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Durga Puja is celebrated on Dussehra which is a festival of Hindus which is being celebrated all over the nation with different names and forms. Dussehra symbolizes the win of good over evil. Dussehra is said to be one of the most important festival in the Oriya calendar. It is the last day of the ten days of Durga Puja and as Cuttack is the cultural capital of the state, this festival is celebrated in grandest way possible. Life is said to be stand-still in the city as the crowds pour over the Puja Mandaps to enjoy the festivities.
In the Eastern region of the country after Kolkata, Cuttack is the only point of attraction for the Durga Puja. Kolkata is known across the globe for its sumptuous way of celebrating the Durga Puja with the incredible decoration and the stunning enlightenment. But, Cuttack is also known for its Durga Puja all over because of the lavishness in the techniques that are reflected in the gold and silver work especially for the idols of Goddess Durga. As Cuttack is also known for the filigree work on gold and silver also has a major part to play in the Durga Puja. The silver tableaux also known as the ‘Chandi Medha’ in the pandals display a stunning sensation. These tableaux are especially designed by the artisans of Cuttack and intakes a lot of time in working on them.
Inception of Durga Puja in Odisha
As per the history, in the year 300 B.C. a King named Suratha who belonged to the Chedi Dynasty which used to rule the state at that time, started the rituals of Durga Puja in the state of Kalinga which is now known as Odisha. There are several terms being used for the Durga Puja in the Puranas and the Shastraas. It is termed as Mahaparbana in Devi Mahatmya and in Devi Purana and Kalika Purana it has being named Vijaya Dashami. While the rulings of the Gnaga dynasty in the state of Kalinga, the idol worship of Goddess Durga started which is being followed till now. The idol of Goddess Durga made of clay was started in 11th century by the King Chodaganga Dev of Ganga Dynasty.
History behind Durga Puja Celebration in Cuttack
The history behind the modern day celebration of Durga puja in the city of Cuttack is centuries older. It is believed that in 16th century A.D during the rulings of then Gajapati, Pratap Rudra Dev, Shree Chaitanya Dev Mahaprabhu visited Cuttack. During that time he started the Durga Puja at the Balu Bazar near the Ganesh Ghat on the river bank of Kathoji at Cuttack. Hence the ritual are being performed since then and now every year there used to be more than 200 Puja pandals are being set up and Goddess Durga is worshiped.
Durga Puja Celebrations in Cuttack
The festival of Durga Puja is being celebrated with a lot of joy and enthusiasm every year in the city of Cuttack. Various small and big fairs use to be organized, melody nights, Bhajan and Kirtan Sandhya are several more such functions are arranged during the Puja days. The Cuttack doesn’t sleep at night during the 10 days of Durga Puja. Good amount of crowd can be seen during the night time as well at this period. Moving around the City becomes joyful during the holy Durga Puja festival.