A Mega bonanza festival for Bengali’s are here. From October 7th, the streets of Kolkata is going to be flooded with Bengalis making their way for pandal hopping. Every year, puja organisers try hard to floor, visitors with a lot of innovations, when it comes to puja pandals construction. They try different and unique themes and art which are not only distinctive but also try to deliver a meaningful message. Pandal hopping must not be considered as the only matter of fun. But they are also a way to realize the types of ideologies that dominates the current society.
Every year, many artists come up with many different themes which delights visitors, and also equally involves months of planning and tedious amount of hard work. There is a lot of friendly competition among the puja organisers, and it is also important to keep the theme or idea a secret before eventually revealing them on Panchami/Sasthi. Nevertheless, here are some peek into the unique puja pandals that is going to adorn the places you can visit in Kolkata this Durga Puja festive landscape this year.
Pandals To Hop This Puja
Golaghata Sarbojonin Puja
In this age of texting and internet, we use mail only to send some important documents or have some kind of parcel. It’s been ages, since we had sent some actual mails or a postcard to someone. So, this is the reason behind the idea of creating a theme, that is dedicated entirely on postcards, letter boxes and stamps.
The makers were disheartened to see how one stamp after another was being discontinued by the postal department, which has been the heritage for so long. So they took the initiative to make a postal department themed pandal that took them more than three months to create. The entire compound of the Golaghata Sarbojonin Club has been set using 50,000 postcards, that are assembled with the help of Kolkata BPO.
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Beliaghata 33 Pally
This iconic yellow Ambassador taxi, which defined Kolkata all these years are gradually fading away. The manufacturer, Hindustan Motors has stopped making these cars from May 25, 2014, due of lack of fund and low demand. This reason is enough for the Beliaghata club to dedicate this puja to the cabs. The theme is pretty nostalgic as these cabs have been glorious tradition in Kolkata for decades.
To decorate the pandal, the organisers have deconstructed the car. To make the construction much more real, they have bough fifteen iconic yellow taxis, two hundred silencer pipes, and three hundred car doors as well as other ambassador parts for decorations. This decoration has already become the talk of the town.
Suruchi Sangha tries to entertain visitors with a lot of cultural extravaganza and outdoor displays, they mostly theme on a different state of India every year. These Durga idols are modeled on how they might look on each state. Although this club celebration is more than 50 years old, it first found it’s fame when it won the award for the best decorated pandal in 2003 and again in 2009. the art work in this pandal is exquisite.
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This will be the 68th year of celebration, for this puja committee. It will take the visitors into the fantasy world of colours and art installations in the form of various animals, birds, and bugs. The committee is not only decorated the pandal but also painted the entire locality with matching themes. The building that is adjoining the pandal have brightly lit and also painted in rainbow colours. It will feel like the Holi in autumn. The colour riot is aimed just to brighten up the mood reflecting the spirit of the festive season. This theme was selected by keeping in mind the hampering of ecological balance, and the destruction of greenery or environmental imbalance. These took them more than four months of hard work to create this theme.
This park ‘Durgautsav’ is one of the most prominent ‘Durgautsav’ in Kolkata. It located close to Sovabazar Ferry, in North Kolkata. It showcases, the fusion of old-fashioned art and grandeur. Although this park is going to celebrate, it’s 23rd year of ‘Durgautsav’, and makes it one of the youngest puja’s in Kolkata. It’s style of architecture is what displays the every aspect of traditional Indian culture and draws huge crowds from different parts of the city.
The Kumartuli Park committee manage to preserve its social and cultural environment, by being the oldest locality of Kolkata and home to hundreds of artisans. Kumartuli has a settlement of hundreds of potters/artisans who earn their livelihood by sculpting idols for various festivals down it’s narrow maze of lanes and alleys. Also, these idols that are being sculpted by the artisans of Kumartuli are being exported to US, Canada, UK and South East Asian Countries for Durga Puja Festivals.
This is the place where the history is created. Do you remember last years 80ft Durga idol? The highest idol that is ever made, it moved from past experiences and geared up with renewed and more bigger theme calle ‘Hazar Hath’, that is Thousand Hands, which is portrayed by Goddess Durga and as has been mentioned in the ‘Chandi Path’. the goddess have one thousand hands which is to kill one hundred ‘asuras’.
By keeping the mythological text in mind, organisers have created the idol with one thousand hands that will adorn the pandal. These hands are not made of clay, and instead used Fiberglass to make it look more spectacular. It took them more than six months and around 30 people to execute these tasks.
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Bose Pukur Sitala Mandir
This puja was not only established in 1950, but also won many numerous awards for their Durga Puja pandal. It’s reputation is pretty appeasing among the audience for it’s amazing artwork. So if you are looking for something more innovative and unique they do not miss this one.
Kabiraj Bagan Sarbajanin Durgotsab
This lane of Kabiraj Bagan locality in North Kolkata will be celebriting it’s golden Jubilee this year. It’s this year’s theme is ‘Maitrayee’ Express, ‘Maintrayee’ means Freindship, which is recreated like a train symbolising travels from India to Bangladesh to bridge gap and connecting people from these two countries. The whole premises of the club is constructed, keeping in mind the Kolkata station. The title is ‘Cholo Beriye Asi’ (Let’s Go Out), the main aim of the organisers is to represent travel crazy Bengali communities.
Lake Town Adhibasi Brinda
This Lake Town Adibasi Brinda Durgautsav is going to celebrate it’s 53rd year in 2016, bringing home the environment friendly illustrious subject. It was basically a local Durga puja, when it was being initiated in 1963 by the residents or locality. Mostly it doesn’t go for huge artificial structures like the other Durga Puja pandals. But it still maintains the themes like social awareness, pilgrimage, rural and current events along with a lot distinct and traditional form of Durga idol.
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By - Triptika Basu