Idols being prepared in full gusto for the upcoming Durga Puja celebrations in Delhi. It is a grand festival for most most parts of North and East India, but the most fanatically followed in West Bengal. In Delhi, the region called Chhittaranjan Park attracts the most number of devotees.
Durga Puja, also referred to as Durgotsava or Sharadotsav is an annual Hindu festival in South Asia that celebrates worship of the Hindu goddess Durga. It refers to all the six days observed as Mahalaya, Shashthi, Maha Saptami, Maha Ashtami, Maha Navami and Vijayadashami. The dates of Durga Puja celebrations are set according to the traditional Hindu calendar and the fortnight corresponding to the festival is called Devi Paksha, 'Fortnight of the Goddess'). Devi Paksha is preceded by Mahalaya, the last day of the previous fortnight Pitri Paksha, 'Fortnight of the Forefathers'), and is ended on Kojagori Lokkhi Puja ('Worship of Goddess Lakshmi on Kojagori Full Moon Night').
Durga Puja festival marks the victory of Goddess Durga over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura. Thus, Durga Puja festival epitomises the victory of Good over Evil.
Chittaranjan Park, also known as C.R. Park, is an affluent neighborhood in South Delhi, and home to a large Bengali community. It was established in the early 1960s under the name EPDP Colony or East Pakistan Displaced Persons Colony, and later renamed after the deshbandhu (patriot) Chittaranjan Das in the 1980s. Today, despite its growing cosmopolitan nature, it remains home to a large Bengali community, and is home to Kolkata-style street-food stalls, Bengali cuisine, fish markets, temples and cultural centers
The major Durga Puja celebrations are B-Block, Kali Mandir, Co-operative Ground, Mela Ground, and Navapalli (Pocket 40). Auditoriums at Chittaranjan Bhawan and Bipin Pal Bhawan regularly host performances of Bengali theatre and music, which are also occasionally held in the Shiv/Kali Mandir. The week of Durga Puja sees performances by well-known artistes and troupes from West Bengal and Bangladesh as well as performances from group of local people residing at C.R. Park only.
Chittaranjan Park is also home to one of the city's main markets for freshwater fish, an integral part of Bengali cuisine, a large Kali temple, several cultural centres, four big markets specialising in Bengali sweets and numerous stalls selling Calcutta-style street food - chops, cutlets, etc.
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