PARADIP: The Port City of Paradip is all lit up to greet Lord Biswakarma at its 30 puja mandaps. Biswakarma Puja here is a special attraction with people, irrespective of caste and creed, worshipping the God of Creation, Lord Biswakarma, and getting involved in the celebrations. The puja has a long history in the port city. After the port was established, the puja was started by seven persons in 1963. Gradually it caught the imagination of the people and spread across the city over the years. This year, as many as 30 decorated pandals have been set up by different trade unions, shipping agencies and private persons for the week-long puja beginning Sunday.
The Biswakarma Puja is relevant to Paradip because Biswakarma is considered as God of Construction. The Lord is the reigning deity of the vast industrial belt which houses some big plants and major industrial houses. According to Hindu belief, the deity is worshiped during the Biswakarma Puja ever year which falls on day of Aswa Panchami in the month of Aswina in Odia almanac and in the middle of month of September each year.Expecting a large number of visitors, the district administration has made elaborate arrangements to ensure a peaceful puja. The celebration would be marked by cultural programmes and opera shows by several troupes from Cuttack and Bhubaneswar.
For immersion on September 23, the idols will be assembled at Bada Padia, from where they would be taken in a procession to a temporary pond in the city near the sea beach. Paradip Police have made elaborate security arrangements for the celebrations and mobile vans will patrol round-the-clock to keep a tab on anti-socials. Nearly nine platoons of police force will be deployed during the puja to avert any untoward situation. Lakhs of visitors from the State and neighbouring West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh are expected to visit the city to participate in the celebration.