BHUBANESWAR: The replica of Ajanta Ellora caves of Aurangabad in Maharashtra at Old Station Bazaar puja pandal is attracting revellers in large numbers. Hundreds of people thronged the pandal which was opened for devotees after Saptami puja on Saturday. The magnificent edifice of history showcases the evolution of human civilisation. While the exterior is a replica of Ajanta caves, the interior is modelled on the lines of Ellora caves.
The 50 metre by 120 metre pandal houses a 16-foot idol of the Goddess with a 22-foot tall glittering silver medha (backdrop). The idol of Goddess Durga has been decorated with a gold crown, necklace, earrings and nose ring weighing 1.5 kg, while the medha (backdrop) and silver ornaments of other deities weigh around 2.07 quintals.
Secretary of Old Station Bazar Sarbajanin Durga Puja Samiti Deepak Jena said “inside the pandal, a depiction on how prehistoric men used to offer prayers to deities and how prayers are being offered in the 21st century has been displayed. Various statues have been crafted for the purpose.”“Prasad will be offered everyday to the devotees visiting the pandal. They will also get an opportunity to taste ‘Dahi Pakhala’ (water rice prepared with curd and greens) on Vijaya Dashami,” Jena said.
The pandal is also a major attraction for its Meena Bazaar having food stalls and joy rides besides melody for entertaining the visitors.Saplings will be distributed among the devotees to restore the greenery of the City which lost its canopy in cyclone Fani.
On the security front, 30 CCTV cameras have been installed at pandal along with six fire extinguishers. About 120 volunteers, including 20 women, have also been deployed to ensure smooth passage of the puja.Senior citizens and differently-abled persons can avail wheel-chair facility at the pandal. For which, three wheel-chairs are available there, Jena said. This Puja, those who are yet to visit the UNESCO World Heritage sites, can find some solace by making a trip to its replica.
30 police platoons for safe Puja
BHUBANESWAR: Commissionerate Police deployed 30 platoons of police force in the Capital to ensure smooth passage of Durga Puja celebrations. There are about 178 puja pandals in the City. While armed police personnel have been deployed near the pandals having deities and medhas (backdrop) decorated with gold and silver. “At least 15 officers are supervising the law and order situation in the City. Patrolling has also been enhanced on National Highway-16 to regulate traffic as some puja pandals have been set up there,” Bhubaneswar DCP Anup Kumar Sahoo said.
Police said the State Government has also extended time of using loud speakers from 10 pm to 12 am during this puja. However, all the puja committees have been directed to ensure strict adherence to guidelines on noise pollution. The police have also made adequate arrangements for Ravan Podi at five laces in the City on Vijaya Dashami. “Puja Pandals like Nayapalli, Jharpada and Koradakanta will burn effigies of Ravan for which adequate arrangements have been made,” Sahoo said.