With less than a week left for Durga Puja, preparations are in full swing for the mega festival that begins on 1 October this year. In Delhi’s Chittaranjan Park, which alone hosts scores of Duga Puja pandals, organising committees are brainstorming ideas, hiring artists from far and wide to give shape to those concepts.
This year, celebrations are more special for its grand comeback after two years of hiatus due to Covid-19 pandemic. Residents around thee pandals are gearing up to dance to the beats of the quintessential dhaak (Bengali drum), recitals, drama, live shows, dhunuchi dance (holding clay bowls filled with coconut husks and burning charcoal) and devour exemplary food during the five days of Durga puja.
On Mahalaya, which was celebrated on 25 September, sculptors, who have been working for days carving and chiseling the idol of Durga, carry out their final touch of drawing the eyes of the Mother. Called Chokkhu Daan, which means offering the eyes to Durga idols, artisans paint the beautiful eyes of the goddess in the week hours. It is a special ritual of Mahalaya, which marks the beginning of Durga’s ascend to visit her father’s house.
Every year, preparations for this mega festival run into months to bring out the grandeur and opulence. In the run up to the Puja, September rains usually play spoilt sport for the pandal makers and organizers. This year, it was no different.
After pausing work for three crucial days, pandal makers have swung into action with their intricate artistry to build the structure that will welcome and house the Goddess.
Durga Puja, widely observed by the Hindu communities in the eastern part of India, is the largest festival celebrated by Bengalis. It is a five-day long festival of lights and drums, coupled with meat and fish delicacies spread out in food stalls inside the pandals where Goddess Durga sits with her five children, in pomp and glory.
A visual trip to CR Park as Delhi prepares to welcome Goddess Durga
With PTI inputs
With PTI inputs