| The idols at Bhawani Mandap in Motihari. Picture by Ajit Kumar Verma |
Over a hundred years old and still going strong, thatís the Durga Puja at Bhawani Mandap (Bengali Institute).
Everything here has remained just the way it was 102 years ago.
The cultural secretary of the puja committee, Nabneel Singh Chakraborty, told The Telegraph: ďNo change, either in design of the Durgaís statue or in the method of puja and rituals, has been allowed in the past 102 years.Ē
A visitor cannot but miss the devotional fervour exuding from the Vedic traditions followed here.
There are few other Puja committees in the state ó like Bengali Akhara in the Machhua Toli area of Patna and Harisabha Puja Committee in Muzaffarpur ó that are older to Motihariís Bhawani Mandap by about 10 years, said its president, Debashish Mukherjee.
Durga Puja was first performed here in 1912 by a group of five close friends, namely Ramtaran Bandopadhyaya, Ram Chandra Mitra, Yashoda Prasad Sah, Ishwari Prasad Sah and Nandlal Bhattacharya, said committee secretary Aseem Kumar Sen.