Ma starts her journey from Kailash, we start our celebrations! #BloggersDurgaPujo

Tomorrow a little before daybreak, at 4 am precisely, Bengalis the world over will come together as they listen to MahalayaMa Durga’s agomoni song (a song welcoming the Goddess). The night before the alarm will be set religiously without fail. If you are however in Calcutta, you probably wouldn’t even need one as Biren Krishna Bhadra’s magical baritone floats out of all homes, spreading joy into the air. Afterall it means Ma Durga is almost here!

Now I have always been a night owl, and since I had an early school, I would not leave any opportunity to sleep till late on holidays or whenever I could. But Mahalaya was probably the only day, when I would ensure the alarm was set without fail. There is impossibly anything else more joyful to a Bengali than to wake upto ‘Ya devi sarba bhutesu…’.

Mahalaya is basically a 2-hour long radio program called Mahishashur Mardini, which is a mix of chants, sankskrit slokas and songs depicting the Goddess’s ten-day battle with the shape shifting demon king Mahishasura. But for the lesser mortals like us…it signifies the beginning of Ma’s journey to her father’s abode from Kailash; her four children – Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesh and Kartik, in tow.

Biren Krishna Bhadra

What is most amazing about Mahalaya is that, it’s the same old program that ALL generations of Bengalis have grown up listening to. And old here does not mean 10 years, or 20 years, I am talking 1930s. Yes! the first Mahalaya was a live program which was performed on radio in 1932. It was recorded in 1966 and has since been played on AIR every Mahalaya morning at 4am and yet manages to give you goose bumps every time you listen to Bhadra’s par excellence, soul stirring rendition.

Apparently, many more versions of the Mahalaya were recorded by various artists over the years, with one even recorded by Uttam Kumar, the biggest superstar Bengali Cinema has every seen, however none could match the soulfulness and spirit of the original by Biren Krishna Bhadra.

So, before you go off to sleep tonight, don’t forget to set that alarm for your annual date with the Late Biren Krishna Bhadra’s Mahalaya.

And if you are not a Bengali, do empathise with that sleepy Bengali colleague of yours….

So, rejoice, let the celebrations begin, Ma is almost here! Shubho Mahalaya to all…

Almost done…a Pujo Pandal in the making @C R Park
The celebrations have started too…the parar cultural program

This Durga Pujo follow me and my fellow bloggers as we take you on a journey into the heart and soul of the Durga Pujo celebrations! Read, Comment, and Share and don’t forget to follow the hashtag #bloggersdurgapujo

List of Participating Bloggers

Dr. Amrita Basu (Misra):

Anupriya Gupta: https://he

Esha Chakraborty:

Indrani Ghose:

Kapila Rattan Bhowmik:

Dr. Kuheli Bhattacharya:

Moumita Sen:

Nehal Roy:

Paromita Biswas:

Rahul Basu:

Sayanti Mahapatra:

Shalini Magdel Das:

Shamik Byabartta:

Sharmishtha S Ghosh:

Shruti Dugar:

Siya Bose:

Sonali Chauhan:

Sonia Chatterjee:

Vasundhara Sarkar:











37 Replies to “Ma starts her journey from Kailash, we start our celebrations! #BloggersDurgaPujo”

  1. A beautiful post. Who does not love sonorous voice of Birendra Krishna Bhadra doing Sri Sri Chandi Path on All India Radio. It takes mind to a different sphere.


  2. Loved reading this post. And although I’m a tad late for ‘Mahalaya’, I’m still crossing my fingers for this comment to go through (considering the number of times I have tried..sigh!)
    Sharodiyo shubheccha to you and your loved ones! 🙂


  3. I love Mahalaya and everything associated with Durga Pujo . Something about this time makes everything better .Have a wonderful Durga puja.


  4. I am loving this blog series on The Durga Puja. I was in West Bengal for two years and I now miss those days, of fun and celebrations. Its beauty and divinity clubbed together. And thats what makes Pujo so special.


  5. Your emotions are so contagious Esha. I got goosebumps just reading your post. Though I am a non-Bengali Durga Puja has always been close to my heart. I had many bong friends and students. Near my neighbourhood, we used to have a huge celebration with Ma’s idol blessing all of us. I can just imagine the whole scene where people in every house of the neighbourhood wake up with the same auspicious prayer song. Such peace and harmony with so much faith just fills the air with so much positivity. Feeling joyous after reading your post. 🙂


    1. I am so glad you liked reading this post…we have such amazing festivals in this country which truly bind us all together… Happy Durga Pujo and Navratras to you and your family


  6. As a non-Bengal I’d ignorantly never heard of this festival before. But I feel inspired by your posr, you’ve described it well.


  7. Great post Esha. This took me to the Memory Lane of my childhood when me and my siblings used to wake up at 4 am to listen to the radio.


  8. Being a non-Bengali, I’m literally ignorant about festivals Bengal celebrates. Though heard from friends about the festive extravaganza you guys enjoy! Would love to join your journey this Durga Puja to know more!


    1. That’s great… Follow the hashtag #bloggersdurgapujo… You’d be a Durga Pujo pro…btw why don’t you come over to C R Park one of the pujo days…let me know


  9. Yes I have heard this Mahalaya through the speakers on my street for last 8 years. As a non Bengali in Kolkata I feel all elated and involved in Pujo celebrations because it kind of engulfs you all


    1. Agree, in Kolkata Durga Pujo is hardly a bengali Pujo… It is just amazing how everyone comes together during this time… I remember my non-bengali friends would be equally excited about pujos… Happy Pujo to you…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: