Sunday 21 October 2018

Durga Puja Festival In Bhubaneswar

Durga Puja is celebrated with much pomp and fanfare in Odisha, India.
Lakhs of people visit the pandals. The light decoration is to be seen to be believed.
Grandeur and opulence is unmistakable and each year the celebration seems to be bigger and better. Puja committees compete to install the finest decoration and innovative themes.
Bomikhal Pandal 2018, Bhubaneswar
People wear new clothes and throng with their families to visit the beautiful pandals.
Traditional foods of Odisha are prepared and served to the devotees as prasad/bhog.
Bomikhal Pandal 2018, Bhubaneswar
There are traffic crawls near the famous pandals especially in the evenings when the pandal-hoppers love to move around. They enjoy the light decoration.
Rasulgarh Pandal 2018, Bhubaneswar
Rasulgarh Pandal 2018, Bhubaneswar
When it is time to bid adieu to the Goddess, it is like a carnival on the streets.
Some idols are immersed in the river, while others are put in special temporary ponds created for immersion purpose.

This year in 2018, the total number of pandals in the capital city Bhubaneswar was 174.
Twin city Cuttack boasts of exquisite idols adorned with silver and gold filigree work.
More than 400 pujas are conducted in both the cities.
Sahid Nagar Pandal 2018, Bhubaneswar

The staggering number of pujas makes me think what if we could restrict the number of Puja Pandals for each city to say 4-5? If not 4-5, at least one-tenth of the number now?
Will the city lose out the celebration if we have 10-20 Puja Pandals?

The three pandal pics shared here belong to the pandals that are in a radius of just one kilometre. One can cover these by walking.
Sahid Nagar Pandal 2018, Bhubaneswar
The Puja budget of the committees is in lakhs and some in crores of Indian Rupees.
No doubt, Durga Puja is much-loved and all the idols and pandals bestow a feeling of great pride and achievement.
While the pandal construction and other activities involved with the Durga Puja makes employment and business sense, there are other administrative and environmental factors and issues that need to be kept in mind.

The amount of pollution is immense. The area near the pandals, the roads etc are littered by the reveling crowds, some with a devil-may-care attitude. Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) employees have to work extra.
Temporary ponds have been successful to save the rivers to some extent. But, what about the greater damage? The ponds are filled, but the waste must be cleared from the dump and has to be dumped somewhere, right?

How about spending the lakhs and crores of rupees on things more concrete?

I often think what if Goddess Durga Herself gave this message to the organizers of Her puja?
Will they listen to Her?

‘This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

Also linking with- ABC Wednesday- P for Puja, Pandals, Pomp
Chosen as a WOW post here


  1. Religious festivals are a must to unite the people and develop fraternity and unity. But environment should be a factor to have the post festival upkeep. So better to restrict the number. Serene pictures. Nice post,Anita. and thank you for this information.

  2. I wanna attend one of these colorful festivals in India. So fascinated with the pomp and pageantry.


  3. Thank you for taking us on a trip through the puja and pandals in Orissa. Beautiful post.

  4. These questions have been raised time and again. Can Puja budget be curtailed and be used for some other cause. I think let people enjoy. They are collectively contributing. A lot of money is wasted in corruption and mismanagement. Why grudge pure fun. I agree with you there should be a mechanism to stop littering and removal of rubbish every evening after the festivities are over. Nice post, thought provoking.

  5. It is as much a social festival as also a religious one.It is through this festival the regional skills in arts and crafts are brought to fore.Besides the economic benefits of employment in various works relating to puja like doll makers,confectioners,pandal decorators, drummers and so on, it is an occasion for merriment and joy to bring out the cultural heritage and traditions.It is celebrated as a community puja through individual donations.
    However I agree with Rudraprayaga. There should be a balance in everything as she puts. A very nice post bringing back memories of my Kolkata days.

  6. That looks very cheerful…. how bright all those colours are and intriguing …. the expressiveness in your culture Always stunns me
    Have a splendid, ♥-warming ABC-Wednes-day / -week
    ♫ M e l d y ♪ (ABC-W-team)

  7. There is an ugly side to such celebrations. The time has come for all of us to think of innovative ways to keep up with our tradition without destroying the environment.

  8. Great Post!
    Thanks for sharing..


Your words mean a lot to me.

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