| The pandal of Khajpura Shiv Mandir Puja Samiti will replicate the Iskcon Temple (above). Picture by Deepak Kumar
Jammu in the north to Chennai in the south — residents in the capital will be able to visit several states at no extra cost this year.
Durga Puja organising committees in Patna have taken inspiration from temples around the country to welcome the goddess and her children. The Telegraph went around the city on Wednesday to discover the themes decided upon for Durga Puja pandals.
Navyuvak Sangh Shree Durga Puja Samiti at Dakbungalow Chowk has decided to replicate Chennai’s Mahalakshmi Temple, in jute. “This year, our pandal will be based on the famous Mahalakshmi Temple. Our pandal will be golden and built of jute,” said Sanjeev Prasad Toni, the president of the samiti.
This is not the first time the puja organisers have ideated their pandals like temples. Last year, the pandal was based on the Shiva temple in Kannauj. He added: “Every year, we choose different themes to attract devotees. A large number of people visit our pandal every year and we make sure that they get to see something different every year.”
Around 8km to the west, the Khajpura Shiv Mandir Puja Samiti has decided to construct their pandal based on Iskcon Temple. “For the past few years, we were constructing our pandal based on the Laxmi Narayan Temple of Rajasthan. But this time, we decided to construct the Iskcon Temple. It will look attractive and residents will throng to our pandal. Artists have been called from Jamtara on the border of Jharkhand and Bengal to construct the pandal with cloth and thermocol,” said Shravan Kumar, the secretary of the samiti.
The Akshardham Temple in the national capital is also being redone near JD Women’s College, where the Sri Sri Durga Puja Samiti has decided to show “something new to the devotees”. Vice-president of the committee Kapil Dev said: “If the idols are attractive, it is equally important to make the pandals attractive.”
Raja Bazar’s Sri Sri Durga Puja Samiti Mahavir Sthan has found inspiration in Vaishno Devi temple in Jammu. “We will try to present the Vaishno Devi as it is, with sound effects and additional lighting. The devotees will be attracted by mountains that are around the temple — mountain-like structures will be constructed on top of the pandal,” said Kanchan Kumar, a member of the samiti.
If some organisers are putting up temples to attract residents, some have taken inspiration from buildings. While Jagdeo Path’s Moon Club Durga Puja Samiti has decided to make the Karnataka Assembly, the SK Puri Durga Puja has stayed closer home. The latter’s pandal has been inspired by LN Mishra Mithila University in Darbhanga.