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Bengali community all set to celebrate Durga puja

Staff Reporter
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FESTIVAL TIME: Idols for Durga puja, made by artisans from West Bengal, getting ready in Kochi. — Photo: Vipin Chandran
FESTIVAL TIME: Idols for Durga puja, made by artisans from West Bengal, getting ready in Kochi. — Photo: Vipin Chandran

A giant idol of Goddess Durga is being readied for the Navaratri celebrations of the Bengali community in the city. The idol shows the Goddess clad in orange silk standing tall on a lioness with 10 hands while slaying the demon who comes disguised as a buffalo marking the victory of good over evil.

Inevitable

For Keral Banga Samskriti Sangha (KBSS), an association of the closely-knit Bengali community in the city, the giant idol has been an inevitable part of the Navaratri celebrations for more than four decades.

A four-member family of idol makers from West Bengal has been in the city for the last one month working on the idols.

The very same team had been making the idols for the last four years. They have also readied the idols of Ganesha, Lakshmi, Saraswathy and Murukan to flank the giant idol of Durga.

The artisans have reverted to the system of preparing separate idols to flank the giant idol unlike last year when they had incorporated all these idols into one.

The idols are being made using wood, bamboo, straw and mud before painting them with bright colours.

“Finishing touches will be given on the eve of the celebrations. The mud brought from Ganges will be used for this as it will give a polished look and smooth finish unlike the mud available here, which is more sandy,” said Ranajit Kanjilal, a senior member of KBSS.

The celebrations will start on October 2 with a puja at 7 p.m., which marks Maha Sasthi, the sixth day of the Durga Navaratri Puja. The weapons will be attached to the arms of the idol on the same day.

For the next three mornings, community members will come to Rabindra Bhavan at Gandhi Nagar here on an empty stomach and hold puja and floral offerings. They will then share the ‘bhog' (food offered to God and then partaken). Cultural programmes will be staged during all three evenings from October 3 to 5.

On October 6, the Maha Dashami day, the idol will be taken in a procession to the backwaters, near the Naval Base, and will be immersed. Cultural programmes will be staged on all these days.

Besides community members from across the State, local residents also take part in the festivities.

For more details contact: 98954 66916, 94476 59400, 98950 76921

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