The Sant Sai Baba School ground in Panvel has been given a makeover for the Durga Puja celebrations starting on Saturday. A replica of Kolkata’s Victoria Memorial Hall has been created on the sprawling grounds for the week-long celebrations at the Milantirtha Durga Puja Pandal.
“Karigars from Krishnanagar in Bengal were called to decorate the pandal, which will give the devotees a glimpse of vintage Bengal,” said Tanmoy Mukhopadhyay from the pandal.
“We will also be exhibiting handicrafts and books based on Bengal’s culture at the pandal. The next week will be celebrated in true Bengali style,” he added.
In keeping with the theme of the 150th birth year of poet Rabindranath Tagore, the Andheri Lokhandwala Sarvajanik Durgotsav Samiti, will be putting the revered poet’s works across the pandal. “From this year on, we will be choosing one personality from Bengal every year and pay tribute to his contribution to Bengal’s culture,” said singer Abhijit Bhattacharya, the pandal’s organiser.
“We will also be felicitating personalities from Bengal including poets, singers and artists,” he added.
Even the Juhu Cutural Association will be paying their respects to the revered poet by organising a dance drama (Nrityanatya) called ‘Balmiki Pratibha’ during the festivities.
Two key Durga Puja pandals in the city, Bengal Club at Shivaji Park and the Durgabari Samiti of Tejpal Hall will be paying tribute to Swami Vivekananda and have sought the expertise of Ramakrishna Mission. The pandals will have huge cut-outs, quotes and pictorial depictions along with books written by Swami Vivekananda. “In Mumbai, very few people are aware of the contributions made by Swami Vivekananda,” said a member from the Durgabari Samiti.
“It is very important for young Bengalis to imbibe his qualities and put it to practice in their lives."
The week-long celebrations that start on Saturday will come to close on October 6. In an attempt to keep the noise levels low, authorities have extended the deadline to midnight on October 4 and 5, Ashtami and Navami.