Jamshedpur: Durga Puja is the time when the Bengalis are at their creative best. With mega festive season round the corner, can Jamshedpur remain far behind. Craftsmen from the city along with their counterparts in West Bengal are giving shape to their creative ideas in the form of puja pandals.
From imaginary to village of Jharkhand, the denizens would get opportunity to witness the best of pandals this season. When it comes to the celebration the creative talents of artists get a free flow, bringing out an array of interesting pandals by each of the more than 290 puja samitis in the city every year.
“It is common in our city to have a specially-created pandal for the worship of Durga. Every year devotees pour in to catch the glimpse of our pandal ,” said Amit Kar senior member of Baridih Durga Puja committee. About 22 artists from West Bengal would construct the famous pandal. The committee would spend three lakhs on the construction of pandals.
Mahadev Mandal, a craftsmen hired on contract from Bengal, while putting finishing touches to a thermacol cut-out of a kalash said, “I used to make such decorations back home for the bigger decorators. When I saw that there is a good demand for such work, I joined a group that creates these structures. We have taken up a few projects this year and hope to receive good returns.
Members of puja committees informed that the craftspersons actually have an album of pandals to show clients. Once the client has chosen the structure, the craftspersons shop for materials, and gets started. The puja committees vie with each other to make the best of pandals.
“ Pandals are an important part of the Durgotsav and we try to come up with creative ideas to attract the devotees,” said a committee member.
Pandal making and pandal decoration gives the ambience of the festival a new look which now-a-days has been the most crucial part of the puja. Pandals almost become a Temple for the few days of the puja where the idols are worshipped everyday. A platform or a stage is formed upon which the idols are placed and the main priest sits over there to perform the puja. All the devotees gather in front of the stage and offer their prayers.
Kartik Oraon, an artist said that pandals become the temporary house where the idols are kept during the puja days. The pandal preparations starts months before the puja and now with the concept of theme and all, the raising of pandals has become quite a lengthy and complex process.
First, the plans are made, and then the budget is taken into consideration which is mostly financed by local residents and sponsorship. Pandals are mostly made by using wood, bamboo and clothes.
How large the pandal is to be made depends on the area available for the puja. Fine intricate designs are made which are adorned with beautiful lights have now become the new trend of pandal making. Sometimes they are decorated with pictures drawn by famous artists and flowers.