Cuttack, the Millenium City, is glittering with precious metals as Durga puja festival is celebrated with great fervour and the pandals in the city are completely decked up and adorned with gold and silver décor.
Cuttack in Bubaneshwar is popular for its unique and splendid celebration of the festival. For almost seven decades great display of gold and silver embellishments at pandals mark the Durga puja festival in the city.
“The uniqueness of the festival in Cuttack lies in its sparkling mandaps. We hope that the age-old practice of adorning deities with precious jewellery amid filigree works at the pandals will continue in the years to come,” said Bhikari Das, the secretary of Mahanagar Puja Committee.
This year, 166 pandals have been set up across the city.
“While 24 puja mandaps in the city have chosen silver backdrops for the deities, nine of them have given a golden touch to their idols. Over Rs 38 crore has been spent on the filigree work alone. For the jewellery of the deities, the organizers across 166 mandaps have spent at least Rs 18 crore,” he claimed in a PTI report.
The Chowdhury Bazaar puja committee, one of the oldest in the city, is the trend-setter in gold artistry at the pandals, Das (65) said.
“The Choudhury Bazaar mandap has crowns and ornaments made of gold for all its deities, including the buffalo-faced demon Mahisashur. In 1951, it became the first committee to have installed a tableau made of silver. It was later replaced with gold,” he said.
The organisers have spent over Rs 38 crore for the decoration work of the pandals and entry gates, Das said.
“More than 24 puja mandaps, including the ones in College Square, Ranihat and Mangalabag areas, have joined the elite group now (ones that use gold in pandals). Two others will be joining the club soon,” Das added.