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Durga Pujo is Here: Time to Pandal Hop

Editors posted on 19th October

Couldn't make it home for Pujo this time? Missing your mum's cooking, pandal hopping, hanging out with friends and eating greasy, fried Bong food till you are sick to the gills? Our city may not be able to rival the fervour of the Durga Puja scene of Kolkata, but we do have our fair share of well-known pujas that have grown over the years and have made many-a-Bengali or for that matter Non-Bengalis {That's what Bengalis like to call anyone who isn't a Bengali!}, feel at home.

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Bengalee Association Ulsoor

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Sarjapur Outer Ring Road Bengali Association {SORRBA}

Apart from the usual rituals, prayers and festivities at this puja, look out for theatre performances based on a Tagore play, a live gig by Bhoomi and rock band Krosswindz, plus the kids of SORRBA who'll be putting up a play. This time around, it's a completely green event, which means absolutely no plastic. Apart from this, stalls at the pandal will churn out the best of Kolkata street food, cooked by home chefs. Hurry! Till stocks last everyday.

Where: Sun City Apartments, Sarjapur, Outer Ring Road


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Socio Cultural Association, Indiranagar

While the address has changed again, the spirit has certainly not. What remains unchanged is the vast number of food stalls, stellar performances and the puja bhog {food served in prayers to the goddess and then dispersed to hungry souls like us} still made it worth the trek to near the BEML gate. This year, apart from performances by Goutam Das Baul and Anwesha, get set for Pele or Maradona, a football competition for men, while the ladies can gear up for a game of Musical Chairs and a marginally sexist game of stitching. Plus, games and quizzes for the young 'uns. Kolkata style Kathi rolls, Mutton Biryani, Luchi Mangsho and Kobiraji cutlet are usually on the menu. The puja blog is also available every day of the festival at 1pm, but you might have to queue for this one. Also, Lakshmi Pooja will be held at the Jogupalya Choultry {BBMP Hall} on Saturday, October 15 while the Kali Pooja will take place on October 20, at the same venue.

Where: Rajkumar Bailu Ranga Mandira, near Mallespalya Bus Stand, GM Palya Main Road (approximately 1.5 km from BEML gate)

Contact: +91 9845003908

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Bengalee Association Ulsoor

The Ulsoor-based Bengalee Association perhaps organises one of the oldest pujos in the city. They claim that they are among the top five in the country and get footfalls of nearly 25,000 over the busy four days of the festival. This year, the decoration theme this is year is based on Padma Bhushan-awardee Jamini Roy’s paintings. While the celebrations are still traditional, the food stalls will be more varied with Bengali, Indian, Chinese and Mughlai cuisine with plenty of Kolkata style street snacking on offer. Also do look forward to a community bhog which will start everyday at 12.30pm in the afternoon.

Where: RBANMS Grounds, Ulsoor

Contact: +91 9480640014

Check out their website here.

Ramakrishna Math Ulsoor

Quiet and more spiritual, if you want to skip the drama of the other pujo pandals, this one is for you. Focusing of the cultural and spiritual aspect of the festival, the celebrations start on Friday, October 7. With

spiritual, cultural and education trust for a quiet and peaceful experience. The Shri Sri Durga Puja here starts from today and goes on till October 23 and will offer spiritual songs or bhajans as part of its cultural programme.

Where: Ramakrishna Math Ulsoor, Swami Vivekananda Road, Ulsoor

Contact: 080 25367878, 080 25578900

Check out their website here.

Sarathi Koramangala Durga Puja

Marking the Shashti today, the cultural programme at this Koramangala puja begins. And by culture we also mean feasting. The five-day celebration is called Sammad this time, and is following the Unity In Diversity theme. Apart from Bengali food {plenty of Fish Fry and Mishti, they’re pushing boundaries with Chinese and Mughlai cuisine too. Another highlight here will be the music each night with Bollywood singer Ash King performing on Maha Nabami, which is October 22.

Where: Mangala Kalyana Mantapa, 8th Block, 80 Ft. Road, Opp. Ganesha Temple, Koramangala

Contact: 9886067137

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Amader Pujo by Kanakapura Road Bengali Association

Festivities kick off here with a cultural performance by Saptapadi – their trademark mix of dance, theatre, music and magic shows, tonight. And then, each night will see a different form of dance, music or drama being staged. October 21 will see people indulging in a Dhak competition and October 23 will see Durga being taken for immersion, following the Sindoor Khela by the women.

Where: BBMP Grounds, Jaraganahalli Bus Stop, Metro Pillar 89, Kanakpura Road.

Contact: 9880544664

Check out their website here.

Utsav Durga Puja, JP Nagar

Today this pandal will start off the festivities which will culminate with the Durga Visarjan on Friday. Apart from special programmes for kids, musical performances and even a storytelling session, you can look forward to typical treats ranging from luchi to khichidi.

Where: Adarsh Vihar, Bannerghata Road, JP Nagar

Contact: +91 9880903847

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Jayamahal Sarbajanin Durga Charitable Samiti

In their 61st year, this iconic pandal has a massive replica of the Vivekananda Rock temple in Kanyakumari and will host cultural events beginning tonight. Every day, bhog will begin at 1.30pm and following the arati at 7.15pm, the festivities will begin. Kids too have competitions while adults can watch plays, dances and music recitals. Luchi and mutton curry, Khichudi, Kathi Rolls, Pani Puri, Chowmein {yes, of course} and Mishti rule the food stalls here.

Where: Ladies Club Premises, Jayamahal Extension, adjacent to Jayamahal Park.

Contact: 080 23330876

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Featured image via: Amit S © All Rights Reserved