|Beautifully decorated entrance of the Durga Puja venue|
As soon as we entered, we saw a huge, decorated temple that housed the idol of Goddess Durga.
|Huge, decorated temple that housed the idol of Goddess Durga|
We removed our shoes and entered the temple to take the darshan of Goddess Durga. There was a grand chandelier hanging from the roof of the temple.
|A grand chandelier hanging from the roof of the temple|
The priest was performing the 'Aarti' amidst the enchanting beats of the 'Dhak's (special drums) played by the 'Dhaki's, the sounds of the conches, 'Ulu Dhani' (tongue sounds) of Bengali women and Dhunuchi Naach (dance holding hot earthen bowls emitting camphor and incense smoke) performed by a man.
|Goddess Durga with daughters Lakshmi & Saraswati and sons Ganesh|
& Karthik on the right & left hand sides respectively. She stands
with one foot on her Lion and the other one on the back of Mahishasura.
There were a lot of people at the venue (this Durga Puja gets about 10,000 to 15,000 per day). A local orchestra band was playing beside the temple to entertain the gathered devotees.
|Devotees at the Durga Puja|
Durga Puja is never complete without food. There were several food stalls around the temple and we shortlisted 'Partho's Fresh Fish' stall to savour Ilish Maach with Rice, Egg-Chicken Rolls, Fish Cutlets and the famed Mishti Doi. In fact, Partho Da has his fish shop at Hiranandani Estate in Thane and we pay him a visit regularly to buy fish from him. I liked the food so much that I returned the next day to buy some more Ilish Mach and Mishti Doi.
|'Partho's Fresh Fish' stall at the Durga Puja venue|
After relishing the food, it was time to go home. We took the blessings of Goddess Durga again and left the venue. It was a divine experience altogether!
|Final shot of the Durga Puja venue|
For those who missed on getting Goddess Durga's darshan and blessings this year, here's a video of the Aarti for you:
1. All about Durga Puja
2. Durga Puja Food
3. Bangiya Parishad, Thane