NITN | @notintownlive | 10 Oct 2023, 03:05 am
“Our Durga Puja celebration is inspired by the ghoroa pujo [festival which takes place at people’s homes], which also motivates guests to actively take part in it,” said Suparna Sarkar, Associate Vice President, Vedic Village Spa Resort, a retreat on the eastern neighbourhood of Kolkata.
After a long stretch of rainy days, Kolkata was finally basking in mellow autumn sunlight, as we reached the picturesque resort, an hour’s drive by road from the heart of the city.
We were off to catch a preview of what the resort is planning for the upcoming Durga Puja.
The drive was fairly smooth except for minor delays owing to road repair works and narrow village roads towards the end.
A verdant vista welcomed us as we went up the driveway.
The over 150 acres of land was divided into several sections, including various kinds of accommodation, restaurants, swimming pool, spa, farmland, lakes, coconut groves, etc.
Called Sharodiya Utsav – Sharod Shure, Shader Madol, the resort’s autumn celebration, according to the organisers, will showcase the rich heritage associated with Durga Puja and will be a feast for the senses.
“We follow all the rites and rituals associated with the Puja, including chandipath, sondhi pujo, arati, etc.,” Sarkar said. “Over the years, we have seen guests come forward to participate in various activities, from cutting vegetables for the food offerings every day to debiboron on the final day. Many accompany us as we take the idol for immersion. I am sure it will be no different this year.”
Meanwhile, a team of people – under the guidance of Executive Chef Debasish Saha – were busy laying out the food spread that will be the high point of the celebration.
The food and beverage section of the resort, which is accessible to both in-house guests and day visitors, will be hosting diverse culinary spreads between Sasthi and Dashami (October 20 to 24, 2023).
The highlight of this year’s food spread is the ‘Calcutta Trails’, to be served in Yagna, the all-day diner. Starting from Rs 1,999 (all inclusive, per head), it includes a pan-India menu with a smattering of Old Calcutta dishes as well as global favourites.
There will also be live counters serving steamed baos, pizzas, and a variety of Indian savouries.
The dishes will keep rotating daily so that guests have something new to look forward to every day, according to Executive Chef Saha.
Bhoomi, their Bengali specialty restaurant, will be serving a Mahabhoj Thali starting from Rs 2,999 (all inclusive, per head). Apart from vegetarian and non-vegetarian platters, there will also be platters consisting of exclusively ilish (hilsa fish) based or exclusively mutton based dishes.
They are also offering food packages inclusive of liquor. According to Sarkar, the resort will be holding the city’s longest happy hours during the festive period.
Talking to Indiablooms, chef Saha said that the various menus include dishes based on heirloom recipes (such as hemkona payesh - prepared in the kitchen of poet Rabindranath Tagore’s household), old favourites (such as Railway Mutton Curry) as well as innovative dishes (such as the ilish lej bhorta).
“The menus have been prepared with an eye on the varied tastes of people, including that of the younger generation,” he said. According to him, if informed in advance, they also try to cater to requests from guests with special dietary needs, as far as practicable.
If you are looking for an escape from the din of the city, the resort offers a variety of accommodations, including rooms, suites, and villas. They also have a spa where, among other things, they offer short duration wellness packages as well as treatments based on Ayurveda and naturopathy.
Cultural programmes, such as Chhau dance, Baul songs, puppetry, will also be held during this period, Sarkar said.
Those looking for active engagements, there will be games and competitions as well as opportunities to go for bike or boat rides.
Note: While advance booking of accommodation or spa treatments are a must, it is advisable to make advance reservations even if you are dropping in only for a meal or a day out.
For more details and reservations, see here
(Reporting by Uttara Gangopadhyay)
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