The very of mention of Dasara Navaratri celebrations in the city takes one’s thoughts to Indrakeeladri, the abode of goddess Kanakadurga. While the celebrations on Indrakeeladri remain unparalleled in their religious fervour, a large number of cultural organisations and devotional groups in the city too contribute in their own way to keep alive the Navaratri spirit by organising the festivities on a grand scale.
The city’s Bengali community celebrates the festival with a right mix of fun and religiosity, recreating the mood that prevails in the pandals in West Bengal. This year, two associations – Sarbojanin Durga Puja Committee and Vijayawada Bengalee Association – are organising rituals and pujas to goddess Durga.
“We have brought the idol and the pandits specially from Kolkata. The rituals are being conducted strictly in accordance with the tradition of West Bengal. On Saturday, street children from SKCV Trust will perform a cultural programme,” said Vijayawada Bengalee Association president Utpal Chatterjee on Friday. The association is organising the puja at Kandukuri Kalyana Mandapam in Gandhinagar, while the Sarbojanin Puja Committee is doing so at the Railway Institute.
T.J. Bhattacharya, president of Sarbojanin Puja Committee, said that this year the sculptors had come all the way from Kolkata to make the idol. “The highlight of the puja festivities are the drum beaters from West Bengal. On Saturday, we will be conducting the “Sandhi Puja” and on Sunday we will have a musical programme by Mayur Orchestra,” he detailed.
He said hundreds of Bengali families from even neighbouring districts like Guntur and Khammam and nearby towns in Krishna district were attending the puja festivities. “Amidst rituals and hymns, the idol of the goddess will be immersed in the Krishna on Monday,” he said.
Both the associations will conduct the Lakshmi Puja on October 3 and Sri Kali Puja on October 17.
Another place that will attract the devotees is the artistically created pandal, which has been set up in the shape of a temple, by the organisers of the Saibaba temple committee near Maris Stella College.
This pandal too has finely crafted idols of the goddess, and is attracting even those who do not evince much interest in religious celebrations to have a look