The Nava Yuvak Sangharsh Samiti pandal modelled on the Baidyanath Dham of Deoghar in Dhanbad and (below) innovative interior decoration with towels at the Kokar Puja pandal in Ranchi on Saturday. (Gautam Dey and Prashant Mitra)
Jamshedpur: Slowdown is a word you may associate with the skittish economy, but not with Puja committees in Jamshedpur, as they have spent over Rs 100 crore to set up pandals modelled on famous temples with intricate interiors and illuminations.
While Jairam Youth Sporting Club in Adityapur has spent Rs 17 lakh on a pandal depicting the hallowed Vivekananda Rock Memorial in Kanyakumari, Singhbhum Boys Cricket Club at S Type in Adityapur has come up with the only air-conditioned pandal in Kolhan for a cool Rs 14 lakh.
Patronised by former land reforms and revenue minister Dulal Bhuiyan, the pandal of Sarbajanin Durga Puja Committee in Bhuiyandih, another crowd-puller, has set up a model of Odisha’s Mukteshwar Dham temple for a price tag of Rs 14 lakh.
Time to feast
Ranchi: Between October 21 and 24, hotels in the capital will offer a lavish festive spread. From kebabs and biriyani at Hotel Capitol’s Nawabi Andaaz festival to four different kinds of cuisine on the four main days at Radisson Blu, the choice will be varied.
The fare is Punjabi at Radisson on October 21, Kashmiri the next day, Bengali on Day 3 and Goan on Dusshera. Hotel Royal Retreat at Booty More will serve a awe-inspiring 17 kinds of cuisines from different states from Sunday to October 25, which will be served by attendants dressed in Bengali attire.
Dhakis troop in
Ranchi: The dhak slung over his shoulder, Mohan Bauri of Bankura in Bengal stepped out of Ranchi railway station on Saturday hoping a puja committee would pick him to drum up the festive spirit.
Unlike over 600 dhakis (drum players) who have reached Ranchi in tiny groups, Mohan has come alone.
On the other end are veterans like Manmohan Malik, a septuagenarian leading a group of seven. “I have been coming to Ranchi for 52 years,” declared the old man from Midnapore who makes bamboo items for a living otherwise.
Jamshedpur: Very little has changed at Ramleela Maidan in Sakchi where, like every year, over 10,000 people gather in the evening to enjoy a performance of the ageless Ramayan. The only difference this time, however, is that the players have changed. Vijay Bajrang Ramleela Natya Kala Kendra from Janakdham in Bihar has replaced a group from Rewa in Madhya Pradesh.
So putting TRPs to shame, performances of Ayodhya Kand, Sunder Kand and Lanka Kand are drawing a mammoth crowd of devotees everyday.
“We have been organising Ramleela every year and the journey has been a long, at times difficult one. Nevertheless, we have always remained very enthusiastic,” says Ramphal Mishra, president of Ramleela Utsav Samiti.
As always, people’s support has been the key.
Jute for green fest
Jamshedpur: Armed with 68,000 jute bags, the steel city is celebrating its greenest Durga Puja ever. Polythene bags will no longer be given to carry bhog home, with each of the 285 pandals being handed 100 such bags to distribute bhog pots in.
The remaining bags will be distributed among the pandals where demand for bhog is heavy.