Celebrated with much enthusiasm and zeal, Durga Puja is a five-day extravagant affair in Assam. The festival is no less than a five-day carnival.
Months before the festival, the puja committees swung into an unannounced competition to put up a good show for the visitors. Diverse, unique, and thought-provoking and with myriad themes, the Durga Puja marquees (pandals) have come alive in Guwahati this year.
Pandal hoppers of Guwahati were enchanted by the breathtakingly beautiful shiuli-themed pandal at Kamakhya Colony area, Pandu. On the other hand, Pandora of Avatar– themed pandal with famous characters from the film Jake Sully and Neytiri designed at Bishnupur Bimala Nagar Sarbajanin Durga Puja Committee drew huge footfall this year.
This year the matter of cleanliness was given the top priority in all the puja pandals. The Guwahati Municipal Corporation issued special instructions to ensure that the waste generation is limited to a minimum and is managed efficiently. Guidelines were issued to the Durga Puja committees for provision of dustbins and shun the usage of plastic at the pandal premises.
Instructions were also given to minimize the use of thermocol and other non-biodegradable material while constructing the pandals and the idols
Over the years, Guwahati has seen a considerable rise in the number of puja pandals being erected during the festival in various parts of the city. The Assam Police made elaborate security arrangement with additional volunteers to ensure peaceful Durga Puja.
Visitors thronged the Maligaon Rest Camp Durga Puja which has been a centre of attraction since long. Besides a magnificent and innovative pandal and pratima (idol), the committee also organizes a fair offering a variety of mouth-watering dishes, handicrafts, jewellery items, etc.
The puja mandap at Chatribari in Guwahati paid tribute to the country’s space agency ISRO. They have created models of Chandrayan-II’s Vikram Lander and the launch pad at Sriharikota. The pandal was constructed to celebrate 100th birth anniversary of Vikram Sarabhai. While the iconic Bishnupur Sarbajanin Durga Puja committee tried to bring alive the Ram Mandir of Ayodhya with almost pinpoint accuracy in the structure.
“We love coming to Bishnupur Sarbanjanin Puja. They never fail to amaze. They have great taste and creative ideas to attract people,” said Anita Borah, a visitor while talking to Time8.
The Kahilipara Colony Sarbojonin Durga Utsav Committee created a replica of ITC Royal Bengal giving tough competitions to the iconic pujas.
Photo credit: Debajit Baruahh