Bengalis carry around their charm wherever they go. And when it comes to festivals, culture and rituals there is probably nothing that can match up to the level of Durga Puja. The biggest festival of the Bengali community is celebrated all over the world now. So if you ask, is Durga Puja celebrated in London, then the answer would certainly be a big Yes! Some of the Durga Pujas in UK are more than 30 years old. With the increase in Bengalis in London, day by day the Durga Puja is becoming more eventful. Everything is celebrated with a lot of heart and soul and these are days of unity and love that the Bengali residing in London rejoice.
So no matter if you stay in London or move any time soon, if you are a Bengali or a Non Bengali, or even a foreigner, you must visit the Durga Pujas in London to get a glimpse of Bengal’s biggest festival. In this article I will mention all the noteworthy London Durga Pujas that are carrying forward the Bengali charm. The best Durga Pujas in London are a must visit if you are a Bengali missing out on Durga Puja in Bengal this year. Now you have this article, so plan up which Durga Pujas you are visiting this year.
Please note the dates of Durga Puja in London are not the same as in India or Bengal. So you need to check on the exact dates with the respective community where you would like to attend Puja this year. So let’s check them out one by one.
12 Best Durga Puja in London
London Sharad Utsav – Bengal Heritage Foundation
Location of London Sharad Utsav: Ealing Town Hall
The London Sharad Utsav is one of the most popular Durga Pujas in London. This is also one of the most loved Durga Pujas in London. It was started in the year 2009 by only 12 families to celebrate the Durga Puja like how it is celebrated in Kolkata. They have a special “Parar Pujo” vibe that is very enjoyable and a lot of people visit this puja just to enjoy that vibe. This was also the very first Durga Puja in London that involved 108 lotuses and 108 diyas during Sandhi Puja. They also organized the Kumari Puja for the very first time in London.
Previously they would just import the Durga Devi idol from Kolkata’s Kumartuli. But after 9 years they decided to call the artisans in London to make the idol from scratch using the local straw and thatch. They also wanted to mix the water of Ganga River in Kolkata and Thames in London while making this happen.
This Durga Puja is a pioneer in a lot of aspects. A lot of cultural programmes are organized during the puja days and food is served to each and every devotee who visits, twice a day. They have also been recognized for their effort and growth by letters from Indian President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendar Modi and Queen Elizabeth II. Apart from Durga Puja they are also active during other Bengali festivals like Rabindra Jayanti and Fagun Fest which is a handicraft festival. Their main aim is to promote the essence of Bengal in Britain.
London Durga Puja Dussehra Association
Location of London Durga Puja Dussehra Association: Hampstead Town Hall, 213 Haverstock Hill, Belsize Park, London
The London Durga Puja Dussehra Association was started by a group of Bengali students in London in 1963. In 2023 they will be celebrating their 60th year of Puja. They first started off with celebrating Saraswati Puja and later decided to celebrate Durga Puja as well. They asked for a small amount of donation from every household to build a fund. The famous editor of Yugantar and Amrita Bazar Patrika, Tushar Kanti Ghosh donated the idol and the owner of Ambala Sweets supplied them with fruits and sweets required for the Puja. That is how the first ever Durag Puja in Russell Street started. This association still holds their charm and is one of the popular Durga Pujas in London.
London Camden Durga Puja
Location of London Camden Durga Puja-: Swiss Cottage Central Library
The Swiss Cottage Library Durga Puja in London is the oldest Durga Puja in London. The NRIs in London provide charity for this and it is also supported by London Borough of Camden. The Durga Puja Committee was formed by them in 1963. Late Sri Tushar Kanti Ghosh, the famous editor of Yugantor and Amrita Bazar Patrika established the community. Almost around 30000 people attend Durga Puja here. This is a non profitable organization and they arrange many charitable programmes as well.
Panchamukhee Durga Puja in UK
Location of Panchamukhee Durga Puja in UK: Blue Room, 220 Headstone Lane
This Durga Puja in London was started by a group of Bengalis in the year 2006. Their aim is to promote the Bengali culture and make it reachable to as many people as they can. The whole Puja rituals are streamed online and they also host a series of cultural programmes during the Durga Puja days.
Sanatan Bengali Association
Location of Sanatan Bengali Association: Main Hall, 8 Caxton Road, Wood Green, London
This association celebrates a majority of Bengali festivals like Durga Puja, Kali Puja, Saraswati Puja and other cultural programmes of the Bengali community. It is a non-profit organization that is associated with a lot of charity work. They provide aid and help during any adverse situation or natural calamities.
