Durga Puja of “Bonedi” Families at Kolkata

Durga Puja at Pathuriaghata's Khelat Ghosh's Family

Durga Puja at Pathuriaghata’s Khelat Ghosh’s Family

During Durga Puja festival at Bengal the star attraction are the different Barowari Pujas conducted by several clubs and associations. The themes of Pandal and idols of these pujas change every year. Latest themes of Pandals and idol are the talk of the town.

Generally overlooked by the Pandal hoppers are the Durga Pujas held privately in several families some of whom were affluent and stalwarts in yesteryear, specially during the Colonial Regime. Although the financial condition is not affluent as it was in earlier days (mainly because the Zamindari system was abolished post independence), yet these families till date perform Durga Puja with dedication maintaining all the rituals. The Pujas are all of 100+ years, some even 200+ and 300+ years old. Everyone of the families gather to celebrate Durga Puja with pomp and show as an annual get-together.

It is still being mentioned by the old timers that Goddess Durga adorned herself with jeweleries at  Jorasanko’s Shib Krishna Dawn’s house, had lunch at Abhay Charan Mitra’s house at Kumartuli and enjoyed  music and dance at the Shovabazar Rajbari.

The Puja of Abhay Charan Mitra’s house who served gigantic sized sweets has stopped since long. But the other two houses of Shib Krishna Dawn and Shovabazar Rajbari still celebrate Durga Puja with great pomp and show.

Family Get Together during Durga Puja at Seal Family of Muktaram Babu Street

Family Get Together during Durga Puja at Seal Family of Muktaram Babu Street

Every year many of my friends and relatives asks me for directions and addresses to these families. These Pujas are refereed to in Bengal as “Bonedi Barir Puja”. I am sure what is the exact English of “Bonedi”, but “affluent” is close resemblance. They are in news many times, but the exact location and address is seldom mentioned. There is always a cluster of people who wish to visit such pujas.

I have visited many such families over the last 2-3 years, partly because of the interests of my Father Asim Gupta – who guided me to locate many such houses. Also one senior friend of mine – Mr. Kanad Sanyal helped me by providing me with some addresses and direction of these houses.

This is a compilation of some of these houses with addresses, maps and photographs. Except three  all have been visited by me personally and photographed. In places where I did not have any  photographs or the one I clicked was not appropriate, I have used snaps clicked by friends and my father.

I do not claim this to be an exhaustive list. I have tried to be as accurate as possible in mapping the directions. At present descriptions are very brief. I will go on adding more descriptions and photographs. In case of families living in close vicinities, I have clubbed their locations in one Map.  So you may land up opening the same map file while clicking on such Pujas  directions Links.

I dedicate this compilation to people who are interested to visit “Bonedi Barir Puja”, to get a homely touch of Durga Puja and bask in Nostalgia. If you are interested to take photographs inside these house, please be polite to ask for permissions from the household members. Also it is advisable to dress in conservative fashion. And above all please do not direct family members to pose for you.

“BONEDI BARIR PUJA” – THE LIST

1. SABARNA ROYCHOWDHURY FAMILY AATCHALA PUJA

Address
26, Sabarna Para Road, Kolkata – 700008, Barisha

(Near Sakherbazar. One has to go straight from Behala Chowrasta through Diamond Harbour Road to reach Sakherbazar bus stop. Turn right  to land at K.K. Roychowdhury road which eventually right turns into Sabarna Para Road besides the Dwadash Shiva Temple ( 12 Shiva Temples). )
Click Here for Direction Map

Celebrated since 1610 at their ancestral home at Barisha, this is perhaps the oldest family Durga Puja or it might even be the first organized Durga Puja of Bengal. The family performs eight pujas by its different branches, the main being the Aatchala. Out of these eight pujas,  six are at Barisha, the seventh is at Birati while the eighth at Nimta.

The Aatchala Durga Puja was started by Lakshmikanta Majumder in 1610 when Mughal emperor Jehangir was ruling Delhi. Quite a large area was handed over to Lakshmikanta Majumder as Jagirdari by Man Singh during his raids to Bengal. It is he who gave the title of Roy Chowdhury to the family. It was later in 1698 that the Roy Chowdhurys had to transfer their rights over Kolkata (then Kalikata) to the East India Company pursued by the Mughal Emperors.

It was due to this family’s litigation the Supreme court gave its historic verdict on 16 May 2003, that Job Charnock cannot be regarded as the founder of the city and 24th August also cannot be considered as the city’s birthday.

Sabarna Roychowdhury Aatchala Durga Puja

Sabarna Roychowdhury Aatchala Durga Puja

2. SOVABAZAR RAJ BARIR PUJA

Address
36 and 33, Raja Nabakrishna Street, Sovabazar, Kolkata – 700005

(Near Sovabazar Metro Station. After you get down from metro Walk backwards towards Shyambazar keeping the Red temple (Lal Mandir) on your left. Raja Nabakrishna Street will fall on your right. The house on the left in this street is No 33 – the old Rajbari and the one on the right at No 36 is the New one )
Click here for Direction Map

It was in the year 1757 after the Battle of Plassey, the first Durga Puja at the Shobha Bazar Choto Rajbari at 33 Raja Nabakrishna Road was initiated. Lord Clive and Warren Hastings were invited to the Durga Puja. Eminent personalities like  Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Swami Vivekanada and Rabindranath Tagore had visited the Rajbari on numerous occasion.

Durga Puja celebration takes places in the two palaces of the Sovabazar royal family of Raja Nabakrishna Deb, founder of the Shobhabazar Rajbari. It was said that Goddess Durga Comes here to listen Music. This was said because of the all night music programmes which took place here during Durga Puja at the famous Nach-Ghar ( dancing room) much of which has collapsed.

Raja Nabakrishna Deb built the first Rajbari at 33 Raja Nabakrishna Street (Choto Rajbari) which he gave to his adopted son Gopimohan. Later  he built the house at 36 Raja Nabakrishna Street (Baro Rajbari) when his natural son Rajkrishna was born. He allocated the second house to Rajkrishna and his descendants. The Baro Rajbari is relatively better maintained.

Sovabazar Choto Rajbari, 33 Raja Nabakrishna Street

Sovabazar Baro Rajbari, 36 Raja Nabakrishna Street

SovaBazar Baro Rajbari, 36 Raja Nabakrishna Street

SovaBazar Choto Rajbari, 33 Raja Nabakrishna Street

3. MADAN MOHAN’S DUTTA BARI DURGA PUJA

Address
2, Dutta Para Lane, Kolkata – 700020
Click here for Direction Map

( Direction : From Central Avenue , you have to take a turn at Dani Ghosh lane – extension Of Beadon Street and drive straight. Cross Rabindra Sarani and drive straight into Nimtala Ghat Street. crossing a huge ruin on your right (which was once Scottish Church Collegiate School and before that Duff College.) Cross Ram Seth Lane on your left and within a very short distance a very narrow lane will fall on your right. In this lane there is a very old brick built Shiva temple housing a huge Shiva lingam. You will see roots of a Banyan Tree hanging from the roof of the temple. Cross the temple and within one minute you will reach at Dutta Para lane which is parallel to NImtala Ghat Street. Turn left into Dutta Para Lane and you will find Madan Mohan Dutta Bari on your right. )

The roots of Madan Mohan Dutta bari starts from Dutta Chaudhury family of Andul. The two brothers Gobindasharan Dutta Chaudhury and his elder brother Ram Sharan Dutta Chaudhury had constant arguments and quarrels over their ancestral zamindari property. Finally in 1580, Gobindasharan Dutta Chaudhury left Andul and began to live at a certain place in Sothern Calcutta. Within four years Gobindasharan Dutta Chaudhury got appointed as Inland Revenue collector under Raja Todar Mal. Raja Todar Mal was Secretary of the Treasury under Emperor Akbar’s newly created province combining Bengal, Bihar and Orissa

Gobindasharan Dutta Chaudhury impressed Todar Mal so much that he was awarded vast amount of land at a place called Badar Rasha’, somewhere in North of Calcutta. Gobindasharan become so trusted of Raja Todar Mal, that finally he was appointed as the Governor of the province in 1594. The area where he lived was known as Gobindapur.Gobindasharan had four sons. – Baneswar Datta; Bhuabaneswar Dutta; Ram Narayan Dutta and Bisweswar Dutt. The son of Baneswar Datta, Ram Chandra Dutta (Gobinda Sharan’s grandson) left Gobindapur and came to Hathkhola in 1968. It is said that Ramchandra Dutta was persuaded by the British to give up his place at Gobindapur in exchange of some land at Hathkhola, located in North of Calcutta. This was done in order to allow the construction of Fort William at Gobindapur.

Ramchandra was married to Durgamoni and had five sons- Krishna Chandra, Manikya Chandra, Bharat Chandra, Shyam Chandra and Gorachand.Krishna Chandra’s elder son was Modon Mohan Dutta. Madan Mohan became became a merchant and amassed enough wealth. Modon Mohan was very religious minded too. Due to his fame, his house began to known as the ‘Hathkhola Dutta Bari’ and his descendants as the Duttas of Hathkhola. Madan Mohan had 4 sons and few daughters. It is said that he had made a registered will and gave his entire property to his daughters’s side.. In 1794 AD, Madan Mohan’s own cousin brother- Diwan Jagat Ram Dutta moved out from there and settled at 78, Nimtala Ghat Street.The house of Ramchandra Dutta is so well maintained and celebrates Durga puja so grandly, that people often mistake this as being the new Hathkhola Dutta Bari. At present, this house is also known by the name of ‘Madan Mohan Dutta Bari’

Thakurdalan of the house of Madan Mohan Dutta'

Thakurdalan of the house of Madan Mohan Dutta’

4.BAGHBAZAAR HALDARBARI DURGAPUJA

Address
17/1, Kaliprasad Chakraborty Street
Click here for Direction Map

( Kaliprasad Chakraborty Street is located opposite to Khirodeprasad Bidyabinod Mancha on Bagbazar Street & very near to Baghbazar Sarbojaneen Durgapujo Pandal. Walking down the lane as you turn the corner, the house falls on your left  just opposite to Gouriya Math on the right.)

The Durgapuja of Haldarbari started 447 years ago. Unlike many other traditional houses the deity is a Mahishashurmardini idol made of Kasthipathar (Touchstone).  Members of Haldar family informs that one of their ancestors was a Zaminder of Nawpara  at Chandannagar. He had a divine intervention about this idol, when he went for a leisure trip to a place named Sahebpur alias Rahanpur at Balasore, Odisha. The idol was discovered after digging around 14 feet through the floor of a Muslim Fisherman’s house.  The year of discovery is supposed to be 1560.

This exquisite idol is of two feet in height. The weight of the idol is around 25 to 30 kg.  As an art form this idol is unparalleled. The deity is bejeweled with several ornaments. She has ten arms holding a variety of weapons. Her right footrests on the back of a lion and the left foot is on the demon Mahishashura. Just above the Goddess is a statue of Mahakal. On each side of her forehead, there are two angels. On the lower side of Goddess, there are two small statues of women holding weapons. These looks like Jaya and Bijoya, although traditionally they do not brandish arms. The entire idol rests on a lotus.

After being worshipped in various places, the present residing place of the idol for last 200 years in the Haldar residence at Baghbazar. It may be mentioned here that the idol is worshipped here on daily basis.  The Goddess is faming to be Jagrata and fulfills wishes of every devotee who prays to her with devotion. Among the rituals the Nabapatrika rituals and Sandhi Puja are one of its kinds. Presently Durga Puja of Haldar family is being carried out with great devotion under the guidance of present descendant Debasis Haldar.

Haldarbari Durga Idol

Haldarbari Durga Idol

5.BEHALA ROY FAMILY’S DURGA PUJA

Address
Amarendra Bhavan,  4/1, Roy Bahadur A.C. Roy Road, Behala, Kolkata (Near Behala Thana)
Click here for Direction Map

Started by Ray Bahadur Ambika Charan Roy on 1756, Behala Ray Barir Pujo is being celebrated now at the palatial residence “Amarendra Bhaban” of his third son Amarendra Roy’s Family. Ambika Charan Roy had amassed enough wealth to be set aside solely for the purpose of conducting the Durga Puja over the years. Other than Durga Puja, Jagadhatri Puja is also celebrated here.

