India is known for its vibrant festivals throughout the world. Durga Puja holds a particular place among all the prominent festivals. Hindus celebrate the heroic deity Durga’s triumph over Mahishasura, the buffalo monster, during Durga Puja and visit different locations to be part of festivi. Shakti, the strong female energy in the universe, is honoured throughout the festival. The Goddess is said to visit earth every year during the event.
It’s the time of year when people in the Eastern region of India celebrate Durga Puja. People living in India’s North, West, and Central regions observe Navratri, followed by Dussehra. Dasara is a festival people living in South India celebrate. You will surely be able to sense the festive vibe, irrespective of the part of the country you are residing in.
Top 13 locations in India for Durga Puja Celebration
Do you want to feel the grand fervour and splendour of Durga Puja in different parts of the country? Consider taking a train trip to these 13 cities:
1. Delhi’s Ramlila
Delhi is among the top cities in India to travel to for Dussehra celebrations. With the nine long days of Navratri, the city is illuminated. During these nine days, everyone in Delhi consumes vegetarian food while watching theatre artists who actively engage in plays portraying Lord Ram’s story and how he defeated Ravana. You can visit Ramlila Maidan in Old Delhi to see the most well-liked Ramlila musicals. Here, you can also witness the burning of the Ravana statue on the eve of Dussehra.
2. Kolkata, West Bengal
During Durga Puja, Kolkata embodies the phrase “City of Joy.” It is an amazing experience to be in Kolkata and the adjoining regions of West Bengal during Durga Puja and Bijoya. The festival is famous for the Dhunuchi dance, stunning pandals, bhog, and spectacular Durga idols. You may also take a tour of mansions like Sovabazar Raj Bari and Rani Rashmoni Bari to get a feel of the traditional aspects of the Puja.
3. Varanasi Ramlila, Uttar Pradesh
Varanasi has traditionally been regarded as one of the best cities in India to travel to for Dussehra. Being one of the ancient cities, Varanasi hosts the Ramlila next to the Ramnagar Fort, which dates back to the 1800s. The entire fort gets transformed to display mythological scenes depicting places like Ayodhya, Lanka, etc. The audience follows the artists as they shift locations to play the narrative.
4. Ahmedabad, Gujrat
You should visit Ahmedabad to appreciate the most enjoyable aspect of Navratri. The vibrant Chaniya-Choli, Kediyus, and Kafni pyjamas make the city look incredibly colourful, while the upbeat Garba dance intensifies the festive Navratri ambience. The special “Aarti” performed in Gujarati for the Mother Goddess is another event you can’t miss in Ahmedabad at this time. People assemble to dance in a circle while being surrounded by clay lights and celebrate the triumph of good over evil.
5. Bastar, Chhattisgarh
The tribal people of Chhattisgarh’s Bastar area celebrate a special form of Dussehra, which lasts 75 days. The Bastar King Purushottam Dev of Bade Dongar around the thirteenth century initiated this tradition to celebrate Dussehra. The local tribal people perform several rituals over these 75 days. People performs the ceremonies such as pata Jatra, kachan gaadi, deri gadhai, Nisha Jatra, and muria durbar. Besides, tribal community observe the final day’s farewell to the gods in the form of ohadi.
6. Patna, Bihar
With spirited performances, serene idols, intriguing theme decorations, and conch-blowing competitions, Patna honours Goddess Durga with great zeal. The Durga Puja pandals in Patna presence the replicas of well-known Indian temples. Make sure to take in one of the pandals’ energetic dhunuchi dance performances. For musical events, Patnanites invites performers from various places like Kolkata and Delhi.
7. Mysore, Karnataka
Experiencing the Dussehra festivity in India will not be complete if you miss Mysore’s Dasara. Dasara in Mysore is definitely a very unique event. Cultural shows, military parades, and even sporting competitions are part of the celebration. The Mysore Palace is decked up, and the Royal family joins a special Durbar that is held there.
