Durga Puja, observed in the Hindu calendar month of Ashvin, is much more than a festival that features exhaustive decorations (pandals), scripture recitation, performing arts, revelry and processions.
The festival marks the triumph of good over evil — battle of Goddess Durga with Mahishasura and her emerging victorious.
Durga Puja pandals are usually modelled on interesting themes. Puja committees explore all types of creative avenues to attract masses. Of late, social issues are emerging as popular themes. Besides experimenting with themes, organisers also explore newer methods of creating the idols in sync with trend.
A 100-foot bamboo idol of Goddess Durga put on display as part of Durga Puja festival, in Guwahati on Tuesday.
The design of the Durga idol at New Delhi Kali Bari pandal has remained the same since 1935.
A pandal with communal harmony theme during Maha Panchami of Durga Puja festival in Kolkata.
A pandal made with glass bottles in Kolkata. The Brailled guide will vividly describe the decorations at various pandals.
A colourful pandal at the Delhi Durga Puja Samiti, Kashmiri Gate, on “Maha Shashti Day,” on Tuesday.
A scene at a pandal of the Arambagh Puja Samiti, near Ramakrishna Ashram Metro Station, in New Delhi on Monday. The theme this time is communal harmony and fight against racism. A 40 foot-tall façade of Goddess Durga has been created, where Mahisasur is seen above a collage of a mandir, masjid, church, gurdwara and Lotus Temple.
A priest fixes a banana plant near a Durga idol at a worship venue ahead of Durga Puja festival in Guwahati.
A view of a community Durga puja pandal in Kolkata.
A London-themed pandal, where Goddess Durga is adorned with a 22 kg gold saree worth 6.5 crore, at Santosh Mitra Square, in Kolkata.
A Durga Puja pandal themed on the Jagannath Temple of Odisha, in Ranchi.
'Maha Shashthi' rituals being performed to the idol of Goddess Durga at a pandal, in Patna.
A Durga worship venue designed like a railway station in Bhubaneswar.