Kolkata: When the essence of Durga Puja almost fades away, another avataar of Durga is worshiped with great festivity in certain parts of West Bengal during Jaggadhatri Puja.
Chandannagar and Krishnanagar of Bengal are famous for their extravagant and innovative Jaggadhatari Puja Pandals. Unlike Devi (Goddess) Durga, who is fervently worshiped in Bengal during Durga Puja, for conquering not asur or demon, but the ego of all the gods, who were rejoicing after Durga had slayed Mahisasura.
Perched on a lion, with an elephant, trounced under her feet, Jaggadhatri Devi worshipped after Maharaja Krishna Chandra got a dream where the deity asked him to revere her as another incarnation of goddess Durga. According to legends, when Maharaja Krishna Chandra was unable to celebrate Durga Puja, the deity made an appearance in his dream, asking him to worship her in another form – goddess Jaggadhatri. This is how Krishnanagar, Nadia, witnessed the emergence of this festival.
Indranarayan Chowdhury, ruler of Chandannagar and a friend of Maharaja Chandra, gt influenced by his friend decided to have the same reverence with great joy and exhibition in Chandannagar.
Even today, the two districts, celebrate this Puja with with great fervour. Speaking to eNewsroom, one of the committee member of Baghbazaar Jaggadhatri Puja, said, “Even today, we celebrate this puja with great zeal. It’s as big for us as Durga Puja is for Kolkata. Like the Durga Puja pandals, we too have themes for Jaggadhatri Puja pandals. This year, the theme of our pandal is celebrating Vidyasagar.”
These extravagant pandals, attract devotees from every nook and corner of Kolkata and even from other states. “This is the first time that I have come to Chandannagar to experience the Jaggadhatri Puja, which is celebrated here in a big way. I am really liking it. The celebration here is almost at par with the Durga Puja celebration in Kolkata,” said Debashruti Hazra, a college student from Kolkata.
Seems like the times have changed but the celebration of this tradition remains untouched and certain rituals, unhindered.