Behala Roy Bari Durga Idol in their impressive Thakurdalan

Behala Roy Bari Durga Idol in their impressive Thakurdalan

6. BEHALA JAGAT RAM MUKHERJEE’S FAMILY PUJA

Address
56 Bramho Samaj Road, Behala, Kolkata (Near Behala Tram Depot)
Click here for Direction Map

Jagat Ram Mukherji original hailed from Barrackpur. He had a second marriage in the Haldar Family and settled in Behala in 1740. He had one daughter and four sons from this marriage. Once his daughter along with his nephews went to visit the Durga Puja of his maternal uncle house – the Haldar Family. She was not properly attended there and so being insulted she returned back home and asked his father Jagat Ram Mukherji to conduct Durga Puja at his home. It was Navami, the penultimate day of Durga Puja, so instead of worshiping an idol, symbolic Ghot Puja was done.

From next year till 1867 Clay idol of Goddess Durga was worshiped in this house.In 1868, Jyotinath Mukherjee – great grand son of Jagat Ram made Durga idol of Gold, which is being worshiped till date.

Jagat Ram Mukherjee's Golden Durga Idol

Jagat Ram Mukherjee’s Golden Durga Idol

7. RANI RASHMONI FAMILY’S DURGA PUJAS

Address
13 Rani Rashmoni Road, 18/3 S.N. Banerjee Road and 18 Rani Rashmoni Road
Click here for Direction Map

(At Janbazaar at the crossing of Rani Rashmoni road and S.N. Banerjee Road. One end of Rani Rashmoni Road lands at Lenin Sarani, while the other part extends into Mirza Ghalib Street alias Free School Street. Driving through this street takes you to Park Srteet. There are two houses here. One on S.N. Banerjee Road and the other on Rani Rashmoni Road)

Founder of the Dakshineswar Kali Temple and a pillar of strength in the male dominated society, Rani Rashmoni started Durga Puja at her S.N. Banerjee Road residence. After her death in in 1861, his sons-in-law and daughters continued Durga Puja celebrations in their respective premises.In the S.N. Banerjee Road house the festival is celebrated by two families while at Rani Rashmoni Road house, Puja is celebrated by one family.

The Durga Puja held at 13 Rani Rashmoni Road is the one originally initiated by Rani Rashmoni herself. Thakur Ramakrishna Paramahansa has worshiped here too. The entry to this Puja is through the Free School Street. The Hazra family are in charge of this Durga Puja.This was originally the Kacharibari of Rani Rashmoni.

In the same building the second Durga Puja of this family can be visited from the entrance on S.N. Banerjee Road itself. This is 18/3 S.N. Banerjee Road premises Durga Puja, held by the Chowdhury family. It is interesting to note that one Building has different street addresses

On the other side of the Road at 18 Rani Rashmoni Road stands the huge Rani Rashmoni Bhawan. This Puja is conducted by the Biswas family.

Durga Puja at 13 Rani Rashmoni Road. This is the Durga Puja initiated by Rani Rashmoni herself.

Durga Puja at 13 Rani Rashmoni Road. This is the Durga Puja initiated by Rani Rashmoni herself.

Durga Puja held at 18/3 S.N. Banerjee Road

Durga Puja held at 18/3 S.N. Banerjee Road

Rani Rashmoni Bhawan Durga PUja, 18 Rani Rashmoni Road, Photo courtesy : Asim Gupta

Rani Rashmoni Bhawan Durga Puja, 18 Rani Rashmoni Road, Photo courtesy : Asim Gupta

8. PATHURIAGHATA KHELAT GHOSH’S DURGA PUJA

Address
47 Pathuria Ghata Street , North Kolkata
Click here for Direction Map

(Pathuriaghata Street is the opposite lane to Lohia Matri Sadan on Rabindra Sarani. At the entrance of the lane is the Pancher Pally Puja Pandal. Walk straight and you will reach the massive Khelat Bhawan on your left.

Alternatively if you are coming by car it is better that you enter through Dani Ghosh Sarani (alias Beadon Street’s extension) from Central Avenue. Cross Rabindra Sarani(which is one way) and enter into Nimatala Ghat Street. Drive a bit and then you will get Baishnab Sett Lane on your left which later merges into Jadulal Mallick Lane. Enter the lane and you will shortly get Pathuriaghata Street on your left. Walking from this end you will get Khelat Bhawan on your right.)

The Thakurdalan of Khelatchandra Ghosh’s House is one of the largest such structure in Kolkata, if not THE Largest. Apart from having a 85 feet long corridor of Marble, this premises showcases a grand dancing hall, which has been converted into Khelat Ghosh Memorial Hall.The premises was planned and designed was made by German architecture company, Martin & Burn. Apart from being a Diwan in Warren Hastings Court, Khelat Chandra Ghosh was known for his philanthropic and cultural activities.

Khelat Chandra Ghosh's House Pathuriaghata Street

Khelat Chandra Ghosh’s House Pathuriaghata Street

9.JORASANKO DAWN HOUSE

Address
12A Shibkrishna Dawn Lane , North Kolkata
Click here for Direction Map

Near Girish Park. Walking towards Rabindra Sarani on Vivekananda Road, this lane originates on your left just after no 24A Vivekananda Road. It is better to walk here from Girish park as it is one way.

If you are coming by car, you need to come the same way as mentioned in road direction of Khelat Ghosh’s house (Serial no 8), drive straight through Jadulal Mallick Lane and reach Kali Krishna Tagore Street. Turn left and drive towards Girish Park under the shadow on unfinished Vivekananda Road Flyover. Cross Rabindra Sarani and you will get Shibkrishna Dawn Lane. You have to park your car and walk into the narrow lane to reach the Collosal Dawn house )

A successful businessman Gokul Chandra Dawn of Satgachia came to reside at Jorasanko. Here He adopted Shibkrishna Dutta, his relatives son as his own. On this occasion, Gokul Chandra Dawn celebrated Durga Puja in 1840. From then the tradition has been carried on by Shibkrishna Dawn and later his descendents till date. Shibkrishna Dawn built up a Coalliary and had major contribution in building up Rail Lines. The Thakurdalan and the courtyard is huge and has been shooting venue of many a films. It is said that Goddess Durga comes to wear her Jeweleries at the Jorasanko Dawn House. The reason being Gold ornaments in large quantity to decorate the Chalchitra along with Ornaments of diamonds and emeralds were brought from Europe.

Jorasanko Dawn Bari, 12A Shibkrishna Dawn Lane

Jorasanko Dawn Bari, 12A Shibkrishna Dawn Lane

10.BALARAM DEY STREET DUTTA BARIR PUJA (Also Known as BALARAM DEY STREET GHOSH BARI PUJO)

Address
159, Balaram De Street Kolkata , North Kolkata
Click here for Direction Map

(Near Girish Park Metro Station. Walking towards Sovabazar from Girish Park, Balaram Dey Street Falls on your left just after the Metro Station. Balaram Dey Street can also be approached from Kali Krishna Tagore Street. The other end of Balaram Dey Street is just opposite to the Shibkrishna Dawn Lane )

Initiated by Shyamal Dhon Dutta, a Solicitor of High Court with roots in Hath Khola Dutta Bari in the year 1882, the Puja is presently carried by 6th descendent of the family. The house is known for following many ancient rituals including carrying idols on bamboos like old days instead of taking them on truck. Sandhi Puja and Baran on Dasami of this house is a delight to watch. For more information on this Puja Click here

Painting of Eye at Balaram Dey Street Dutta Barir Puja

Painting of Eye at Balaram Dey Street Dutta Barir Puja

11. BAISHNABDAS MALLICK FAMILY’S DURGA PUJA

Address
32 Darpanarayan Tagore Street, Kolkata – 700006
Click here for Direction Map

(Coming from Girish Park, you have to walk quite a bit as it is an one way. After Crossing Rabindra Sarani, you will find Jadulal Mallick Road on your right. Enter the lRoad as then again take a left turn to enter Darpanaryan Street. The Mallick Bari will fall in your left.

If you are not intersted in walking, use the driving directions given to reach Khelat Ghosh’s house ( Serial no 8). Drive straight through Jadulal Mallick Road and you will reach Darpanarayan Tagore Street on your right.)

The Durga Puja of Baishnab Das Mallick’s house is 235 years old. Originating from Chinsurah, Baishnab Das Mallick was Gold Merchant and later went into Real Estate too. The Durga Puja was started by him in 1785 after he saw the Goddess in his dream. The huge Mallick Residence has a large courtyard.

The most interesting thing about the Durga Idol of this house is that there is no Lakhsmi and Saraswati Idol here, but two Jaya and Bijoya idols which are not only taller than Kartick and Ganesh idols and but they are taller than the Durga Idol too. Goddess Durga is seated here on the lap of Shiva. The Chal Chitra of the idol features scenarios from Vishnu Puran and Chandi Puran. Dhuno Porano Rituals are observed in this house by several woman, although it remains mainly a private affair.  In this ritual married women hold burning Malsas on their palms and heads, praying for the prosperity of their children as well as families. Normally Business Class Bonedi families observe this ritual. The Idol is carried on the shoulder of 20 men during immersion instead of carrying it in a vehicle.

Baishnabdas Mallick's House Durga Puja

Baishnabdas Mallick’s House Durga Puja

12.NARASIMHA DAWN FAMILY’S PUJO

Address
20 Vivekananda Road, Kolkata – 700006
Click here for Direction Map

(Just a few steps before Rabindra Sarani, while coming from Girish Park. The house falls on your left on the road. There is only two three houses between Shibkrishna Dawn Lane and Narasingha Dawn’s House.

For Driving directions use the same instructions given in Jorasanako Dawn House (Serial No 9) )

Descendants from Kotulpur in Bankura, the family of Narasingh Chandra Dawn celebrates Durga Puja from 1859 which was inaugurated by late Late Nandalal Daw. In Early Days, the family did trading on spices. At present they are leading Gun Makers and Merchants.

Interiors of Narasingha Dawn's House

Interiors of Narasingha Dawn’s House

13.HAATKHOLA DUTTA BARIR PUJA

Address
78, Nimtala Ghat Street, Kolkata – 700006
Click Here for Direction Map

(From Central Avenue , you have to take a turn at Dani Ghosh lane – extension Of Beadon Street and drive straight. Cross Rabindra Sarani and drive straight into Nimtala Ghat Street just like street direction of Khelat Bhawan (Serial no 8). Only in this case you do not turn left. Instead you drive straight crossing a huge ruin on your right (which was once Scottish Church Collegiate School and before that Duff College.). The Dutta Bari will fall on your right. )

Hatkhola Dutta House was constructed by Dewan Jagataram Dutta in the late eighteenth century. His Grandfather Ramchandra Datta was employed in East India Comapany’s Export import Division in Patna Warehouse. A very conservative family who stayed away from the usual frivolities of wasting money has been carrying their Durga Puja since last 200 years

Hathkhola Dutta Bari Durga Puja

Hathkhola Dutta Bari Durga Puja

14. CHATUBABU LATUBABU FAMILY’S DURGA PUJA

Address
“Ramdulal Nibas”, 67E Beadon Street ( Alias Dani Ghosh Street), North Kolkata
Click here for Direction Map

(At the crossing of Dani Ghosh Street (extension of Beadon Street after Hedua) and Central Avenue. The location is so prominent that you cannot simply miss this house. )

At his Beadon street residence,Ram Dulal Dey (Deb Sarkar) started organising Durga Puja from the year 1770. He was the first Bengali entrepreneur who became a millionaire. After his demise, the Puja was carried on by his sons Asuthosh Dey (Deb Sarkar) and Pramatha Nath Dey (Deb Sarkar), more commonly known as ‘Chatu babu and Latu babu’ which continues by his grandson Anath Nath Dey(Deb Sarkar).The highlight of the idol is presence of Jaya and Bijaya, the two companions of Parvati, who flank Durga poised on lotuses. They have no Veena or Pot but just have their hand raised

Durga Puja of Chatu Babu Latu Babu

Durga Puja of Chatu Babu Latu Babu

15.DARJIPARAR MITRA BARI

Address
19, Nilmani Mitra Street & 42, Beadon Row, North Kolkata
Click here for Direction Map

( Walking on a few meters on Jatindra Mohan Avenue ( alias Central avenue) from Chatu Babu Laltu Babu’s house towards Sovabazar, Nilmani Mitra street falls in the right direction. The First house is the massive building Of the Mitras with a large and maintained Thakur Dalan, while the second is a small house with a small run down Thakururdalan)

The palatial building of Mitras came into existence during the times of Durgacharan Mitra who had several business including being court jeweller of Nawab Siraj -ud -Daulah. His Nephew Nilmani Mitra continued the legacy. Later the family’s condition declined. but Nilmani Mitra’s grandson Radhakrishna bought back fortune in the family. It was Radhakrishna who started Durga Puja in 1807. This used to be one of the three top Banedi Pujas of Kolkata along with Jorasnako Dawn Bari and Sova bazar Rajbari. The rituals are interesting and very meticulously followed.

