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Hemalatha Goes Pandal Hopping

Hemalatha Sridhar

Window on Travel takes its readers to some of the noteworthy Pujo Pandals in the south of the city.

Bosepukur Sitala Mandir - A rustic themed pandal in the shape of a charming hut, the goddess here is special as she is famed to have been sculpted out of a single enormous rock. Scattered with images from rural scenes, one must pay the monolithic idol and her enclosure a visit.

Ekdalia Evergreen Club - Rumored to have been inspired by the Sarnath Temple, this pandal encases within it gorgeous artwork native to India’s south. The Durga here is like the traditional representation that one sees commonly, but her mammoth size and expressive eyes never fail to let her splendor decline.

Singhi Park Sarbojanin - Ekdalia Evergreen’s neighbor and strong contender, this pandal too has been modelled after India’s famous temples with ornate sculptural details. Durga Maa here dons a more placid disposition, while remaining consistently regal and captivating all those who come to absorb her beauty.

Tridhara Sammilani - This wonderfully innovative pandal showcases Bengal’s darlings- Durga and jute. A breath-taking blend of white and cream, the pandal attracts hordes of eager viewers, and rightfully so.

Ballygunge Cultural Club - The pandal showed off Bengal’s iconic and traditional Durga, covered in white, watching over her worshipful devotees with the slightest of smiles, eyes wide. The inside of the pandal is full of birds and flowers, all of the same white, the entrance sporting a giant peacock that seems to greet all those who enter.

Interestingly, the pandal also has a smaller goddess before the entrance who has ten hands that holds tools from various occupations. This idol has been labelled the Modern Goddess, coloring the otherwise traditional pandal with some 21st century ideas.

Samaj Sebi Sangha - One of the many Buddhist themed pandals of the year, the Samaj Sebi pandal is colorful. There is an exquisitely crafted head of the goddess, made entirely of nails at the entrance, as a sort of centerpiece. The main idol herself is simple, clad in the white sari with a red border, typical to Bengal.

Selimpur Pally - An extremely uniquely themed pandal - a windmill. This simple yet extremely sophisticated structure holds within it a Durga that appears to be of a tribal strain. The pandal’s interior is also full of intriguing elements that appear to hang from the ceiling in the form of miniature houses, or rotate along the walls in the garb of smaller fans.

Mudiali Club - Undoubtedly one of the most enchanting of the pandals of 2018, the Mudiali pandal appears to be a structure of brass and bronze. In the shape of a huge horse, one sees the ceiling composed of bangles and flowing red cloth from which tiny bells hang downwards. The goddess, large in presence and typically Bengali in appearance occupies her throne in her stately home.

Visiting this pandal is an absolute must if one seeks examples of Bengal’s creativity and devotion.