Durga Puja Pandal Themes 2009: Preparations at Ground Zero
“Purano Kolkata” or “(Recreation of) The old Kolkata” has been a popular puja pandal theme for many organizers for some years now. The Jodhpur Park puja association, a popular attraction for pandal-hoppers, strives to keep the tradition alive with its 2009 puja theme being the same theme. This year, the organizers are busy recreating the Zamindar era of old Kolkata when wealthy nobles competed with each other to hold the grandest Durga Puja celebration. The Jodhpur Park pandal is to be created like an old palace, complete with colored glass windows, pillars, cornices, verandahs and even a thakurdalan, where the goddess and her children are to be housed and worshiped. The entire budget of this puja is Rs 20 lakh, which surpasses its previous budget of last year.
Like the Jodhpur Park organizers, 66 Pally has also fallen prey to the charms of old Kolkata. With the growing concern over heritage restoration, something that most of the old architectures in the city are in dire need of, this pandal is to be created as a beautifully restored baganbari (garden house) of the zamindars (Bengali landlords). The idol of the goddess has been etched out of a huge earthenware vessel. The conception and construction of the pandal and its theme is being overseen by noted filmmaker Goutam Ghosh.
With just a few daysto go, the pandal at Deshopriyo Park is buzzing with activity.
With greater stress being laid on environmental protection, a lot of puja organisers have gone for the “Green theme”. The Suruchi Sangha of New Alipore have also chosen the environment as the subject for their Puja pandal striving to recreate the peaceful, natural ambience of Jharkhand amidst the bustle of Kolkata. To realize this theme, the organizers have started well in advance growing plants of at least 85 varieties throughout last year on its designated plot. And their efforts have been rewarded with a dense foliage, with many of the plants growing as high as 30 feet. This will form the green habitat of the goddess and her children. The makers hope this would spread awareness against global warming among the Bengalis.
The organisers of this association have chosen to revisit the artistic roots of Bengal with plans of decorating its pandal with artworks reminiscent of “patachitras” from Kalighat, Midnapore and Bankura. An innovative aspect of this pandal is the idol of the Goddess, that in the Rajrajeshwari style, will look different when observed from different sides.
The wonderful Akshardham temple of Maharasthra has been a favourite subject of puja organisers ever since it hit the headlines following the terrorist attack on 2002. For its 2009 pandal theme, Sreebhumi Sporting Club wants to bring the grand temple alive a with spectacular lighting arrangement. Not less than 14 huge gates of light are to be set up on either side of VIP Road. The budget of the entire arrangement is a staggering Rs 30 lakh. Incidentally, the same association had earlier recreated the orginal Akshardham temple of Gandhinagar for its pandal.
Once again, the pandal at Ekdalia Evergreen promises to be huge.
Images via: ILK.