Pandals sport temples, tragedies

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  • Published 5.10.11

Dhanbad’s Puja revellers have a front row seat to temples, palaces and disaster scenes.

Taking the lead in this regard is the Puja committee of Katras Railway Institute, which has in the past won awards for its theme pandals.

This year, while the exterior of the pandal has been modelled on the proposed Ram temple at Ayodhya, its interiors depict the infamous mine mishap of Gajlitand. In 1995, the over-flooded mine had claimed 50 lives. Billu Decorators have made the pandal but artisan Ashok Chatterjee from Bankura, Bengal, was hired for interior design, while Nimai Chatterjee from Purulia, also in Bengal, crafted the idols.

Meanwhile, the model of Sheeshmahal or palace of mirrors of Patiala built by Raja Narinder Singh in 1845 can now be seen at GNM grounds of Katras. Here, Bankura’s Chatterjee has again made the interiors, depicting here Mumbai’s 2008 terror attacks at the Taj Mahal Hotel. While Bimal Decorators have made the pandal, artisan Dulal Pal has made the idols.

Pandals have also been modelled on Writers’ Building at Calcutta and Nepal’s royal palace at Sinidih and Ranibazar at Katras.

There is a mix of the north and south in Bhuli D Block. At Block hospital ground, one can marvel at the depiction of Akshardham temple. The lighting arrangements have been made in such way that goddess Durga appears to be live in action, slaying the demon Mahisashur. A model of the Padmanabham temple, Trivandrum in Kerala, has been built in Bhuli D Block Market Complex area.

The pandal of Navyuvak Sangharsh Samiti at Manitand is that of a large whale while a make-believe aquarium greets visitors as they enter.

One of the crowd-pulling Puja pandals at Bastacola, Jharia, is a model of Bengal’s Iskon temple.