Kolkata during Durga Puja is an extraordinary experience, as the city comes alive with grand celebrations and artistic displays. Durga Puja is the biggest and most important festival in Kolkata, and it's celebrated with immense enthusiasm. Here are some of the best places to visit in Kolkata during Durga Puja:
1. **Kumartuli**: Start your Durga Puja journey by visiting Kumartuli, the neighborhood where artisans create stunning clay idols of Goddess Durga. You can witness the idol-making process and interact with the artisans.
2. **North Kolkata**: Explore the historic neighborhoods of North Kolkata, particularly around Baghbazar, Sovabazar, and Kumartuli, to see traditional and artistic Durga Puja pandals.
3. **South Kolkata**: South Kolkata hosts some of the most famous and elaborate Durga Puja pandals, including those in neighborhoods like Park Street, Ballygunge, and Dhakuria. These pandals are known for their innovative themes and artistic presentations.
4. **College Street**: Visit College Street, famous for its bookstores and cultural significance. During Durga Puja, this area is adorned with beautiful pandals and cultural events.
5. **Santosh Mitra Square**: This puja pandal is renowned for its grandeur and artistic themes. It's a must-visit during Durga Puja in Kolkata.
6. **Kolkata's Famous Markets**: Explore markets like New Market, Gariahat, and Dakshinapan, where you can shop for traditional clothing, jewelry, and handicrafts to wear during the festivities.
7. **Food Walk**: Indulge in a food walk to savor traditional Bengali cuisine and street food. Don't miss the chance to try sweets like rasgulla, sandesh, and mishti doi.
8. **Maddox Square**: Maddox Square is known for its peaceful Durga Puja celebration with an artistic pandal and cultural programs.
9. **Rabindra Sarobar Lake**: Take a leisurely walk around Rabindra Sarobar Lake, where you can see beautifully decorated pandals and enjoy the serene surroundings.
10. **Dakshineswar Kali Temple**: While known for Goddess Kali, this temple is beautifully decorated during Durga Puja, and you can witness the festivities.
Remember that Durga Puja is a time of immense joy, cultural expression, and community gatherings. The city is adorned with artistic decorations, and the atmosphere is vibrant with music, dance, and cultural performances. It's a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Kolkata during this grand festival.