Delhi Durga Puja: Colonial-era Kolkata houses, environment friendly idols ready to greet revellers

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Want a glimpse of colonial-era houses of Kolkata this Durga puja? Head to Delhi’s Chittaranjan Park where artisans are giving final touches to a theme-based pandal replete with louvre windows, a courtyard and staircases.

Another Durga puja organising committee in the city is making an eco-friendly pandal with cardboards, wooden disposable spoons and rice husk.

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As Delhi gears up to celebrate Navaratri and Durga Puja with fervour after a two-year Covid-induced lull, artisans are hopeful of reviving the loss they suffered during the pandemic.

Saurav Chakraborty, the secretary of the Durga puja committee at Chittaranjan Park’s cooperative ground, said, “The pandal will look like a traditional house of Kolkata. We are specifically focusing on the details like louvre windows and colonial-era iron locks and chains for doors.” Stalls for food, sarees, and toys have been set up at the Cooperative ground and cultural programmes have also been planned for the first time in two years.

A puja pandal at K-block of Chittaranjan Park is being designed with paper, cardboards, wooden disposable spoons and rice husk.

Pintu Haldar, who is a part of the team decorating the K-block pandal said, “We are designing it with swans that we made with crushed papers. The face of goddess Durga is being designed with rice husk on cardboard.” “Most of us were without work in the last two years. This year, we can see a ray of hope to revive the loss,” he said, adding the organisers are in high spirits for the celebrations this year.

Rakesh Dey, the designer of another puja pandal in K-block, said it usually takes one month to design certain theme-based puja pandals.

“Before the pandemic, we used to take at least two months to complete the work. But this time, we were not sure about the number of orders,” he said.

In New Ashok Nagar, the theme of this year’s pandal is being environment-friendly. One of the organisers said the materials being used to construct the pandal as well as the Durga idols are ‘eco-friendly’.

“The idol is being made using clay. We are not using plaster of paris at all. Watercolour is being used to paint the idols as it is considered to be one of the safest and eco-friendly mediums,” said Manoj Pradhan, the idol maker of the Durga puja in New Ashok Nagar.

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