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Kolkata celebrates Durga puja with grandeur

Durga puja in Kolkata has its own unique festivities. Here is how the five major puja pandals of the city celebrated the 10-day festival

Mother goddess Durga who is considered as the most powerful goddess has been the bestower of strength, prosperity and all kind of best gifts in life. The city of joy celebrated Durga Puja with grandeur and grace.

TRIDHARA SAMMILANI

Tridhara Akalbodhan club was founded in the year 1947 at a small scale but gradually grew in size and repute with time. Presently, it has 300+ members. Durga Puja is the festival of not only Hindus but every Indian. Involvement of each person living in and around, irrespective of caste creed and religion makes it a national festival. Since the last six years the Durga Puja has gone up to a larger level and the name Tridhara Sammilani has become well known among the pandal hoppers.

Cultural programs relating to the current puja theme by the traditional artists took place each evening during Durga puja. 'Sindur Khela' is one of the integral part of Dashami when Maa Durga is bid farewell as she returns to her husband 'Shiva-s' abode at Kailash. All the ladies of the club and the local area participate in this ritual. The club included transgenders, widows and prostitutes at the sindurkhela last year which was appreciated worldwide. Durga Puja along with other festivals like the Lakshmi Puja, Saraswati Puja, Holi, Kali Puja, Dewali, Christmas, New Year, birthdays of Sri Sri Ramakrishna, Sarada Maa, and Vivekananda was celebrated with equal enthusiasm and hearty participation.

GARIAHAT HINDUSTAN CLUB

Gariahat Hindustan Club Durga Puja has been a woman driven committee. This year the Puja was celebrated in a grand way as it turned 56 years, though the women of the club has taken the responsibility since 2015. The themes of this Puja have always been about social issues but this year the committee focused on "Mother". The club has won Biswa Bangla Shera Alok Shojja, West Bengal government Kolkata Shera Pujo, Kolkata Sri online Shera Pujo, ABP Ananda Shera Pujo, Jamini Saree prize money to name a few.

BAGHAJATIN TARUN SANGHA

Tarun Sangha is rightfully claimed to be the pioneer of several cultural events in and around the locality. Notable personality and theatre critic Late Sri Robin Deb Ray has been the General Secretary of Tarun Sangha in the past. Famous composer and music director Ashok Bhadra has been a member of Tarun Sangha since many years. This year the theme was "Bhooter Raja" celebrating the famous character from the Satyajit Ray movie "Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne". The pandal was beautifully curated around the theme. The main attraction was mirror which was at the entrance of the pandal along with the famous shoes from the movie. It depicted that every individual is like the characters Goopy and Bagha, a common man who prayed for the well being of the mass.

Over the years Tarun Sangha has made a name for itself as a reputed club in South Kolkata through various social, cultural and sports activities. In 1952, Tarun Sangha initiated the Lakshminarayan Challenge Shield Football competition. This football competition gained enormous popularity within the very next few years in and around Kolkata and its suburbs. At that time many of Tarun Sangha's members were frequently seen playing across Kolkata's noted football grounds. Of them the shining stars were Late Pabitra Majumdar, Late Nishith Routh, Late Madhab Chakraborty, Late Badal Chakraborty and others.

Other mention worthy names who excelled in the later years are Tapan Das, Hareram Das, Habul Ray, Anjan Chowdhury, late Shibranjan Das, Nonigopal Das, Supriya Chakraborty and Sarit Saha. From 1952 till 69 innumerable talented football players ran the fields of Kolkata in the Lakshminaryan challenge shield. Among the coaches, names like Late Makhan Chatterjee, Kesto Mitra and Pratap Ghosh deserves special mention.

From the very beginning, Tarun Sangha has been participating in the nursery division of IFA. In this division Kesto Mitra, Pratap Ray, Parimal Das, Shital Das, Subal Dhali etc were the coaches. This year, the club has won awards like, Star Cement award cheque, and many more.

SINGHI PARK

The illustrious history of Singhi Park Durga Puja dates back to 1941. The pioneer was Late Birendranath Mustafi who was ably assisted by Late Lalit Mohon Mitra, Late Nolini Mohon Shastri, Late Soumendu Nath Sinha, Late Rajanath Banerjee etc. During this long journey of 75 years, the puja has been established as one of the most prestigious pujas of Kolkata, gaining the acceptance of the local community whole-heartedly. 77 years of this beautiful Puja, Singhi Park this year was the Sun Temple, at Modhera in Gujarat. Modhera is a town in Mehsana district of Gujarat, India. The town is well known for the Sun Temple of Chaulukya era. The town is located on the bank of river Pushpavati. This year's massive footfall has been their biggest award so far.

URBANA

States like Maharashtra have implemented a ban on plastic and have seen the impact almost immediately on the environment and trash situation. There was a time when Gopal Krishna Gokhale said, 'What Bengal thinks today, India thinks tomorrow.' It is time we bring back the thought behind that intellect. It is time to show the world that we can walk the talk and it is time to lead by example.

Urbana, a microcosm of Bengal, and indeed of India, organised their Durga Puja at a large scale. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. And so, Urbanites took the road that leads to all things green. They recycled and upcycled everyday items to decorate the puja pandal.

As newspapers capture the stories of lives, from one day to the next, they extended the shelf life of these stories as it gave them a new lease of life in the form of paper boats to decorate the pandal. Magazines are filled with stories and images of life. They captured that panache and transform the magazine pages into birds who can take these flights of fancy as they adorn the walls of the Urbana puja pandal.

Plastic and glass bottles, Coke cans, old bicycle wheels and tyre were used.

Urbana has won awards like, Berger Priyo Bashon, Times Pujo Barir Shera Pujo Jury award, Lions Club Sharod Shamman, IIMC Digital Impact, TV 18 Sharod Shamman.

Puja Banerjee

Puja Banerjee

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