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Kali Puja 3

Kali Puja: The Celebration Of Victory Over Evil

We often picturize Gods or Goddesses to be alluring as in their appearance, as described in our mythologies. But, what if some of the deities stand apart who have been depicted differently, in appearance as well as behaviour. What might be the case, it is always good vibes and high morals and blessings that we are supposed to get from the supreme existence. Maa Kali, the graceful Goddess, an incarnation of Goddess Parvati, is an illustration that beauty lies not in race but in good deeds. When the earth perished from the torture of devil forces, Kali was born, born to destroy those and to establish peace. Although She looks fierceful and violent, She also stands by the side of her devotees to protect them. 

Kali Puja, a prominent Hindu Festival of India, is celebrated with deep devotion and enthusiasm in many parts of the country. West Bengal being the most promising state in arranging the festival, is popular for its Kali Puja observations. Odisha, even though is more known for Durga Puja, still Kali Puja also leaves a mark of remembrance in certain parts of the state. Bhadrak is one such place. Bhadrakali as is significantly known, serves the devotees and visitors an auspicious moment in the form of a fair. 

kali puja 1
courtesy thestatesman.com

Dedicated to Goddess Kali, the Puja is celebrated on the new moon day (Dipannita Amavasya) of the Karthika month. The festival also known as Shyama Kali Puja, is observed with fervour in most parts of Odisha. 

History

Goddess Kali is believed to be born from the forehead of Goddess Durga, to fight against the demons, who could not be defeated by the Gods. She is the personification of Shakti (female power). Devi Kali proceeded to kill all the demons and saved the earth. But, after completing this task, She had blood lust and went on killing anyone who had done wrong. To stop Her, Lord Shiva came in her way laid down in front of her. 

Maa Kali is often depicted with her tongue hanging out, depicting the moment when she realised she had stood on Lord Shiva and her rage subsided.

Significance 

Kali Puja is celebrated to seek the help of the goddess in destroying evil and get her blessings for general happiness, health, wealth, and peace.

As Lord Mahadeva possesses a lot of energy within him, Maa Kali is the Shakti inherent in Shiva as Mahakala. Those seeking to bring the Divine Light into the world should worship Maa Kali. The supreme form of the Universal Mother absorbs her children back into her blissful embrace providing prosperity and generosity. 

Celebrations

As in Cuttack, Balijatra is an important festival fair, likewise, Bhadrak city is famous for its Kali Puja celebration. Like other pandals are decorated during Durga Puja, similar decorations happen in the pandals of Maa Kali. The idol making starts a few days earlier. The fragrance of festivity swings in the air these days. 

Kali puja 2
courtesy Wikimedia Commons

In Bhadrak, there is a competition among the Puja Pandal Committees to remain at the top in the Baruali. It means how well the Kali idol and the other side idols are made. Kalakunja is another contest taken to rank the idols of the city. 

Through the Baruali stands, Puja committees build idols and side idols of various themes. The themes are based on spreading messages against Superstitions, Social beliefs and many more. The topic based idols are gaining popularity nowadays. 

Then it comes to the Pandal and decoration. The pandals, idols and streets are decorated with colourful and beautiful lightings. The decorum is a substantial part of the preparations. 

One of the special attractions of Bhadrak Kalipuja is the Meenabazaar. It is a fair in which businessmen come from places like Kolkata and put up their stalls. Apart from a wide range of articles that are put up for sale, circus, magic and other amusement programmes are also a big draw at the ‘meena bazaar’ besides of course the swings and a variety of joyrides. Last but not the least, the food stalls command a large footfall.

Kali Puja Pandal, Bhadrak
Kali Puja Pandal, Bhadrak (courtesy BRD Das,, WordPress.com)

Organization of opera (known as Jatra locally) is one of the best things that pulls the crowd. After visiting the fair, people can book a night show for seeing the actors performing live. Jatra is really a big crowd puller in Odisha. Bhadrak Kalipuja is important from the cultural and business point of view.  

Conclusion

Hindus celebrate numerous festivals with great joy. Kali Puja is one among the major Hindu festivals dedicated to Goddess Kali. The day is also celebrated as Dipavali Amavasya Tithi ( Diwali ) in eastern India, The states which offer worship to Kali are West Bengal, Odisha and Assam. Maa Kali is worshipped on the new moon day in the month of Kartik. It is the second most celebrated festival after Durga Puja in Eastern India.

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