Womanfolk of Darjipara Mitra House performing rituals at their Nilmani Mitra Street premises

Womanfolk of Darjipara Mitra House performing rituals at their Nilmani Mitra Street premises

Thakurdalan of Mitra family at Beadon Row

Thakurdalan of Mitra family at Beadon Row

16. BHOLANATH DUTT FAMILY’S  DURGA PUJA

Address
33/2, Beadon Street (Alias Abhedananda Road), Kolkata – 700006
Click here for Direction Map

( Beadon street has been divided and renamed as Abhedananda Road upto Bidhan Sarani and then till Rabindra Sarani it has been renamed as Dani Ghosh Lane. From Chatu Babu Latu Babu’s house it is a straight way drive. There are auto rickshaw services on this road too. Bholanath Dham falls on the left just some distance from the place where Abhedananda Road meets Maniktala crossing.)

At the Kulin Gandhabanik Dutt household of Bholanath Dham the idol of Durga is sitting on Shiva’s Lap with no weapons or Vahana and no Mahishashur around. This is a legendary idol visualized by one of legendary Merchants of history Dhanapati Saudagar, also belonging to the kulin Gandhabanik clan. Bholanath Dutt started this Shiva Durga Puja idol in 1905 at Bholanath Ashram of Varansai. His sons continued the Puja till 1913 after Bholanath’s death and then eventually shifted it to Sovabazar at Calcutta and finally to the residence at Beadon Street.

Dutta Bari Bholanath Dham

Kumari Puja being performed at residence of Duttas at Bholanath Dham

17.MANIKTALA SAHA FAMILY’S DURGA PUJA

Address
122A Maniktala Street, North Kolkata
Click here for Direction Map

(If you are driving from Girish Park towards Maniktala, you will get Maniktala Street on your left in an angular fashion besides Swami Vivekananda;s Statue just before you get Raja Rammohan Sarani Alias Amherst Street on right. )

The Maniktala Saha Family was originally Salt Merchants and had a huge Zamindari throughout Kolkata. The family originated from Allahabad. Durga Puja of this family is around 150 years.The white Coloured Huge house is located just at the junction of Vivekananda Road and Maniktala Street. It has a huge Thakurdalan inside.

Maniktala Saha Family's Thakurdalan

Maniktala Saha Family’s Thakurdalan

18. GIRISH GHOSH’S FAMILY DURGAPUJA

Address
4 Ghosh Lane, Manicktala, Kolkata : 700006.
Click here for Direction Map

(Ghosh Lane is on the opposite foot path of Manikatala Saha Family’s Durga Puja off Vivekanada Road . At the entrance of the lane there is locally famous Chanchala Sweet shop which is your landmark. Enter the lane and turn right where the lane becomes more narrow. The Ghosh Family’s residence falls on the right. )

The Durga Puja started of Ghosh Family in 1856 was started by Girish Chandra Ghosh. It is known from family members that the family originally hails from Paranchapur, a village in Hooghly district. Durga Puja was originally celebrated there as recorded in the temple of residing deity – Shri Madhusudan. All the necessary item for Puja was transferred from Baghbazar ghat of Kolkata by boat to Mogra and then by boat to the village.

One major difference of the Puja rituals of Ghosh Family with other Bonedi Bari Rituals is that instead of Sandhi Puja , Kalyani Pujais being celebrated at the household. In Kalyani Puja , 108 earthern lamps are also being lighted just like Sandhi Puja. This tradition was started by the family patriarch Girish Chandra Ghose. It is said that the guru of Girish Chandra Ghose died during Sandhipuja. After that the practice of Sandhipuja was discontinued and Kalyani Puja was held to seek the blessings of the Goddess.

All other rituals like Kumari Puja and Dhuno Porano are performed with dedication at this 158 years old Durga Puja.

Girish Chandra Ghosh Family's Durga Puja at Ghosh Lane

Girish Chandra Ghosh Family’s Durga Puja at Ghosh Lane

19.MAHENDRA SREEMANY FAMILY’S DURGA PUJA

Address
17 Mahendra Srimani Street (Alias Sukea Street), Kolkata – 700009
Click here for Direction Map

(Mahendra Sreemany Street is just opposite Ram Mohan Library and at the junction of Ram Mohan Roy Road (not Sarani) and A. P. C. Road at 267, A.P.C. Road between Rajabazar and Maniktala. Alternatively while coming from Girish Park towards Maniktala, turn right to Raja Rammohan Sarani Alias Amherst Street and drive striaght crossing the famous the Chaltabagan Lohapatty Puja. Mahendra Sreemany Street will fall on your left.)

The Durga Puja of Mahendra Sreemany family is of about 100 years. Mahendra Sreemany was a wealthy zaminder who settled here in the late 19th century. As per senior member of the family Ajoy Sreemany, the present residence was built around 1911. He was an important social worker too. The Thakurdalan has several interesting elements along with Mahendra Sreemany’s bust. The idol is traditional with gorgeous “Daker Saaj”. Being a resident of this area let me volunteer with two information. 1. Sukea Street is named after the celebrated Armenian Merchant Peter Sukeas of great wealth. He owned a large garden-house at Boitakhana. (I am thankful to  Mr. Soham Chandra for providing this information with reference)  2. Within stone throwing distance of this street are the ancestral house of three great men of Bengal – Raja Rammohan Roy, Iswarchandra Vidyasagar and Satyajit Roy.

Durga Puja of Mahendra Srimani

Durga Puja of Mahendra Srimani

20. HARINATH MOOKERJEE FAMILY’S DURGAPUJA, RAJABAZAR

Address
4, Kalidas Singha Lane Kolkata – 700009
(Behind Rajabazar Science College, by lane of Keshab Chandra Sen Street)
Click here for Direction Map

(This is close to Srimani Barir Puja at Sukea Street. Actually it is on the back side of Rajabazar Science College. From Sukea Street you may walk back to A.J.C. Bose Road and turn right towards Razabazar. Just before Rajabazar Science College a lane falls on the right. This is Parsi Bagan Lane. Walk though it for sometimes until you get Kalidas Singha Lane on your left. The house is near the end of this lane.

Alternatively if you are coming from Seldah, get down at Rajabazar stoppage. Walk in to Keshab Chandra Street on your left. Just two minutes walk and you will get Kalidas Singha Lane on your right.)

As per the present descendant of the family Indranil Mookerjee , this Bonedi Barir Puja of Kolkata is of 291 years old. Indranil mentioned that Durga Puja started in 1722 when one of the descendants of family – Harinath Mookerjee shifted to Kolkata (then Calcutta) from his ancestral Zamindar house at Gondol para of Chandannagar along with his mother. The Family history says that Harinath Mookerjee brought with him a metal ghot (pot to store water). This was found by his grandfather while ploughing a field. After recovering the ghot, Harinath’s Grandfather had a dream where he had divine instruction to worship Goddess Mangal Chandi every day.

Harinath Mookerjee acquired two houses at Rajabazar area which was actually a washerman’s den. He established Devi Mangal Chandi as the family deity in this house. Under divine instruction, Harinath started Durga Puja in this house. He started business of Jute as a supplier with East India Company which was successful to a great extent. He became a landlord (Zamindar) and built up the present mansion along with Thakurdalan and huge decorative interiors.

The Thakurdalan is not enormous but very interesting. At its entrance there is a unique design of stucco painted in multicolor with figures and floral motifs. On each side of the Thakuradalan there is a figure (one male and female) which looks surprisingly of African descendant. They look representing slaves as there is indication of having chains tied to their legs. Most probably the statues were of Habshi, slaves in pre-British India.

The picturesque Thakurdalan of Harinath Mookerjee at Rajabazar

The picturesque Thakurdalan of Harinath Mookerjee at Rajabazar

21. NILMANI SEN FAMILY’S DURGA PUJA

Address
130 Baithak Khana Road, Kolkata – 700009
Click here for Direction Map

(Reach Amherst Street Post Office. Walk into Dr. Kartick Bose Street besides it. It lands Perpendicular on Baithakh Khana Road. The Road has a bye lane too on the right which also lands on Baithak khana Road. Take a Right turn and walk straight for five minutes looking at the house numbers on your right. The house of Nilmoni Sen will fall on your right. Walking straight takes you to Surya Sen Street.)

Gold Merchant Nilmoni Sen came to Calcutta from Jessore during the beginning of 19th century at Jakeria Street. He celebrated Durgapuja there. Kanailal Sen , grandson of Nilmoni Sen accquired a Thakurdalan at 130 BK Road. He started Durga Puja from 1913. The three arched thakurdalan is decorated with floral design. However since the whole Thakurdalan has been whitewashed, it is difficult to identify the minute details. Nilmoni Sen’s house Worship Abhaya Durga. In Abahya Murti Devi Durga has three Eyes but only with two hands instead of 10. One hand is in Abhaya mudra and the other is in Varada Mudra.

Thakurdalan of Nilmani Sen at Baithak khana Road

Thakurdalan of Nilmani Sen at Baithak khana Road


22.SHAMBHU NATH SEN’S HOUSE DURGAPUJA

Address
3, Rammohan Ray Sarani (Amherst Street), North Kolkata
Click here for Direction Map

(The Red coloured Mansion of Shambhu Nath Sen is just besides Lady Dufferin Hospital near Bank of India, Bowbazar. From the crossing Of Surya Sen Street and Amherst Street (alias Raja Ram Mohan Sarani ) it is just one bus stop in distance. )

The Durga Puja of Shambu Nath Sen ages over 100 years. Originating from Saptagram at Hooghly, Shamabu Sen was a sales Commission agent with G. Arthurton & Co. who were importers of products like Sunlight, Pears, Lux from Liver Brothers (Now Hindustan Unliver) in late ninenteeh and early 20th century followed later in 1930-40s with importring of Cherry Blossom Shoe Polish and Horlicks.

Shambu Nath Sen acquired the land of the present residence of Sen family in 1906 for Rs 9000 and built up a huge residence in 1909. The School of Tropical Medicine stands in the place of their earlier residence. You can see the idol straight from the road itself.

This family is distantly related to the famous Gouri Sen of Bengal in the 18th century who earned enormous amounts of money from the family export-import business and donated freely to repay debts of other people.

Shambhu Sen's House Durgapuja

Shambhu Sen’s House Durgapuja

23. COCOLA HOUSE DURGA PUJA

Address
Arpuli Lane alias Surrendra Lal Pyne Lane
Click here for Direction Map

(Cocola house is located at the junction Surrendra Lal Pyne Lane and Madhu Gupta Lane. You can reach here taking the Sreegopal Mallick Lane besides Radhanath Mallick Lane. On Outside of the building Cocola House is mentioned in Bengali. From Ram Mohan Ray Sarani (Amherst Street) you have to enter through Siddehswar Chatterjee lane (134 Raja Rammohon Sarani.) From College Street (alias Bidhan Sarani), you have to enter from no 22.)

