Dazzling Pandals

NEW DELHI, INDIA, October 14, 2010: Fancy pandals, the beat of dhaks (traditional drums) and lighting have heralded the beginning of Durga Puja in the city, where the festive spirit is unabated despite Games-related restrictions and low sponsorship.

In Chittaranjan Park, where every year puja pandals compete each other in opulence, the organizers have gone all out in their preparations with varied themes — from Rabindranath Tagore to going eco-friendly — to highlight Bengali art and culture. Nearby, the puja samiti organisers are trying to replicate the palatial Sobhabazar Rajbari in Kolkata, where an aristocrat, Raja Nabakrishna Deb, organized Durga Puja in 1757.

Others have decided to go green this year. “We are not using plastic or thermocol to decorate anything. Even the dress of the idol is made of mud and eco-friendly paint, so that when it is immersed, the Yamuna is not polluted,” said Ashok Bose, one of the organizing committee members.

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