It was in 1869 ( 1276 Bangabdo)…..Lt.Shrimoti. Rajomoni Dasi, wife of Lt. Shri. Krishna Das Kundu initiated to observe Durga Puja in Kundu Family. But there is a story behind the initiation of Smt. Rajomoni Dasi……….Before marriage Kumari Rajomoni lived at Baranasi Ghosh Street. She belonged to a rich family, where Durga Puja was being celebrated with pomp and splendor. But in her in law house, no celebration was observed, as Krishna Das Kundu , a small Kerosin Trader ,who was not in a position to hold this Grand Celebration. When the glimps of blue sky, familiar sound of Dhak, , the mild fragrance of Shiuli, gave a familiar tug at every Bangali heart, Rajomoni got excited and scheduled her visit to her paternal home. But she always felt awkward to her relatives. During her deep reverence to Durga Maa , she wished to observe Durga Puja in her own house. The proverb says…”if there is a will, there must be a way”. Soon Krishna Das Kundu was blessed by Durga Maa….and he made money in quick time. Smt. Rajomoni Dasi made a Durga Mandap (Teen Khilaan)at 9, Pyari Mohan Pal Lane, in 1868 and observed Durga Puja with deep devotion and enthusiasm.
In Kundu family, Durga Puja commences with Kathamo Puja, which is held on an auspicious day of Rathayatra. The Kundus offer pujo (Brihot nandokishor motey)with great sanctity. Durga Maa’s arrival starts the Devipaksha. The day is being observed as 'Mahalaya', the day of invocation. On the dawn of 'Mahalaya', the hymns of Chandipaath fill the air with a divine feel. Saptami is the first day of Durga puja. Nabapatrika is given a pre-dawn bath. They are together worshiped as a symbol of the goddess. The main Saptami Puja follows Kalparambho and Mahasnan .Shri. Asit Kundu, the successor of Krishna Das Kundu intimated , “ After a prolong prayer Rajomoni got the blessings of maa Durga, so she did not want to keep maa away from her eyes. Childish Rajomoni paved Durga Maa with thick rope and tagged with an iron ring.”
The ritual of 'Sandhipuja' marks Sandhikkhan, the juncture between Ashtami and Nabami. 108 'Deeps' are lighted during 'Sandhipuja'. At this time Devi Durga took the role of Devi Chamunda to kill the Mahishasura (the Buffalo Demon). During Sandhi puja , Noibeddyo is offer to Durga Maa in a big tray, made of with brass, consists of 40 kgs of Gobindo Bhog or Baasmati rice, 26 types of fruit and in the middle of the thal , a starch, made of coconut, is placed. The only attainable of the noibeddyo is none other than Kulguru. During Sandhi pujo, women of the Kundu family prepare “Chandankheer” . During the making of Chandankheer they do not utter a single word. This Kheer is prepared only for the family members.
On the august day of Ashtami, Kumari Pujo is observed with piety . The scriptures mention the great care with which the Kumari is selected to be worshipped as the earthly representative of Devi Durga. The qualities required in the girl has to match the dynamism, purity and serenity of the Goddess. A calm, serene and an unmarried girl with a bright disposition between 4 to 12 years, who has not yet reached her puberty and is bereft of desire, worldly pleasures and anger is the right requisite for the Kumari Puja. In kundu family,three girls are worshipped in front of the idol of Goddess Durga.Apart from that , the ritual od “Sadhaba Pujo” is also being observed. After that, mothers participate “Dhuno Porano” ritual, where they hold burning Malsas on their palms and heads, pray to durga maa for the peace and prosperity of their beloved children as well for their families.
On the day of Dashami, the idlo is being carried to the Ganga river for immersion. One may not come across the excessive extravaganza there but the devotion and community feeling reigns high.