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All set: An artist from Kumhartuli, West Bengal, giving final touches to an idol of Goddess Durga, at Shahdra Kali Mandir in New Delhi on Sunday.
All set: An artist from Kumhartuli, West Bengal, giving final touches to an idol of Goddess Durga, at Shahdra Kali Mandir in New Delhi on Sunday.

Madhur Tankha

Delhi gears up for Durga Puja celebrations and cultural show

NEW DELHI: The month of October holds special significance for Bengalis as Durga Puja is celebrated with a blend of tradition and modernity.

In Delhi, Puja celebrations have become a sought-after social and cultural event for non-Bengalis as well. The Capital’s residents look forward to the festival that begins either on October 16 or the next day. And on October 21 is the visarjan when idols of Goddess Durga are immersed in sea water or river.

The festivities are mainly centred around Chittaranjan Park in South Delhi where for the past 12 years, Dakshin Palli Durga Puja Samiti has been organising Durga Puja at Pocket 52.

Singing performances

“As part of the celebrations, the Puja Committee will be organising a wide variety of cultural events. The idol is being designed by talented artisans from West Bengal. Arrangements are being made for prasad for thousands of devotees on all the four days of the puja,” said Ashok Bose, president of the Samiti.

Famous Hindi playback singer Sapna Mukherjee will perform and interesting programmes for senior citizens have also been lined-up.

Installation of idol

Aram Bagh Puja Samiti will be installing a 25-foot-tall Goddess Durga idol at Puja Park on Panchkuian road. The Samiti’s president Abhijit Bose says the ornaments and the crown for the deity will come from Kolkata. “We have been celebrating Durga Puja for the past 18 years and the Samiti has won the best idol award five times,” he adds.

Navapalli Puja Samiti will be celebrating Durga Puja in all its colourful fervour at Pocket 40 in Chittaranjan Park. Utpal Ghosh, C.R. Park president, said eminent playback singer Alka Yagnik will sing in both Bengali and Hindi on October 17. “Karigars from Bengal have been brought to design the pandal,” he said.

According to Swapan Ganguly, New Delhi Kalibari secretary, the puja at Mandir Marg will be a traditional one. “Since 1939 we have been maintaining our puja rituals. We will have competition in Rabindra sangeet and recitation. We have brought artisans from Kolkata to build the pandal.”

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