Durga Puja as a grand festival is mostly associated with West Bengal among the people of the rest of India. But it is also a very important festival in Assam as well with the festive fever reaching a crescendo in the city of Guwahati. People from both the Assamese and Bengali communities come together in the city to put up grand pandals and innovative Puja themes. Over the years, the scale of Durga Puja ha increased manifolds in Guwahati and today many believe that after Kolkata, Guwahati holds some of the best Puja pandals in the entire country.
An idol of the Goddess Durga at a pandal
A closeup of a Durga idol
An illuminated gate entrance at a puja pandal
The city’s Santipur Sluicegate pandal with the theme of the Ganges flowing out of Lord Shiva’s matted lock
A grand puja pandal set up in the city’s Maligaon locality
Earthen lamps being lit at a Puja pandal
A group of women performing traditional kirtan – Aai Naam at a puja pandal
Durga Puja is a favourite time for people to gorge on street food. Here is a gol gappa stand near a pandal
The puja theme at the city’s Bishnupur pandal depicting the goddess as mother nature killing the Asur who is shown here as a poacher
A Durga idol made entirely of dried coconut leaves at a pandal from the city’s Rehabari locality
The Kalimandir pandal of the city’s Chatribari locality came up with this unique idol made entirely of aluminium and stainless steel utensils
The Durga idol from a pandal in Fancy Bazar locality was made to wear real jewellery. The chain around the idol’s neck was reportedly worth Rs 25 lakhs
Several puja pandals in the city put up donation boxes to provide relief for the victims of the recent floods in Assam
A young reveller waits before the beginning of the Bisarjan (immersion) procession on the last day
Joydeep Hazarika is a Guwahati based journalist. He takes active interest in the politics and culture of northeastern India and its surrounding regions. He is a photographer, a cartoonist, a musician and an aspiring writer. He can be followed on Twitter @joydeep1985 or on his blog www.writingwarrior.wordpress.com.