Durga’s magnificence and grandeur
The sounds, colours and flavours of Durga Puja burst throughout the city and permeated every notch and corner as members from various communities, mainly the Bengalis, came together to celebrate the homecoming of the Goddess.
Bengalis lead the Durga Puja celebrations in city
The sounds, colours and flavours of Durga Puja burst throughout the city and permeated every notch and corner as members from various communities, mainly the Bengalis, came together to celebrate the homecoming of the Goddess. The magnitude of the festivities was evident from the grandeur and elaborate pandals around the city this year.
The Bangiya Sanskritik Sangha (BSS) marked its 49th Durga Puja at Keyes High School in Secunderabad by installing a magnificent Durga idol at the pandal.
The Hyderabad Bangalee Samity (HBS) at the Lower Tank Bund area, which is one of the most popular and oldest pandals of the city, celebrated its 73rd year of Durga Puja this year.
A significant part of the puja was the distribution of the bhog and prasad, which was given to 10,000 devotees on Maha Ashtami.
"Since we are the oldest organisers of Durga Puja in the city, we have a list of loyal sponsors who make it possible for us to give bhog to so many people," said Sumit Sen, general secretary of HBS.
The Durgotsav committee at Serilingampally opted for Bengali naatmandir theme, with a fiery orange and yellow facade and three domes on top. Right from the entrance, the Goddess comes into view.
"We have spent around Rs 5 lakh for the pandal and are focusing on traditional Bengali architecture. For the temple, we used thick cloth and bamboos," said a member of the committee.
The 'new age' Durga puja too has created quite a buzz among the young working crowd of Hitec City. The Cyberabad Bangali Association (CBA), which organises one of the few major pujas in the area, launched a mobile app last year. The CBA app gives one the lowdown on all the puja timings and the various cultural events that will happen at the venue in Miyapur.
The Utsab Cultural Association (UCA), formed largely by techies in and around Gachibowli, caters mostly to the young crowd. The Puja schedule of Utsab is peppered with performances by local music bands, dance shows and Dandiya events.
"For people staying in this part of the city, the options to go pandal hopping are limited. We wanted to change this so that people are not deprived of a good time during puja," said Sundar Shankar of UCA.
Among the other popular pandals in the city this year are the ones at Masab Tank, Kali Bari in Sainikpuri and Krishti Goshti at Kanchanbagh. The Krishti Goshti puja - which brings the large community of defence scientists together - took up the theme of national integration this year.
"Durga Puja is a community festival and we wanted to bring people from all communities and religions together to celebrate the occasion," said Dr Subir Chowdhury of Krishti Goshti.
The Masab Tank puja, held on Road No 1, Banjara Hills, has been revved up this year while the puja at Kali Bari focuses on cultural activities.
"Our idol is traditionally based on the puja at Baghbazar in Kolkata," says Shankar Dasgupta, part of the organising committee.
On the other hand, Hyderabad Bengali Welfare Association, Afzalgunj, has the decor of Kedarnath Temple. A committee member, PK Chatterjee, informed, "This is our 49th year of puja celebration. Every year, we design our pandal based on temples. We have spent Rs 14 lakh for this. We have used thin wood and thermocol for the facade."
At Cyberabad Bengali Association, Miyapur, the pandal is a brick structure that is in keeping with the traditional look. “We planned for two months and the brick wall was made of plywood, fiber and thermocol. It took us five days to put it together," said a member of the association.
According to the panchang, Maha Ashtami ended at 12.07 pm on Thursday and moments later Navami had begun. Navami would end at 9.58 am today, marking the beginning of Vijaya Dashmi.
Chants and mantras echoed in Shivalayam near Survey of India as women of different natives got together to conjointly celebrate Ashtami (eighth day of Navaratri). The temple premises saw a fusion of Marwari, Gujarati and Telugu culture. Women beautifully decorated idols of Durga, Saraswati and Lakshmi.
Everyone sat with pooja thalis to perform kumkum archana while intoning Lakshmi Sahasranamam. The idols were festooned with diyas in eye-catching outlines, while some diyas were arranged in swastika shape.
Following the kumkum archana, women performed aartis and mellifluously enchanted keertanas which echoed throughout the temple.
It was a visual treat to see people of different ethnic groups come together and celebrate the festival together. Celebrations concluded with women dancing to Bathukamma songs with high energy.