Wimbledon Cultural Association Durga Puja London
Location of Wimbledon Cultural Association Durga Puja: Saan’s Hall, 6-12 London Road, Morden
This Durga Puja was started in the year 2007 and they are still continuing their tradition. This association also celebrates Kali Puja. A lot of Bengalis from across London attend Durga Puja and Kali Puja here. The 5 days of Durga Puja are celebrated with a lot of vigor. There are musical evenings and cultural programmes on all days of puja. Lunch and dinner are also arranged for their members and the participants.
UTSAB – London Bengali Association Durga Puja Orpington
Location of UTSAB- London Bengali Association Durga Puja Orpington: Sanderson Hall, Mickleham Road, Orpington
This association was established in 2010. It was initially a group of friends and their families who started this community and later it started growing. Today UTSAB London is one of the most visited Durga Pujas in London. They also celebrate the Kali Puja and Saraswati Puja. Every year Durga Puja is celebrated here with a lot of enthusiasm. Cultural programmes are arranged everyday where participants showcase their talents in classical, non classical and semi classical singing and dancing. There is an arrangement of lunch and dinner for the members of the community as well.
Probashi Durga Puja in Hounslow London
Location of Probashi Durga Puja in Hounslow: Honeymoon Banqueting Hall, 50-52 Bell Road, Hounslow
One of the most famous and highly visited Durga Puja in London is the Hounslow Durga Puja. Almost around 7000 devotees attend puja every year. The association was started by Bengalis residing in London with the name “Probashi”. Later 47 families came together and started this Durga Puja. This association is also involved in a lot of charity works and they distribute food and clothing and also provide shelters to the needy. The Durga Puja in Hounslow is a grand affair with 4 days of dance, music and food. Food is provided here to all the devotees visiting.
Hindu Pragati Sangha Mandir, Mile End, UK
Location of Hindu Pragati Sangha Mandir: 33 Rhonda Grove, London
One of the oldest and most popular Bengali associations Hindu Pragati Sangha, was formed in 1977. They used to celebrate Durga Puja in a rented hall till the year 1985. Later they shifted to the garden of the Grove House, before they made a permanent temple. At present Hindu Pragati Sangha is a temple for Devi Durga in East London. It is one of the popular Durga Puja in the UK.
Spandan – Croydon Bengali Association Durga Puja London
Location of Spandan- Croydon Bengali Association Durga Puja: Grade II Listed Building of Croydon Clock Tower
This is another popular Durga Puja in London. They also celebrate other socio cultural events and festivals like Saraswati Puja, Holi, Diwali etc. Their main point of connection is through music, culture and language and they aim to preserve the Bengali heritage and culture in London.
South London Durga Puja UK
Location of South London Durga Puja UK-: Chak89, Bond Road, Mitcham
South London Durga Puja is the oldest Durga Puja in South London. It will be celebrating its Golden Jubilee that is glorious 50 years soon. They are still going strong when it comes to Durga Puja. They also celebrate Kali Puja every year.
Aantarik Bengali Association Durga Puja London
Location of Aantarik Bengali Association Durga Puja London-: Chelsfield Village Hall, Orpington
The Aantarik association was founded by a few Bengali friends in 2015. Their primary aim was to promote and preserve the Bengali culture and then pass it on to future generations. They stand on principles of mutual respect, tolerance, rootedness, friendship, international peace and commitment. They celebrate festivals like Saraswati Puja, Ananda Mela, Dolyatra, Bijoya Sammilani apart from Durga Puja. Also there is an arrangement for music classes on weekends by one of the founding members of this association.
Sanaton Association London
Location of Sanaton Association: Impression Events Venue, Milner Road, London
The Sanaton Association has been in action since 1983. They have a strength of around 1500 members and their aim is to protect the Bengali Hindu religion and their culture. They celebrate festivals like Kali Puja, Saraswati Puja, Pous Parbon and Bengali New Year as well other than Durga Puja.
Durga Puja is one festival that the Bengalis wait for a whole year. It breaks our heart when we miss the opportunity to enjoy our puja days. But if you are in London you don’t need to worry because there are so many options. Durga Puja in London is equally famous and exciting and the Bengalis living there put in their heart and soul to arrange everything in the best possible way. So if you are a Bengali living in London you can very well be a part of these Durga puja committees in the UK. This is not a festival; it is an emotion for the Bengalis. So in no way this can be missed. So plan your puja days in advance and enjoy the best durga pujas in UK. This would be like being close to your home, away from home.