Thursday, October 9, 2008


Gorgeous Image of Devi Durga @ Parnasree Club

This year, Ruby and I have done pandal-hopping with discretion.We have found that the best Images and decorations can be enjoyed without queuing up during early morning and post-Dashami visits .

'Natun Dal' created this thatched hut to house Devi Durga ,
amidst a courtyard which looks very very real !

Behala's 'Nutan Dal' ( translated, New Group) literal sense.......a village Zamindar' house-hold with thermocole and brick-and-mortar .The execution is great.The visitor enter a Thakur-dalan( a permanent structure which houses the Idols of various gods , with ample space for devotees.

Two sides of the court-yard. Top : The entrance for the visitors.
Bottom : A temple created for Jagganatha.Wall of the Zamindar's house in the back-ground.

A very common feature of the house-holds of 18th/19th century rich Hindus), a court-yard where Devi Durga is housed under a thatched roof ( pigeons flocking on its roof !) and 2-storied building with real-windows over-looking the courtyard.

The pigeons are real !

The visitor comes across the deserted section of the property which belongs to the younger son of the family, now settled for a city life.In the Thakur-dalan, we could see ten-armed Ganesha idol ( based a South Bengal find), a 'Shiva-linga' and the accompanying bull. In the court-yards, we found a Ratha'(Holy Chariot) and idols of 'Radha-Krishna'. Very very life-like.

Top: Corner created to house a small temple for Radh-Krisna. Bottom : Wonderful craftsmanship in this Radha-Krishna image.

The Organisers have planted weeds on the cornices of the thermocole walls of the younger son's portion of the building to give it a look of being abandoned.

Hats off Rono Banerjee and his team ! See for yourself the proto-type he created for this set-up which fits into a recess between a Corporation Road and an existing building.

The most stylish pandal of our area is by Sruchi sangha. Every year, the Organisers pick up a state of India and bring the ambiance of that state into a few square metres of land. Very popular Puja.... this year, we saw Assam in this pandal.


The whole representation has made endeavour to capture a lot of speed and movement 
in the composition.

Devi Durga @ 66 Pally ,near Badamtala. Click on the image to watch in the larger view 
the symmetry in the composition .
The pandals we had at our own locality created dazzling interior within a moderate budget.Everywhere , there was emphasis on community activities .

A community Puja near the large Parnasree Lake.

A giant-sized hand-'punkha' used in a Puja @ Parnasree

The Puja pandal we visited twice is organised by 'Badamtala Club'.It is rated one of the best in Calcutta .Every evening during Pujas, 15-20,000 persons throng the pandal during the peak hours.

The pandal is created like a haveli with 'Thakur-dalan'. This part of the 'Theme' ,is the same as that of the pandal of 'Nutan Dal'.But , the visuals are totally different .The 'Haveli' is decorated with statues ans plaques , created in soft yellow and green colours, with style borrowed from 'Bat tala' publications of 19th century.

Left Top : A day light photo of the entrance. Left bottom : Ruby in front of a replica of the book by 'SriPantha' on 'Bat-tala' publications. 
Right : The RH panel of the 'Haveli'. Photo taken without flash.

'Sripantha' wrote a book on the history of 'Bat tala' publications . This style was seen not only on prints , but in wood-carvings and lithographs too. 'Bat tala' style was jazzed up and lighting created a nice ambiance. Devi Durga's image was exquisitely created.

One of the Puja organisers noticed that we went back a second time at 10.30 pm . He was very happy and took some of his time from a crowded schedule to chat with me. Before going back to his post,he showed me angles for capturing the Idol's photo from a interesting angle. These photos speak for themselves.

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