The Durga Pujo at the Janbazar residence of Rani Rashmoni, the legendary philanthropist of 19th century Bengal, credited to have founded the awe-inspiring Dakshineswar Kali temple, was started in 1790 by Zamindar Babu Pritaram Das, father in law of Rani Rashmoni. The Pujo was continued by Babu Rajchandra Das (Babu Ghat in Kolkata is named after him) and after his death by Rani Rashmoni.
The Pujo was blessed by the great saint Ramakrishna Paramhansa in 1864 when he offered prayers to the deity in his special “Sakhibesh” attire.
The Pujo is continues to this day with pomp and splendour, three different Pujos celebrated by the families of the Ranis three daughters.
Highlights of the Pujo include the start of worship from the day after Mahalaya and Kumari Pujo performed all the three days, Shoptomi, Oshtomi and Nobomi.
Animal sacrifice has been banned since long. Annobhog is not offered to the deity . Bhog comprises luchi, an array of bhaja (fried vegetables) and a delectable spread of sweets like kheer, payesh, khaja, jive goja to name but a few.
Today, in the sixth of my Mahabhog series, I recreate Perakir Payesh, following the steps detailed by their family members.
Perakir Payesh. A delicious coconut jaggery mixture lovingly stuffed in a peraki. Fried to a gorgeous golden. And dipped in a jaggery-perfumed payesh. Sublime !!!
If you are keen to learn what is served to the deity in the various bonedi barir Pujo as part of their bhog, do stay tuned for more !!
And if you haven’t already, here’s my posts on what’s in the bhog offered to Ma Durga.
1. Shibpur RoyChowdhury Barir Kolar Borar Payesh
2. Sabarna Roy Choudhury Barir Pui Chingri
3. Chorbagan Chatterjee Barir Niramish Bhetki Maacher Ghonto
4. Bhawanipur Nandan Barir Chandrapuli
5. Girish Bhawan er Chhanar Kalia
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