Cocola House Durga Puja

Cocola House Durga Puja

24. PATALADNGA BASU MALLICK FAMILY DURGA PUJA

Address
18 & 22 Radhanath Mallick Lane
Click here for Direction Map

(Radhanath Mallick Lane starts at 22, Surya Sen Street, right after Putiram’s Eatery as you travel towards Sealdah from College Street. The Lane is besides the local Corporation office and will fall on your right. Alternatively if you are coming from the Direction of Sealdah through Surya Sen Street, the lane will fall on your right.)

The Durga Puja of Basu Mallick family ages back to 1831, when founder of Basu Mallick clan, Radhanath Mallick (who later took the title of Basu Mallick) begin to worship Goddess Durga in the premises of 18 Radhanath Mallick Lane. Radhanath did business with the British, was amongst the first Benaglis to learn English and had some 40 mansions in his name when he died at the ripe age of 44. One of The Grandson of Radhanath – Kshetra Chandra Basu Mallick, started Durga puja at 22 Radhanath Mallick Lane. The Thakurdalan has a cast iron frame with glass behind it

The oldest house of the Basu Mallick clan is the one at 18 Radhanath Mallick Lane. There are several Statues of Mercury in the courtyard, which were once used to hold gas lamps. The Thakurdalan has stucco floral decoration over its arches. Above the arches there is a row of stucco figures depicting Dasavatar of Vishnu. In 1905, Rabindranath Tagore had visited this house and appealed to students so that they leave government educational institutions.

22 Radhanath Mallick Lane House

22 Radhanath Mallick Lane House

18 Radhanath Mallick Lane House

18 Radhanath Mallick Lane House

25. PATUATOLA BANDOPADHYAY FAMILY’S DURGA PUJA

Address
Durga Bari, 8 Patuatola Lane, Kolkata – 700009 ( Near College square)
Click here for Direction Map

(If you are coming from the Direction of Sealdah Cross Amherst Street (alias Raja Rammohan Sarani) and continue walking on Surya Sen Street. Patuatola Lane will fall on your right.

If you walking through Surya Sen Street from College Street towards Sealdah, Patuatola Lane falls on your left after crossing College square and Bankim Chatterjee Street. There are small bye lanes before you reach Patuatola Lane, so be careful not to get confused. There are several small budgeted Household Puja in this area too. To reach Banerjee house, walk straight into Patuatola Lane and you will hit into this two storied mansion at the end of the lane.)

Durga Puja of Banerjee Bari at Patuatola Lane started in the year 1890. The stalwart of this family was Late Beni Madhob Banerjee who was incidentally the first Indian attorney. With Mr. Henry Owen , Banerjee was a partner in the firm Owen and Banerjee. Late Beni Madhob Banerjee was attorney for renowned families like those of Rani Rashmoni and Chatubabu & Latubabu. This talented gentleman died at the ripe age of 32 leaving behind huge property for his wife and two infant sons.

Bhog of the Goddess is prepared by the womenfolk of Banerjee household. All rituals including Navapatrika and Sandhipuja involve a large number of household members. In earlier days there used to music conference which involved musicians like Raichand Boral, Badal Khan, Girija Shankar Chakraborty and Bhismadev Chattapadhyay. The music conference still takes place during Durga Puja maintaining the age old tradition.

Patuatola Banerjee Family's Durga Puja

Patuatola Bandopadhyay Family’s Durga Puja

26. LAHA FAMILY DURGA PUJA

Address
2A Bidhan Sarani (College Street) or 121 Mukataram Babu Street, North Kolkata,
50A, Kailash Bose Street, Kolkata- 700006 or 1 Bechu Chatterjee Street, off Bidhan Sarani.
Click here for Direction Map

(2A Bidhan Sarani falls near to Thanthania Kali Bari. Bechu Chatterjee street is just opposite to the Kalibari. 121 Muktaram Babu Street falls on the left hand side, if you enter from Central Avenue near Ram Mandir. From Bidhan Sarani Muktaram Babu Street is the lane just after Bina Cinema. Kailash Bose street falls near Sreemani Bazar on Bidhan Sarani alias College street.)

Durgapuja of Laha Family near Thanthania is 200 years plus old. The first generation of Laha family Madhu Mangal Laha run a business at Saptagram. Durga Puja of Laha Bari was started by Late Bhagibati Charan Laha. The Puja flourished during the time of Late Prankrishna Laha, who had developed a huge profitable business.

The Puja is held alternatively at Bidhan Sarani House of Kristodas Laha or at the Muktaram Babu Street of Ramcharan Laha or at Kailash Street House of Joygobinda Laha or at house of Parbaticharan Laha at Bechu Chatterjee Street.  In 2015 Durga Puja is to be held at Kailash Bose Street Residence of the Lahas.)

Here the Durga Idol is unique like the Duttas of Beadon street. Durga is seen on the lap of Shiva with no arms, no Vahana and without any Asur Demon. This is known as “Hara Gouri”  or “Shib Durga” Idol.

Durga Idol of Laha Bari

Durga Idol of Laha Bari

27. THANTHANIA DUTTA BARI

Address
3 Bidhan Sarani (College Street),  Kolkata – 700006  (Near Thanthania Kali Bari. It is just adjacent to Pasteur Laboratories)
Click here for Direction Map

Started in 1855 by Dawaraka Nath Dutta, The Duttas of Thanthania worship “Hara Gouri”  idol alias “Shiva Durga”. The Puja is celebrated with great pomp and show till date. Among many rituals  observed in this house “Dhuno porano” is the star attraction as a number of   married women in unison hold burning Malsas on their palms and heads  and  pray for the peace and well being of their family members.

Durga Dalan of Thanthania Dutta Bari

Durga Dalan of Thanthania Dutta Bari

28. JHAMAPUKUR CHANDRA BARI DURGA PUJA

Address
24A, Bechu Chatterjee Street, Kolkata – 700009 ( Near Thanthania Kalibari)
Click here for Direction Map

(Bechu Chatterjee Street is just opposite to the Thanthania Kali Bari . Walk straight without taking any diversion. After a ten minutes of walk , the house will fall on your right)

The Durga Puja Of Subal Chand Chandra started in 1761. As per information obtained from the family, Subal Chand Chandra was one of the earliest business entrepreneurs of Kolkata. He was into Textile business and even had business units at Manchester, U.K. The Durga Puja was earlier held at Jorasanko residence, but from 1870 it was shifted to the Jhamapukur residence.

Jhamapukur Chandra Family Durga Puja

Jhamapukur Chandra Family Durga Puja

29. CHORBAGAN CHATTERJEE BARI

Address
120, Muktaram Babu Street, North Kolkata
Click here for Direction Map

(Enter Mukataram Babu Street from Central Avenue near RamMandir. The Chatterjee house will fall mid way on your right. In case you enter from Bidhan Sarani take the lane just after Bina Cinema. )

The most unique thing of Chorbagan Chatterjee Bari Durga Puja is that from Saptami to Dashami fish is offered to Devi as bhog. The Durga Puja Carried in their ancestral house is over 150 years old which was initiated by Ram Chatterjee. He was a Stevedore by profession.

Chorbagan Chatterjee Bari Durga Puja

Chorbagan Chatterjee Bari Durga Puja

30. CHORBAGAN MITRA BARI

Address
84, Muktaram Babu Street, North Kolkata
Click here for Direction Map

(Enter Mukataram Babu Street from Central Avenue near RamMandir. The Big Red Pillared house is just at the entrance of the street opposite to Ramchandra Laha’s house. In case you enter from Bidhan Sarani take the lane just after Bina Cinema. )

Both the house and the Durga Puja of Chorbagan Mitra Bari are of 300 plus years old. The Magnificient building looked grand in its haydays with its huge pillars, but now is a crumbling situation. The house was built by Ramsundar Mitra who was a money lender by profession.He event lent money on interest to Lord Clive. Durga Puja is held alternatively in the Thakurdalan on the Muktram Babu Street or in the dalan on the other part of the house, whose entrance is through the super narrow Mitra lane adjacent to the house.

Chorbagan Mitra house Durga Puja. This Dalan has to be entered from the Mitra Lane. The other dalan falls on the Muktaram Babu entrance.

Chorbagan Mitra house Durga Puja. This Dalan has to be entered from the Mitra Lane. The other dalan falls on the Muktaram Babu entrance.

31. CHORBAGAN SEAL BARI

Address
42, Muktaram Babu Street, North Kolkata
Click here for Direction Map

(If you are coming from Girish Park To Esplanade, you have to enter that part of Muktaram Babu street which falls on your right. The house is just some steps after the Giant Marble Palace on your left )

Khetramoni Debi, wife of successful businessman and exporter took the initiative to start Durga Puja in the Seal family, 158 years ago. There is a plaque at the house to this effect. Seal family follows Vaishnavism and are strictly vegetarian.

Chorbagan Seal Family Durgapuja

Chorbagan Seal Family Durgapuja

32. BADAN CHANDRA ROY’S HOUSE

Address
2A, Gopal Chandra Lane, Colootola, North Kolkata
Click here for Direction Map

(You can access to Gopal Chandra Lane from Central Avenue itself or enter Colootola Lane alias Maulana Shaukat Ali Street and turn left)

The 150 years Durga puja was started by Late Badan Chandra Roy in his palatial three storied house at Kolootola opposite to Medical College Hospital. The Thakurdalan is quite large here too. The lights on the courtyard gives a beautiful glow in the night.

Badan Chandra Roy's grand Thakurdalan

Badan Chandra Roy’s grand Thakurdalan

33. PURNA CHANDRA DHAR’S HOUSE

Address
32A, Debendra Mullick Road, North Kolkata
Click here for Direction Map

(Devendra Mallick Lane is just opposite to Medical College . Go straight to the end of the lane. The house on your right is Dhar Family’s residence. Access the house from the entrance which is located on the right of the building.)

Origianting from Halisahar, Purnchandra Dhar was Salt Merchant by profession. Durga Puja in the family is almost 150 years old. Here the Durga Idol is Abhaya Murti. In Abhaya Murti, Durga has only two hands, without any Demon Asurs but with two lions.It may be mentioned that Thakur Ramakrishna Dev visited this house.

Purnachandra Dhar's Abhaya Durga Idol

Purnachandra Dhar’s Abhaya Durga Idol

34. MOTILAL SEAL’S HOUSE

Address
60 Colootola Street (alias Maulana Shaukat Ali Street), North Kolkata
Click here for Direction Map

(Coolotola Lane is located just besides C.R. Avenue Post Office on the opposite foot of Medical College.)

Apart from being an extreme wealthy businessman who earned plenty from various kind of business, Motilal Seal is famous for his philanthropy and social activity.He was a strong supporter of widow marriage and even paid Rs 20,000 to first gentleman who married a widow.His next generation has continued to good work, Durga puja of this family is over 150 yerars old.

Motilal Seal's House Durga Idol

Motilal Seal’s House Durga Idol

35. KUNDU BARI DURGA PUJA

Address
9, Peary Mohan Pal Lane, Kolkata – 700007
Click here for Direction Map

(As you walk from Girish Park To Esplanade, the first right right turn near a Temple is the Baranasi Ghosh Street. Step inside the Street. Peary Mohan Pal Lane falls is the first lane on the right of this street. It is extremely narrow. Alternatively if you are coming from the other side, the lane will fall on your left just after Ram Mandir Bus Stop.)

Widely used Gupta Press Panjika aka Paanji (Hindu astronomical almanac) came into existence on the Bengali Year 1276 (English: 1879). As per Kundu family members their Durga Puja started from that very year by their ancestors Krishna Das Kundu iniated by his wife Rajomani Dasi. Rajomoni had seen Durga Puja celebrated every year at her house before she got married. So she naturally wanted to have Durga Puja celebrated at her in laws residence too. Her wish was fulfilled by her husband.

Krishna Das Kundu became rich after doing business as a Kerosene Dealer and hence was known as ‘Kerosone Kundu’.

His sons Durlabh Chandra Kundu and Sudhir Chandra Kundu carried on Durga Puja. Their pet name was Buddhu and Suddhu. Hence the Puja was known by their name as Puja of Buddhu and Suddhu (similar to Latu Babu Chatu Babu Durga Puja). These two gentlemen were famous for their “Tarja songs” too.

