In Kolkata, Durga idol draped in gold saree worth ₹1.5 lakh
With the onset of Navratri, Kolkata has been illuminated with elaborate pandals and intricately decorated idols of Goddess Durga. The festival, during which Durga Puja is also held, is especially glamorous in West Bengal's capital city where people come up with new themes for pandals every year, which are unique and innovative in their own way.
This year, Durga idols were seen shimmering in gold at a pandal by Bandhu Mahal Club in Baguiati, in which one idol has been installed with eyes of 10-11 grams of gold, while another idol has been draped in a saree embroidered with 6 grams of gold.
"The saree has about 6 grams gold and the eyes of the Durga idol have 10-11 grams of gold. It cost ₹1.5 lakhs and a total of ₹10 lakh have been spent in setting up this pandal," Karthick Ghosh, President of Bandhu Mahal Club in Baguiati told news agency ANI.
The committee also recreated Arun Pal's studio in the pandal, as a tribute to the famous idol maker from Kalighat who passed away last year.
Director of the committee's PR team, Dipanwita Bagchi said that once the festivities are over, the gold saree will be donated to an underprivileged girl, who is awaiting her wedding.
Meanwhile, days ahead of the festival, the West Bengal government issued guidelines cancelling the annual Durga Puja carnival and cultural programmes in view of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The Mamata Banerjee-led government also set stringent standard operating procedures (SOPs) for all puja committees to maintain. As per the rules, pandals shall have to be spacious and open from all sides with separate entry-exit points and arrangements must be made for ensuring physical distancing.
The festival of Navratri will be observed from October 7 till October 15. This year Ashtami falls on October 13 while Dashami falls on October 15.