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 .
amidst a courtyard which looks very very real !
Behala's 'Nutan Dal' ( translated, New Group)......in 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.
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 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.
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 .
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.