Jagadhatri Puja At Chandannagar - Carnival Of Lights

Goddess Jagadhatri is one of the incarnations of Durga. Jagadhatri means mother(dhatri) of the Planet (Jagat).  At the onset of winter, Jagadhatri Puja is celebrated in various parts of West Bengal and Orissa. At West Bengal's Chandanagar, it is a huge affair. 

Jagadhatri Puja Chandannagar
Jagadhatri Puja Chandannagar

Maharaja Krishna Chandra of Krishnanagar, Nadia, started the celebration in 1754. The lore suggests that the palace of Krishnanagar was well known for the grand celebration of Durga Puja. During the Mughal Period, the Nawab of Bengal, Aliwardi Khan, imprisoned the King.

By the time King was released from prison, Durga Puja was over. King was heartbroken and sad as he could not worship Maa Durga. That night, the Goddess, came in his dream and asked him to worship her in the Jagadhatri form.  Since that time, the Jagadhatri puja celebration is going on at the Palace of Krishnanagar.  

Indra Narayan Choudhury from Chandannagar was a wealthy businessman. He had a great friendship with Maharaja Krishna Chandra. He started Jagadhatri Puja in Chandannagar in 1755. 

Jagadhatri Puja
Jagadhatri Puja

Chandannagar, a small town located 30 Km from the north of Kolkata, has historical significance. Unlike other parts of India, it was a French colony. The city became a part of India in 1951 after a plebiscite.

Every year, millions of people march into this ancient city to witness the pompous celebration of Jagadhatri Puja, with each Pandal excelling in the theme and decoration of lights.

Jagadhatri Puja Chandannagar
Jagadhatri Puja Pandal Theme

The scale of the celebration can be imagined with the very fact that special local trains are arranged at this time to avoid the rush of devotees. 

Similar to Durga puja, Jagaddhatri puja shares the same format from Sashti to Dashami. However, In Durga Puja, Goddess is worshipped with her children, while in Jagadhatri Puja, She is worshipped alone.

The Jagadhatri idols are of the height of a two-story building, almost 25–35ft. Due to their huge height, they are made in the pandals itself. 

Chandannagore is known as the birth-place of decorative lighting.  From Panchami till Dashami, the entire region dazzle with the world-class lights of local manufacturers. 

Jagadhatri Puja Chandannagar
Jagadhatri Puja Lighting

On Dashami, all these beautifully decorated tall idols with Sola or daker saaj are taken around the city in a procession. Superb work of lights and mechanical structures fitted on vehicles moving throughout the city all night presents an astounding view. This famous carnival is the world's second-largest procession after Rio's Samba festival. 

Jagadhatri Puja Chandannagar
Jagadhatri Puja Carnival

According to Hindu mythology, After Goddess Durga defeated the demon King, Mahisasura, the Gods had thought that the Goddess could only kill the demon King because of the weapons they gave Her. Gods believed that nobody is more powerful than them.

To crush this pride, the Goddess decided to take the form of Jagadhatri. She challenged the Gods to lift a blade of grass. When one by one, Gods failed in this trivial task, they understood their mistake and apologized.

Chandannagar Jagadhatri Puja

The three-eyed Goddess rides a lion and holds a conch, a bow, an arrow, and a chakra in her four hands. The crushing of the elephant by the lion depicts the ego of the Gods being crushed and shattered by the Goddess.

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