In North Kolkata there was an ''Akhra'' where underground hidden meetings were held between freedom fighters and to camouflage the nationalist and patriotic spirit from the British, in the year 1926 Durga Puja began and till date it is in a commanding position in the list of Kolkata Durga Pujas which are backed by heritage and culture, it is none other than Shimla Byam Samity that stood the test of time and emerged victorious. In the past, Durga Puja was solely confined and restricted within the four walls of Rajbaris and the Zamindari families.
Common man did not have access and remained a silent spectator . The advent of Sarbojonin Durga Puja removed this barrier and provided opportunities for the participation of ordinary people . Friends now its time to enhance your general knowledge, Shimla Byam Samity was the first Sarbojonin Durga Pujo in Kolkata .Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was the first President of this Durga Puja that received applaud and unflinching support from Swami Vivekananda, W.C.Bonnerjee, Atindranath Bose and many others.
Since Durga Puja began in Shimla Byam Samity began from the pre- independence era, initially Ma Durga was called Swadeshi Thakur and Durga Mata was drapped in Khaddar Saree. But from the year 1932 to 1934 , Durga Pujo was banned by the British but the obstinate urge and the unconquerable enthusiasm was enough to flout the British orders and re- establish the Durga Puja in its own position in 1935. In 1939, Swami Vivekananda's brother Mahendra Dutta decided to discontinue and abandon the Ekchala prototype of Durga Protima and drew the pictures of Ma Durga and her four children separately. The outward look and pattern of Durga thakur, Ma Laxmi and Saraswati, Kartick and Ganesh that we see in Shimla Byam Shamity Durga Pujo Pandal is inspired from the painting of Mahendra Dutta . This is a ''shabeki Pujo'' in which the immersion takes place on Bijoya Dashami itself.
Joint Secretary of the Club Ashok Kumar Das shared all these factual details with www.durgapujaonline.com. Shimla Byam Samity might not venture into Durga Pujo based on theme but every year they startle the Kolkata crowd with their exquisite Pandal decorations. Durga Puja 2012 shall see Somnath Temple of Gujarat, one of the oldest Pilgrimage of India being recreated to perfection in one of the oldest Durga Pujo of the City, Shimla Byam Samity. Well friends there is a little suggestion for you all, Shimla Byam Samity is always over populated so you can start your North Kolkata Durga Pujo Pandal hopping by visiting this Durga Pujo first on Chaturthi evening.
And all those who cannot win over the crowd and make it to Shimla Byam Samity in Durga Pujo 2012 for them www.durgapujaonline.com is definitely there.