The Thakurdalan looks deserted and is piled up with cardboard boxes during the year, but Durga Puja it undergoes a radical change. The unique thing about this Dalan is that it has beautiful stucco work on it. Dhuno Porano Ritual takes places on Astami at Kundu Family.

Stucco Art Decorated Thakurdalan of Kundu Family

Stucco Art Decorated Thakurdalan of Kundu Family

36. AMRITA LAL DAWN HOUSE

Address
8 Dinu Rakhsit Lane, Kolkata – 700005
Click here for Direction Map

(Beniatola Street (not to be confused with Beniatola lane of College Street) is located just at the junction of B.K. Pal Avenue and Rabindra Sarani. It is easy to locate if you take the Sovabazar Street just opposite to Sovabazar Metro. Walking down a bit you will come across B.K. Pal Avenue on your left. Walking further down into B.K. Pal Avenue you will reach Rabindra Sarani. You will get J.M.D. Medicare on your right as you hit Rabindra Sarani. B.K. Pal Avenue goes straight cutting Rabindra Sarani. Instead of going straight you will turn right into Beniatola Street.

At the entrance of Beniatola Street there is a Barowari Puja. Immediately after the Puja , you get the Dinu Rakshit Lane on your right ( just before Dawn Lane and Sashi Sur Lane). Chances are you may miss the lane , thinking it to be entrance to a house. One is bound to miss this interesting family Run Durga Puja if the exact address and direction is not known. You will NOT find it in Google Map. The one I have attached here shows the lane alright, but that is my handiwork to lead the interested visitor to the exact location.)

The Durga Dalan and House have been recently renovated. There are Glass Paintings inside the Thakur Dalan and Mina work over the Entrance Door. The Dawn Family is not interested in getting media attention, so they get very pleasantly surprised when you take an effort to locate their Family Puja and will offer you to have Prasad and welcome you to their Puja. Among many rituals, they perform “Dhuno Porano” on Astami. The family worship Naryan as Salgramshila. Interestingly the Salgramshila stone was even attired with a Dhoti!

The Durga Puja of the Dawn Family is of over 120 years started by Amrita Lal Dawn who was into dealership of Petrol and Diesel. This Gandhabanik caste family has its root at from Kotulpur of Bankura.

The primary Puja of the family is that of Goddess Jagadhatri. The family also performs Kali Puja.

Amrita Lal Dawn's ThakurDalan

Amrita Lal Dawn’s ThakurDalan

37. ADHAR LAL SEN’S FAMILY DURGA PUJA

Address
97A and 97B Beniatola Street, Kolkata – 70005
Click here for Direction Map

(Coming out of Dinu Rakhsit Lane as mentioned in Amritalal Dawn’s Durga Puja ( Serial no 36), walk futher down Beniatola Street. The lane is serpentine and you will have to turn right and then left and walk for a considerable distance checking the numbers. 97A will come first on your right, followed by 97B )

Adhar Lal Sen was an immensly talented person who became a Deputy Magistrate at age of 24 posted in Chaittagong district ( now in Bangladesh) in 1879. He subsequently settled at Kolkata and was appointed as a member of the faculty of Arts of Calcutta University in 1884. He wrote several books, two of them at the age of 19.

Apart from being a talented man, Adhar Lal Sen was one of the early devotees of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa. Durga Puja in his residence at 97 Beniatola lane was started by his father Ram Gopal Sen in the year 1861. Ramakrishna came to this house both in 1883 & 1884 during the Puja. Adhar Lal Sen died very early even before reaching the age of 30.

Today the Puja has been divided into two houses like many other families. The Choto Taraf Puja takes place in 97A, while the Baro Taraf Puja takes place at 97B which is the original residence of Adhar Lal Sen. The name plaque of the house says “Adharalya” and a plaque on its wall says in Bengali “ Shree Ramakrishna Padankinto Bhakta Adharlal Sen er Bari” ( House of disciple Adhar Lal Sen visited by Shree Ramakrishna ). In this Puja, the household members and the priest eats Vegetarian food till Nabami. It is only on Dasami they have fish preparations.

Adhar Lal Sen's Barotaraf Durga Puja at Adharalay, 97B Beniatola Street

Adhar Lal Sen’s Barotaraf Durga Puja at Adharalay, 97B Beniatola Street ( Photo courtesy : Asim Gupta)

Adhar Lal Sen Choto Taraf Durga Puja at 97A Beniatola Street

Adhar Lal Sen Choto Taraf Durga Puja at 97A Beniatola Street (Photo courtesy : Asim Gupta)

38. KABIRAJ GANGAPRASAD SEN FAMILY’S  DURGA PUJA

Address
17 Kumartuli Street, North Kolkata
(Inside  Kumartuli the artisan’s Den, near the Kumartuli Ghat. Locally known as Kabiraj Bari)
Click here for Direction Map

Durga puja at reputed physician Kabiraj Gangaprasad Sen is of 169 years. He had Ramakrishna Paramhansa as his regular patient. The Kabiraj earned enough money to initiate Durga puja in his premises with enough grandeur. He even constituted a trust to carry on the puja in future generations. The idol is ‘ak chala’, but interestingly Kartick is on the left side below Lakshmi and Ganesh is on the right side below Saraswati.

Kabiraj Gangaprasad Sen's Durgapuja

Kabiraj Gangaprasad Sen’s Durgapuja

39. BHAWANIPUR MALLICK FAMILY DURGA PUJA

Address
Mohini Mohan Road, Bhawanipur, South Kolkata
Click here for Direction Map

(Near Netaji Bhawan Metro Station. The lane just before JaduBabur Bazar is Mohini Mohan Road. Walk straight until you almost come to the end. Mallick Bari is inside a small entrance on your left.)

Durga puja of Mallick Family dates back to 15th Century.The Founder of Mallick family Radha Gobinda Mallick settled in Bhowanipur in 1860. His place of origin was the village of Srikhanda, from where they shifted to Guptipara. From 1925, Durga Puja shifted from native village to Kolkata.

Puja rituals are performed at Mallick residence at two locations , namely “Annapurna Dalan” and the other “Durga Dalan”. Mallick Family are Vaisnavas and prepare vegetarian food from Sasthi to Nabami. After immersion in Dasami, they prepare Non Veg food. No rice is offered to the goddess, but preparation of wheat is done. Popular Bengali filmstar Ranjit Mallick and her daughter – successful actor Koel Mallick belongs to this family.

Bhawanipur Mallick Bari Durgapuja. Photo Courtesy : Shailesh Liya

Bhawanipur Mallick Bari Durgapuja. Photo Courtesy : Shailesh Liya

40. BHAWANIPUR MITRA FAMILY DURGA PUJA

Address
13, Paddapukur Road, Bhawanipur, South Kolkata
Click here for Direction Map

(Near Netaji Bhawan Metro Station. The lane just after JaduBabur Bazar is Paddapukur Road. Walk straight until you almost come to the end towards Allenby Road. Mitra Residence is on the left. You can see the Thakurdalan from the road itself.)

At The Mitra residence at Bhowanipore. the Durga Puja origin back to 1757. The Durga Idol appears to be Dwibhuja(two handed) at first sight but actually has two natural hands and the rest of the eight hands are short and on the shoulders. After the idol is dressed up, you cannot see the rest of the eight small hands. Laxmi and Saraswati have no vahan and are seen on the lotus. The Lion’s head has a close resemblance to a horse and is painted white with moustache in black

Bhawanipur Mitra Bari Durgapuja. Photo Courtesy : Shailesh Liya

Bhawanipur Mitra Bari Durgapuja. Photo Courtesy : Shailesh Liya

41. BHAWANIPUR DE FAMILY DURGA PUJA

Address
26/E, Chandra Nath Chatterjee Street, Bhawanipore, Kolkata – 700025.
Click here for Direction Map

(If you get down at Netaji Bhawan Metro Station ( just opposite to Jadubabu’s market), you will need to walk towards Exide on the left footpath of the Ashutosh Mukherjee road. Hardly a few minutes walk will bring to the two storied Green Palace Pub on the left. After crossing the Green Palace, you will get the Khadi emporium. The lane just after that on the left is Chandra Nath Chatterjee Street. Walk down the lane until you reach Harish Mukherjee Road. Cross the road and walk straight into the continuation of Chandra Nath Chatterjee Street. After a two minutes walk, De House will fall on the left.)

The Durga Puja of the De Family started in the year 1870. There is an interesting story about this Puja. One day Late Ramlal De of the family found a mother with her two daughters & two sons were waiting in front of the main door of the house. On enquiring about their purpose of visit , the family did not answer the question. Instead, the mother with her sons & daughters entered into the house. After that,part no trace was found of the family, as if they vanished into thin air. Later one night Ramlal De had a dream of Goddess Durga asking him to worship her in the family. From then Durga Puja was celebrated every year in the family.

The Durga Idol of De Family is one of a kind. The most interesting idol is the Demon Mahishasur, who symbolises the British Empire as it wears a decorative long coat and a pair of  boots.  The hair and moustache of the demon is painted golden like an Englishman. The De Family Members have no idea as to what was the reason of such an attire of the demon. However, since many Hindu reformists identified Goddess Durga as a symbol of India, she became an icon for the Indian independence movement. As a result, Goddess Durga may have been displayed as the slayer of British Empire as she kills  the Demon. Ganesh and Kartick wears dhoti and chaddar made of Cotton. Lakshmi and Saraswati do not come with their vahanas but instead stands on lotus flowers.

The family members cannot remember any freedom fighters born in the family. So it remains a point of interest as to what inspired the family to dress the Mahishasur demon in this fashion, when in contrast the Deb family of Shovabazar invited Lord Clive to their Durga Puja in 1757 ?

Durga Puja of De Family, Bhawanipur

Durga Puja of De Family, Bhawanipur

42. KALI MOHAN GHOSH RAY FAMILY’S BLUE DURGA

Address
Flight Lt. Tapan Chowdhury Avenue, State: West Bengal, Pin Code: 700026
(off Southern Avenue Near Philips Service Centre)

Click here for Direction Map

(If you are driving from Gol Park through Southern Avenue alias Dr. Meghnad Saha Road, you will encounter a Philips Service centre just after passing Sarat Chatterjee Avenue. The Lane which originates just after the service centre is Flight Lt. Tapan Chowdhury Avenue. Enter this lane and you will find this small but unique household Puja on your left just after two or three houses.)

As informed by Senior Family member Mr. Pradip Mohan Ray, The origin of this Durga Puja dates to 1829 at Narrottampur Of Barishal District, which now is at Bangaldesh. The Puja was transferred to Pratapaditya Place at Kolkata in 1947 and finally to its present location in 1977.The reason that Goddess Durga is painted in blue because of a swapnadesh ( Divine instruction in Dream) given to Saradamayi Ghosh Ray wife of zamindar Kali Mohan Ghosh Ray. The summary of swapnadesh was to worship Goddess Durga in the form of Goddess Kali. Since then the face of Goddess is painted in blue.

Blue Durga Of Kali Mohan Ghosh Ray's Family

Blue Durga Of Kali Mohan Ghosh Ray’s Family

43.CHANDRA FAMILY’S DURGA PUJA

Address
23 Nirmal Chandra Street, Central Kolkata
Click here for Direction Map

( From Crossing of Hind Cinema (Now Shopping Mall) on Ganesh Chandra Avenue, this house fall on your left on Nirmal Chandra Road as you travel towards Bowbazar.)

The Chandra Family hailed from Khisma village of Nadia district. The first family member to settle at Kolkata was Bharat Chandra in 1781 . The Durga Puja started in 1877 by Ganesh Chandra (Ganesh Chandra Avenue is named after him) after building up the immense Thakurdalan.The Thakurdalan was designed by renowned architect, Srish Chandra Chattapadhyay. The Chandras are both Vaishnavas and Shaktas. Late Pratap Chandra Chunder union minister of India hails from this family.

