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Monday, Dec 16, 2019

Storm topples ‘world’s tallest’ Durga bamboo idol in Guwahati

A bid for a world record with the tallest image of Durga now seems a tall order after a storm knocked down the 100-ft bamboo image of the goddess in Guwahati.

india Updated: Sep 17, 2017 19:53 IST
Rahul Karmakar
Rahul Karmakar
Hindustan Times, Guwahati
The bamboo image of Durga in Guwahati before a storm felled it.
The bamboo image of Durga in Guwahati before a storm felled it.(HT PHOTO)

A storm during Vishwakarma Puja on Sunday killed a man and destroyed several houses in and around Guwahati besides toppling a bamboo idol of Durga that was to have gone into the Guinness Book of World Records.

Nuruddin Ahmed, an art director for local films and mobile theatre groups, was the designer of the 100-ft image of Durga on a 10-ft pedestal. His team of about 40 artisans were scheduled to complete the image by September 20.

The four-day Durga Puja celebrations begin September 26.

“No one was injured when the image fell. We are discussing the possibility of rebuilding the image with the designer and by Monday, we will decided on its shape and size,” Biman Debnath, a member of the city’s Bishnupur Durga Puja Committee, told HT.

The committee, known to commission experts for innovative pandals and idols, had assigned Guwahati-based Ahmed to make the “world’s tallest Durga idol”.

Ahmed, 59, began working on the statue on August 1 with a team of 40 artisans.

“This would have been the world’s tallest bamboo sculpture, beating the previous record of 83-ft for a fibre-and-iron sculpture of Durga in Kolkata last year. Hopefully, we can rebuild,” Ahmed said.

The puja committee registered with Guinness Book of World Records, which was earlier scheduled to send an inspection team after September 20.

Ahmed said some 6,000 bamboos of various species had been used in putting up the image. The work was estimated to cost Rs 12 lakh.

Ahmed, whose wife is a Hindu, said he has constructed more than 200 Durga Puja pandals since 1975.

Sunday’s storm also claimed a life when a when a motorcyclist died after a tree fell on him in the city’s Beharbari area. At least 80 houses were damaged on the outskirts of Guwahati.