Mum­bai’s big­gest eco­friendly Durga is here

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - HTMETRO - Sh­weta Ver­hani

MUM­BAI: With just a few days left for Durga Puja to kick off, the North Bom­bay Sar­bo­janin Durga Puja Samiti, Vile Parle, has got an idol all the way from Kolkata, sculpted by ar­ti­sans in the tra­di­tional eco-friendly way. It is pos­si­bly the big­gest eco-friendly Durga idol in the city.

The samiti saw the ghat­sthapna or the in­stal­la­tion of the idol on Satur­day. The idol, which was flown in from Kolkata, has been sculpted us­ing straw, chalk, wood, bam­boo, jute, apart from clay and sand from the banks of river Ganga. Draped in a red-yel­low sa­ree and decked up in jew­ellery, the idol has been sculpted by 36-year-old Amit Pal, a renowned ar­ti­san, who flew the struc­ture to Mum­bai, along with his team. “This is the big­gest idol built by me and the big­gest one in Mum­bai for Durga Puja,” Pal said.

Be­long­ing to a fam­ily of ar­ti­sans, Pal has been prac­tis­ing the art form ever since he was 15. De­scrib­ing the process of sculpt­ing an idol, he said, “The fo­cus should be on the face as it brings out the en­tire beauty. In this fes­ti­val, god­dess Durga is wor­shipped for dif­fer­ent rea­sons and in dif­fer­ent ways across the coun­try, which is what makes the fes­ti­val unique.”

In its 71st year, North Bom­bay Sar­bo­janin Durga Puja Samiti has not just got an ecofriendly idol, the man­dal also plans to cre­ate an en­tire set up us­ing en­vi­ron­ment-friendly ma­te­ri­als. Ad­di­tional at­trac­tions this year are tra­di­tional dancers from Ben­gal who will be per­form­ing dhunuchi dance. With a min­i­mum foot­fall of two lakh peo­ple daily, the man­dal sees one of the big­gest cel­e­bra­tions in the city. Sam­rat Muk­erji, mem­ber of the puja samiti says, “We are get­ting stronger each year and our theme this time is based on a fort which sym­bol­ises the strength.”

Muk­erji says the big­gest at­trac­tion this year is sandhi puja, which they will be cel­e­brat­ing from Oc­to­ber 17 to 18, wherein god­dess Durga’s Devi avatar is wor­shipped.

HT PHOTO

The idol was made us­ing clay from the banks of Ganga.

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