Devotees of Goddess Durga are in for a nostalgic trip to the banks of the Hooghly river in Bengal this year. Durga pandals across the city will have replicas of the famous Kalighat temple as well as old Zamindar palaces. Most pandals are veering more towards tradition this time.
The Bengal Club which organises the Durga Puja at ShivajiPark this year will have a replica of the famous Kalighat temple. “It is being made to ensure that there is a dimensional effect to its appearance,” said U K Mokhpadhyay, president of the Bengal Club.
The work is being done by local interior designers, aided with over 30 people who are working on the decorations. “Apart from the outer look, it will also have a resemblance to the Nat Mandir – a part of the temple where dances are conducted. Arches and pillars near the idol which are being prepared by three generations of idol-makers will resemble those of the Kalighat temple,” said Madhuchhanda Mukhopadhyay, in charge of pandal decoration and the image of goddess.
Powai Bengali Welfare Association (PBWA) on the other hand will have a replica of an old Zamindar palace. “Though the Zamindar palaces have a negative connotation, we selected it because they have been part of the culture. Our idea was to make the temples in these palaces and tell people how pujas were performed there,” said Supriyo Lahiry, an organiser.
The Durga Bari Samiti, considered to be the oldest Durga Puja in city, will be reliving tradition in different ways. “The theme this year is 85 years of the celebration. It will give a re-look at the traditional ways in which the festival has been celebrated till now. There will be two screens which will show a collage of pictures, some of which were taken over 10 years ago. Work is going on to go deeper into the history,” said Jayanta Basu, president of the Durga Bari Samiti that organises its festival in Tejpal Hall.