Durga Puja celebrations commence in city

Neha Basudkar
Monday, 15 October 2018

The city is all decked up to welcome Goddess Durga with various associations busy making elaborate arrangements for the festival. The associations are well aware of the environmental issues and have made the pandals by using eco-friendly materials.

Pune: The city is all decked up to welcome Goddess Durga with various associations busy making elaborate arrangements for the festival. The associations are well aware of the environmental issues and have made the pandals by using eco-friendly materials.

The Durga Puja festivities began from Sunday (October 14) and will end on Dashami (October 19). Since Durga Puja is the biggest and the most important festival for people of Bengali community, every year artists from West Bengal come to the city to decorate the pandal, make idols and cook delicacies.

The most prominent pandal of the city is at Congress Bhavan, where the decoration is on the theme of Goddess Durga worshiped in rural areas of Bengal. It has been organised by the Bangiya Sanskriti Samsad, also known as Congress Bhavan puja. 

Arun Chattopadhyay, Vice President of Bangiya Sanskriti Samsad said, “Every year we make decoration sticking to the concept of new era. But this year we have made decoration on the theme on Goddess Durga worshipped in rural areas of Bengal. The name of the design is ‘Daker Saaj’ which is a very typical design used in the ancient era by the people of West Bengal.”

“Also, this year the Puja celebration in Congress Bhavan completes 35 years while it is the 79th year of the celebration of Durga Puja by the Bangiya Sanskriti Samsad,” Chattopadhyay said. 

“Along with it, every year, artist, cook, and dhaki from Kolkata come here and the festival is celebrated in a traditional way. The ‘mahaprasad’ is distributed to over 2,000 people,” Chattopadhyay added.

One of the oldest in the city, the 79-year-old Khadki Kalibari has replicated Kolkata’s Dakshineswar Kali Temple this year and to make the decoration they have used all eco-friendly materials. Anup Dutta, General Secretary of the Khadki Kalibari, said, “Keeping in mind the environmental issues, this year we decided to make the replica of Kolkata’s Dakshineswar Kali Temple by using bamboo, cloth and wood. Also, the idol of Goddess Durga does not have Plaster of Paris content. Just like every year, the inauguration was by paraplegic soldiers from the Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre of Khadki.”

“This year we are celebrating the festival in a unique way by making a fusion of Maharashtrian and Bengali culture. The dhol tasha group of ladies has been invited on Ashtami, the eighth day of the puja, and they will be performing Dhunuchi dance along with the ladies from Bengali community. We have cultural programmes and book fair where all the books from Kolkata literature will be available,” Dutta added.

The one in Pimpri organised by Bangala Bharati, has completed 33 years. Pravin Bhattacharya, President of Bangala Bharati, said, “From last six years we are celebrating the puja at Perumal Pille Sanskriti Bhavan at Masulkar Colony. We do not have any theme as such this year, but the pandal has been made out of bamboo and cloth. The cook, dhaki and artist have been called from Kolkata and we serve ‘mahaprasad’ to over 2,000 people for free.”

The Bengali Association of Pune in Baner has completed 38 years. Mihir Dutta, President of the association, said, “There is no theme as such, but the decoration is all made in an eco-friendly manner. The puja used to be performed at Siddhi Garden earlier in Baner, but now we have shifted the location and is celebrated in Mauli Garden in Baner.”

An association in Bhosari has an eco-friendly decoration and 25 people including the artist, cook and dhaki have come from Kolkata and the ‘mahaprasad’ is served for free.
 

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