Chandra Family's Thakurdalan at Nirmal Chandra Street

Chandra Family’s Thakurdalan at Nirmal Chandra Street

44. DUTTA FAMILY’S DURGA PUJA ON HIDARAM BANERJEE LANE

Address
62 Hidaram Banerejee Lane, Kolkata – 700012
Click here for Direction Map

( From Crossing of Hind Cinema (Now Shopping Mall) on Ganesh Chandra Avenue, travel on Nirmal Chandra Road towards Bowbazar. Near Bowbazar Crossing, this narrow Hidaram Banerjee lane falls on your right amidst a bazaar. The Dutta House falls on your left after walking down the lane. )

Durga Puja was started on 1883 in this family by Gobinda Chandra Dutta. He had business of Belgium Glass

Hidaram Banerjee Dutta Family Durga Puja

Hidaram Banerjee Dutta Family Durga Puja

45. BISWANATH MOTILAL’S FAMILY DURGA PUJA

Address
1/C Durga Pithuri Lane, Central Kolkata
Click here for Direction Map

( From Crossing of Hind Cinema (Now Shopping Mall) on Ganesh Chandra Avenue,walk/ drive through Nirmal Chandra Road towards Bowbazar. Near Bowbazar Crossing, this narrow Hidaram Banerjee lane falls on your right amidst a bazaar. Once you are in Hidaram Banerjee Lane, Durga Pithuri Lane is the first turn on your left after crossing Dutta house on the left. 1/C is the first house on right in Durga Pithuri Lane.)

One of the oldest aristocrat families of Calcutta is that of Biswanath Motilal, who had his roots at Joynagar. It is believed that the Bowbazar Area was allocated to his daughter-in-law as a gift, hence the name Bow Bazar (Bow/ Bou Bengali means wife). This  puja without any extravagance dates over 300 years. Among the house being a place of historical place (Outside the house a worn out name plate says “Here lived Babu Bisso Nath Motilal Born : 1779, Died :1844“), there is an interesting shaped brass multi oil lamp, which burns from Saptami onwards.

Biswanath Motilal's Family Durga Puja

Biswanath Motilal’s Family Durga Puja

46. NILMANI DEY THAKURBARI DURGA PUJA

Address
45 Hidaram Banerjee Lane, Central Kolkata
Click here for Direction Map

( From Crossing of Hind Cinema (Now Shopping Mall) on Ganesh Chandra Avenue, walk on Nirmal Chandra Road towrads Bowbazar. Near Bowbazar Crossing, this narrow Hidaram Banerjee lane falls on your right admidst a bazzar. Walking for sometimes on this road you will come across Nlmani Dey Thakur Bari on your left)

This 116 year old Puja of Nilmani Dey Thakurbari has interesting history. Nilmoni Dey was an ordinary clerk who stayed at his maternal uncle’s house after his father’s death. Later, he left his job and started his own business. After being well settled and raising up a family, it is said that instructed by divine intervention through a dream Nilmoni Dey was instructed to built up a Laksmi Jagganath Temple. There was a wood storage shed just adjacent to his house. He bought the land and built up A Lakshmi Narayan temple in 1896. Later he built up Kashthi Pathar Durga idol and worshipped it. A trust is there at present to run the expenses of the temple. The worship is being carried in the Vaishnavaite style. Many other Pujas are also held here.

Nilmoni Dey Thakur Bari Durgapu

Nilmoni Dey Thakur Bari Durgapuja

47. AKRUR DUTTA’S DURGA PUJA

Address
1 Rajen Datta Lane, North Kolkata
Click here for Direction Map

(Walking from Wellington square towards College Street, after Crossing Ganesh Chandra Avenue, Akrur Dutta Lane falls on your right)

Born in 1720 in Sonatikri village in Hooghly district, Akrur Dutta visited Calcutta in 1740 and started doing business with Pritiram Marh, the father-in-law of Rani Rashmoni. From this business Akrur Dutta become enviably rich.

Durga puja began in the late 18th century in the Thakurdalan of his house at 1 Rajen Datta Lane, which is now invisible from the road as because a flat has risen in front of it at 18/4 Akrur Datta Lane. In Colonial era, there used to be a hideout tunnel under the thakurdalan which opened on to Wellington-square.

Akrur Dutta's Durga Puja

Akrur Dutta’s Durga Puja

48. RAMGOPAL SAHA’S HOUSE DURGA PUJA

Address
4 Thakurdas Palit Lane, North Kolkata
Click here for Direction Map

(Thakur Das Palit Lane is the continuation of Akrur Dutta Lane. Drive straight  through Akrur Dutta Lane and you get this huge building on your right. The lane gets narrower towards the end.)

The Durga Puja of Saha family is over 175 years old. Initiated by Ramgopal Saha – A wine and Liquor merchant, Saha family residence has a wonderful Thakurdalan which once impressed Ace Lensman Raghu Rai. However,at present  photographers get restricted entry to this house. Any uninvited person with a camera is a strict no-no in this house during Sandhipuja.

Ramgopal Saha Thakur dalan

Ramgopal Saha Thakur dalan

49. SISIR KUMAR HALDER HOUSE DURGA PUJA

Address
15 Ramanath Kabiraj Lane ( 55 Sashibhusan dey Street)
Click here for Direction Map

(You can continue from Thakur Das Palit Lane as mentioned in entry no 28. Turn left and then again a left turn into a very narrow alley to reach Ramanath Kabiraj Lane.Mind it lanes are rather narrow here.)

200+-year-old Haldar Family Durgapuja has a permanent Durga Idol made of Gold. The Thakurdalan has a unique shape with Stained Glass decorations.

Rakhaldas Halder Thakurdalan

Rakhaldas Halder Thakurdalan

50. NILMANI DUTTA THAKURBARI DURGAPUJA

Address
56A, Doctor’s Lane, North Kolkata
Click here for Direction Map

(Puran Chandra Nahar Lane originates in front of Union Chapel, connects Lenin Sarani and S.N. Banerjee Road and continues to form the narrow Doctor’s Line which widens as you proceed inside. The Pink Coloured Dutta Residence falls on your left.)

Not be confused with Nilmoni Dey Thakurbari’s Durga Puja at Hidaram Banerjee Lane. This Humble Family Durga Puja is held in a Thakurdalan of Single Arch. This 110 years old Durga Puja was started by Nilmoni Dutta 110 years ago. The family also celebrates Jagadhatri Puja.

Nilmani Dutta Thakurbari Durgapuja

Nilmani Dutta Thakurbari Durgapuja

51. DEB BURMAN FAMILY RAJ RAJESHWARI DURGA PUJA

Address
23 Khudiram Sarani, Italgacha, Kolkata – 700079
Click here for Direction Map

(Reach Airport 1 no Gate , walk into Jessore Road and turn right. Take a left turn from Jessore Road beside Sufi Sultan Shah Masjid after reaching Airport 1 no gate. Get into Tarun Sen Gupta Sarani Road. Take the third right turn and get into Vivekananda Sarani Road. Walk a bit and then take a left turn to get into Khudiram Sarani. The house is located on the left side of the lane. After crossing house marked number 19, the second house is the residence of Deb Burman family. There is no house number on the building.)

As per information provided by the Sandipan Deb Burman of the present generation of the family, this Durga Puja started in 1860 in the Kummilla district of Bangladesh. It shifted to Tripura and finally it shifted to the present address at Italgacha for the past 12 years.

The house has been renovated into a modern mansion, but the star attraction of this Durga Puja is the idol itself. The colour of the idol is a combination of Deep Red and Maroon, which is described as Tapta Kanchan Colour. Devi Lakshmi is 10 handed Goddess worshiped as Mahalakshmi and similarly Devi Saraswati is 8 Handed Goddess. Kartik is placed beside Lakshmi and Ganesh is placed beside Saraswati. On Asthami, The Goddess is adorned with a Silver Munda Mala (Skull Garland) and a Lemon Mala. During Sandhi Puja the Puja is performed on a separate Chamunda Idol. The Puja is mainly attended by household members in homely atmosphere.

Deb Burman Raj Rajeshwari Durga Puja

Deb Burman Raj Rajeshwari Durga Puja

References

1. Banedi Kolkatar GharBari by Debasish Bandopadhyay, Ananda Publishers

2. Vishnu avatars & Mercury by Soumitra Das. The Telegraph, March 1   2009

3. What lies behind the block of flats by Soumitra Das. The Telegraph, November 15   2009

4.  Durga Puja , Celebrating the Goddess – Then and now by Sudeshna Banerjee, Rupa & Co, 2006

5.  Tradition Rules by Promita Mukherjee, Graphitti, The Telegraph,  September 27   2009

6.  Calcutta : Old and New  by  H. E. A. Cotton, W. Newman & Co, 1907 ( Page : 357)

 

Special Thanks

1. My Father Asim Gupta for getting me interested in these houses

2. Mr. Kanad Sanyal for giving me information and helping in locating these buildings

3. Akash Mondal, Suman Roy, Suvojit, Sandip Chatterjee and Tirthankar Sarkar for accompanying me in house hunting

4.  Mr. Soham Chandra for providing me information on Sukeas Street.

5. Members of the Household of many Bonedi Bari

Advertisements

202 thoughts on “Durga Puja of “Bonedi” Families at Kolkata

      • Sagnik Chakraborty says:

        Durdanto collection….anekdin theke purono kolkata r durgapuja gulo dekhbo..apnar website ta peye darun laglo…khub informative…I wish if I could be with you while you was collecting the informations and roaming around…as a matter of fact I live near Hidaram Banaerjee Lane but unfortunately I did not know these barir puja’s …..however..thanks again…..:-)

      • Anjana Naug says:

        Excellent. Too good. Marvelous . Darun. Khoob Sundar.
        I want a documentary type on DURGA PUJA, from it’s origin to bhasan. From BANEDI BARI to club pandal, Kumartuli to Babughat & so on. Could I have any favor from you.
        Regards,

        Anjana

    • radhika shah says:

      The list does not mention the famous Thakurdalan and Durga Puja of Santosh Chandra Banerjee (Now Santosh Gardens) at No 8 Ekdalia Road, Ballygunje, Kolkata 19. It is one of the older bonedi thakurdalans with a Shiva Temple. Can you add the picture to your collection please.

      • AMITABHA GUPTA says:

        Sorry, But I have never heard of Santosh Chandra Banerjee’s Durga Puja. Exactly How old is this Puja ? If you had mentioned this fact before Durga Puja this year and had given me some more details, I may have tried to add it to my list. Now it is too late.

  1. Joydeep Dasgupta says:

    I was thinking of taking my family to a tour of Bonedi Bari’s Pujo this year, searched the net for info, did not get any serving my purpose until I found yours. It helped me immensely. Thanks a lot.

  2. Manoj Bhatacharya says:

    অত্যন্ত সুন্দর এই ছবিগুলো ! বিশেষ করে দালানের কাঠামোগুলো তো বটেই – এত সুন্দর উঠেছে !

  3. Asim Gupta says:

    My own liking & devotional attraction towards Kolkata’s Banedi Baarir Durgapuja inspired my son Amitabha for a long time. I am pleased to see that he had fulfilled my ambition of making a concise group of some important Bonedi Baarir Durgapuja. This blog gives an insight into the short history of these household Pujas. Special credit to be given for the address & direction map of the houses which will be helpful for persons interested in these Family oriented Durgapujas.

  4. Island Traveler says:

    What an amazing, beautiful journey of man blessings, culture, traditions, of faith, family and friendship. These is a spectacular list. Thanks for sharing and thanks for the recent generous thoughts and prayers for the Philippines.

  5. Amartya Mitra says:

    This is an excellent and outstanding research work and indeed worth an acclamation. I am certain it will prove to be an immensely useful article for people who wish to navigate around these places. This work would surely remain as an archive of Old Calcutta heritage. My thanks to you on behalf of my family, the members of Darjipara Mitra Bari.

  6. Chaitali Halder says:

    Sir,you dont know how immensely helpful this blogpost has been to us .I have been sarching the net like frazy since the last 2-3 years every time during the pujas,and all i would draw is a blank or some vague nothing.And this has been a such generous gift to us explorers! 🙂 Thanks a lot 🙂

  7. sourav motilal says:

    thank you sir for such a wonderful survey on bonidi bari durga puja, and a special thanks for inclusion of our family’s name listed above as “biswanath matilal’s family durga puja”…:-)…

  8. ivy sarma says:

    Celebrations of traditions keep us rooted to our heritage. Thank you for your extraordinary endeavour. Its not only entertaining but informative as well.

