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Durga Puja – UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage

Durga Puja has left a prominent mark on the global map.With its inclusion economy that flourishes around the festival will get a huge boost.

Debanjana Banerjee | Kolkata |

Durga Puja is seen as the best instance of the public performance of religion and art, and as a thriving ground for collaborative artists and designers. During the event, the divides of class, religion and ethnicities collapse as crowds of spectators walk around to admire the installations.” 


India is widely known for its vivid traditions and cultural practices. One popular festival among them is the Durga Puja, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is a matter of pride for the Indians, the Bengalis, to be precise.

Durga Puja has made its place in the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. It is the first Asian festival to receive the prestigious recognition. Apart from the honour, this will bring international tourists, who want to witness the grandeur of the Puja, to Bengal.

After getting recognition last year, UNESCO office, New Delhi tweeted, “Durga Puja in #Kolkata has just been inscribed on the #IntangibleHeritage list! Inscriptions to the Representative List are one of the several ways by which #UNESCO advocates the promotion and safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “A matter of great pride and joy for every Indian! Durga Puja highlights the best of our traditions and ethos. And, Kolkata’s Durga Puja is an experience everyone must have.” Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also tweeted, “Proud moment for Bengal! To every #Bengali across the world, Durga Puja is much more than a festival, it is an emotion that unites everyone. And now, #DurgaPuja has been added to the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. We are all beaming with joy!”

Durga Puja has left a prominent mark on the global map.



Tapati Guha Thakurta, a well-known art historian, and her team helped in preparing the dossier which was sent to Unesco by the Union cultural ministry. It was submitted in March 2019. And Durga Puja was declared as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, in 2021.

Durga Puja is a religious festival that has become a cultural and secular event. It has also become a space for social and artistic activities. This prestigious tag will open up this thriving festival to the world,” T.G. Thakurta said.Along with Tapati, CSSS research scholars SandipanMitra and Devi Chakrabarti, and film-maker Nilanjan Bhattacharya also worked on the dossier and clarified the queries of UNESCO.

With the inclusion of Durga Puja, the economy that flourishes around the festival will get a huge boost.