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Six pandals to visit in Mumbai for Durga Puja

To celebrate Ma Durga’s homecoming, festivities are afoot at pandals across the city. the guide went pandal-hopping to give our readers a dekko

After vanquishing the forces of evil, Goddess Durga will come home with her children: Lakshmi, Ganesh, Kartik and Saraswati. From Saptami (October 1) to Ashtami and Navami (October 2), there will be the morning Anjali (offering of flowers), Bhog at noon, Sandhya aarti and Dhunuchi dance (with censers). With Ashtami and Navami on the same day, the festival will be short and sweet. Here’s what you shouldn’t miss:

North Bombay Sarbojonin Durga Puja
Terracotta is the theme of the idol at the North Bombay Sarbojonin Durga Puja. Pic/Abhishek Rane

Durga Puja streamed live
In its 66th year, the theme at The North Bombay Sarbojanin Durga Puja Samiti’s Puja will revolve around terracotta. At their celebrations, members of the Mukerji family will serve Bhog and their pandal’s Bhog includes dinner. Watch out for performances by Usha Uthup and Yo Yo Honey Singh. The Puja will be streamed live on www.northbombaydurgapuja.com.
Till: October 3
At: Hotel Tulip Star, VM Road, Juhu.

The Bengal Clubs Durga Puja
The Bengal Club’s Durga Puja recreates Kali Ghat in Kolkata. Pic/Datta Kumbhar

Gaze at a 22-feet-tall idol
In its sixth year, the Andheri Link Road Sarbojanik Durga Puja will boast of a 22-foot-tall idol. There will be masks suspended from a 30-foot ceiling and 18-feet high masks at the entrance. Devotees can watch 40 dhaakis (drummers) from Kolkata in action and enjoy a Chandi Paath recital by 11 pandits from Benaras. Their Bhog is sourced from the Sahara Star Hotel. Stalls will sell sarees and snacks (till 5 am).
Till: October 3
At: DN Nagar, Andheri (W).

85 years of celebrations
The Bombay Durga Bari Samiti’s Durga Puja is now in its 85th year. The Goddess will be Ekchala (deities fitted in a single frame) and the decoration will be Kolkata’s Dhaaker Saaj (silver foil). The emphasis is on the nirghanta (schedule) as specified in the patrika. Performances will be based on Rabindranath Tagore’s compositions and will include a play and a performance by singer Kunal Ganjawala. Don’t miss their Nalen Gurer ice cream stall.
Till: October 3
At: Tejpal Hall, Gowalia Tank.

A goddess from a fairy tale
The Lokhandwala Durga Puja celebrations by singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya is entering its 19th year and will highlight the heritage of West Bengal. The goddess will be decorated in Dhaaker Saaj and the pandal will be decorated in a manner reminiscent of fairy tales with lighting conceptualised by the singer, who dubs it as a ‘Disneyland for mature audiences’. There will be four pandals (including a shopping area, a food court, an auditorium and the actual pandal). The cultural performances will see 40 Dhunuchi dancers from Murshidabad in West Bengal (the idol is also sourced from there).
Till: October 5
At: Lokhandwala Garden, Andheri (W).

Kalighat in Dadar
In its 79th year, the Durga Puja celebrations at the Bengal Club will project the Kalighat temple. The idol will have a metal finish and the pandal will have pictures of Kalighat and replicas of Paat paintings. Exhibitions of sarees and artefacts will also be held. Since it is a silent zone, there will only be a children’s programme and a Dhunuchi dance. The Bhog will include Khichdi and Payesh (rice pudding).
Till: September 28 to October 3
At: Shivaji Park, Dadar.

Go traditional
The over six-decade-old Ramakrishna Math’s Durga Puja celebrations are known for their scriptural mode of worship. The idols are Ekchala and the monks look after the decorations. Don’t miss their Bhog and their food stalls. Lose yourself to bhajans recited by monks, watch the Kumari Puja (a young girl worshipped as the goddess) or visit their bookstore.
From: October 1 to October 3
At: Ramakrishna Math, 12th Road, Khar (W).

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