Durga Puja has always been about worship, women empowerment and let’s face it, food. But now, it has boiled down to something more temporal: gold. Ma Durga’s worshippers, in Kolkata, have decided to portray her inside out in pure gold.
What is it
Jewellers have come forward to lend 50 kg of gold for the making of a 13 feet idol. After the token visarjan, the gold will be earnestly returned to the godly goldmen. FYI, 10 grams of gold costs close to ₹40,000. That makes the total cost of this majestic idol around ₹20 crore. Hey, we’re just saying, they’re the ones doing it.
Mintu Pal, a Kumartuli artist, has been working on the idol for months. He came to fame after crafting Kolkata’s tallest idol for Durga Puja. A model was presented to the committee before beginning the work with much costlier materials.
Where is it
Santosh Mitra Square Pandal stands tall 700 meters from the busy Sealdah Railway station. It is famously known for outrageous adornment of murtis at the annual carnival. Last year the goddess was astride a silver chariot. During Durga Puja, the pandal in 2017 saw Durga draped in a sari made of gold. This year organizers hope to surpass previous records of visitors. The Durga Puja Committee is confident about managing the massive crowd. In 2018, their pandal saw 1 lakh spectators every hour. They plan to prep with security forces and experienced volunteers expecting a rise in numbers because of this year’s flamboyant fantasy of the female deity.
Why the hype
“Nobody has ever in the past conceived the form of the goddess in pure gold. It is our kanak Durga (gold Durga) made of 50 kg of the costly yellow metal from top to bottom,” the community puja marquee president Pradip Ghosh told LiveMint.
MNCs have provided the funds to cover most of the expenses for Durga Puja on being approached. The pandal in Santosh Mitra Square will fashion a giant marquee. It’s a replica of the under-construction ISKCON temple in Mayapur, 130 km from Kolkata. The temple is set to become the world’s largest by 2022. As if this was not enough the tent is not going to be left idle either. The entire canopy will be decked with tonnes of glass replicating ravishing Jaipur fort, Sheeshmahal. All that glitters is definitely gold when glimmering skies reflect golden gods.
People are already blown away and the pandal hasn’t even opened yet. It is ready to go on 4th October and unveil the results of its promising investments. Their previous undertakings have us hopeful and scope for disappointment is very slim. We’re thinking, it’s not too late for tickets to Kolkata!