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After an eventful day one on the Wego, we thought we had seen it all and suddenly we were experts on all things Kolkata has to offer during the Durga Puja season. Little did we know that we were so wrong. Kolkata really comes to life at the night, and that's when it hit us. Boy, did we miss out.
Soon after an in depth conversation with a few locals and the YMCA caretaker, Swapan, we came to understand that our pandal-hopping would involve very late nights! But we weren't complaining, we'd take late nights on the swifty Wego any day.
At any given point, life tends to offer you a second chance, it's called tomorrow. So, here #WeGo — read on to know how our late night pandal-hopping in the City of Joy went.
Did we enjoy it? Was it worth it? And was the pandal-hopping and the Wego ride any different? Read on.
While we set out to explore the City of Joy at sundown, generous showers poured through the colourfully lit up city. And if you're thinking the rain played spoilsport and dampened down on the festivities, think again. Nothing could stop the energetic Bengalis, the sturdy Wego, or the eager bunch of us from celebrating Durga Puja with devoutness and joy.
Our first night out was pleasant.The Wego impressively took to the wet roads well, gripping on tighter than we had anticipated.
After making our way through the narrow streets, we were taken aback by a pandal which was not on our list. Here #WeGo — Chorebagan Sarbojinin near Ram Mandir — let the colours at the pandal speak for itself.
After a 30-minute photo session, we were back Wego-ing through narrow lanes, zipping our way through the streets of Kolkata.
Whether pandals or narrow street corners, Kolkata was lit up in a variety of hues, and our Wego held her place, posing and showing off her colours as well.
Sometimes all you need to brighten up your day (or night!) is a little splash of colour. We all know how the colour of a car, motorcycle or scooter has become an essential factor in the purchase decision of a new vehicle.
The Wego comes in a selection of vibrant colours. The one featured above is the Wego Volcano Red.
The Wego also comes in a dazzling blue version. Personally, we favourited the deep sky blue, and not surprisingly, it got the most attention, particularly at night amidst the lit up and colourful pandals. Isn't she a poser?
Night after night, we zipped through the City of Joy. With all the celebrations that were taking place late into the night, none but one was tired. Meet Shantanu — who gave new meaning to the word ‘dog-tired'.
The Bengalis sheer devotion to the sacred Durga Ma is something we will take away with us. Durga Puja in Kolkata is nothing less than a carnival. What stood out the most is this — not restricted to any specific religion, we noticed people from different faiths pour in to participate in the celebrations.
The Durga Puja festival celebrates the victory of Goddess Durga over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura.
And if you need to understand how important this festival is for Bengalis and the Hindu people, you need to visit Kolkata and partake in this community worship — just as we did. However, it wasn't over yet for us.
There is a saying, laughter is brightest where food is best. And we couldn't agree more. The puja season is a good time for good food.
After safely speeding past a trademark yellow taxi cab on the streets of Kolkata, we were served speedy, spicy Puchkas by a very enterprising Phuchhkawala. And if you have a sweet tooth, do follow it up with Mishti Doi (sweet curd).
With every dark night, comes a brighter day. With the energy gained from the spicy Phuchhkas, our ride continued as dawn broke out. In Kolkata, be it night or day during Durga Puja, the worship continues.
After three full pandal-hopping nights on the Wego, we learnt — the best nights are usually those that are unplanned, random, and incredibly spontaneous. But, bear in mind, all of this is most enjoyable on a scooter.
The Wego is your best bet for an economical ride through the crowded streets of Kolkata. The scooter has a fuel tank capacity of 5-litres and a range of 250kms+ on a full tank of fuel.
Thanks to our reliable TVS Wego, we managed to capture a few moments of the grand Durga Puja celebrations leading up to the immersion of the idol. Where words fail, photos speak!
Extravagant pandals light up the skies!
Devotees pray and dance in-front of a Durga idol before immersing in the river.
Devotees immerse their goddess in holy waters.
Durga Ma looks serene as she lay peaceful in rest.
Note to travellers who wish to visit Kolkata during Durga Puja.
The streets are crowded, and the pandal queues are kilometres long. So, if you aren't a fan of walking, figure out the next best way to explore the City of Joy during Durga Puja, like we did.
Keep watching this space for more as #Wego exploring a lit up Pune during the festival of lights — Diwali.
Video: Exploring the charms and delights of #Kolkata during #DurgaPuja.