Pujo-r Gaan

The iconic Mahishasura Mardini

"Ya devi sarva-bhutesu vishnu-mayeti sabdita,
Namas thasyai namas thasyai namas thasyai namo namah
Ya devi sarva-bhutesu chetanety-abhidhiyathe
Namas thasyai namas thasyai namas thasyai namo namah
Ya devi sarva-bhutesu buddhi-rupena samsthitha
Namas thasyai namas thasyai namas thasyai namo namah."

- Mahishasura Mardini by Birendra Krishna Bhadra

The voice of Birendra Krishna Bhadra beckoning Maa Durga on early Mahalaya morning on All India Radio is the first note that says... "Maa Ashchhen" – Maa Durga is on her way from Kailash bringing along many joys and lifetime memories. Talking of Pujor-r Gaan, this is one of the first tunes that sets the festive tone.

'Mahishasura Mardini' is a 90-minute musical piece that was first composed in 1931 and is immensely popular even today. Bhadra was the legendary narrator whose emotional rendition of slokas caught the imagination of the listeners.

Even today, the recorded version of this musical drama, that narrates Goddess Durga's arrival on Earth, is aired on the day of the Mahalaya, which is observed a week before the start of the Durga Puja.

Agomoni Gaan

Jago... tumi jago...
Jago durga jago dashapraharanadharini...
Abhaya Shakti bolopradayini tumi jago...
Jago... tumi jago...
Tumi boroda ajora akula
Tumi boroda ajora akula
Bohu bolo dharini tribhubono dharini
Jago maa...
Smaran moyi
Chandi pra shankori
Jago... Jago maa...
Jago ashuro binashini
Tumi jago...
Jago durga jago dashapraharanadharini...
Abhaya Shakti bolopradayini tumi jago...
Jago... tumi jago...

A festival is not a festival without music and it's no different during Durga Pujo. Various songs and slokas have been composed known as the Agomoni Gaan to invoke the Goddess. These songs set the tone for the world's biggest festival by strumming the chords of joy in our hearts.

Since the olden days, Goddess Durga was invoked through "Agomoni Gaan"- songs to welcome the Goddess to earth and mark the beginning of Durga Pujos. With the start of the festivity, various devotional songs in praise of the Goddess were sung by worshippers. These iconic Agomoni Songs have been carried forward through generations and still hold a special place in Durga Pujo festivities.

Agomoni Gaan sung by various eminent singers in their own styles.

  • 'Jago Durga' by Dwijen Mukhopadhyay happens to be one such song that touches the heart of every Bengali wherever they are during Durga Pujo.
  • Nazrul Geeti 'Dur Dip Basini' is another such song that brings a tear especially in the eyes of all those who are away from home during Durga Pujo.
  • 'Durga Durgatinasini' by Hemanta Mukherjee and 'Bajlo Tomar Alor Benu' are among the other popular Agomoni songs.

Sharodiya Gaan

Pujo-r Gaan or Sharadiya Gaan are songs in praise of Goddess Durga, sang primarily during the festival of Durga Pujo. Sadly, these traditional songs are slowly dying out with Tollywood and Bollywood numbers turning into Chartbusters during Durga Pujo.

'Sharadabali', a compilation of Songs in praise of Goddess Durga was released by The Gramophone Company of India as early as 1914. With time eminent singers lent their voice to traditional Durga Pujo songs which soon became popular.

'Durge Durge Durgatinashini' by Asha Bhosle, 'Aji Shankhe Shankhe Mangala Gao' by Anoop Ghoshal and 'Ya Devi Sarbabhuteshu' by Swagata Laxmi Dasgupta are among the other popular Sharodiya Gaan.

Pujo-r Gaan Today

While traditional music is the heart and soul of Durga Pujo, the younger generation prefers to revel in more modern-day festive tracks. Catchy beats, eminent singers and great lyrics all together have made for some great modern Pujo songs.

Shreya Ghoshal's 'Dhaak Baja Kashor Baja' is one such recent Pujo songs that hits all the right notes, capturing the true essence of Durga Pujo with seamless lyrics and a melody all can dance to.

Another popular song is "Dhaker taale - komor dole- Khushi te nachey mon - Aaj baaja kashor Joma ashor - Thakbe maa ar kotokhhon" also a captivating melody.

What's more, to add to modern Pujo music, many Pujo Committees are coming up with Theme Songs for their Pujo. In 2017, Smt. Mamata Banerjee, Hon'ble Chief Minister of West Bengal penned down lyrics for a unique Pujo Theme Song for one of the most popular of Durga Pujos – Suruchi Sangha Club which was voiced by singer Shreya Ghoshal.

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