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The Puja countdown has started and Mani Square rose to the occasion with its mahotsav Pujor Hoi Hullor in association with The Telegraph. Enter the mall till September 28 and you will be greeted with bric-a-brac ranging from Durga masks on canvas to chandeliers made with cane and chandmala, all to help set the stage right for the celebrations to follow. Traditional red and white woven saris from Howrah’s mangala haat drape the stairwell and myriad rangolis and kulos add the final touches.

But there is more than meets the eye. “We decided to offer our customers wholesome entertainment,” said Sanjay Jhunjhunwala, CEO, Mani Group. Free shopping vouchers worth Rs 100 are to be handed out to customers shopping worth Rs 2,000 or more. Also, grams of gold can be won against real estate purchases from the Mani Group or bookings at either the banquets or apartments between September 10 and September 28. The fun activities through the week are the mainstay, which range from hair-braiding, tattoo- and face-painting and a treasure hunt for kids to rangoli-making, shankha-blowing, diya decoration and alpana competition for the ladies. Weekends will see the traditional dhunuchi naach coming alive to the sounds of the dhaak. September 17, Vishwakarma Puja, will host a kite-flying festival.

Foodies can hit the open-air terrace of the fourth-floor food court for a Bangali Bhuri Bhoj buffet between September 25 and September 28, at Rs 250 per plate. Attempting to revive the street food culture associated with Pujas, there will be competitions to down bottles of cola, gulp phuchkas and tuck away rosogollas to win prizes. In addition, every floor has a flea market with artisans offering kurtis, junk jewellery and terracotta decorations.

The mall hours have also been extended for this period — it is to be open from 11am to 11.30pm till September 24. And between September 25 and 28, the food floors (third and fourth) will be open till 2am. “In 2008 an average Saturday or Sunday would have a footfall of 15,000 to 20,000. Now average weekend figures range between 80,000 to 1,00,000,” said Jhunjhunwala. To get more details of events, log on to www.manisquareshopping.com.

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