Day 2 or the Saptami Puja
A major aspect of Durga Puja in Kolkata is visiting the various community pujas and admiring the beautifully and painstakenly created idols of Goddess Durga.
Although this time I had only visited a few pandals in the Salt lake area of Kolkata, I am still mesmerised by the effort people have taken in giving a different angle to the idols. Depicted here is Durga riding a lion, on her most aggressive pose, finally hunting down Mahisasur or the demon king, who had earlier created havoc on earth. In each of these scenes, he lies submissive at the feet of the Goddess. Duga is srrounded by her family here, with her son Ganesha or the elephant headed God being in the extreme left; followed by her daughter Laxmi, the Godess of wealth; on the right side of Durga is Saraswati, her daughter and Godess of knowledge; and kartik, her son, and the God of beauty.
It is said that Ram, the king of Ayodhya, in Ramayana, had worshipped Durga in Autumn, for divine blessings, to lodge the war of rightuosness or dharmayudha against his arch rival, Raavan, who had kidnapped Sita.
Another mythology says that Durga is born out of the divine powers of all the Gods in heaven, to be the supreme Shakti, or power, to kill the evil and rescue the world.
सर्वमङ्गलमाङ्गल्ये शिवे सर्वार्थसाधिके ।
शरण्ये त्र्यम्बके गौरि नारायणि नमोऽस्तु ते ॥८॥
Sarva-Manggala-Maanggalye Shive Sarvaartha-Saadhike |
Sharannye Tryambake Gauri Naaraayanni Namoh-stu Te ||8||
सृष्टिस्थितिविनाशानां शक्तिभूते सनातनि ।
गुणाश्रये गुणमये नारायणि नमोऽस्तु ते ॥९॥
Srsstti-Sthiti-Vinaashaanaam Shakti-Bhuute Sanaatani |
Gunna-ashraye Gunnamaye Naaraayanni Namotu Te ||9||
सर्वस्यार्तिहरे देवि नारायणि नमोऽस्तु ते ॥१०॥
Sarvasya-arti-Hare Devi Naaraayanni Namostu Te ||10||
And here aresome of the creative ways of decorating the pandals, or temporary temples:
And some art decor: