This year, Chittaranjan (CR) Park is buzzing with excitement as the idols, given their finishing touches at the Kali Mandir, are now en route to their respective Durga Puja pandals. This marks the commencement of a six-day celebration filled with dazzling pandals, creative idols, captivating lighting, delectable cuisine, and intricate rituals.

The Durga Puja pandals are truly the center of attention with their captivating artwork. In CR Park, nine pandals have been set up, with one at B-Block taking the spotlight. This particular pandal is grabbing attention for its remarkable replica of the new parliament building. The hexagonal structure, adorned with wooden planks painted in shades of red and white, promises to captivate the onlookers. Two peacocks painted on the gates, along with intricately carved geometric designs adorning the walls and ceilings, add to the visual delight.

The organizers have chosen to keep the faces of the idols covered with cloth, and they will be unveiled on “Shashti,” which falls on Friday.

Tamal Rakshit, the vice-president of the Samiti, expressed, “We wanted to do something new and different. So, we came up with the idea of the new Parliament building replica. The workers have been called in from different parts of Bengal to make the pandal.”

Meanwhile, residents and visitors alike are flocking to the pandals. Pandal hopping is a cherished tradition during Durga Puja, and for many, it’s a spontaneous adventure. Three women in their 50s shared how they have been visiting the same pandal for over 25 years. Sushmita Datta, originally from Kolkata, mentioned that their annual tradition involves exploring multiple pandals to make the celebrations more exciting.

Over at the Cooperative Ground Puja pandal, the aroma of sumptuous food tantalizes the senses. Local women have set up food stalls, hosting the Ananda Mela to showcase their culinary skills. Visitors are savoring dishes like “Gondharaj bhetki” and “Kosha Mangsho” with enthusiasm.

The theme for this pandal was inspired by a temple in Bihar featuring Nagara style architecture. Organizers aimed to highlight India’s “hidden gems” through this choice.

At the Kali Mandir, which serves as the epicenter of the celebrations, volunteers have painted rangoli in front of the idols. Pradip Majumdar, secretary of the Kali Mandir Society, revealed that the golden jubilee year has been filled with festivities, reaching its peak over the next five days. He mentioned, “At 8 am on Friday, dhaks will be played to mark the arrival of Durga maa. The faces of the idols will be unveiled in the evening.”

Throughout CR Park, artists from both Delhi and Kolkata will perform during these celebrations. The immersion of the idols will take place within the pandals, adding to the vibrancy of the event.

A senior police officer involved in the arrangements stated, “Thousands of people are expected in each of these pandals every day. As many as 500 police officers, civil defense volunteers, and home guards have been deployed in CR Park, and ample traffic arrangements have been made.” The officer added that vehicles won’t be allowed on these roads, and local residents will be issued passes. Commuters are advised to avoid roads with Durga Puja pandals to ensure smooth traffic flow.

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