Saborno Roy Chowdhurys and their Old Durga Puja (Est. 1610) | WBRi Kolkata Bonedi Barir Pujo Report

Calcutta, September 1, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / IBNS) The family of Saborno Chowdhury of Barisha and their annual puja beholds lots of history and traditions in its own. The Saborno family originally hailed from Hali of Naihati and then they settled from there to Birati at the outskirts of Calcutta. But soon they shifted from there to finally settle in Barisha in Calcutta.

It is said that their Durga Puja started in the year 1610 by Lakshmikanta Ray Mazumdar and is considered to be one of the oldest Durga Puja held in the city till today.

They had seven durga pujas in their family, six at Barisha and another at their Birati Bari.

If some one plan to witness the traditional Durga Puja of this city and feel the aorma of a Zamindar family then they can easily visit the Roy Chowdhury family puja this time.

Every corner of the house is filled with evidences of history and tradition.

The 'Aath Chala' (the courtyard with eight pillars and a roof top and with no walls), Calcutta, Sutanuti and Govindapur were sold to East India Company at an amount of Rs.1,300.

The legal document has the signatures of Roop Chand Mazumdar and Manohar Mazumdar and Charles Iyer, Job Charnock's son-in-law. It is said that Antony Kobiyal's grandfather was also present as one of the witnesse of this historical event.

The factor that makes the Durga Puja of this old family of Calcutta so much special ios surely the traditions and rituals great devotrional fervour attached to it.

The wooden frame work of the Durga idol still exists along with the three 'Chalchitra' (the intricately designed background).

Interestingly, the tradition of 'Nilkanto', which is associated with so many elite Pujas in this city is not followed by this family. Instead of 'Nilkanta', the family follows the traditional ritual of Kumari puja.

The puja at Baro bari and Birati Bari performed Kumari Puja. The traditional ritual of sacrificing buffalos and goats are followed by the family.

Apart from that, 'chalkumro', sugarcane, mashbhokto (combination of rice, banana, cloves and ghee) are also offered for sacrifice to the goddess. In the RoyChowdhury family the devi is worshipped in her 'Chamunda' form during 'Sandhi Puja'.

End of Ashtami and the beginning of Nabami is the time for Sandhi Puja , and thwe pages of mythology says that it was at this moment that goddess Durga had taken the form of Devi Chamunda and had killed the mighty 'buffallo' demon named Mahishasura.

On Dashami immersion of the Goddess Durga takes place in the iconic 'Babughat' in Kolkata.

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