Preparations for Durgotsava or Durga puja are in full swing in the city and several mandals are ensuring that locals and visitors have the best of the experiences.
One such mandal is Mulund’s Navjeevan Sangh, which has decided to host Durga puja on a large-scale in the eastern suburbs. To do so, the mandal hired sculptors from Kolkata and 12 artisans from Chandan Nagar near Kolkata to do the light work for the pandal.
Celebrating the festival on such a large-scale for the first time, the mandal wanted devotees to experience the essence of Kolkata during the festival and the light work that is one of the highlights of Durgotsava.
The Durga idol was sculpted in Vashi some three months prior to the festival following which the artist went home. The 12 artisans, who looked after the light work, then decorated the 70-feet-tall entrance with 50,000 bulbs.
The mandal is hosting 25 blind students of Karnataka Blind School from Karnataka who would be performing after Saturday’s puja.
On the eighth day, the mandal would be organising the traditional shankh dhwani and ulu dhwani competitions for devotees and mandal members.
Mandal Secretary Debashish Chatterjee said, “Being a resident of Mulund, I always thought why not host Durga puja in the area so that others can come and have a glimpse of how the festival is celebrated in Kolkata. We are about 175 members, who contributed to this year’s festival. We have organised various functions for the last five days of the festival.”
One of the committee members, Parimal Deb said the ground on which the puja will be performed is about 15,000 sq feet and the event would be a massive one.
“We got all the possible things from our hometown, so that devotees feel they are in Kolkata. The idea behind having light work was to make devotees feel they are in Kolkata, where every nook and corner glows during navratri. So we decided to decorate our pandal in similar fashion.”
The mandal also plans to offer bhog to devotees. While traditional bhog will be served on seventh and eighth day, the one served on the ninth day would be different.
“While all the mandals serve the traditional bhog, we will offer veg biryani, paneer tikka and sweet dishes on the ninth day,” said Chatterjee.