The Ten-Day Traditional CHATU BABU LATU BABU DURGA PUJA (Est. 1770) | WBRi Kolkata Bonedi Barir Pujo Special

Chotu Babu Latu Babu Durga Pujo

October 1, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / IBNS) It was in the year 1770, at the Beadon Street residence that Ishwar Ram Dulal Deb (Sarkar) had organized the puja for the first time.

The Puja later on came to be known as the Chatu Babu Latu Babu, since 1780 his family members actively participated in organizing the puja.

Like all the other famous families, this traditional and elite family of this city also follow rituals and custom of their own.

The ten day Puja, that begins with pratipada which continues till Sasthi, the sixth day of the fesival. Puja is performed on the 'Ghot' without the idol.

On Saptami after the 'Kola Bow' ritual, idol worship begins. The wooden framework of the Goddess Durga's idol is worshipped on 'Rath Yatra' which is then used for the main frame of the idol during the ceremony.

Along with the wooden frame, the 'Chalchitra', which is the intricately designed background is equally important.

Moreover, the top of the chalchitra is divided into three parts (Motchauri).

On the 'chalchitra' there is a lotus and on it both the sakhis of Durga (companions) Jaya and Bijaya, can be seen.

Behind them one can also see Shiva, Ram and Hanuman.

The lion has the head of a horse and along with the whole image is the chopped head of the buffalo and the Asura.

The ritual of animal sacrifice was stopped immediately after 2 years from the commencement of the Puja, now various vegetables are symbolically sacrificed in a tradition known as 'Ripu boli'.

It is said that the ritual of animal sacrifice was stopped by Ishwar Ram Dulal Deb himself after an incident which had shocked him.

But the incident and the ritual that makes the puja really special about this family is the tradition of 'Nilkontho'.

'Nilkantho' is a bird as dark as a cuckoo or sometimes grey in color. It's neck is golden or chocolate in colour. Its feathers are blue and its back is blue too.

Just before the immersion of the Goddess on Dashami, two 'Nilkontho' birds are set free.

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