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City gearing up for Durga puja

Staff Reporter
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Panels planning to celebrate the occasion on a large scale

An artist drawing the eyes of a Durga idol before the puja festival starts in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday. — Photo: Ashoke Chakrabarty
An artist drawing the eyes of a Durga idol before the puja festival starts in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday. — Photo: Ashoke Chakrabarty

Want to visit University of Melbourne or famous Birla Temple of New Delhi or watch live stories from the Arabian Nights? With Durga puja round the corner you need not go out of the capital city. Durga Puja committees across the city are in the midst of creating replicas of famous structures. Nayapalli Durga Puja Samiti has hit upon the idea of erecting a gate similar to that of University of Melbourne.

“Bhubaneswar used to be known as Temple City. But during the past few years, dozens of technical colleges and a university have been set up here.

The city is steadily acquiring identity of an education hub in eastern part of India. This year's Durga Puja will epitomise changing identity of the capital city,” said Pabitra Mohan Behera, president of the committee. Organisers expect that the gate will attract huge crowds as it faces to National Highway 5.Besides, Nayapalli Durga Puja Samiti has decided to put up 60-feet height replica of Ravan on occasion of Ravan Podi. About 40 skilled artisans from Kolkata are involved in creating models.

Work in full swing

Sahid Nagar Durga Puja committee too has come forward to match with any big puja pandal of the city. More than 100 workers have been engaged to 80 ft height gate which would look like Birla Temple of New Delhi. The width of the gate will be around 120 ft.

The puja pandal near Station Bazar is expected to draw huge crowds especially children as organisers put up characters of Arabian Nights in front of the bust of Devi Durga. The replicas of characters will move frequently on a platform to tell the story.

An estimate says about 100 puja pandals will be coming up across the city. As the city has grown in all directions, the spread of Durga Puja celebration is likely to be massive this year. Commissionerate police has already held a preparatory meeting of the puja committees to ensure that the celebration passes off peacefully in the city.

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