Get to know everything about travel
Book A Hotel
banner-image banner-image

Durga Puja Festival 2024 Dates, Rituals, and Celebrations

Published Date: 12-Feb-2023

In autumn several cities across India get into a joyous mood to celebrate one of the biggest festivals of the country, Durga Puja Festival. In some regions, Durga Puja is also known as Durgotsava or Sharodotsav. On the day of Durga Puja, Dussehra is also celebrated throughout India and these festivities are followed by Diwali after 20 days. With extravagant stage décorations called pandals, dance and music, processions, cultural events, and of course, non-stop food and shopping, this multi-day festival breathes a new life into cities and the people therein. To put it simply, you don’t just ‘celebrate’ this festival; you experience it! And here’s our guide to help you experience Durga Puja at its best this season. In the year 2024, the Durga Puja festival starts on the 9th of October and ends on the 13th of October.

Looking for budget hotels? Click here to find the best hotel deals in cities all over India.

Durga Puja 2024 Date, Muhurat, and Puja Timing

Here is the information for Durga Puja dates in 2024 and timings:

Durga Puja 2024 Date 9 October to 13 October 
Durga Puja 2023 Muhurat 12:31 a.m. on 20th October
Durga Visarjan Muhurat 6:28 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. on 24th October
Other Names Akalbodhan, Durgotsava, Maha Pujo, Maayer Pujo, Sharodotsav
Best Places to Observe Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Guwahati, Varanasi

What is Durga Puja 2024?

This annual festival reveres Goddess Durga and marks her victory over the deceptive demon Mahishasura in a fierce battle. That’s why she is also known as Mahishasura Mardini (the slayer of Mahishasura). As such, the premise of the festival is religious. However, Durga Puja is not limited to being just a religious fiesta. It is also celebrated as a post-monsoon harvest festival in some places, where the Goddess is worshipped as the mother power behind all creation and life. The dates of Durga Puja coincide with that of Dussehra or Vijayadashami, which marks Lord Ram’s victory over Ravana. Unsurprisingly, you can often find a mix of these two traditions in the festivities across India.

When Is Durga Puja Celebrated?

Durga Puja is celebrated in the month of Ashvin as per the Hindu calendar. According to the Gregorian calendar, the date usually falls between September and October. In the year 2024, the festival starts on the 20th and ends on the 24th of October.

Festivities Related to Durga Puja

Here are the day-wise festivities of Durga Puja:

Title Date Importance
Maha Shashti

(1st day)

20 October 2023 On this day, the face of the idol of Goddess Durga is unveiled
Maha Shaptami

(2nd day)

21 October 2023 The legendary battle between Goddess Durga and the demon king Mahishasura began on this day
Maha Ashtami

(3rd day)

22 October 2023 It is believed that Goddess Durga defeated Mahishasura on this day
Maha Navami

(4th day)

23 October 2023 This day is a celebration of the victory
Durga Puja Visarjan

(5th day)

24 October 2023 Symbolic of Goddess Durga’s return to the divine cosmos and her marital home with Shiva in Kailash

Durga Puja 2024 – History and Rituals

Durga Puja is celebrated on the tenth day of Navratri after worshipping all the nine forms of Goddess Durga for nine days.

The Birth of Devi Durga

According to a legend, Goddess Durga was created to destroy the demon Mahishasura by the Gods Vishnu, Shiva, and Brahma. Mahishasura became egotistical and took over all the gods to make a way to heaven from hell. To defeat him, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva merged their energies to form the Goddess Durga. After the battle of 9 days, Goddess Durga defeated Mahishasura.

Durga Puja Rituals

The rituals followed in Durga Puja are:

  • On the first day, an idol of Goddess Durga is installed with decorations for the purpose of worshipping. This Idol is worshipped for nine days with each day for one form of the goddess. 
  • On 2nd day, prayers are offered to the goddess stages are decorated with flowers and lights.
  • On the 3rd day, the goddess is worshipped in the form of little girls representing the holiness of the female energy.
  • On the 4th day, the goddess is worshipped at a grand level called Maha Arti.
  • On the final day, Durga Puja is performed with all the rituals and red-colored gulaal or sindoor.

