Bhoot Chaturdashi and Kali Pujo of Bengalis

West Bengal along with 3 other states celebrates Kali Pujo while the rest of India celebrates Diwali on this new moon day. Goddess Kali, addressed as Maa Kali is the ferocious form of Goddess Durga. But before that Bengali households celebrate Bhoot Chaturdashi, a unique custom.Β The night prior to Kali Pujo, it is believed that bhoot descends on earth. Bengalees clean up the house, clear all garbage which is considered a favorite haunt of bhoot (ghosts). 14 lamps are lit up in house which they believe are to keep away the spirits of 14 previous generations. In addition to that they eat 14 different kinds of leafy vegetables.

Kali Pujo Idol Making

And just like how in Durga Pujo clay idols of goddess is made for Kali Pujo too clay idols are made and painted. Usually the idol makers who come to Bangalore for making the idols of Goddess Durga make idols of Goddess Kali at the same time. These are made in much smaller shapes and are usually given a deep blue color, though some idols are given a complete black color. I watched the artisans paint the idols and it was a beautiful and calming experience.

Kali Pujo 1


`bhoot chaturdoshi kali pujoThere is a story behind this form of Goddess Kali:

Goddess Kali is believed to be born from the brow of Goddess Durga during one of her battles with the evil forces. In the battle, Kali was so much involved in the killing people that she began destroying everything in sight. To stop her, other Gods requested her husband Lord Shiva to save them from her wrath. Lord Shiva threw himself under her feet. Shocked at this turn of events, Kali stuck out her tongue in astonishment and embarrassment. This put an end to her wild acts. It is this form of Kali that is worshipped in midnight. The idol depicts her in her mΓͺlΓ©e mood, standing with one foot on Shiva’s chest, with her enormous tongue stuck out. Kali Puja is done to diminish the ego and all negative tendencies that hinder spiritual progress and material prosperity.

Kali Pujo Pandals

Kali Pujos are usually not done in a theme based manner. They are done in pandals like Durga Pujo but the celebration is just for one day, rather one night. People visit the pandals throughout the night in their best attires. Another opportunity for women to make purchases! Bursting crackers too has become a part of this pujo, mostly done by youngsters to keep pace with others celebrating Diwali.

This year the kali pujo will be past midnight of 10th November. Women fast throughout the day and break their fast after the puja process is complete. I am looking forward to Kali Pujo night (but not fasting. I love food too much).

Kali Pujo 4





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27 Responses

  1. I believe I would find it soothing to watch the artists paint too. I think it’s great they let you take photos too!

  2. Bibi says:

    Oh, I would LOVE to have one of these. I hope something similar is still there when I come…plan to in April.

  3. Indrani – I didn’t know the story behind this form of Kali .. Thank you do much, got to learn something today!

  4. sylviakirk says:

    Colorful and fun to see!! Wonderful capture as always, Indrani!! I hope you have a wonderful new week!!

  5. So colorful. Hope to experience this first hand some day! ?

  6. Colorful and nice indeed!

  7. Her story always seem to intrigue me. They do say hell hath no fury than a woman scorned (or simply put angry πŸ˜€ )

  8. Bhavani says:

    Thanks a lot for sharing Indrani!!!

  9. Arun says:

    Thanks for the new info. Do they burst crackers?

  10. Parul says:

    Wow! Thanks for sharing that. I was not aware of Kali Pujo and the story behind it. Great pictures. Where did you click them in Bangalore?

  11. Bob says:

    Happy Diwali Indtani. Fantastic images.

  12. Maniparna Sengupta Majumder says:

    Wow! It’s great to see that Bangalore is celebrating Kali pujo with such enthusiasm… πŸ™‚

    Subho Kali pujo, Indrani… πŸ™‚

  13. eileen says:

    Hello Indrani, the idols are colorful, it is great to be able to watch them being painted. Happy Diwali, Indrani!
    Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

  14. I had no idea Bangalore also perms this festival with so much zeal and vibrancy πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing!

  15. Very informative post, Indrani. Wish you a very Happy Kali Puja and Diwali πŸ™‚

  16. dNambiar says:

    I can imagine what it must have been like to watch the artist(s) at work. I love watching people paint, too.

    Nice knowing about Kali Pujo. I hope you had a good puja. πŸ™‚

  17. Yogi saraswat says:

    Thanks a lot for sharing Indrani ji . Wish you a very Happy Deepawali

  18. Himanshu says:

    Very nice. Wish I could have extended my stay in Kolkata for Kali Puja as well!!!

  19. Such an interesting image. Love the bright colors.

  20. Nice post.
    Happy Kali Puja and Subho Diwali

  21. Very interesting post. I was totally unaware about the Kali Pujo. I’m sure many others like me must have got to know about it from your great post. I like the pictures that shows the making of the idol.

  22. krishna says:

    Great Research my friend. Keep it up!

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