For my fellow Shillongites am putting together this little live blog, featuring posts on how people back home are celebrating.

You do miss home, more so during festivals. And for a Bengali like me what festival is bigger than Durga Puja (Pujo for some, but for us Sylhetis it is puja)? And there are so many like me, away from home but want to get a feel of what’s happening there.

For my fellow Shillongites am putting together this little live blog, featuring posts on how people back home are celebrating.

Pujas in Shillong might not be as grand as the ones in Kolkata or elsewhere, but then grandioseness isn’t the sole purpose. Shillong also has a long history of public Durga Puja celebrations – the first sarbojanin Durga Puja in Shillong goes back 121 years.

Note that I am not in Shillong therefore am soliciting help from fellow Shillongites for photos and other updates. If you have a Shillong Durga Puja update to share, please post in the comments (or you can also email them to me at [email protected] or share via Facebook Messenger and I will add it to this live blog.

Update: This live blog is now closed. Hope to replicate this in the coming years, with greater success, blogging it live from Shillong. A special word of thanks for Premankur Dam for his regular photo stream while pandal hopping in Shillong and also to Dipanjan Dey who has been sending my way Shillong Durga Puja images from Italy.

Soumyadip Choudhury September 27, 201710:56 AM

Umpling/Rynjah Durga Puja pandal (Photo: Partha Paul/via WhatsApp)

Soumyadip Choudhury September 27, 201711:19 AM

Durga Puja celebrations begin (Clipping from The Shillong Times, dated September 27, 2017)

Soumyadip Choudhury September 27, 201711:27 AM

There are 231 community Durga Pujas being celebrated in Meghalaya and that includes 64 in Greater Shillong area.

Soumyadip Choudhury September 27, 201711:36 AM

Replica of Delhi’s Lotus Temple at Rilbong, Shillong (Photo via Saibal Roy Choudhury/WhatsApp)

Soumyadip Choudhury September 27, 201712:41 PM

Ramakrishna Mission, Shillong (Photo: Partha Paul/via WhatsApp)

Soumyadip Choudhury September 27, 20171:12 PM

Sanatan Dharmasabha, Harisabha in Laban is Shillong’s oldest sarbojonin Durga Puja. The first puja was held in 1896 in a makeshift thatched house.

The Durga idol for that puja was brought from Santipur (in present-day West Bengal) and made its journey to Shillong via train, steamer and on a bullock cart.

Soumyadip Choudhury September 27, 20171:47 PM

Laban Shiv Mandir (Photo: Raj Kumar Prasad/via Facebook)

Soumyadip Choudhury September 27, 20171:58 PM

I grew up in the Lower Mawprem locality in Shillong and our Durga Puja was the one at the Assam Hindu Mission. It then was one of the grandest pujas in the city with intricate pandals that never failed to amaze the little me.

There was a healthy competition between Hindu Mission and the one at Jail Road about which was the best puja in the city.

As the Bengali population in Lower Mawprem gradually declined following the series of riots and attacks, and along with it the grandness of the Hindu Mission pujas also diminished a little.

Soumyadip Choudhury September 27, 20171:59 PM

I grew up in the Lower Mawprem locality of Shillong and our Durga Puja was the one at the Assam Hindu Mission. It then was one of the grandest pujas in the city with intricate pandals that never failed to amaze the little me.

There was a healthy competition between Hindu Mission and the one at Jail Road about which was the best puja in the city.

As the Bengali population in Lower Mawprem gradually declined following the series of riots and attacks, and along with it the grandness of the Hindu Mission pujas also diminished a little.

Soumyadip Choudhury September 27, 20173:56 PM

Durga Puja for many like me is less of a religious festival and more of a cultural event.

Soumyadip Choudhury September 27, 20176:43 PM

Kenche’s Trace (Photo: Premankur Dam)

Soumyadip Choudhury September 27, 20177:09 PM

Kench’s Trace (Photo: Premankur Dam)

Soumyadip Choudhury September 27, 20177:11 PM

Sanatan Dharmasabha, Harisabha, Laban (Photo: Premankur Dam)

Soumyadip Choudhury September 27, 20177:12 PM

Sanatan Dharmasabha, Harisabha, Laban (Photo: Premankur Dam)

Anonymous
Soumyadip Choudhury September 28, 20179:34 AM

Nepali Durga Puja, Polo (Photo: Premankur Dam)


Soumyadip Choudhury September 28, 20179:50 AM

Matri Mandir, Polo (Image: Premankur Dam)

Soumyadip Choudhury September 28, 201710:26 AM

Ka Irish Shullai Durga Puja Committee, Lawsohtun Road, Bishnupur. This puja has been renamed in honour of Sanbor Shullai’s mother. Sanbor Shullai is an NCP MLA from Shillong South. (Photo: Premankur Dam)

Soumyadip Choudhury September 28, 201710:32 AM

Rilbong (Photo: Premankur Dam)

