Kola Bou Snan - Durga Puja

Kola bou snan is the first major ritual of Durga puja. The Kola bou is the plant form of Durga (and not the bride of Ganesha as widely believed) formed by tying eight types of plants to a young banana plant. This group of nine plants or “naba patrika” constitute the Kola bou. The ritual takes place early on saptami morning across the many ghats of Kolkata.

Photo tips

I chose Mallik ghat to shoot the ritual since I could combine it with the flower market visit. (Post on Mallik Ghat flower market) Most of what I discussed in the flower market post also hold true here. There are many aspects of the ritual that you could focus on. Before the puja starts the plants are dipped in the river. Wear shorts and sandals in case you want to get in the water. Then there is the puja itself. And the dhaakis.

Gear Used

All photos shot with the Nikon D500 + Sigma 18-35mm f1.8.

Mallik Ghat Flower Market in Kolkata

Mallik Ghat flower market in Kolkata, near the Howrah bridge, is (probably) the largest flower market in India, and by some accounts Asia. These photos were shot early morning (around sunrise) during Durga pujo. While it is busy throughout the year, Durga Puja triggers a mad rush.

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