Durga- Pandal Hopping
It was Durga Puja time. My parents and I made the decision to go pandal-hopping. Pandal hopping is a popular Durga puja tradition. We went to several pandals, but the best three were:
Tridhara: Tridhara is one of the most famous pandal destinations in Kolkata. When my mother and I arrived, we discovered that most of the roads were blocked by police barricades. As a result, we had to enter through a back alley behind the food stalls.
We arrived at a point where there was a queue to see Maa Durga after walking for 2 minutes. A police volunteer was just setting up a barricade, but my mother and I slipped through. The sight that beheld us was mind-boggling. Maa Durga was flawlessly white and spotless.
A number of chandeliers and lamps hung around her. The ceiling was made of multicoloured glasses and nets that had been glued together. The light reflected off the great Durga Maa idol, which glowed a thousand colours. This amazing site blew my mind. After that, we left Tridhara for our next destination.
CHETLA AGRANI CLUB: I could have been blown away like a feather when we walked into Chetla Agrani Club. On the side were two sculptures of vultures fighting, their feathers ruffled and brightly illuminated in red. There was an eagle head in the centre, with its mouth open and its tongue lashing out.
On the other side, steps rose from the ground, and golden statues of humans climbed the stairs in an attempt to reach the eagle. Maa Durga’s face was turned towards us as we entered the eagle’s mouth, her trident on the heart of the demon Mahishasura. Her lion stood by her side, the buffalo (in which Mahishasura had been hiding) beneath it.
Maa Durga was encrusted with jewels from head to toe. When I saw this, I felt great about the work that had gone into building this structure. People were taking photos from all angles. There were cops all over, asking people to hurry up and leave the pandal because it was already overcrowded. After seeing all of this, we proceeded to the next pandal.
THE GREAT ADIYOGI: This massive sculpture of God Shiv’s head is magnificent. It was made at BJ Block in Salt Lake City. This Adi Yogi was nowhere near as large as the original, which was located on the outskirts of Coimbatore. The sculpture was breathtaking in its beauty. I was astounded that the sculptors in Kolkata could create such a large replica in such a short period of time.
Shiv’s eyes were half-opened, and he was wearing gold earrings. On each side of the room, there were small statues of serpents crawling. Later in the evening, there was a laser show, but we were too early to see it. As we entered the pandal, we noticed that it was made of glass pieces that had been stuck together.
A chandelier hung above our heads, and Maa Durga stood on the right side facing us, her ten hands holding the chakra, conch, bow-and-arrow, trisula, shield, noose, and lotus. Her trisula is in the heart of the demon Mahishasura. There was also a fair, and I participated in the dragon and bike rides. After that, we left the pandal.