Silchar situated on the banks of the River Barak is greatly dominated by Bengali population. Durga Puja also known as Durgotsava is the biggest festival in this city.
Durga Puja starts with Mahalaya in Silchar i.e. the first phase of waxing moon in the month of Aswin. On this day thousands of people from the entire Barak Valley offers prayers to their ancestors at the bank of River Barak which is popularly known as Tarpan. A special reading from the Chandi and Agamani Songs welcoming Goddess Durga are relayed by All India Radio very early in the morning.
Festive preparations in Silchar begin a month or two in advance with the construction of beautiful idols of Goddess Durga, Mahisasur, Ganesh, Kartik, Saraswati and Lakshmi. Eminent personalities from the world of Painting and culture are assigned to do eye catching work on the images of Goddess Durga. Beautiful pandals made of paper, bamboos, wood, clothes and material surprises the people not only from the city but from other parts of the country.
Durga Puja is usually celebrated for five days in Silchar that starts with Shasthi Puja followed by Saptami, Ashtami, Navami and lastly Dasahmi. Devotees are provided free ‘bhog’ that is a popular Bengali cuisine during these days and devotional songs form part of these celebration. The festival comes to an end with the emersion of the idol in Sadarghat on the last day.
Some of the best pandals in Silchar and their locations are stated as under:
• Ananda Parishad, Tarapur
• Dakhin Bilpar, Public School Road
• Rice Mill, Tarapur
• Ambikapur Purba Para, Ambicapatty
• College Tila Durga Puja, College Road
• Tarun Sangha, Sonai Road
• Mitali Sangha, Bilpar
• Kali Mohan Road, Tarapur
• Ambikapur Chowrangee, Ambicapatty
• Subhash Nagar Durga Puja, Subhash Nagar
• Sashan Road Durga Puja, Sashan Road