Millennium Post

North Kolkata pandal prepares saree for deity using 22 kgs of gold

Kolkata: London-themed North Kolkata pandal in Santosh Mitra Square is a major attraction this Durga Puja for Bengalis. The Puja Committee has created a saree made of 22 kgs of gold for Goddess Durga this year.
Around 50 artisans are working on the saree, which is designed by acclaimed designer Agnimitra Paul, to give shape to the innovative idea of adorning the Goddess with a gold saree. The pandal and the idea of creating gold sari for Goddess Durga was conceptualised by the Puja Committeee.
"The gold saree of the Goddess is actually a wonder to witness. No one has ever seen such a saree. Generally, a huge amount of gold is offered in Tirupati temple. But golden saree is something that people have never heard of or seen before," Sajal Ghosh, general secretary of the Santosh Mitra Square Puja Committee, told Mumbai Mirror.
"I had approached designer Agnimitra Paul for the work. She was astonished to hear such a concept. However, she happily accepted this project," Ghosh said.
Around 50 artisans, including artisans from Pune and several parts of Bengal, are working on the project. Some of the artists hail from Midnapore and Kolkata. The gold has been sourced from Senco Gold & Diamonds. The gold saree is embroidered and embossed with flowers, birds, butterflies and peacocks. The saree is still being made. The other Gods and Goddesses like Lakshmi, Saraswati, Kartik and Ganesha will wear sarees like Benarasi, Jardousi and Madhuboni, also handiwork of the same designer.
"The making of both the gold saree and the pandal were started around three months back. The saree is decorated with various precious stones and gems. Twenty kgs
gold used in the saree costs around Rs 6 crore. The gems, designing and artisan's charges are all separate. We have not yet calculated the whole cost yet. However, only the pandal costs more than Rs 1 crore," Ghosh said.
The main theme of this puja in Santosh Mitra Square is London. Replicas of some of the landmarks of London have been presented to audience in the pandal. The main pandal is Buckingham Palace, where the Goddess and her family will be housed," Ghosh said. Spread over 7,000-8,000 square feet area, Big Ben, London Bridge and London Eye will be located in four corners of the Lebutala Park area. The pandal will house iconic Madam Tussaud's museum, Sherlock Holmes House', Chelsea Football Club and Kohinoor in miniature forms inside the pandal," Ghosh mentioned.
Inauguration of the pandal is on September 24, likely by Governor Keshari Nath Tripathy.
Security is a major concern for the Puja Committee because of the amount of gold being used. "The security arrangements are elaborate. We have installed artificial intelligence facility. If there is a security issue, alarms will be there, which will alert the local police station at Lebutala Park, just behind the Santosh Mitra Square. Additionally, sniffer dogs, police and private security personnel with guns will be deployed inside the pandal," Ghosh elaborated.
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