Soumyadip Choudhury September 28, 201710:41 AM

Nepali Durga Puja, Polo (Photo: Dipanjan Dey/via Faacebook Messenger)

Soumyadip Choudhury September 28, 201710:41 AM

Nepali Durga Puja, Polo (Photo: Dipanjan Dey/via Facebook Messenger)

Soumyadip Choudhury September 28, 201710:45 AM

Shillong Municipality Durga Puja (Photo: Dipanjan Dey/via Facebook Messenger)

Anonymous
Soumyadip Choudhury September 28, 201710:56 AM

The Jail Road Durga Puja is the third oldest in Shillong with the first puja organised in 1914. Harisabha, Laban, is the oldest (1896) followed by Opera Hall/Jagannath Mandir in Thana Road (1901).

Soumyadip Choudhury September 28, 201710:58 AM

The Jail Road Durga Puja is the third oldest sarbojanin puja (community puja) in Shillong with the first puja organised in 1914. Harisabha, Laban, is the oldest (1896) followed by Opera Hall/Jagannath Mandir in Thana Road (1901).

Soumyadip Choudhury September 28, 201711:12 AM

While Laban Harisabha is the oldest community Durga Puja in Shillong (1896), the Gorkhas have been celebrating the festival in the city (then merely a small town) much longer. The Gorkha Durga Mandir at Paltan Bazar, Lukier Road has been orbserving Durga Puja since 1872. It however was converted in the community Durga Puja in 1942 when the Gorkha Rifles was shifted out from Shillong to Quetta (in present-day Pakistan).

Soumyadip Choudhury September 29, 20172:21 PM

Charu Smriti, Narendra Dam Lane, Laban (Photo: Premankur Dam)

Soumyadip Choudhury September 29, 20172:24 PM

Meghalaya Police Reserve, Jail Road (Photo: Premankur Dam)

Soumyadip Choudhury September 29, 20172:26 PM

Jail Road (one of Shillong’s oldest community Durga Pujas and also one the most prominent) (Photo: Premankur Dam)

Soumyadip Choudhury September 29, 20172:34 PM

Rajasthani Durga Puja Samity, Luckier Road (Garikhana). (Photo: Premankur Dam)

Also known as the Marwari Durga Puja, or the Hanuman Mandir Durga Puja is being celebrated for the last 57 years.

As a kid the idol here used to be my favourite. Because they usually had a moving Durga, Mahisasur and lion. On some years all moved. On other years one or two of them.

And even though the lion’s loud roars (added for extra effect) scared me a little, I just stared with wonder. How could you possibly better a robotic Durga?

Soumyadip Choudhury September 29, 201710:52 PM

Motinagar Durga Puja (Photo: Dipanjan Dey/via Facebook Messenger)

Soumyadip Choudhury September 29, 201710:54 PM

Motinagar Durga Puja (Photo: Dipanjan Dey/via Facebook Messenger)

https://i2.wp.com/www.cuttingthechai.com/wpcontent/uploads/2017/09/Screenshot_20170929224512_01e1506705716727.jpg?fit=624%2C471

Soumyadip Choudhury September 29, 201710:55 PM

Motinagar Durga Puja (Photo: Dipanjan Dey/via Facebook Messenger)

Motinagar celebrates its 50th community Durga Puka this year.

Soumyadip Choudhury September 30, 20172:20 AM

Motinagar pandal (Photo: Satrajit Dhar/via Facebook)

Soumyadip Choudhury October 4, 201712:53 PM

শুভ বিজয়া! Apologies for the long pause. Hope you all had a great extended Puja weekend. Was away for a short vacation but friends from Shillong have been sending photos all along. Will start posting them soon.

Soumyadip Choudhury October 4, 20173:04 PM

Nongmynsong Nepali Durga Puja (Photo: Premankur Dam)

Soumyadip Choudhury October 4, 20173:06 PM

Nongmynsong Sarbojanin Durga Puja Committee (Photo: Premankur Dam)

Soumyadip Choudhury October 4, 20173:08 PM

Buckingham Palace in Shillong with the Indian Tricolour flag atop at Hindu Mission, Lower Mawprem (Photo: Subhadip Choudhury)

Soumyadip Choudhury October 4, 20173:10 PM

4th Furlong (Photo: Premankur Dam)

Soumyadip Choudhury October 4, 20173:11 PM

Umpling/Rynjah RR Colony (Photo: Premankur Dam)

Soumyadip Choudhury October 4, 20173:14 PM

Immersion/bishorjan procession. Sanatan Dharmasabha, Harisabha, Laban (Photo: Premankur Dam)

Soumyadip Choudhury October 4, 20173:15 PM

Immersion/bishorjan procession. Kench’s Trace Puja Committee (Photo: Premankur Dam)

  • Someek Choudhury

    Nice initiative. Feels Im back home