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In Mumbai: Your guide to pandal hopping this Durga puja

While use of LED lights is the latest trend in pandal decoration, several organisers have skipped pomp and glamour for traditional celebration

mumbai Updated: Sep 27, 2017 00:19 IST
Yesha Kotak
Yesha Kotak
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Durga,Puja
People visit a Durga puja pandal at Tulip Star, Juhu , on Tuesday. (Shashi S Kashyap/HT )

As Durga Puja begins, devotees across Mumbai are set to welcome Goddess Durga with ornately designed pandals and traditional food.

While most city mandals have resorted to using local items to decorate pandals, there were a few mandals who left no stone unturned to ensure that their pandals resembled the ones at their home town in Kolkata.

“Except bamboos, everything that you see inside the pandal is from Kolkata. From the idol to the cook who will preparing bhog. Even the dhaka (drum) players. To make people feel like they are in Chandannagar [a town near Kolkata that is famous for its Puja pandals], we installed a special LED decor that replicates a scene from Baahubali,” said Debasish Chatterjee, vice-president, Navjeevan Sangha Durgotsav 2017, Mulund.

While use of LED lights is the latest trend in pandal decoration, several organisers have skipped pomp and glamour for traditional celebration.

“Nothing changes in our festivity, except the girl we worship on the day of Kumari Puja. Our focus is on tradition and celebrate with dhaka on which people do dhunuchi naach [traditional dance by women during puja]. Since our pandal falls in the silence zone, we are happy to skip the glamour,” said Mitali Choudhury, spokesperson, Bengal Club, Shivaji Park.

A must visit

Bombay Durga Bari Samiti’s Durga Puja

Where: Gowalia Tank

Year: 88th

Attraction: Raibenshe, is a genre of Indian folk martial dance performed by men. One of the oldest pujas in the city, the pandl this year has been designed to resemble Rajprasad (palace), wherein all the idols will be covered in one halo. The organisers said they believe in helping the needy, which is why they get their idol from murtikars [sculptors] from remote villages of West Bengal , and in Mumbai conduct Daridra Narayan Seva (feeding the underprivileged).

Bengal Club Durga Puja

Where: Shivaji Park

Year: 82nd

Attraction: 40 commercial stalls which provide Bengali food, textile, handicraft, etc. With an aim to promote traditional festivity, Bengal Club doesn’t use mikes during their religious ceremonies or conduct entertainment programmes. They have dhunuchi dance by club members on dhaka every evening.

North Bombay Sarbojanin Durga Puja

Where: Tulip Star, Juhu

Year: 70th

Attraction: The décor this year has been termed as “revolutionary”, wherein ruins of a temple have been replicated. One of the tallest idols in the city is fork lifted (picked up through crane) to the venue and during immersion, to avoid any damage to the deity. They started using this technique four years back. The puja was started by Padmashri late Sashadhar Mukherjee, his grandchildren now continue with his legacy, calling it “gharua puja” (all are welcome to become a part of family).

Sanskriti Trust Durga Puja

Where: Borivli (East)

Year: 65th

Attraction: The pandal is made to look like a palace with intrinsic artwork done by artisans from Kolkata. With an aim of not using Plaster of Paris (PoP) this year, the décor has been made from cloth and thermocol, while the deity has been brought from Amit Paul who makes eco-friendly idols. The organisers believe that they should contribute towards the growth of children, which is why they will be conducting special training session and essay writing competition for children.

Kallol-Sarbojonin Durgotsav’17

Where: Goregaon (West)

Year: 53rd

Attraction: To conceptualise a village, art director Bidhubhusan Saha was roped in, traditional handcrafted bamboo work is done in the pandal. This Durga puja conducted in a Kali temple in Goregaon, will have eco-friendly celebrations with bhog (food) being served on plant leaves, low noise levels and no smoke emissions.

Notunpalli Sarbojonin Durgotsab Committee

Where: Bandra (West)

Year: 45th

Attraction: During immersion, all the members will be singing and dancing for six kms from Bandra Garden to Juhu beach, accompanied by dhaka players from West Bengal. Going back to roots, the organisers have aimed at giving a feel of Durga temple to the visitors.

Navjeevan Sangha Durgotsav 2017

Where: Mulund (West)

Year: 6th

Attraction: The deity is made by a famous artist Rudra Pal, who is known for making idols for famous puja pandals in Kolkata. Taking people in the past, the theme of the décor is golden, which according to the organisers was also the theme 300 years back, when Durga puja started in Kolkata. In an effort to give back to the society, a blood donation camp and health check-up camp will be conducted on saptami, asthami and nauvmi.

Spandan Powai Sharadostav 2017

Where: Powai

Year: 5th

Attraction: Performance by Bollywood singer Antara Mitra of Gerua fame. The theme for celebrations this year is Amritasya Putra, wherein the organisers will take up the cause of orphan children. They have always aimed at being associated with a cause, with previous themes such as empowering women (2013), Yuva Shakti Nava Shakti (2014), rediscovering roots (2015) and celebrating elders (2016).

Maitree Cultural Association Sarbojanin Durgostav 2017

Where: Malad (West)

Year: 4th

Attraction: Director Anurag Basu’s mother’s music group Saptasur will be performing on Maha Shasti. The Durga Puja committee supports ‘Rahat’, a national flood relief campaign, to spread awareness regarding the environmental issues.

First Published: Sep 27, 2017 00:19 IST