Durga Puja 2018: Celebrate the festival by visiting these best pandals from across the country
Durga Puja, celebrated during the nine days of Navratri, is one of the most anticipated festivals across the country. Goddess Durga and her 9-day long battle with Mashishasura and her eventual win over the demon on the 10th day (observed as Dussehra) is celebrated with great festivities and revelry.
We look at some of the best Pandals across the country and why you should visit them.
Sreebhumi Sporting Club, Kolkata
After the success of 2017’s Bahubali theme pandal, Sreebhumi Sporting Club in Kolkata presented a pandal inspired by Padmaavat, one of the most talked about films of 2018. Renowned for executing breathtaking theme-based and big-budget pandals, the Sribhumi Durga Puja recreated Chittorgarh fort from the Sanjay Leela Bhansali film. At the imposing pandal inspired by the fort regarded as the symbol of Rajput chivalry, resistance and bravery, goddess Durga is presented as Rani Padamavati, played by actor Deepika Padukone in the period drama. The idol was designed by Pradip Rudra Pal and the pandal by Romeo Hazra. The puja was inaugurated by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee before Mahalaya.
Dum Dum Park Tarun Sangha, Kolkata
Located in the heart of Dum Dum Park, Tarun Sangha Durga Puja pandal highlights a major and often neglected social issue – child labour. The makers have imagined the theme, ‘Shishu Shomer Biruddhhe’, depicting the eternal struggle of a child, represented by the male deity Ganesha, who is forced to forgo his childhood to work. The artist, Anirban Das, has used 29,000 tea-cups, four lakh self-made tea bags and other material from tea stalls to do justice to the theme. The pandal was inaugurated by street children.
Tridhara Sammilani, Kolkata
Considered to be one of best Durga Pujas in south Kolkata, Tridhara witnesses a staggering footfall of four to five lakh per day. In its 72nd year, the iconic Tridhara Sammilani, known for its innovative themes and brilliant execution, decided to revive the lost artisanal traditions of Bengal through the theme ‘Prakriti Ratan e Shajabo Joton e’. The motive was to acquaint the newer generations with the clay and jute artists of the state, whose prowess remains unacknowledged in this mechanised world.
Powai Sarvajanin Durgotsav, Mumbai
This Durga Puja pandal is more than a decade old and continues to charm devotees with the exquisite decoration and revelry. Organised by the Powai Bengali Welfare association, it remains a favourite because the organisers maintain an eco-friendly policy; so there’s minimal use of plastics and only biodegradable materials are used. The members also encourage devotees to plant saplings. There were also performances by musicians such as Anjan Dutt.
Chittaranjan Park, Delhi
Similar to the Powai pandal from Mumbai, the CR Park’s popular Durga Puja pandal has also taken the eco-friendly route this year. Organisers, Kali Mandir Society, have picked a unique theme – the focus is on oppression faced by women, even after all these years. Also, watch out for cultural performances and street plays.