BHUBANESWAR: Regal and royal seem to be the theme of gateways to puja pandal in the Capital this year. Leading the committees is Nayapalli Durga Puja Samiti which is erecting a replica of the majestic Lakshmi Vilas Palace of Vadodara in Gujarat.
The frontal facade of the pandal resembling the palace will be 85 metres in height and 120 metres in width and is being crafted by West Bengal-based artisan Babul Sahu along with his team of 50 assistants.
The 18-ft idol of Goddess Durga is being crafted by Shakti Prasad, also a West Bengal-based artist while the medha (backdrop) is being crafted by Sudhakar of Cuttack.
According to the Samiti members, while the structure will be that of the palace, culture of Odisha will be highlighted inside the pandal. Jagannath Temple, Konark Temple, statue of Lord Jagannath and others will be exhibited, they said.About the cultural programmes, they said various groups will participate in the Ramleela competition which will be held from Sasthi to Navami. While a Bhajan Samaroh will be organised on Sasthi and Navami, the celebrations will come to an end with the burning of an 80-ft effigy of demon king Ravan.
On the social work front, the Samiti has decided to donate a significant amount for the treatment of conjoined twins from Kandhamal district. They are undergoing surgery at AIIMS, New Delhi.
For the security of pandal hoppers, 50 CCTV cameras will be installed and the samiti’s ambulance and a fire-fighting vehicle will be on standby.
About 300 volunteers, including 100 women, will assist the city cops in regulating the traffic in the area. Besides, two platoons of police force and one platoon of traffic police will be deployed near the pandal.
Meanwhile, the 16-day Sharadiya Durga Puja celebrations began in different Shakti Pitha of the Capital City on Wednesday, including the temple situated in Nayapalli.