The embroidered silk Durga at Sri Sri Sarbojanin Durga Puja pandal at Bagbera. (Bhola Prasad)
Threads or paints? Nimble fingers of Bengal women artisans have embroidered panels of mythological scenes at Sri Sri Sarbojanin Durga Puja Samiti at Jamshedpur’s Bagbera, making it a must-see pandal on your festive list.
Hand-embroidered panels at the renowned road No. 4 Puja address look immaculately painted. Only a close look reveals that silk threads have created the stunning displays.
This Puja established in 1962 already had a tall reputation to live up to. Last year, its pandal of bamboo baskets bagged first prize from East Singhbhum district administration and Jamshedpur Kendriya Durga Puja Samity.
This year, many will say that it has outdone its last year’s feat in innovative décor.
Over three months ago, 90 women artisans from West Midnapore district of Bengal started their embroidery work. On plywood frames, they worked long and hard, creating beautifully detailed tapestries — Durga and her children, complete with their attire, jewellery and mounts, Shiv and Parvati, goddess slaying demon Mahisasura and more.
Then, these tapestries were put up outside and inside the 2,400sqft bamboo pandal modelled on South Indian temple architecture.
“We wanted something unique to retain our top spot. So we discussed ideas with Midnapore-based Durga Decorators and came up with the idea of silk embroidery décor. The firm roped in women artisans who camped in the city and worked tirelessly. The end result is stunning,” said Ved Prakash, puja samiti president.
The pandal cost Rs 14 lakh to be mounted. But organisers said the hand embroidery “is priceless”.
“Intricately designed panels with fine needle-and-thread work will appeal to visitors. We will direct neon lights to give extra shine to silk threads. Lights will cost us around Rs 1.5 lakh, but it’s a small price to play up the beauty of embroidered panels,” Prakash said.
He added that going green was also their priority.
“We haven’t used any non-biodegradable item. This apart, all the dignitaries during pandal inauguration on Sasthi will get saplings as takeaway gifts,” Prakash added.
With Midnapore artisans decking up the pandal, it is no surprise that even the inauguration has a Bengal touch. Calcutta-based I-T commissioner (officer on special duty) Swetabh Suman will do the honours at 7pm on Saturday.
Which Puja did you find most eye-catching this year?