Durga Puja celebrations in JNU Campus: Photo Essay

Written by vik

Topics: Campus, Photography, Socio-Political

JNU Celebrations Durga Puja A religious festival in a premiere educational institution and that too in the ‘bastion of the left’? Yes! It is not only the Durga Puja which is celebrated within the JNU campus but also the Kali Puja, Saraswati Puja [at two venues], Ganesh Puja, Lohri, Id and Onam (and this list is only indicative and not exhaustive).

The following photos are of the Durga Puja celebrations from the JNU campus. The fixed venue is the Kaveri Hostel badminton hostel complex in the mid campus. It is a programme organized through student initiatives [Kali Puja, Janmashtami, Jagran/Bhandara etc. are organized by the non-teaching staff of JNU residing in the saraswatipuram region of the campus].

Vijay, PhD student,  informs that it started in the year 2000-01 when Vyalok, a Periyar hostel student started Puja in his own hostel room. Devotees started gathering in Vyalok’s room and in no time the crowd was unmanageable. A natural suggestion was to hold a JNU campus level Durga puja celebration which fructified the next year.

So the first Campus level Durga puja happened in the year 2001 near the Periyar hostel gate [and probably there was a hunger strike by students to convince the administration]. The Durga Puja attracts people from all over the campus [students, teachers, non-teaching staff, ex-students] and on the day of mahanavmi and mahaprasad, the number of devotees is maximum [about 2000 according to Nikhil]. Many students also observe the Navratra fast and there are hostel level arrangements for fruits for them.

All these photos were taken on the night of 27 September 2009. Thanks to Ameswar for assistance with the camera. The Delhi Times report [28 September 2009] follows the pics. See the Iftar Celebration photos in the JNU Camups [Sabarmati Hostel].

JNU Celebrations Durga Puja

Devotees near the pandal [Mahaaarti]. The Banyan tree near the pandal is quite majestic and probably the oldest tree in the JNU campus!

JNU Celebrations Durga Puja

A panoramic view. Mahaprasad in progress 🙂

JNU Celebrations Durga Puja

Update: Click here for more photos of the event.

The following image and report is from the Delhi Times report on 28 September.

JNU Durga Puja Times of India

Its puja time at JNU

The Durga Puja at JNU which is organised by students has its own importance as DT finds out [ERAM AGHA Times News Network]

If not at Chittranjan Park then at the badminton court of Kaveri Hostel in JNU thats where you will find all the students of JNU during Navaratris. They also quite systematically performed Durga Puja on the campus this time. Those not at home made sure this doesnt come as an excuse for not being a part of this grand festival. We are not at home, but still we can perform puja on the campus and stay connected, said Sonal, a student.

Since the morning of Saptami, the campus was abuzz with preparations, right from deciding what colour saree to drape to planning out the whole schedule of Durga Puja, the zestful lot was on their toes. Interestingly more than the organisers the freshers, who were seeing this phenomenon for the first time in the campus, came in high spirits. Equally interested and even amazed were few students from abroad for whom everything was quite new and interesting.

Nidhi, a first year student of CSRD said, I am here to see how it happens here! Since I am from Haryana, this culture of Puja on such a large scale is new to me. Out of curiosity I decided to become a part of this function. Sonal, an MCA student, who participated in the puja last year too, said, Our university celebrates all festivals. Just last week we had a warm experience of Eid Milan and now we have a traditional Durga Puja. This way we celebrate the composite culture of India. This is something one gets to see in this country.

A guest from Poland Magda, who is studying Hindi at Hindi Sansthan, visited JNU for Durga Puja for the first time. Her friends had spoken a lot about it and she had no choice but to accompany them in the function. She said, In Poland I studied Indian culture and today I am seeing a part of it. More than anything else, the devotion amazes me. These students are away from their families, theres no parental pressure on them to perform the puja, and if they want they can skip it. Whatever they are doing today is the outcome of their devotion towards the Goddess. Personally for me, I feel spiritually uplifted.

All said and done, for students of JNU, celebrating Durga Puja remains a heady experience.

8 Comments Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. sunil balani says:

    It must be a breather for all hard working students….after all All work and no play makes jack a dull boy [:)]…celebrations and festivals sometimes provide that pep we need once in a while….

  2. pavitra agarwal says:

    hiiiiiiiiii, thankx 4 make the photos. kam hi photo h par jitni bhi h bohot achchhi h. thankx once again.

  3. You should be a Photographer dear 🙂 i guess you have scene the 3 Idiots

  4. LUIZA says:

    beautiful celebrationsTITANIC SONG 4 U IN M STYLE……..

    Every time in orkut
    I see you. I scrap you.
    That is how I know you go on………..
    Far across the Scrap Book
    And testimonials between us
    You have come to show yourself ” single”……….
    Near, far, wherever you are……
    I believe that the friends list does go on………
    Once more you logged on……..
    And you’re here in my scrap…..book
    And my scrap book will go on and on………
    Testimonials can touch us one time
    And last for sometime
    And never let go till we’re friends
    Love was when I saw your friends list
    One true time I hold u……..
    In my life I’ll surely view her profile
    Near, far, wherever you are….
    I believe that the friends list does go on………..
    There is some amazing profile that will not go away
    You’re here, there’s so much to fear,
    And I know that my friend will know I checked her out
    We’ll stay forever this way
    You are safe in my friends list…..,
    And my friends list will go on n on………

8 Comments Trackbacks For This Post

  1. JNU Durga Puja 2009: More Photos « Vikas, JNU [Extension to my other blogs]
  2. Saraswati Puja Photos from JNU campus « Photos, JNU News, Myself etc.