Durga Puja is one of India's biggest festivals and is not just confined to the Bengalis. The growing cosmopolitanism in India, especially in the big cities, has made the multi-day festival an occasion to celebrate for all people, irrespective of their religion, ethnicity or age.
However, in Kolkata, Durga Puja is really a special occasion to spend. It is a facet of a culture which celebrates a whole lot of occasions that is meeting friends and family members, reuniting with childhood buddies, getting introduced to a person you admire, eating and drinking without any restrictions, hopping for the entire night, watching unlimited number of movies, and the list goes on.
Managing all these activities within four days demands a lot of energy and stamina, especially in Kolkata, where the weather remains quite humid during the Durga Puja festival.
There could also be an odd rainfall and chances of you getting affected by infections and fever are decent.
So, during the Pujas, when the celebration will demand you to do a lot of walking and stretching, it is an absolute must to ensure that your health remains in a perfect condition and the first step towards that is by consuming a lot of fluids or fresh juices, so that your body doesn't get dehydrated and start showing signs of sickness.
Here is a list of 20 best juices to choose from that you must have during Durga Puja and Navratri to keep yourself hydrated, take a look and certainly include them.
The option that comes before anything else is water. There is no alternative to water to kill the enemy called dehydration. Have plenty of water during the festival days. But, it is better not to drink water from roadside stalls whenever you feel thirsty. Carry water bottles instead.
2. Sugarcane Juice or ‘Akher Rosh’:
The sweetsticks called sugarcanes are abundantly available throughout the year, and it is always helpful to have a glassful of fresh and tasty sugarcane juice with a pinch of salt and a few drops of lemon.
3. Coconut Water or ‘Daber Jol’:
Another natural way to get rid of the fatigue is tender coconut water. Puja pandal hoppers should drink coconut water frequently to avoid dehydration.
4. Lemon Juice/Lemonade:
This is another great friend to help you remain fresh and energetic during Durga puja. But, be careful about the quality of water which is mixed with the lemon juice at roadside stalls. It is again better to prepare your own bottle of lemon water mixed with some salt and sugar.
5. Sugar Water:
Only having water mixed with some sugar also helps avoid dehydration, as we know that sweet is a source of energy.
A must for all or most of all in Kolkata, whether it is Durga Puja or not. There are several variants of tea and coffee to choose from. The ‘lebu cha' (lemon tea) or raw tea or coffee without milk are popular types.
Lassi or curd shake is available nowadays almost everywhere, particularly during the festival time. There are some renowned junctions in Kolkata where you get good-quality lassi, but even a glass from a small shop can be gulped down to re-energize your body during Durga puja and Navratri. Lassis are generally sweet. And nothing beats it if you add a little malai to it. Too tempting, to say the least.
8. Buttermilk or Chaas:
This is one great drink to be had during Dussehra as well. A recipe made by churning yogurt and water and mixing the frothy drink with salt, cumin and black pepper powder gives your tired body a quick boost of energy. It is particularly helpful for those who fast during the Navratri festival, which coincides with the Durga Puja celebrations.
9. Cold Drinks:
Undoubtedly, the most popular of the lot. Extremely tired bodies and minds crave for a bottle of cold drinks displayed in eateries and even though they are not exactly helpful biologically, most of us give the cons a little care and just go on picking the bottles and cans.
10. Sarbets and Syrups:
Another fine source of energy during the grueling Durga Puja hopping is sarbet. There are shops in Kolkata that are reputed for their sarbets and syrups that are made of milk or fruit products. But, do not drink the artificially coloured sarbets that are available at the roadside stalls.
11. Fruit Juices:
Have as many as you like from the fresh fruit stalls that are there in plenty. Ask the seller to put less water and add no sugar in your preparation.
12. Health Drinks:
Those who have the habit of drinking health drinks like Complan, Bournvita, etc., have a better capacity to bear with physical strain. If you were not having them, you can give it a try now.
13. Tamarind Water:
Ah, this is Kolkata's all-time favourite and during the Durga Puja, the mouth starts watering even more. The best source of tamarind water is phuchka or golgappas. Have more tamarind water, as you continue to have golgappas.
Though not a drink, but consuming the fluid content in soups and stews in the middle of a long Puja pandal hopping helps your body to regain its touch. The vegetable nutrition in the food really helps.
15. Melons and Cucumbers:
Again not drinks, but the high water content in them does wonder to your exhausted body and they also help prevent dehydration. You can have melon juice at shops or carry cucumber pieces with you for time-to-time consumption.
16. Beverages Made With Paneer Whey:
The strained liquid formed during preparation of homemade paneer is called whey, and it is also combined with fruit juices to prepare fantastic drinks. Have them during the Navratri or Dasara festival time.
Mixed fruit drinks, smoothies and milkshakes are the most hydrating recipes to consume if you are planning for long and grueling walk in the heat. The mojitos, sodas, fizzes,...woah, they are endless in number.
18. Chocolate Milk:
A great health drink to have instead of beverages containing just carbohydrates, chocolate milk is a great treat for your tastebuds during the Navratri or Durga Puja celebrations.
19. Badam Milk:
A glass of hot almond milk is a basic but extremely helpful source of energy for your body. Have it whenever you find time in between your busy Navratri festival schedule.
20. Rooh Afza:
An age-old product, it is still as popular a source to re-energize our body and help those of us who tend to fast during the Navratri fasting.