South London Durga Puja 2024

As a place of worship, everyone is welcome

Yaa Devi Sarva Bhuteshu Vishnu Mayyeti Shabditah
Namas Tasyai Namas Tasyai Namas Tasyai Namo Namah
Yaa Devi Sarva Bhuteshu Shakti Roopen Sansthita
Yaa Devi Sarva Bhuteshu Bhakti Roopen Sansthita
Yaa Devi Sarva Bhuteshu Matri Roopen Sansthita

About Us

For many, the autumn festival of Durga Puja is the most important religious festival in the Bengali calendar. Few other festivals occupy so much media coverage each year or mean quite so much in terms of spiritual fulfillment.

Durga puja still symbolises victory over evil both on a personal level and in society at large. She is Ma, mother, as well as much loved daughter of Himavat, the Himalayas, who visits for a short while and then returns to her mountain home. A glimpse of her face, as in Satyajit Rays film Pather Panchali, evokes a whole range of thoughts and emotions.

The experience of being present in the sight of Durga and her family of Ganesh, Saraswati, Lakshmi and Kartik, of having darshan, is often an emotional one. Worshippers can bring whatever feelings and thoughts seem most appropriate in these private moments of prayer, reflection and meditation.

When the priest gently requests 'ma go' (Mother dear) to listen to the prayers of those attending, his reactions and movements set the tone of the whole proceedings. The involvement of participants at every level of the proceedings, including the choice of flowers and cooking the food, the raising of the funds and sending out invitations, ensure that Durga puja is a lively social occasion. Physical contact with the images during puja such as the offering of bhog and sindur brings the worshipper in closer spiritual contact with Durga too for those fortunate enough to attend celebrations.

Swami Vivekananda, who inaugurated Durga puja in 1901 at the Ramakrishna Mission, Belur Math, Kolkata using a clay image from Kumartuli, best sum up the way to think about the worship of the image of Durga: 'The Hindu does not worship an idol made of wood and clay, he sees consciousness within the earthiness and loses himself in it.' This is the religious experience of Durga Puja.

Your Comments

This big event makes a good difference to many of us. Me and my family enjoyed visiting Durga Puja at Chak 89.

Mrs Radha

A very big thanks to all of you who worked so hard and make it successful again this year. I, with my family, have been coming to the Puja almost since last 10 years and we really enjoy it. One of the best organised Puja, WELL DONE !!

Shekhar Rajan

Thank you for organising Durga Puja in South London .