Don’t miss these Pujas in Kolkata
Which are the pandals you shouldn’t miss this year. HT gives you a shortlist along with directions.kolkata Updated: Oct 07, 2016 15:43 IST
Without a doubt, Kolkata turns into the world’s largest open air gallery for artworks during Durga Puja every year. For the past several years organisers and art directors have uncorked exotic themes around which hundreds of pandals have been decorated. Which are the pandals you shouldn’t miss this year. HT gives you a shortlist. Along with directions.
BELIAGHATA 33 PALLY
This puja committee has come up with a theme that showcases the iconic ambassador taxi which is no longer produced. The theme of this puja is nostalgia. The organisers have bought 15 yellow taxis and silencer pipes and doors of the car with which the entire paldal has been decorated. It is a tribute to the car that had been a part of the city and, in fact, the controlled economy era in the country.
Location: Near phool bagan bus stop.
The theme of Suruchi Sangha this year is Bhutan. The organisers of this puja at New Alipore have decorated the entire pandal with milestones of the Himalayan kingdom. For those who have gone to Bhutan, this can be a trip of nostalgia.
Location: New Alipore. Can be approached both from Taratolla and Tollygunge Circular Road.
MITALI SANGHA (KANKURGACHI)
The theme of this puja is ‘Upasana’. The pandal of this puja has been decorated with items that are needed for offering puja such as incense sticks and incense stick stands.
Location: Near Kankurgachi
SANTOSH MITRA SQUARE
This is one of the famous pujas in north Kolkata and this year they are showcasing what one needs to do survive an earthquake. Given the frequency with which the earth is shaking beyond our feet, it is a must visit for everybody. The organisers are offering the rather unusual solution of shifting to the moon. The organisers are saying that eastern India is an earthquake prone zone, and one can explore the idea of living on the moon.
Location: Near Sealdah
BADAMTALA ASHAR SANGHA
They have already acquired a name for unique concepts, and this year too has come up with a novel idea. The pandal will depict the rashi chakra or the zodiac cycle. The pandal has been erected with five crore pieces of broken bricks. A theme music has been composed and it will be synchronised with illumination.
Location: Near Rashbehari Avenue crossing
BALLYGUNGE CULTURAL ASSOCIATION
This is one of the most famous pujas of south Kolkata for several decades. Their theme is to recreate the simple, traditional community puja of yesteryears. The pandal has been decorated with terracotta. The idol will be dressed in Bengal’s traditional red-bordered sari that symbolises festivities for married women. The lighting, too, promises to be dramatic. The idol will be completely decked up in traditional style.
Location: On Lake View Road
The theme this year is dedicated to postcards, stamps and letter boxes. The entire compound has been decked up with more than 50,000 post cards assembled with the help of Kolkata GPO. The organisers of the puja said that the postal department employees were initially stunned when they were asked to provide the puja committee with so many post cards. The organisers want to remind the people of the nearly lost art of communicating through letters.
Location: Near Ultadanga off VIP road
DESHAPRIYA PARK DURGOTSAV SAMITI
This club created history in 2015 by installing the tallest Dura (88 feet) that attracted such crowds that the puja had to be stopped by the police to restore normalcy in the entire city. There was also a stampede on Panchami. This year the organisers have uncorked another gimmick -- the idol will have 1,000 hands instead of the usual 10.
Location: Deshapriya Park
You can get a test of South India in this pandal. The famous Meenakshi Temple has been recreated here. This temple in the ancient city of Madurai was actually built around 1625-1655, but it is said the original temple could have been built in 6th century BC. Like other years, the pandal also displays a gigantic chandelier.
Location: Near Gariahat crossing.
DUM DUM PARK TARUN SANGHA
In its 31st year, the theme of this puja is Doshe Dosh. “There is a perennial fight between the good and evil. We must stand together to fight it. That is the theme we have presented in a creative manner at the pandal,” said an organiser. The pandal is being decorated with replicas of different weapons. A gallery of faces is being built to represent evil forces. The gallery will lead to the main idol where the devi’s powers are highlighted.
Location: Dum Dum Park
BHAWANIPUR 75 PALLI PUJA
The theme of this year is ‘Aarshinagar’, or the City of Mirrors. A 45-feet high elephant has been created for the facade of the pandal. The structure is made of cane and paper pulp with pieces of mirrors all over it. Stitching mirrors on clothes is a popular craft in many states of the country such as Odisha and Gujarat. Colourful floral motifs have been used, along with miniature bells and toy animals made out of papier mache and clay. The idol in traditional Rajbari style but with a modern touch.
To visit Rajasthan, go to Barisha this year. Artists from Rajasthan have been brought to create an atmosphere of Rajasthan. Rocks, sand and other artefacts have been used to create a slice of India’s most colourful state.
Location: Beyond Behela
One of the community puja organisers who have stuck to tradition despite the entire Durga puja scene being swamped by competitive themes. Like other year, the idol is decked up in pith (shola) artwork and has a pristine, imposing look.
First Published: Oct 07, 2016 15:43 IST