Amid soaring prices, devotees prepare to welcome Goddess of Wealth

Kolkata: Sky-rocketing prices of essential commodities, including fruits, have cast a shadow over Lakshmi Puja celebrations across the state.

Even the idol makers have felt the heat of the GST. This has eventually led to a hike in the price of idols as well. The rates of various commodities, including vegetables, fruits, flowers and other items required during the rituals have increased manifold.

The vegetable and fruit sellers in the city have said that due to a steep rise in the cost of transportation, essential items are being sold at an exorbitant price in various markets. Lower-middle-class people are the worst hit.

Despite difficulties posed by the price hike, Bengalis are gearing up to welcome the Goddess of Wealth on Sunday. Many had to curtail their budget to host the Puja in their households.

An interesting fact about Kojagari Lakshmi Puja is that in many old households of eastern India, the Goddess is worshipped in the form of a "shora" or a red coloured clay disk in which images of the deity are painted by the artists. However, with more and more people opting for idols, the art of "shora" painting is heading towards a slow extinction.

According to beliefs, it is also said in the Puranas that Goddess Lakshmi takes rounds of the earth to watch the actions of human beings during this night.

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