Top 5 Pujas of 2023

Like every year, Kolkata was yet again decked up in the year 2023 to welcome Durga Maa in all her glory. All the puja committees were ready with their own themes and idea to wow the city.

All the pandal hopping and witnessing the different themes left me in awe. The pandals all were uniquely themselves but if I had to rank the top 5 Pujas this year it would have to be:



Pandal of Santosh Mitra Square
[Photo Courtesy: Team Journapost/ Anusree Ray]

Santosh Mitra Square Durga puja took the initiative of making a pandal themed popularly known as “RAM MANDIR” – which was a preview of the actual Ram temple coming up in Ayodhya and will be inaugurated in January. This puja pandal was lit by psychedelic lights and lasers. It was organized by a BJP councilor, Sajal Ghosh. The Union Home Minister, Amit Shah flew in from Delhi to inaugurate the pandal on October 16,2023 and since then there has been an uncontrollable crowd from even before the pujo officially started.  

The pandal had an enormous entrance with so many sponsorships. There was a separate corner for the cameras, media and the VVIPS. The main attraction would have to be the laser light show and the amount of people excited to see that with their own eyes. Overall, it was the most perfect pandal to satisfy the religious outcomes of the people all over the country.  





Durga Maa at Baghbazar Sarbojonin
[Photo Courtesy: google/]

Bagh bazar Sarbojanin Durga puja has been the most famous puja pandal in North Kolkata. This year the puja committee has completed 105 years. The puja pandal symbolized “SABEKIYANA” (traditional) – a proper Bengali Barowari Puja by the artisans of the puja committee. The puja was introduced at the grounds of Bagh bazar by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The swadeshi mela was also his initiative back then which is now an integral part of the puja. The walk through those different aromas of the food items at the mela was so mouth-watering. The peace at the mandap and the chaos at the mela is the perfect combination that any puja pandal should have.  



Kashi Bose Lane 
[Photo Courtesy: Team Journapost/ Garima Dhanania]

Kashi Bose Lane an old-Barowari Puja which was one of the most talked and popular puja pandal in North Kolkata. This year the theme of Kasi Bose Lane was “CHILD TRAFFICKING. The 3D art all over the pandal left everyone amazed and reflective by sharing a social message portraying both the brutality of child trafficking and the tenacity of survivors. The artists passionately created idols and scenes, depicting the victory of good over evil while illustrating the troubling reality of child trafficking. There was an audio that was being played at the background was referring “AMI HOTE CHAINA UMA” which was in Bengali language. Many people might had difficulty understanding the language but every corner of that pandal gave goosebumps to every single woman out there. The posters of the pandal brought tears to every single citizen whoever seen that pandal. The pandal spread that awareness to everyone that it's a serious issue faced by everyone. The best expressed pandal affected every soul this Durga puja. 



Hathi Bagan Nabin Pally
[Photo Courtesy: Team Journapost/ Somashree Nandy]

This year, the public was mesmerised by the 3D art and paintings produced by the artist-Anirban Das. Another masterpiece that was created in North Kolkata. The theme that was been portrayed by Hati Bagan Nabin Pally was “AABOL TABOL. The mandap was a recreation of the printing press of ‘U.Ray and Sons, the publishers who first published Aabol Tabol. All the houses were 3D and have been painted in black and white. The poems from the book were illustrated on the walls of all the buildings. As soon as you walk through that lane and get into that para, you will have a feeling that you are entering into the black and white era of Sukumar Ray. There was a live performance organised by the puja committee, performing different poems, verses, songs from Aabol Tabol. This has been the perfect way to tribute both Sukumar Ray and Aabol Tabol on their 100th anniversary.  



Shreebhumi Sporting Club 
[Photo Courtesy: google/ Telegraph India]

Every year, Shree Bhumi Sporting Club has been successful in taking us to all through the most iconic attractions in all over the world starting from Vatican City to Burj Khalifa. This year also the puja committee decided on a theme that was “PARIS DISNEY LAND”. It was inaugurated by West Bengal Chief Minister – Mamta Bannerjee on October 12. The crowd started overloading since then. It built a massive gate with the lights all over the place covering the Lake Town clock tower. Goddess Durga was adorned with 22 carat gold. The Disneyland is considered as the theme park in California which was the first theme park opened by the Walt Disney Company. This puja in Central Kolkata will be the special one for all the children out there who visited the pandals on their father’s shoulder.  


 Durga Puja came and went again this year and we had immense fun and we'll wait again for maa next year cause "Asche bochor abar hobe"


Anusree Ray


Garima Dhanania









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