Houston Durga Bari Puja: Bringing Bengal to Space City – Puja 2017

Photos: Saurabh Sengupta, Nirmalya Roy, and Abhijit Bhattacharyya

Photos: Saurabh Sengupta, Nirmalya Roy, and Abhijit Bhattacharyya

By Partha Sarathi Chatterjee

HOUSTON: Houston’s Durga Bari’s Durga Puja is one of the largest Pujas in North America. It won the very first Best Puja in the international category from Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Durga Bari has decided to donate $10,000 from Puja to Mayor’s Harvey Relief Fund. Consul General Of Houston, Dr. Anupam Ray attended the Puja, organized by Puja Chair Partha Ghosal and HDBS President Anindya Chakrabarty and team.


Puja season started with Mahalaya and Anandamela celebration – there was remarkable turnaout with lots of activities including food fest, Mahishasuramardini and movie Chilekotha. Main Puja was celebrated September 28-October 1 with Kali Puja on October 20-21.

Puja was celebrated at our vast temple complex with Ashtadhatu deities right on a picturesque lake. Puja was conducted by our dedicated volunteer priests over four days led by our Head priest Buddhadeb Bhattachariya. We followed all rituals – from Bodhon to Bishorjan, from Hom to Chandi path to 108 lotuses during Sandhi Puja,. Dedicated volunteers prepared the elaborate Naibidya, Bhog and Dadhikarma. We had about 3500 independent footfalls from all over Houston, Texas and other states for our Puja.


The entire complex became a fun-filled festival – the milieu of people milling around with mikes blaring. From the entrance gate to Las Vegas style lighting, we converted the temple complex to a Vegas-Kolkata lighting wonderland.

Houston’s stage brought together the most powerful lineup for 2017 with not two or three but eight famous artists rocking the Houston crowd. From Haimanti Shukla to the singer creating waves back home – Jimut to Chandrika to Aritro-Somchanda to Soumyojit-Sourendro to our domestic programs, this year’s programs were exciting, high-class and tremendously entertaining.


Volunteers cooked delicious food and served it under a canopy. From lunches to bhog to snacks to dinner, you will have a gourmet food experience here.  Tutored by the elders, dhaaks were played by second-generation kids, for every arati and bishorjan. For bishorjan, we took the Kala Bau and the pitchers three times around the temple in a procession and then, immersed them in the lake.

In short, we created India and Puja festival in Space City right here in the heart of Texas.