  9. prabir kumar ghosh says:

    excellent work.to know the heritage of kolkata this will help many people & we are proud to get it in net. I request you to publish this work as book with the road map in one.
    have you any other work on this subject on pujas out of kolkata?
    keep on going…. we will be thankful to you.
    Prabir ghosh.

    • AMITABHA GUPTA says:

      Thanks…. there is already a book on Bonedi barir Puja in Bengali. Have thought of making a writeup on Bonedi Barir Puja outside Kolkata…. but that is a big project….will see if I can manage it someday.

  10. Wanderlust says:

    Great photography with detailed information..I am.keen on this part, why ganesha and kartikeya are in different places in the Kabiraj Ganga Prasad Sen’s puja, may I know..

    • AMITABHA GUPTA says:

      Good to know you liked it.

      No idea Why Ganesh and Kartick are not in their usual places at Kabiraj Ganga Prasad Sen’s puja…

      ….many rituals are age old in these houses and the reasons for them have faded into oblivion in many cases.

  11. সৌম্য কর্মকার says:

    মুল্যবান তথ্যের জন্য অসংখ্য ধন্যবাদ। আপনার অক্লান্ত পরিশ্রম কে ও সাধুবাদ জানাই। আমাদের মত প্রবাসী বাঙালীদের জন্য এটি একটি মুল্যবান তথ্যের আকর স্বরূপ। শারদীয়ার আগাম শুভেচ্ছা জানাই।

  12. Anumita says:

    hi Amitabha, I must thank you for this article. I would link your article to my bucket list and hope to visit all of them at least once in my lifetime (thankfully some are covered). I wanted to reference this article in my blog as a reference – if you are ok with that. Subha Mahalaya!

  13. Sheela says:

    Would so like to know the presence of maa Durga and experiences by the family members.The spiritual side of this grand festival .please.

  14. SUJIT KUMAR PAL says:

    Thanks for your such nice collections & also thanks for your dedication to collect all the information.
    Regards.
    Sujit Kr. Pal

  15. Koushik says:

    This is an excellent compilation. Your research, dedication and effort towards making this compilation is highly appreciable. It is going to help a lot of travelers like us who wish to explore these pujas without going in a package tour. I have mentioned about your blog in Indiamike. We will be waiting for more additions to this already wonderful blog.

    • AMITABHA GUPTA says:

      Yes.. the sole intention of writing this blog is to make Bonedi Barir Puja more accessible to people, without depending on travel agencies who show at the most 6 – 7 houses and that too in a very short time.

  16. Ajitkumar says:

    Simply awesome! Loved the contents. We are from Chennai. Now in Kolkata for pujo. Is it possible to get a glimpse before Sashti? We are leaving on 1st.

  17. Marine Mukherjee says:

    Dear Mr. Gupta,

    Great work done ! Will be of much help to people like us who look for these alternative Pujas. Some of these houses are covered by WBTDC Sanatani (Bonedi Barir Pujo) Tour. Many are not. Could you share from your experience, if some of them allow photo enthusiasts like us for a photography tour of these Pujas ? For example:
    1. BEHALA RAY BARIR PUJA
    2. Rani Rashmoni Bhawan Durga Puja, 18 Rani Rashmoni Road
    3. PATHURIAGHATA KHELAT GHOSH’S HOUSE
    4. HARINATH MOOKERJEE FAMILY’S DURGAPUJA, RAJABAZAR
    5. BADAN CHANDRA ROY’S HOUSE
    6. KUNDU BARI DURGA PUJA

    By the way, I’ve shared your blog in my timeline on Facebook…
    Regards,

    Marine Mukherjee
    Kolkata

    • AMITABHA GUPTA says:

      No problem in visiting them for photography during DurgaPuja. All are very welcoming. Harinath Mookerjee’s house is my latest discovery this year.

      Just be sure you go in small groups, dress conservatively, show interest about history of the Puja and NEVER dictate the family members to pose for you, specially when they are busy.

  18. Marine Mukherjee says:

    Thanx a lot , Mr. Gupta ! Most probably I will go alone or at best with a friend (That makes 2 of us). And dictating the family members to pose, never will I do that. Thanx a lot for you advise. If I can make it, I will let you know how it all went.
    Regards
    Marine

  19. Sharmila Gupta Sen says:

    Wonderful article…Excellent compilation shows your hard work and dedication.
    Ekta-e aapsosh…ami ektu deri kore phelechhi..pujo-r aage jodi ae article ta petam..
    Now..saving it for next year..
    Thanks a lot for coming up with this detailed article …

    • AMITABHA GUPTA says:

      Good to know you liked it. Yes… many people took print out of my article and used it as a ready reckoner for locating the houses. Newspapers and TV Channels used it too… I have increased the list from 42 to 51 this year.

      Best of luck for locating Bonedi Baris in the next Durga Puja.

  20. Lokendra Nath Roychoudhury says:

    Thanks for informing me, that you have added more houses. Pl keep me posted, when you add more.

    How about a similar blog on Kali, the next most popular goddess of Bengal?

    Halder Bati Durga is now in possession of & worshiped by Debasis Halder, 17/1, Kaliprasad Chakraborty Street, Bagbazar, Calcuta 3. From great similarity with 3 other Durga Mahishasurmardini at,
    National Museum, Calcutta
    Chandannagar Museum & Institute
    British Museum
    it can be safely said, that the Halder Bati Durga was manufactured sometime in 12th – 13th century AD. Details at https://www.facebook.com/groups/aamarbangla2014/permalink/1566795130208739/

    • AMITABHA GUPTA says:

      Well… I have no idea how many Bonedi Baris do Kali Puja with similar enthusiasm as in Durga Puja … have to check out.

      This year I have added 8 more houses. Check Serial no 18,21, 25, 28, 37, 41, 42 and 51.

      Thus the previous numbering has changed too. Also I have done some rearranging.

  21. Sayan says:

    Dear Amitabha,

    Your blog has been a source of inspiration and I have used them extensively for the last 2 years to visit many of the Bonedi barir pujos. I have humbly credit your blog on the Facebook album that I have shared with my friends.

    I also appreciate that you have updated the list and I was able to visit some of them (some are for next year).

    I had the opportunity of visiting some more during my explorations and maybe you would be interested in visiting them in subsequent years

    1. Banerjee Bari, 9 Patuatola Lane is older (250 years) than the serial 25 (125 years).
    2. Shaw Mandir, near Bishwanath Motilal Durga Puja
    3. Ganguli Barir Pujo, Chetla Road, Alipore
    4. Peary Mohan Lane Barir Pujo, Opp Chetla Agrami
    5. Kar Barir Pujo, 22 Mahendra SrimanI Street – was restarted 16 years back.

    Also, one question asked above of why the pratima at Kabiraj Gangaoprasad has the unique positioning may be explained as – the idol type is from Faridpur, Bangladesh. Kartick – the warrior is protecting the goddess of wealth Lakshmi and Ganesh the scribe is with Goddess of learning – Saraswati. This is not verified by any source but an explanation by an elderly gentleman.

    Thanks again and hope to review your list again in 2015 for further exploration.

    • AMITABHA GUPTA says:

      Thanks for visiting my blog. The blog is created for viewers like you. I am not sure if I will be present in Kolkata next year during the Puja … so lets see.

      Durga Puja of Banerjee Bari, 9 Patuatola Lane is indeed 125 years and not of 250 years. This is mentioned in the handout provided by the family to me and in even in the article featuring their house which came out in Calcutta Times in 30.09.2014.

      Kar Bari is very close to my house, but as I understood that unlike Sreemani Family’s Puaj, the Durga Puja of their house is a very private affair .. so I never visited. This year only I saw they were highlighted in the T.V. Channel New Time.

      I have visited Nilmani Dey Thakurbari at Hidaram Banerjee lane near Biswanath Motilal’s family’s Durga Puja but not Shaw Temple. Actually that Lane and its surrounding areas has numerous Pujas.

      Have’nt covered any house on Chetla side. Lets see if time permits in the coming year..

  22. Prasenjit Kumar Pal says:

    Hi Amitava,
    Appreciate your hard work. This blog is very much informative.

    If you don’t have any problem you may cover our Puja in your list also.

    Shipur Paul Barir Durga Puja
    Address: Nabagopal mukherjee lane Shibpur, Howrah – 711102.
    It is 300+ Years old Puja.
    If you are interested, I can provide more information.

    Thanks

    • AMITABHA GUPTA says:

      Thanks for your interest. I usually visit the Bonedi Bari personally or send a representative to click photographs and gather information, during or some days before the Durga Puja.

      You can mail me the details of Durga Puja of your residence with address and phone numbers. I will surely contact you before this year’s Durga Puja and pay a visit.

  23. mario couldnt says:

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this blog.
    I’m hoping to view the same high-grade blog posts by you
    in the future as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my
    very own website now 😉

  24. Arunima Dey says:

    it is a very good writing.. it’s help me a lot. as i am doing a survey on bonedi bari’s durga puja for my research work…
    with you permission,i like to inform you one thing sir.. bagbazar halder bari’s address is wrong.i went their that is 17/1 not 17/2 and that is exactly the opposite house of Gouriya math..
    thank you. i hope you don’t mind.thanking you

    • AMITABHA GUPTA says:

      I also visited their house later, but nobody told me that the address was wrong in my blog. In fact bye lane numbers can be deceptive. I myself live in a North Kolkata lane, and i have seen same house having several bye lane numbers.

      Anyways, I will make a verification and if your claim is right, I will definitely change the address. Thanks.

      • Arunima Dey says:

        thank you.. as i visited the house.actully two house in a same wall.and that’s his brother’s house. first i went their then his brother told me go to the next house my brother’s house.he can tell you about everything. and then he told me that yes in this house durga puja happend.the idol worshipped in that house. so i told you.. thank you sir for your reply

  25. P.Sahana says:

    WHILE I WAS VIEWING THIS PICTURE AND READING THE DETAILS OF THOSE PUJA, I WENT BACK TO THAT PERIOD, REALLY A GOOD WORK.THANKS!

  26. Sayan Biswas says:

    Excellent piece of work on durga puja for bonedi bari for enthusiast like me…i personally visit lot of pujas for years..and must confess that ..i have learned a lot from your articles and feel proud of such immense research work done by you…hopefully will be visiting lot of these pujas this year…and Thanks for the great work ….I do have a website related about durga puja just out of passion for photography…and have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog..

    Regards
    Sayan

  27. Anjan says:

    Dear Amitava da,
    Eber pujoi kolkata jacchi r tai hothat mathai elo j bonedi barir pujo gulor photography korle kamon hoi… Tai net search korte giye apnar blog-ta pelam. Dekhei bujhlam apni amar flickr contact-a achen. Apnar ae blog-ta khub sundor bhabe present korechen along with nice pics. Most importantly khub informative as far as locating this pujos r concerned. At least amar moto jara kolkata khub bhalo kore chenena tarao ae blog -ta k handbook hishebe use korte parbe… Thanks for all ur efforts…

    Kichu proshno chilo obosso photography kora niye – (Jodio ami eka-e jabo photography korte – hence no large group or crowd)

    1. Ekhane kothao ke tripod use korar kono restriction ache (mane jodi kauke disturb na kore tripod set kora hoi) just in case, jodio mone hoina tripod dorkar hobe.

    2. Apni kon somoy takeh suggest koren suitable for photography – (i.e Morning, Afternoon, Evening) to capture the mood & the lightings.

    3. Ekhane ke Shosti-r din theke chobi tola jai na Saptami to Dasami-r moddhe cover korteh hobe.

    4. I will be staying at Jadavpur & will like to use public transport to reach these destinations. Tai
    south-er locations gulo + Borisha nije manage korte parbo. Kintu North-er pujo gulo thik ke order-a gele cover korte subideh hobe jodi ektu suggest koren tahole amar moto anari-r khub help hobe (Provided if u can manage it from ur busy schedule). Just apnar blog er list onujai kon pujo tar pore kontai jabo seituku jodi ektu hint provide koren taholei hobe.

    R bishes ke? Bhalo Thakben…. Anjan.

