2019 has been such a tremendous puja year! Dhaka was literally a city of festivals during the entire puja week. Grand pandals, lights adorning the streets, the sound of dhaak and temple bells, the smell of incense in the air. We kind of didn’t want Durga to go away this year. আসছে বছর আবার হবে! শারদীয় শুভেচ্ছা সবাইকে।
Before I start off, Sharodiyo Shubheccha to everyone reading this. I am overjoyed because Durga Puja started with weekends this year and so, more time for us to enjoy!
If you’re a resident of Dhaka and are interested to visit some of the mandaps that are extravagantly beautiful and cater (literally) to everybody who walks in, constantly offering you elements of entertainment till Dashami, then you must visit these 5 mandaps without a second thought!
Gulshan-Banani Puja Mandap
Located at the heart of Banani, Gulshan-Banani puja mandap always steals the show when it comes to being extra festive. And this year, they have gone one extra mile to illuminate the streets starting from Gulshan 2 signal point and ending at Kakoli. The entrance of this mandap will definitely mesmerize you at night because they have probably used all the bright colours in the world to decorate. The decoration of the pandal, colourful lights, dedicated security guards at the entrance, everything is top-notch, like every year.
The Durga Murti, as beautiful and divine as ever will surely warm your heart. Also, instagrammable pandal corners? Checked. Fuchka stalls? Checked. Just visit already!
Baridhara DOHS Puja Mandap
Now, this puja mandap is new in the game and is already stealing hearts with heartwarming hospitality, entertaining cultural events, gorgeous decorations and delicious food! That too, available for anybody who visits.
Organized by the Baridhara DOHS Puja committee members, it is slowly gaining popularity among the other puja mandaps nearby.
The separating factor for this puja mandap is that the crowd is relatively less and it takes place in the Baridhara DOHS convention centre. Even then, this puja mandap is open for all and welcomes anybody who wishes to visit and have some gorom gorom khichuri-labra-begun bhaji before leaving.
Kalabagan Puja Mandap
Kalabagan Puja Mandap is one of the biggest mandaps in Dhaka. Celebrated at the Kalabagan Field Ground, every year it creates hype with effortlessly beautiful mandap decoration, themed Durga Murti and folk artist enriched cultural events.
This Puja mandap never fails to amaze visitors and the effort that’s put behind making all of it possible shows in every corner of the mandap. This is one of the puja mandaps that becomes more crowded by the night and after midnight, it becomes more alive than ever.
Khamarbari Puja Mandap
For those of you wondering where Khamarbari Puja Mandap is, it is at the heart of Farmgate. Located just beside KIB complex (Krishibid Institution of Bangladesh), Khamarbari Puja Mandap has an eye-catching LED entrance gate that will be seen even from the farthest corner of the road. The mandap itself is massive and the entire street is illuminated with lights that make the roads glow at night.
This mandap is not your regular puja mandap, its decorations are unique and it does not have only one Durga Murti inside the pandal. Every year it follows a certain theme and the entire pandal is decorated according to that. Make sure you have your phone battery full because you might have to take a lot of photos here!
Dhakeshwari Puja Mandap
Dhakeshwari Puja Mandap is one of the oldest and biggest puja mandaps in Dhaka. The temple was originally built in the 12th century by King Ballal Sen of the Sena dynasty. Dhakeshwari puja mandap gives you more than just Puja celebration. It gives you the feeling of belonging to the cultures of time as old as 800 years. It takes place inside the Dhakeshwari temple and caters to everyone who visits.
The best part of this puja mandap is that elements of Bangla fair (Mela) are seen around the mandap. Muri murki, Naru-Mowa, Fuchka, Kulfi, Glass bangles, everything that may make you nostalgic or fascinated is available around this mandap. If you’re planning to visit Dhakeshwari at night, drop by anytime because this mandap is always full of people, colours, happiness and food!
With Dhaka celebrating Durga Puja with more colours and lights this year, take the time to not miss out on this heartwarming occasion and be a part of the festivities that gives you an opportunity to celebrate diversity, charity and happiness!
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