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Pujo fervour grips Delhi

If you haven't ever been part of Capital's Durga pooja celebration, visit the five major pandals of the city and witness the enthusiasm

Pujo fervour grips Delhi

Delhi is a melting pot of several cultures, with all festivals being celebrated with great fervour. 'Durga Pooja' popularly known as 'pujo' is one of the most popular religious festivals in the Capital.

Started by a small group of migrated Bengali's in C R Park, Durga pooja is among the most celebrated festivals in the Captial. Majorly, there are 11 pandals, which are set in C R Park itself besides the Shiv Mandir – considered to be the oldest.

Most Bengalis living in Delhi permanently/ temporarily felt that the festival was celebrated with as much enthusiasm here as it was in Kolkata.

"I think Delhi celebrates pujo in a better way because Kolkata is so used to it and here in Delhi I see people putting efforts in making it a success. It is my second pujo in Delhi and I am really looking forward to the next four days," says Arpita, a student of LaxmiBai College, Delhi University.

Aneeket, who works in a corporate firm and is living in Delhi for the past five years feels that now Delhi is no different than Kolkata when it comes to celebrating Durga pooja.

From choosing the right theme for this year, selecting the colour of decoration, to calling the craftsmen to make the idol – different pooja committees in Delhi have been pulling out all stops to pull in pandal hoppers.

Though, there are countless poojas in every corner of the city, here are a few which you would not want to miss:

1. CR Park (shiv mandir)

Popularly known as 'Kalibaari' Durga pooja, this pooja is organised by the 'Mela ground Durga Pooja Samiti' and is the first and biggest event which has been happening every year for 43 years now.

Talking about the preparations of the pujo, a member of the committee reveals, "It is not a one day process, it takes us almost one year to prepare for the grand show we try to put up every year."

Talking with Millennium Post, he also tells that the estimated budget of every year is around 30-40 lakhs. Though the committee manages to get proper funding every year because of its exclusive presentation of pujo, they believe that they can do even better than this.

"At this moment, a lot of things are happening in Delhi. There is Ramleela, Melas, so many other Durga poojas…I think this way the sponsors are lost. They are divided, which creates a little problem for us," a senior member elaborates.

2. Kali Bari, Gol Market

Being the centre of Delhi, this pandal has also gained popularity with time. It is organised every year by the committee of 'Durga mandir' in the area.

"Delhi is the best place to celebrate festivals, whether it is Ganesh Chaturthi, Durga pooja or Diwali, people in Delhi just need a reason to celebrate," said the priest of the temple.

3. Safdarjung Enclave

Organised by 'Matri Mandir Sarbojanin Durga Pooja Samiti', this pooja can be listed as the second biggest Pooja celebration in the Capital. Safdarjung being in South Delhi caters a high-class crowd every year.

For celebrating the 52nd year of pooja festivities the committee has come up with new zeal and enthusiasm led by an all-women managing committee to keep up all the work on their shoulders.

Talking about the food and bhog facilities at the ongoing event, a member of the samiti reveals, "This year we have prepared different menu on different days of the pujo, which will include Bengali delicacy like Khichuri, Beguni, Laabra, Payesh, Shahi Paneer, Sweets, Halwa etc."

4. JVCC, Sector 25, Noida

Though there are many other pandals in this area, this pandal is a big one you won't want to miss. The pooja which has held its roots in Delhi for 26 years now, will be a step ahead this year – in terms of theme and arrangement, a member reveals.

Talking at the pandal on day one, a member of the committee reveals on the process of how their idol of Durga is made. "As it is a tradition, the soil for the idol is brought from the prostitute's house in Kolkata."

5. Lodhi Road Complex

Beautifully set in the white aura, the pandal is heavenly to enter in. This is a small arrangement by the residents of the area – who every year for more than three decades have been organising pooja in their locality.

"There are different themes every year, there are competitions across the Capital around Durga pooja. We are residents of this area and we just do it for devotion. We feel blessed that ma has arrived in our home again this year and we are looking forward to next four days," says Sidharta Banerjee, who is the head of the Durga pooja committee.

Meghna Khanna

Meghna Khanna

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