  28. subha pallab dasgupta says:

    my dear Mr. Gupta,
    First of all i like to congratulate and thank you for this noble work, being a curious guy like you and of course a lover of history. i like to talk with you regarding the expansion of this job,(if you think) and being a residece of Barisha Savarna Chowdhury area i have also an interest to know about the heritage houses of Kolkata & Bengal. Born in a family of physician caste ( baidya) am very much curious about it. ( hope you will admit because the first surgeon of Medical college was Dr. Madhusudan |Gupta, from the area of my maternal grandfathers / may be from their family.)
    My related Jethima was from the family of Kabiraj Ganga Prasad Sen of Kumartuli .
    Hope you would be kind enough to consider my prayer.
    with best regards.

    subha pallab dasgupta.

  29. Abhishek Ghosh says:

    North howrah ghosh bari
    Reached its 216 years

    Its an bonedi bari
    Still alive in howrah.
    Various cultural programmes are held in those 5days
    Programmes like baul, kobi gaan, chou, golden era songs, natok with childrens

    Every year some special celebrity guests visits us.

    This year special attraction is ISKON performing this year. Members of iskon society will have speach on Radha krisna.

    The house involves in puja of Radhamadhob throughout the year.
    Many press & media covers it.

    Im also a member to that family
    So my humble request to you sir to attend our puja this year.please have a visit.

  30. Protap Pramanick says:

    Dear Mr. Gupta:

    Thank you for your email and your interest.
    In Ram Gopal Saha’s house the answer is yes. In Maniktala Saha house the answer is perhaps no. My Grandaunt, I mentioned, passed away long back. However, my second cousin sister was married in that family. Late Krishna (Kesto) Saha of Mohun Bagan Club and Late Utpal Saha, a congress leader and a councilor of Bowbazar Municipality in the late eighties, were my two uncles who were my paternal GrandMa’s nephews. They were the direct descendants of Late Ram Gopal Saha. Late Utpal Saha was also my classmate in Collins Institute. My great Grandfather was Late Biharilal Pramanik. He owned 22 wine and liquor outlets in Kolkata in early 1800. One of those (Baroduari) still exists at 3 Rani Rashmoni Road. Our actual surname is also Saha. If you are interested, in this subject, please let me know. Old Kolkata is my passion and so is my own family history. I will be more than glad to give you a call and discuss if you kindly send me your telephone number.

    P. S. Mr.Deb Kumar Motilal, I direct descendant of Late Viswanath
    Motilal was also my classmate in Collins institute. However, I have lost contact with him.

    Best regards,

    Protap Pramanick

  31. DEBASIS ROY says:

    Paschim Medinipurer Jara gramer Roy paribarer Durga Puja Kolkatar ai sob bonedi barir theke kono ongsher cheye kom noy bolai amar dharona. Ai bachar 216 batsare padarpan korlo. Media’r focus nai kintu aromborer khamtio nai. Bolte paren apni “Apni ai bongsher lok tai prochar pete ai dharoner kotha bolchen”. Kintu biswas karun eto tuku barie bolchi na. Asun na! Nimantran Roilo.

  32. Dr.Subhrendu Datta says:

    We are organising Puja this year for the first time at our residence. The traditional pujas at our parental family somehow stopped long back ,may be due to break down of the joint family norms along with many other factors.We decided to start it again. To bring back the emotion once again and to meet the scattered near and dear ones under one roof once again ,we ,the Dattas are ready to worship Ma with all our sincerity and effort.
    We invite you to visit our place once .

    Dr.S.Datta
    298 N.S.C.Bose Road
    Kolkata 700047

  33. Prosenjit Chandra says:

    Hi Amitava,
    Appreciate your hard work. This blog is very much informative.
    If you don’t have any problem you may cover our Puja in your list also.
    Bhowanipur Chandra Barir Durga Puja
    Address: 9, Bijoy Bose Road, Bhowanipur, Kolkata-700025. Near Netaji Bhavan Metro station.
    It is 28 Years old Puja.
    Contact no : 9038070417/9804807876
    Mail Id : posenjit.chandra2011@gmail.com
    If you are interested, I can provide more information.
    Thanks
    Prosenjit Chandra
    Member of Chandra family

      • Sumanta De says:

        Dear Amitabha da,

        I’m Sumanta from Bhowanipore De Bari, near Bhowanipore Jadubabur bazar. Last year you have visited our house & clicked some photographs of our puja on the day of Saptami. You have also told me to send the scanned copies of our puja which was published in the newspaper during the year 2011. Due to work pressure i didnot get any time to send those photos. Now i am sending the photos of our puja which was published in Ananda Bazar Patrika on 1st October 2011. I am also sending the scanned copies of the article published in Times of India highlighting the old houses which were well maintained. In that article, our house was also highlighted in the photograph. I am sending this additional document because of your interest in the old houses.

        Thanks & regards Sumanta De 9432096136

  34. adkundu says:

    Hi, I am actually planning to visit some of the Bonedi Bari-s mentioned here this Puja with 2-3 people.
    I want to know if any advance permission is necessary to visit, and also if they allow visitors on Panchami. Thank You. Your blogpost helped a lot of chalking out a map for the places we want to visit. 🙂

  35. Abhishek Banerjee says:

    Don’t you cover barir pujos outside kolkata? Let me know I can give you our barir pujo details – it is near kamarpukur (ray barir pujo)

    • AMITABHA GUPTA says:

      Writing a Blogpost on Bonedi Baris of Kolkata is a self sponsored project of mine, so I cannot afford to spend a lot. It took around three years to complete this blogpost to its present shape, so I actually didn’t have time to go to Pujas outside Kolkata. From this year I have started visiting Bonedi Baris outside Kolkata. It is a slow process as I have to depend on many of my friend’s scooter, bike or car whichever is available. It is affordable to hire a car to visit these places on my own.

      Mail me the details of your barir Puja at amitabha_gupta@yahoo.com and I will see if I can visit the place next year.

  36. sunanditaroy says:

    Hi Amitabh,
    Kolkata Bonedi barir pujo has always facinated me. And thanks to you that now I know all the details and their històry. Your compilation is so unique and interesting. Thank you so much. Shotti khub bhalo laglo article ta pore.

  37. MOLOY DAS says:

    As it was planned earlier to visit Bonedibarir Pujo through some travel agent, later I have changed and decided to go with my own car and self direction. When I have serching the relevent data on net your web page came in front me . Really your write up is very informative. Your information help me lots. Next year definitely we will visit Howrah along with your information.
    Hats of you.. for your passion-energy and effort which is pulling me towards some nostalgic moments.
    Keep it up dada.
    Moloy Das, Kolkata

  38. Debashis Mazumdar says:

    Many of them i have visited….but there are loads which i never knew….and Sanyal Sir is an expert in this area…..loved every bit of the page….will try and do at least 30 of them this year….amazing compilation. As a matter of fact our Durgo Pujo is also over 220 years old….It started in Ram-Bhallbhpur Village, Dadpur, Noahkhali by either Jagat Ballabh or Raja Ram which finally got shifted to Chandpara, West Bengal in the 1940’s and since then we have been celebrating Durgo Pujo at Chandpara.

  39. Nirban Nandy says:

    Great job done! I want to say something. My ancestors (maternal) had started a Durga Puja at Faridpore , now in Bangladesh . Ram Bhadra first started it in 1720 CE.After partition they shifted first to Bangaon and then to Madhyamgram. We had never stopped worshiping the Goddess but some years we did it using the meansof Ghata-pata. Now after death of Kushalnath Bhadra , his daughter has taken the responsibility to continue this 290+ puja and now this is shifted to Lake Gardens (not in an aristocratic old house , but a flat).We follow some unique rituals which might interest people a lot. Thanks

  40. Nirban Nandy says:

    A great job you have done. I am moved to see such a rich post. Aristocratic families have their participation in both traditional and cultural (dharmic , especially) history.I think most of the aristocratic families (Kolkata-based) are being covered in this post. In keeping up pace with the post , I want to say something about our puja which we call as Dwarikanath Bhadra’s heirs’ puja. This man , Dwarikanath , was an aristocratic zaminder of Taherpur-Kamalapur tahshil in Faridpur , now in Bamgladesh. His father Ram Bhadra started Durga Puja in 1720 CE. After partition their heir , Kushalnath Bhadra, shifted to Bangaon and then to Madhyamgram. For times , this KN Bhadra did puja by using the means of Ghata-pata. In 2006 , he arranged a Great Ceremony reminding of the old days. After his demise in 2012 CE , from 2014 the responsibility has fallen in the hands of her 3rd daughter of whom I’m son. Now we do this puja in a great way (as great as possible) in our flat at Lake Gardens (as now there is none who can arrange a puja in our country home ). Though we now perform our puja at a modern flat but the old aristocracy and rituals have not changed. We are not a famous one but we have some uniqueness , like — short and 3 parted idol of the Devi and specially Barbagni in stead of Yajna.The later one might be interesting for people. Thanks!

      • Nirban Nandy says:

        Thanks! 🙂 You are gladly and heartily welcome to our place.
        I-5 , Lake Gardens Govt. Housing , 48/4 Sultan Alam Road , Kolkata -700033.
        By the way , What about a blog like this on Aristocratic families Kali Puja?

  41. Nirban Nandy says:

    Can these families be contacted ? I mean to say how can I contact with them? Basically we are trying to make a unity among the Bonedi families. So we can ask them for joining us. Sabarnas are already included. Need to contact the rest.

  42. Ritinkar Sen says:

    Do you have any information about Adhikari Bari of Bowbazar also known as “Adhikarider (Rambabur) Jhulon Bari” near Lebutala Bazar?

    Thanks and best wishes

    • AMITABHA GUPTA says:

      There was never need of any permission in visiting these houses during Durga Puja. Only thing needed is to dress a bit conservatively while visiting these house.That means it is better not to wear shorts or hot pants while visiting these house. Also if you want to take photographs inside these
      houses, it is better to ask any household member present there.

  43. Ron says:

    What a fantastic article. I would request you to consider the durga pujo of ‘Sadhukhan’ family, at S.N.Banerjee Road (opposite of Calcutta Technical School main gate). They’ve been having the pujo for more than a century

  44. Kaushik Chaudhuri says:

    Great information for ancient house puja lovers friend . Awaiting for another awesome informative documentary … Kaushik Chaudhuri Birati Kol-51

  45. Ronnie says:

    Excellent compilation …. By any chance heard that there is a 400+ years barir pujo happening near Dum Dum (2 stations after ). Any idea ?

  46. chakratirthatravels says:

    Thank you. This is so rich with information and all the details we need. And wow, what a range! Happy to find so many within easy reach.

  47. Anjan K Dutta says:

    An excellent article.. being distantly related to the Shovabazar Rajbari people I visited the pujo last year and realised the essence of buniyadi barir pujo which you bring out so well!

  48. Sandip Mukherjee says:

    Dear Amitava Da
    The site is very very informative & excellent. I want to keep in touch with you for next year durga puja. My mamar bari is Sarsuna Chatterjee Bari, in Behala.
    Thank you

  49. Biswanath Chatterjee says:

    Bonedi Barir pujo is not only for Kolkata Oriented, it should be all Place Basis. This year Samta ,Bagnan, Howrah , WestBengal Chatterjee Barir Pujo Has been Published in Ananda Bazar Patria on 13.10.2016. This Puja Speciality is Ten Days Puja (Kalparambha) and Devi take All Items (upachar) from Gents of Chatterjee Fmily. May be ,One of the Old puja of Howrah , but rather fortunte/unforfortunate not focussed by media.

  50. Anirban Das says:

    Excellent work. very informative. Many thanks to you. I believe there is on ” Chandra ” family near Thanthania kali mandir whihc is missing, I remember i used to play in that Durga Mandap with my friend who belongs to that house. But I must say. This is and excellent work. Thanks again.

  51. Anindya Dutta says:

    its a beautiful collection mr gupta ,but referring to nilmonis thakur barir durga puja at hidarambanerjee lane near bowbazar which is at your list can u come little bit backward towards chaitansen lane and can found a really very big thakurdaklan ofcourse really very very big named as dewan ji barir pujo i think u will like it

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s