8. Kota, Rajasthan
The Dussehra Fair is the most exciting event in Kota during Dussehra. Here, in 1723 A.D Maharaj Durjanshal Singh started the custom of organising the fair for the first time. Attending the fair is a remarkable experience, filled with everything from cultural performances to food stalls with the mouthwatering fare, costume dramas, and fireworks. Here, you can even witness the burning of Huge Ravana effigies on Vijayadashami. Mushairas, Kavi Sammelan, and the Moustache Competition continue during the following days.
9. Katra, Jammu and Kashmir
Katra region observes Durga Puja with great enthusiasm, among top locations for Durga Puja celebration. The state’s most prominent temple, Vaishno Devi Ji Temple, is where the event is held. For nine days, there is a regular celebration. The temple is located in Jammu and Kashmir, approximately 13 kilometres from the base camp. The entire track is lit with multicoloured lights and chanting sounds in the background.
10. Kullu, Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh distinctly observes the festival. During this event, hardly, you can see any pandal in this area. But, you may spot processions and other activities in the Kullu Valley’s Dhapur Maidan. Here, people commemorates Ram’s victory for ten days. When the procession reaches the River Beas after ten days of celebration, the ceremony concludes with a burning piece of wood and a clump of grass. It corresponds to the fire incident in Lanka.
11. Cuttack, Odisha
The Bengali and Oriya workers of the East India Company began observing Durga Puja in Cuttack in 1832. You can see the Durga adorning silver and gold jewellery in various pandals on the streets of Cuttack during the Akaal Bodhon ritual. There is a dedicated Durga Puja Pandal on the city’s outskirts, where worshippers pay their respects yearly.
12. Guwahati, Assam
Visit Guwahati if you want to participate in Assam’s amazing Durga Puja festival. There, you’ll witness some of the prettiest pandals. Durga Puja draws people from all across the North East to this city. Durga Puja activities involve thoroughly enjoying the occasion by shopping, trying new cuisines, and visiting family and friends.
13. Pune, Maharashtra
Durga Puja of Pune is famous for its special nabami bhog offered in the pandal. Along with the delicious treats, the pandals are well-known for their cultural events, such as dance, music, theatre, and other arts. The Mulshi Dam, Aga Khan Palace, Dagadusheth Ganpati Temple, and Malshej Ghat are some ideal spots to visit and take in the festivities in the city.
There are many activities to participate in during Durga Puja, including dining out, seeing the city day and night, and spending time with family and friends. You can also visit different temples across the country and take blessings of the Goddess of power, wisdom, and strength.
Which Temples can I Visit During Durga Puja?
People visit Maihar, the only temple in the country of Maa Sharda, during Durga Puja to take the blessings of mother-goddess. According to legends, at Maihar, the necklace of Mata Sati dropped when Lord Vishnu divided the body parts of Sati for the goodness of the universe. Devotees need to step 1063 stairs to reach the top of Trikuta mountain in the Satna district of Madhya Pradesh for the Darshan.
Moreover, if you take a trip to Kolkata & the adjoined areas, you can visit different Sati Peethas of West Bengal. Besides, you can visit several famous temples of India well-known for the Devi Durga and her different avatars.
So, what are you waiting for? Plan a rail trip ahead of time to visit the Durga Puja locations for the celebration.
How to Plan a Train Trip During Puja Season?
Indian Railways runs special trains every year during festive seasons to address the squirt of passengers. If you’re considering a rail trip during the Puja season, check out the most recent travel advice from various states to ensure a hassle-free trip. You can refer to the train schedule feature of RailMitra for full information on all the festival-special trains. Additionally, with its app, you can check trains between locations known for the Durga Puja celebration and your nearest railway station. You can also use RailMitra’s online tools to check PNR status, view live stations, live train running status and more.
RailMitra is a one-stop shop for enhancing your Durga Puja experience and plan a train trip.