s hope that such a research-based book will be appreciated by the readers in the year of recognition by UNESCO.
Published by:Pooja Basu
First published: September 21, 2022, 12:59 IST
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