Noida, Greater Noida deck up for Durga Puja celebrations
FESTIVAL TIME: Although there are many Durga Puja venues in Noida, the famous ones are at Kali Bari in Sector 26, Jalvayu Vihar in Sector 25 and Gaur City in Greater Noida.
If pandal hopping is what gives you the thrill during the Durga Puja, then the ‘pujo’ celebrations at various venues in Noida is something you should definitely not give a miss.
With mesmerising pandal decorations and beautiful Durga idols, dhak players, artisans, painters and celebrities from the land of Bengal, the four-day celebrations in the city will leave you wanting more.
Although there are many Durga Puja venues in the city, the famous ones are Kali Bari in Sector 26, Jalvayu Vihar in Sector 25 and Gaur City in Greater Noida.
Touted as the oldest Durga Puja celebrations in the industrial town, the Kali Bari ‘Durgotsava’ has been a hit in Noida for the past three decades. This year will mark the 35th ‘Durgotsava’ to be organised at the Kali Bari ground in Sector 26 by the Noida Bengali Cultural Association.
Often termed as an equivalent to the festivities in Chittaranjan Park , New Delhi, the Kali Bari serves as a religious and cultural interactive centre for the Bengali community in Noida.
Therefore, it undoubtedly has the responsibility to present the most memorable Durga Puja celebrations in the city. The organising committee of the Kali Bari puja claims that they have not disappointed the city.
“Our pandal and idol is a hit in Noida and, even last year, a newspaper awarded us the best pandal in the city. We have been winning praises from citizens for the past three decades due to our unique themes,” said Rajat Banerjee, Noida Bengali Cultural Association.
This year, the organising committee has chosen ‘Indian classical dances’ as the theme for their pandal decorations.
“Last year, we paid homage to the martyrs of India who laid down their lives for our security with a replica of India Gate. This year, we have decided to highlight the dance form of Bharatanatyam dance as our unique theme is Indian classical dances. The mural will be made by Professor Vishal Ghosh, who is also an educationalist,” Banerjee said.
Explaining the reason behind choosing Bharatanatyam as the theme mural for the celebrations, Banerjee said, “Durga Puja is not just meant for Bengalis, it is meant for everyone, irrespective of ethnicity or faith. We have a pan-national approach and that is why we chose a dance form from Tamil Nadu.”
When it comes to the idol, the organisers has chosen renowned artist from Delhi Salil Bhattacharya to sculpt the goddess.
“His theme is Durga with her four children. We will uncover the idol only on 26 September,” Banerjee said.
The cultural festival promises to be one of the most memorable experiences for Noida residents with interesting games such as a drawing competition for children, rangoli-making competition and a cookery competition. Another major attraction of the puja will be renowned Bengali singer Lopamudra Mitra who will be regaling at the event.
“Apart from Mitra, we also have local artistes doing street plays and musicals depicting the rich culture of the land of Bengal,” Banerjee said.
When it comes to food, the organising committee promises a food lover a treat she would love.
“Not only will we have stalls with authentic Bengali cuisines and sweets, we will also have big brands such as Dominos putting up a stall. A total of 80 stalls, which include three ice cream stalls will be also be set up,” Banerjee said.
Noida’s Kali Bari is expecting a huge turnout of people as it promises to be the best attraction during Durga Puja in the city.
“During the celebrations, at any point of time, we have more than 2,500 people at our venue. Apart from that, we are also differently abled and senior citizen friendly with our chair-lift equipment,” Banerjee said.
Although this will be the second Durga Puja celebrations in Gaur City apartments of Greater Noida, the organising committee promises this to be a fun-filled session with frolic and festivities.
“Last year, we had only 20% occupancy in our residential society but this year, we have more than 60% occupancy and we are expecting a huge turnout from our society and adjoining neighbourhoods,” said Dipanjan Mondal, secretary, Bengali Cultural Association, Gaur City, Greater Noida.
The theme of this year’s Durga Puja at Gaur City will be ‘Prachin Bangla Mandir’ where the pandal will depict the ancient temple of Bengal. Artisans, pandal decorators, priest and dhak players have come from Bengal.
“Apart from the pandal theme, we also have Durga idol, which is completely white in colour,” Mondal said.
The organising committee is expecting a turnout of 8,000 to 10,000 people every night from September 26 to 29.
“We will be inviting MP Mahesh Sharma and MLA Pankaj Singh along with Gen (retd) VK Singh as our chief guest. We are expecting a turnout of 8-10,000 people every night,” said Pidyajit Mukherjee, president, Bengali Cultural Association, Gaur City, Greater Noida.
The organisers have also put up more than 20 stalls of food and other items during the celebrations.
“We will provide Prasad to all who come to our pandal from morning to late night,” Mondal said.
At Jalvayu Vihar, the theme for this year’s theme is ‘Shilp Kuteer’, wherein artisans and sculptors will get an opportunity to showcase their talent.
The organising committee will hold a curtain raiser on Monday to mark 25 years of Jalvayu Vihar celebrating Durga Puja.
“Today, we started the celebrations and involved all helps, security guards and their children in the festival. This year, we are trying to encourage small scale artisans and sculptors,” said Jaya Dey, one of the members of organising committee.