How to Celebrate the Durga Puja Festival?

The Durga Puja is usually a 10-day long festival, out of which the last five days of Navratri are marked with rituals, ceremonies, and celebrations. Here is an account of how these ten days are celebrated:

  • First Day: The festival begins on Shubho Mahalaya, the day on which the goddess is appealed to descend to earth for her yearly visit.
    • Highlights: It is also the day on which the Hindus pay homage and prayers to their ancestors.
  • Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Day: The rituals for worshipping Durga follow on all the days. 
    • Highlights: Preparations for the grand puja.
  • Sixth Day: The next important day is the sixth day, which is known as Shashthi. This day is believed to be her arrival along with her children, namely Saraswati, Lakshmi, Ganesh, and Kartik, on earth after her long journey from Kailash, her abode in heaven.
    • Highlights: Community pandals mark the day, where huge idols of Durga holding weapons in her ten hands, her four children, and Mahisasura are placed.
  • Seventh, Eight, and Ninth Days: The next three days of Durga Puja are known as Saptami (seventh day), Ashtami (eighth day), and Navami (ninth day), and they are the most important days of the festival. On these three days, the goddess is worshipped by observing various rituals and recitation of the scriptures.
    • Highlights: Attractively décorated community pandals draw huge crowds during these three days. People don new clothes and indulge in pandal-hopping, eating out, and making merry with their friends and families. With performance art shows, competitions, and processions, it is nothing short of a carnival feel these days.
  • 10th Day: Dashami is the last and tenth day of the festival when Durga is believed to begin her return journey.
    • Highlights: This day also marks the end of the festivities with the immersion of the idol in a river or a large water body. Huge processions are taken out on Dashami as people accompany the goddess to the waterfront to bid her farewell in a vibrant manner.

Best Places to Observe Durga Puja 2024

You can find a different flavour of Durga Puja in different cities and towns of India. The celebrations, activities, food, and customs all differ, from one place to another. Let’s take a look at some of the best places to visit during the festival this year where you can soak in festivities and shop and eat to your heart’s content.

1. Kolkata

Durga Puja in Kolkata

Durga Puja in Kolkata

If it’s Durga Puja, there can be no better place than Kolkata to soak in the festive spirit. The City of Joy is the place where you can witness the highest degree of grandeur and frenzy. Hundreds of elaborately décorated pandals, fascinating illuminations, magnificent Durga, and appetizing food options, all turn the Kolkata Durga Puja pandal into a fantasy land during the days of the festival. There are multiple places to stay in Kolkata, even in the festive season.

Things to Do

  • Go pandal-hopping from the north to the south of the city, checking out the traditional pujas as well as the modern theme-based Bengali Durga pujas.
  • Do not miss out on visiting the Baghbazar Sarbojanin puja which is completing its 100 years and has organized a number of musical events to mark the occasion this year.
  • Remain witness to the spectacular traditions followed at one of the Bonedi Bari (aristocratic family) pujas in the city.
  • Enjoy the delectable bhog on Ashtami or Navami served at the community pandals.
  • Dig into mouth-watering items from the food stalls at Maddox Square.
  • Take part in sindoor khela on Dashami at Chalta Bagan Lohapatty Durga Puja where even the Tollywood beauties come down to be a part of the celebrations.
  • Accompany the goddess on an immersion procession to Babughat while dancing to the tunes of the latest filmy songs.
  • Have a look at more Things to do in Kolkata during Durga Puja

Book Hotels in Kolkata

2. Mumbai

Durga Puja in Mumbai

Durga Puja in Mumbai

Durga Puja in Mumbai has a vibe of its own. Though the traditions followed here are quite similar to those in Kolkata, there’s a touch of modernity to the whole feeling of celebration. With more than a hundred pandals dotting the city’s landscape, you can have a great time pandal hopping in Mumbai and enjoying the gala spectacle.

