It wasn’t until last year that I discovered that Shivaji Park has huge Durja Puja celebrations. I heard a friend raving about the whole affair, especially the typical Bengali food you can find there. I hadn’t attended any Durja Puja before this, so I was pretty excited to check it out.
The scale of the celebrations took me by surprised. It turns out that the Bengal Club actually hosts one of the biggest Durga Pujas in Mumbai. The devi mandap was huge enough to accommodate at least a thousand people. The decor of the devi mandap this year resembled the Bishnupur temple in West Bengal. Alongside were some 30 to 40 stalls selling everything from ethnic saris to fish curry.
Here are some pictures from my visit.
After a quick darshan of the Devi, I hopped over to the food stalls to try some Bengali delicacies.
To start with, I tried some deep fried Mughlai Paratha – one with an egg stuffing and another with a chicken stuffing, served with some sort of an Aloo Sabzi. It was dripping oil but was extremely tasty.
There were also some curries – chicken, mutton, fish – served with rice. I tried both the fish in yogurt curry and fish in mustard curry. I am not much of a fish eater so I couldn’t really identify which fish I was eating. But the fish was definitely very fresh. The yogurt curry was creamy and slightly sweet. But I liked the mustard curry a lot better as it was much more flavorful.
For dessert, I picked the Misti Doi but didn’t like it a lot. So I wrapped up the meal with a simple Malai Kulfi.
In a nutshell, the Durja Puja was a different but enjoyable experience for me. The festivities were grand but not too noisy which made it easy to relax and appreciate them. And not to forget the Bengali food which absolutely delicious!