The Tarun Sangha Durga idol and pandal in Hailakandi. Pictures by Satananda Bhattacharjee
Hailakandi, Oct. 6: The Tarun Sangha Durga Puja Committee of Hailakandi is celebrating its 67th anniversary by promoting bamboo culture in this south Assam district. The 60-feet pandal and the idols too are made of bamboo.
The pandal is a replica of a south Indian temple, with bamboo and hogla leaves (Typha angustata). Partha Halder, one of the senior members of the club, said their main objective is to promote local handicraft and eco-friendly ambience during the festival.
"Last year, we got the award for eco-friendly Puja," Halder said.
He added that they have mainly used locally available bamboo species, muli (Melocanna bambusoides).
According to him, these are easily available in Barak Valley and Dima Hasao districts and the people should encourage use of this species of bamboo for economic self-sufficiency.
The hogla leaves have been brought from Bengal. "These leaves are used as roofing material in some of the villages and these too should be popularised," he said. Various handicraft items made of cane and bamboo will be exhibited near the pandal.
The pandal is being decorated by Moti Bhowmick of Nabadwip in Bengal. The idols have been crafted by Shibu Paul of Midnapore. He said the idols are made of bamboo.
The bamboo pieces have been fitted over the clay structures. In order to maintain an eco-friendly ambience, no artificial or toxic colour has been used in the making of the idols.
There is an extraordinary touch in lighting too. There will be 20 torons (gates) and three showers. Through illumination, the club members aim to exhibit various aspects of a train plying on broad-gauge tracks.
"The broad gauge trains have been introduced recently in Barak Valley after a long agitation and we want to exhibit it before the people through light," a club member said.
The dhakis (drumbeaters) are from Tripura.
Various cultural items will be presented throughout the entire festival. The club members will ensure that there is minimum sound pollution.