Bhubaneswar: As many as 178 Durga Puja pandals have come up in the Odisha capital this year. Durga Puja committees have brought different concepts in their pandals. Among others, the city people can witness the replica of Rajasthan’s famous Chittorgarh Fort at Saheed Nagar this year.
Saheed Nagar Durga Puja Committee secretary, Narayan Mohapatra said, “We have been organising Durga Puja here since 1978. This year’s celebration is the 40th.”
The height of the pandal is 70 feet and the width is 120 feet, informed Mohapatra.
The crowd puller in one of the pandals is the Medha, which is made of silver weighing 2.7 quintals. The height of the Medha is 12 feet and width is 18 feet, he added.
As many as 40 artisans have made the pandal in 45 days. All the artisans are from Kolkata. But the idol has been made by artisans from Cuttack. “We have spent Rs 25 to Rs 30 lakh in all the arrangements,” said Mohapatra. The idol of the goddess is 12 feet high and will be decorated with gold ornaments, he added.
“Our specialty in the puja ground is arranging Bhajan Samaroh as the cultural programme. We have been arranging the cultural programme for four days i.e. from Saptami to Dashami. For the first time, we are arranging ‘Mata Ka Jagran’ this year. Singer Anil Babar, famous Jagaran artist from Mumbai will come to sing devotional songs. It will be held at 7 pm on Dashami,” Mohapatra informed.
The songs will create a devotional atmosphere and it is believed that devotees can feel the presence of the goddess during ‘Mata Ka Jagran’.
“We have a team of 100 volunteers to manage the crowd. As many as 24 CCTV cameras have been installed at different places for the security of the devotees,” he added.
One police platoon force has been deployed to maintain law and order.
The police have also given special police officer power to 50 committee members for the smooth conduct of the puja. They have been supervising the areas near the joy rides, Meena Bazaar and to regulate the traffic. In the evening, our women committee members will also supervise the situation.
To conduct the darshan smoothly and for the safety of the women, we have made three different rows for men, women and for the senior citizens and differently-abled persons.
Bhashani will be conducted on October 20. Traditional instruments like, Singha Baja, traditional dance like Ghoda Nacha, Sambalpuri dance will be performed.
We gave Ashtami Pana to the devotees on Ashtami to break their fast. Besides, we have been giving Chuda Ghasha and Bundi as prasad.
Last year, a Gitinatya, ‘Ravana Baddha’ (killing of demon king Ravana) was staged on Vijaya Dashami. Instead of doing ‘Ravana Podi’, we will organise the ‘Mata Ka Jagran’ to pull the crowd to the pandal.