Things to Do

  • Make sure to visit the pandals in Powai, Lokhandwala, Shivaji Park, Andheri, and Chembur. There are many decent hotels in Mumbai around this area for a delightful stay.
  • Visit the Balkanji Bari Durga Puja in Santa Cruz to not just get to see the deity’s idol but to get a glimpse of a few matinee idols as well. It’s the household puja of the Mukherjee family where every year Kajol, Rani Mukherjee, Tanuja, and other members of the family gather for the festivities.
  • Attend the cultural programs organized on the occasion by various puja pandals.
  • Enjoy the authentic khichuri and labra at the Thakur Village Durgotsav in Kandivali.

Book Hotels in Mumbai

3. Delhi

Durga Puja in Delhi

Durga Puja in Delhi

Durga Puja in Delhi is more about celebrating Lord Rama’s victory over Ravana. An interesting part of the celebrations is the Ram Lila performances held during this time, in which scenes from the Ramayana are enacted. But the best part is the burning of Ravana’s firecracker-stuffed effigies along with those of his son Meghnad and brother Kumbhkaran. But the city comes up with some spectacular pandals as well where the goddess is ritualistically worshipped during this period. During the festive season, the city prepares itself with hotels in Delhi to provide a comfortable stay for tourists and a chance to watch the diverse cultures and celebrations coming together.

Things to Do:

  • Check out the Kashmiri Gate Durga Puja, which is the oldest one celebrated in the capital.
  • Attend the Ram Lila performances and Dusshera celebrations at Ramlila Maidan Ajmeri Gate and Red Fort Ground.
  • Head to Chittaranjan Park and gorge on some delicious Bengali delicacies.
  • Enjoy concert-style performances by artists from Hindi and Bengali entertainment communities at New Delhi Kali Bari.

Book Hotels in Delhi

4. Guwahati

Durga Puja in Guwahati

Durga Puja in Guwahati

The entire city of Guwahati lights up with a festive vibrancy during Durga Puja. Around 500 community pandals are set up to celebrate the occasion. You can find impressive idols of the goddess placed inside theme-based pandals dotting the length and breadth of the city. Exhibitions and fairs are held in different parts of Guwahati during this time. There are a lot of places to stay in Guwahati making it a perfect destination to enjoy the festivities in the lap of nature.

Things to Do:

  • Spend the night pandal hopping across the city.
  • Do not miss checking out the Kamarpatty Sarbajanin Durga Puja in the Kamarpatty area where a giant asura is the main attraction every year.
  • To get a good dose of live music, food, shopping, and a heightened festive spirit, head to the Geetanagar field and Rest Camp, Pandu.

Book Hotels in Guwahati

5. Varanasi

Durga Puja in Varanasi

Durga Puja in Varanasi

The holy city of Varanasi awakens with a magical vibe during Durga Puja celebrations. Large pandals come up in different parts of the city where the goddess is worshipped with unmatched fervour. The city also celebrates the occasion to commemorate the victory of Lord Ram over Ravana. You can see small children dressed up in various characters from the Ramayana enacting plays during this time.

Things to Do:

  • Make your way to the famous Baageshwari Devi Durga Puja Samiti at Jaitpura which comes up with a surprise theme every year.
  • Attend a couple of drama sessions enacting episodes from the Ramayana.
  • Enjoy the cultural programs lined up for every evening at the Bhelupur pandal.
  • Savor the local delicacies and the famous Benarasi Paan sold at the food stalls that spring up near the puja pandal
  • Attend the immersion ceremony of the idols in the river Ganga on Dashami. You will also find many hotels in Varanasi near the Ganga Ghats.

