BENGALI NEIGHBOURHOODS IN THE CITY
Timarpur started out as a private colony for government service employees. It was where Bengalis employed in the post and telegraph departments, railways and other government bodies moved to when the Capital was shifted from Kolkata to Delhi in 1911. The old secretariat, viceroy’s office (which is now the Delhi University) were in the vicinity and hence this was a convenient place of residence for Bengalis who were working in the government sector
it’s almost like a rite of passage. The Puja is all we talk about for most part of the year,” he adds.
The Timarpur and Civil Lines Puja Samiti is considered the second oldest Durga Puja in Delhi and was set up
Known for its predominant south Indian population and shopping options, Karol Bagh also has a sizeable Bengali population. Most of the Bengalis who retired from government service while working near Gole Market and Timarpur eventually settled in some pockets of Karol Bagh. The area is centrally located and wellconnected to the rest of the city. Karol Bagh also hosts one of the oldest Durga Pujas in the city organised by the Bengali community
officially in 1913 by ‘probashi’ Bengalis (ie, Bengalis outside West Bengal). Anand Sengupta, a corporate professional and VP of this Puja samiti, says, “The Puja was set up by Bengalis who wanted to recreate memories
Among the most popular Bengali neighbourhoods in the city, Chittaranjan Park, set up in the 1960s, was earlier called the East Pakistan Displaced Persons (EPDP) colony. Considered a melting pot of Bengali culture and cuisine, the place has been named after Chittaranjan Das, a patriot. Plots were allotted to migrants and refugees of the Partition from east Bengal. The area is famous for its food, temples and its Durga puja pandals
of the festivities far away from their homes. It has turned into a socio-cultural religious event bringing people together. This year, the Puja is centred around t he t heme of Nari Shakti (woman power).”