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*Sri Lanka*

 

Durga Puja 2005, Calcutta, West Bengal, India        (Related Pages: Kolkata City, Indian Museum)


Durga is one of the many forms of Shakti (the goddess), and the wife of Shiva. Her best-known feat was the slaying of the buffalo-demon Mahishasura. Created for this purpose out of flames that issued from the mouths of Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, and the lesser gods, she was born fully grown and beautiful; nevertheless, she presents a fierce menacing form to her enemies. She is usually depicted in painting and sculpture riding a lion, and with 8 or 10 arms holding special weapons of the gods, who gave them to her to fight the buffalo-demon. Durga-puja, held in September-October, is one of the greatest festivals of northeastern India. A special image of the goddess is worshiped for nine days, then immersed in water, all accomplished with large processions and much public and private festivity.

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Puja lights



Puja lights



A small stage production



Shoot the photographer



Sindoor khela

A ceremony for married women


Painted faces



Siblings



Dancing to dhak beats



Sculptor's barn



Bidding farewell



Final passage



Babu Ghat



Ready for immersion



Pujaris



Mud to mud (more)



Ashes to ashes (1, 2, 3)

A dead man on the riverbank
       

 

 

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