-Pratap Kumar Das.
Its festive time folks!! Maa Durga has arrived in town and the most glorified festival in eastern India deserves to be celebrated in full fluorish and fervor. Durga Pujo or Navratri holds different values and traditions for various communities but one thing that remains constant is that the main 4 days – Shaptami, Ashtami, Navami and Dashami are synonymous with shopping, pandal hopping and doi-mishti with gorom gorom jilaapis. Near home, everybody knows that there are many pujas in and around Guwahati. We took a ride out on the night of MahaShasti around the city and present to you our top picks for this year’s Pujo. Make sure to visit as many of them as you can this festive season.
1. Bishnupur High School, Bishnupur
The 82-feet high monument of Durga Maa steals the show this year. Bishnupur puja committee has come up every year with refreshing themes for the Pujo, and this year is no surprise either. This year’s theme is about ‘Drug abuse’ and the internal structure depicts the internal structures of a human body. Men of natural sciences and medicine, you just can’t miss this.
2. Rest Camp Kalibari, Pandu
The rest camp puja is an evergreen hit. People from all round the town have this puja on the top of their wishlist. This time too the committee has come up with a humongous pandal which has the sheen of gold-cover from top to bottom. The pratima is gorgeous and you will be swoon in its beauty.
3. Sluice Gate, Shantipur
The puja here has garnered great attention in the last few years and the organizing committee haven’t let the guard down. This time too the pandal stands tall in great grandeur and glory. The pratima here was our pick for ‘Best Pratima’.
4. Athgaon, below the Fly-over
If there was an award for amazing theme, Athgaon Puja Samiti would have nailed it. The pandal is a replica of Cellular Jail and as you step inside you will see figures of jail inmates and jailors. On a closer look you will shockingly discover that these are infact real people. How’s that! The pratima here is a little different from traditional ones. Do try to check it out.
5. Latasil Khel Pothar
The pandal here is grand and overall atmosphere is lively. It’s a puja greeted by large hordes of people. The pandal exterior has a unique look and the pratima is equally beautiful.
6. Geetanagar field, Geetanagar
The pandal resembles a great cave and inside stands Durga Maa with her children. Lots of food stalls up this year round and the background music chants are really soothing.
7. Lakhi Mandir, Beltola
One look at the pandal of Lakhi Mandir and you would think it’s a heritage site and the figurines and cut out on stone. This oldy-looking pandal did amaze us and the pratima inside lives upto the hype. This time they have focused on ‘Traffic Accidents’ as the theme and the electronic depictions would surely amuse you.
8. 7 No. Railway gate, Phulbagan
This locality as always has been renowned for its exquisite lighting and this time too it doesn’t disappoint us. The traditional Durga pratima here reiterates the fact that simple is beautiful.
9. Nayanpur, Hengerabari Puja
The gigantic Ganesh stands up tall and as you look up to it, it sprinkles water all over you with its long trunk. Period. Enter inside, the pratima resides in the customary place showering blessings on one and all.
10. B. K. Tower Puja, Ganeshguri
We were round the corner and thought of a quick peek-a-boo here. It’s a small puja as compared to others in the list but the ambient atmos here will keep you jolly throughout.
So these were our top picks in this year’s Puja. We may have missed some of the Pujas which could have easily made it to the list. Some of the other Pujos that you can surely check out are Powerhouse, Kahilipara (where they have created a huge Rhino as the pandal) ; American Colony, Pandu; Silpukhuri; Bamunimaidam Rail Colony, Kalibari.
If you have any other suggestions, feel free to comment and share your views.