Cuttack, Oct 17 : The Millenium City of Cuttack has been decked up in precious metals as major Durga puja organizers here have opted for exquisite gold and silver filigree work for their pandals.
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This display of gold and silver embellishments at the pandals has been the “hallmark of Durga festival in Cuttack” for the past seven decades, said a member of Mahanagar Puja Committee – the apex body of pandal organizers in the city.
“The uniqueness of the festival in Cuttack lies in its sparkling mandaps. We hope that the age-old practice of adorning deities with precious jewellery amid filigree works at the pandals will continue in the years to come,” said Bhikari Das, the secretary of Mahanagar Puja Committee.
At 166 puja mandaps in the city, the organizers have spent over Rs 38 crore for the ornamentation work on its makeshift walls and entry gates, he said.
“While 24 puja mandaps in the city have chosen silver backdrops for the deities, nine of them have given a golden touch to their idols. Over Rs 38 crore has been spent on the filigree work alone. For the jewellery of the deities, the organizers across 166 mandaps have spent at least Rs 18 crore,” he claimed.
The Chowdhury Bazaar puja committee, one of the oldest in the city, happens to be the trend-setter in gold artistry at the pandals, Das (65) said.
“The Choudhury Bazaar mandap has crowns and ornaments made of gold for all its deities, including the buffalo-faced demon Mahisashur. In 1951, it became the first committee to have installed a tableau made of silver. It was later replaced with gold,” he said.
Soon after, other puja organisers followed suit.
“More than 24 puja mandaps, including the ones in College Square, Ranihat and Mangalabag areas, have joined the elite group now(ones that use gold in pandals). Two others will be joining the club soon,” he added.
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