It is that time of the year when festivities are in the air, in India. Ganesh Chaturthi, Raksha Bandhan, Onam, Parsi New Year and a whole host of other festivities came and went, and a whole lot of them are still in the wings. Durga Puja is one festival that is just around the corner.
With time, Durga Puja pandals are becoming more and more innovative across India. Many of them depict social themes, while some are just unique, exhibiting the creativity of the artist setting them up.
Here is a list of some of the most unique Durga Puja pandals from across India, over the last few years.
When Durga Maa Was Adorned With Tanishq Ornaments
The famous Ekdaliya Evergreen Club in Kolkata witnessed a beautiful Durga Pooja pandal last year. Tanishq designed exclusive gold ornaments to adorn Durga maa for the festive occasion, as a way to symbolize how the eternally beautiful jewellery could combine so well with a powerful goddess like Durga maa.
When The Goddess Protested Against Rapes
We hear of at least three rape cases in a week across the country, these days. In light of this, in 2013 the Salt Lake Pooja Committee in Kolkata decided to construct a Durga Puja pandal where the goddess herself protested against the inhuman torture that rape victims undergo.
The Buddhist Pagoda-Inspired Puja Pandal
In the year 2013, the Mantri Mandir at Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi, constructed a unique Durga Puja pandal, inspired by a Buddhist pagoda.
The Buddhist Gompa-Style Pandal
The Arambagh Durga Puja Samity in Delhi, in the year 2013, created a pandal in the style of a Buddhist Gompa, so as to celebrate its silver jubilee. A number of murals and prayer bells were deployed, at the cost of Rs. 1 crore, making the pandal a visual treat.
The Tamilnadu Sripuram-Style Pandal
The Powai Bengali Welfare Association organizes the most unique Durga Puja pandals every year, in the sprawling Hiranandani Gardens of Mumbai. In 2011, the Association created an innovative pandal inspired by the Sripuram temple of Tamil Nadu. The project was completed at an estimated cost of Rs. 1 crore.
The Pandal That Was Rabindranath Tagore’s Home
The New Alipore Suruchi Sangha in Kolkata set up a Chattisgarh themed Durga Puja pandal last year. The pandal was based upon the idea of world peace, and an artificial tree of life depicting art from the state was put up in front of the pandal. The tree was symbolic of the importance of peace at a time when the state was grappling with unrest and violence.
When The Pandal Was Made Of Biscuits
Hundreds of thousands of biscuits of different kinds were used to create the Durga Puja pandal at the Bosepukur Sitala Mandir, in 2014. The pandal, based on the theme of equal food distribution to all, attracted huge crowds.
Ganga Aaamar Maa – The Ganges-Based Pandal
The Behala Buroshibtala Janakalyan Sangha of Kolkata had ‘Ganga Aaamar Maa’ (the Ganges is our mother) as the theme for its Durga Puja pandal last year. Protesting against the increasing pollution of the river Ganges, the pandal had a huge boat at its entrance, supposedly afloat on the Ganges, but the water of the river was in the form of thousands of blue hands lifted upwards, as if in prayer. Beautifully depicted, indeed!
When Durga Maa Became 3D
Jodhpur Park in Kolkata was home to the first-ever Durga idol to be made in a 3D printer. The approximately 8-foot x 13-foot idol of Durga maa here was created in 3D form, using about 60,000 sheets of A4-sized paper. The project apparently cost about Rs. 1 lakh.
Which of these Durga Puja pandals did you find the most innovative and interesting? Do tell us, in the comments below!