Book Hotels in Varanasi

6. Ahmedabad

Durga Puja in Ahmedabad

Durga Puja in Ahmedabad

It’s impossible to miss the festive fervor that grips Ahmedabad during the Durga Puja and Navratri celebrations. The whole city decks up with lights, colours, and festivities. Ahmedabad celebrates the occasion to commemorate Lord Ram’s victory in the battle against Ravana. Dance, drama, and songs fill the air during the nine days of Navratri. People dress up in their traditional best and take part in Dandiya and Garba Raas performances. You can also find puja pandals where the goddess is worshipped in her Durga form. To avoid the rush, book a hotel in Ahmedabad in advance. You can also find puja pandals where the goddess is worshipped in her Durga form.

Things to Do:

  • Wear a traditional outfit and match your steps at the dandiya event organized at Navakhi ground, Laxmi Vilas Palace.
  • Attend the cultural events organized by the Bengali Cultural Association (BCA).
  • Get a taste of the authentic Gujarati cuisine.

Book Hotels in Ahmedabad

10 Pandals you must visit in India during Durga Puja 2024

The best thing to do during Durga Puja is, of course, visiting different puja pandals to see the goddess and the pandal being presented in unique ways. We bring to you the top ten pandals from across the country that you must not miss out on visiting this year.

1. Sreebhumi Sporting Club, Kolkata

Living up to its reputation of enthralling puja revelers with amazing pandal décor, Sreebhumi Sporting Club in Lake Town has come up with a pandal that mirrors the palace of Rani Padmavat. The pandal and the idol, both are grand spectacles that you must not miss out on.

2. Deshapriya Park Durga Puja, Kolkata

Each year an incredible spectacle awaits the visitors at the Deshapriya Park Durga Puja near Rash Behari Avenue in South Kolkata. No wonder, people from far-off corners of the city come to see this pandal.

3. Lokhandwala Durgotsav, Mumbai

Known as Bollywood singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya’s puja, the pandal here is among the most popular ones in Mumbai. Various performances, events, and an array of food stalls keep the crowd glued to this place.

4. Powai Sarvajanin Durgotsav, Mumbai

Organized by the Powai Bengali Welfare Association, this puja is known for its eco-friendly pandals. The Dhunuchi dance competition is a very popular event at this puja.

5. Kashmere Gate Durga Puja, Delhi

Counted among the oldest Durga pujas celebrated in Delhi, the Kashmere Gate puja draws in the crowd based on its grand pandal décor and beautiful idol of the goddess.

6. Baageshwari Devi Durga Puja Samiti, Varanasi

The theme décor at Baageshwari Devi Durga Puja Samiti each year is a delight that never fails to impress visitors. If you happen to be in the city, make it a point to visit this pandal.

7. Athgaon Sarvajanin Durga Puja Samiti, Guwahati

Located in the heart of the city, the Athgaon Sarvajanin Durga Puja has been entertaining the people of Guwahati with their unique theme-pandals for quite a few years now.

8. Hyderabad Bangalee Samity Durga Puja, Hyderabad

They put up their first puja pandal way back in 1942. Today it is one of the most popular pujas in the city, thanks to the impressive décor of the pandal and the organized arrangement of food stalls and eateries.

9. SMCA Durga Puja, Chennai

This puja, organized by the South Madras Cultural Association, is undoubtedly the most popular one in Chennai. Starting from Anjali and Bhog during the day to cultural programs in the evening, you can experience everything here.

10. Koregaon Park, Pune

Though this puja was started just over a decade ago, it has made a place for itself among Punekars. Famous for its splendid décor and lovely Durga idol, the puja pandal also acts as a hangout zone where you can enjoy the best of Bengali cuisine and buy handicraft stuff.

The list of the best Durga Puja pandals can never remain confined to a handful. To enjoy the real zeal and fervour of the festival, start your trip from Kolkata before you go about discovering the other cities and their pujas. Or, you can save the best for the last and start with some other city as well, the choice is all yours. Here’s wishing you a very happy Durga Puja!!

