| (From left) Shri Krishna Puri Puja Samiti’s replica of Mahabodhi Mahavihara, Navyuvak Sangh Sri Sri Durga Puja Samiti’s temple-themed pandal and decoration of the idols at Gulzarbagh Sanskriti Parishad in progress in Patna City. Pictures by Nagendra Kumar Singh and Sachin |
Temples and palaces from across the country would come to the streets of Patna during Durga Puja this year.
Organisers of pujas across the city have taken inspiration from temples in different parts of the country to build the pandals. While some of the wooden structures to house Goddess Durga and her children would replicate temples from south India, others would look like places of worship closer home.
Purushottam Mishra, the general secretary of Navyuvak Sangh Sri Sri Durga Puja Samiti, which would celebrate its golden jubilee this year, said: “Our pandal would look like a popular temple, full of architectural embellishments.”
Last year, the samiti had showcased the Shore Temple of Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu.
Mishra said: “Every year, we try to portray famous temples of other states. The idea is to give residents an opportunity to see the famous temples which they probably haven’t seen yet.”
Not only south, you can also take a trip west to Rajasthan by visiting two pujas in Patna.
The Khajpura Shiv Mandir Durga Puja Samiti pandal would look like the famous Umaid Bhawan Palace of Jodhpur, which has played host to high-profile weddings, including that of JD(U) MP N.K. Singh’s son Abhijeet to Viveka, the princess of Idar principality of Gujarat on December 8, 2010.
“It (the pandal) would be 65 feet tall and 40 feet wide. The cost of erecting it would be Rs 4 lakh,” said the samiti secretary, Shravan Kumar.
The pandal would also have a Chinese dragon and a rock tree. A team of artists from Jharkhand has been roped in to erect the pandal.
Asked why they would depict the palace-turned-hotel through their pandal, Shravan said: “The palace was constructed to provide employment to people hit by a drought. As 33 districts of Bihar are drought-hit this year, we decided to take inspiration from the Umaid Bhawan Palace.”
One of the largest private residences in the world, its construction was started in 1929 by Maharaj Umaid Singh. The palace was completed in 1943.
Another Durga Puja that has taken inspiration from the desert state is the Rukunpura Durga Puja Samiti. This year, its pandal would look like the Albert Hall Museum of Jaipur. Situated in the Ram Nivas Garden of the Rajasthan capital, it is the oldest museum of the state. It was designed by Samuel Swinton Jacob and opened in 1887.
“This monument depicts all the cultural aspects of Rajasthan. To get an authentic look, we have taken help from Anup, a final-year student of Patna Art College,” said the secretary of the samiti, Birendra Kumar.
A total of Rs 3.5 lakh would be spent to erect the structure, which would be 80 feet wide and 85 feet tall.
“We try to give something new to the revellers who visit our pandal,” said Birendra.
While some organisers have gone north and south to find inspiration, structures closer home inspired few.
The pandal of Shri Krishna Puri Puja Samiti would depict the Mahabodhi temple of Bodhgaya. It would be 80 feet high and 60 feet wide. “We shall spend Rs 5 lakh on it,” said Ramesh Singh, the general secretary of the samiti.
The lighting at the pandal would depict the deluge in Uttarakhand. “We have also planned to make adequate arrangements for security. Closed-circuit television cameras will be installed in and around the pandal,” said Singh.
The organisers of Durga Pujas are also paying close attention to the revelry.
Chanchal Banerjee, the member of Gulzarbagh Sanskriti Parishad Puja Committee, said cultural programmes would be organised on all the four days of Durga Puja.
“This is the 102nd year of our puja. Cultural celebrations would be more this year. While on Saptami, children would stage dance performances, on Ashtami, some of our members would stage a play, followed by a dandiya,” said Banerjee.
On Navami, children would take part in a song competition. “We have arranged for an orchestra. Sindur khela (where married women play with vermilion to bid Goddess Durga farewell) would be the highlight of Dashami,” he added.