The Telegraph
Thursday , October 18 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Swanky resorts for goddess
Pandals to make your eyes pop

Bhubaneswar, Oct. 17: Breathtaking craftsmanship, psychedelic lighting and electronic gimmickry will be as much a part of the Pujas here as devotion and religious fervour.

With only a few days to go for Durga Puja, various organising committees are leaving no stone unturned to make the best and most eye-catching pandals.

Community members of various localities have invited craftsmen from Bengal to make the biggest and swankiest pandals.

Saheed Nagar Puja Samiti, one of the oldest in the city, has zeroed in on a Titanic facade for the pandal, among other models shown to them by Calcutta-based craftsmen. The chief minister, along with several other dignitaries, will visit their pandal on Dussehra to see the effigies of Ravana and other demons being burnt. A mini fare behind the pandal will give people a lot to celebrate during the festival.

The Rasulgarh Puja Parichalana Committee has decided on a very novel concept. Here, sheets of rice seedlings will be used to create the impression of a mountain forest. “We are trying to build the mountain that is the home of Lord Shiv. Sculptures of humans and fawns will be shown taking water to the deity. It will be a visual treat,” said artist Dipankar Panda.

The Jharpada Puja Samiti is making their pandal using foam sheets of golden colour to make a temple. The structure will have five main gates and three small gates. Along with police support, volunteers from 10 youth organisations will be assisting the committee to achieve a peaceful puja. A musical troupe would also be coming from Berhampur for the cultural programme.

The members of Nayapalli Durga Puja Samiti are taking pride in a fresh concept. “We are making the pandal in the shape of a temple. Most of it is made of bamboo mats. Visitors will get to see intricate handicrafts. We have invited Mumbai-based singers for our cultural programmes,” said Premanand Jena, general secretary of the committee.

The pandals here are as high as 80feet and 120feet wide. Apart from craftsmen from Bengal, idol makers from districts such as Cuttack, Kendrapara and others can also be seen giving final touches to their masterpieces. CCTV cameras will be installed at all the pandals to catch troublemakers. Most committee members and artistes are tight lipped about the expenditure and quoted a modest figure of Rs 20 lakh. Sources, however, said that the collections and expenditure were well above Rs 50 lakh per pandal.