Other Festivals in India with Holiday Type

Festivals in India Day Date Holiday Type
New Year Monday 1 January Public
Lohri Saturday 13 January Restricted
Makar Sankranti Sunday 14 January Restricted
Pongal Sunday 14 January Restricted
Republic Day Friday 26 January Public
Losar Saturday 10 February Restricted
Basant Panchmi Wednesday 14 February Restricted
Guru Ravidass Jayanti Saturday 24 February Restricted
Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati Jayanti Tuesday 5 March Restricted
Mahashivratri Friday 8 March Restricted
Holi Monday 25 March Public
Good Friday Friday 29 March Public
Easter Sunday 31 March Restricted
Eid Ul Fitr Tuesday 9 April Public
Vaisakhi Saturday 13 April Restricted
Ram Navami Wednesday 17 April Restricted
Mahavir Jayanti Sunday 21 April Restricted
Rabindra Jayanti Wednesday 8 May Restricted
Buddha Purnima Thursday 23 May Public
Eid Al Adha Sunday 16 June Restricted
Rath Yatra Sunday 7 July Restricted
Muharram Wednesday 17 July Public
Independence Day Thursday 15 August Public
Parsi New Year Navroz Friday 16 August Restricted
Raksha Bandhan Monday 19 August Restricted
Janmashtami Monday 26 August Restricted
Onam Thursday 5 September Restricted
Ganesh Chaturthi Saturday 7 September Restricted
Id E Milad Sunday 15 September Public
Gandhi Jayanti Wednesday 2 October Public
Shardiya Navratri Thursday 3 October No Holiday
Durga Puja Wednesday 9 October No Holiday
Dussehra Saturday 12 October Public
Valmiki Jayanti Thursday 17 October Restricted
Karva Chauth Sunday 20 October Restricted
Ahoi Ashtami Thursday 24 October No Holiday
Dhanteras Tuesday 29 October No Holiday
Halloween Day Thursday 31 October No Holiday
Diwali Thursday 31 October Public
Kali Puja Thursday 31 October No Holiday
Karnataka Rajyotsava Friday 1 November Restricted
Kerala Piravi Friday 1 November Restricted
Lakshmi Puja Friday 1 November No Holiday
Govardhan Puja Saturday 2 November Public
Bhai Dooj Sunday 3 November Restricted
Chhath Puja Tuesday 5 November Restricted
Guru Nanak Jayanti Friday 15 November Public
Kartik Purnima Friday 15 November No Holiday
Christmas Wednesday 25 December Public


Q. When is Durga Puja in October?

A. Durga Puja is celebrated from 9th October to 13th October 2024.

Q. When is the Dashami of Durga Puja?

A. The Dashami for Durga Puja is on 13th October 2024.

Q. What are the 9 colours of Navratri?

A. The colours for Navratri are yellow, green, orange, grey, white, pink, red, royal blue, and purple.

Q.Why is Durga Puja celebrated for 10 days?
Goddess Durga has nine forms, so to celebrate each with the final day for the grand worship, the first 5 days are for rituals and preparations and the last 5 days are for the grand Durga Puja celebration. 

Q. Which Durga idol is good for home?

A. It is advised to bring the clay idol of the goddess for home as it is eco-friendly. Durga Puja background is also decorated with flowers and leaves.

Q. What are the Durga Puja wishes?

A. People greet each other by saying “Happy Durga Puja” and “Shubhashtmi”.

Manthan is a witty and versatile content writer with an insatiable wanderlust. When not crafting captivating words, he can be found globetrotting, penning travel tales, indulging in physical workouts or sports, grooving to music, and showering love on furry friends. His life is a canvas painted with the colors of adventure, and each stroke tells a story worth sharing, encapsulating the essence of a true modern-day Renaissance soul.

1 comment

Book Now