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In Bengal, Durga Puja is also called Akalbodhan (Bengali: অকালবোধন, 'untimely awakening of Durga'), Sharadiya Pujo (Bengali: শারদীয়া পুজো , ‘autumnal worship’), Sharodotsab (Bengali: শারদোৎসব, ‘festival of autumn’), Maha Pujo (Bengali: মহা পুজো, ‘grand puja’), Maayer Pujo (Bengali: মায়ের পুজো, ‘worship of the Mother) or merely as Puja or Pujo. In East Bengal (Bangladesh), Durga Puja used to be celebrated as Bhagabati Puja. It is also called Durga Puja in Bihar, Assam, Orissa, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh.

The actual worship of the Goddess Durga as stipulated by the Hindu scriptures falls in the month of Chaitra, which roughly overlaps with March or April. This ceremony is however not observed by many and is restricted to a handful in the state of West Bengal.
The more popular form, which is also known as Sharadiya (Autumnal) Durga Puja, is celebrated later in the year with the dates falling either in September or October.[13] Since the Goddess is invoked at the wrong time, it is called "
Akaal Bodhon" in Bengali.


Durga Puja is one of the most important events in the Bengali society's calendar. Many Bengali films, albums and books are released to coincide with the Puja. The West Bengal government gives a fortnight of holidays for the Pujas. This time is used in various ways. Many people travel in India or abroad. Gatherings of friends called "Aadda" in Bengali is common in many homes and restaurants. A lot of shopping is done, and retailers cash in on this opportunity with special offers.
Visiting pandals with friends and family, talking and sampling the food sold near them is known as pandal hopping. Young people embrace this activity. Pujor Gaan (Songs of Puja) are the Adhunik Bengali songs that come out every year during this time.
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This year I went to several places in Kolkata to visit pandals. This picture was taken at North Kolkata ( Kumortuli).

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Additional Photos by Arijit Ghosh (arijit_ghosh86) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 112 W: 1 N: 130] (795)
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