BENGALURU: From paying tribute to Satyajit Ray’s fictional characters Feluda, Goopi Gyne and Bagha Byne, to welcoming visitors with the décor of a ‘thakur dalan’ of Bengali landlords of yesteryear, we list out some popular Puja venues for those wanting to do some last-minute pandal-hopping
Ulsoor Bengali Association
With rhythmic beats of the dhak and chanting of Devi mantra, this association is welcoming visitors with the décor of a ‘thakur dalan’ of Bengali landlords of yesteryear. As old as 70 years, this puja in Ulsoor has joined hands with the Karnataka government and has been building strong relationships between Bengalis and Kannadigas, says Dattatreya Ghosh, committee member. “We have organised food festivals, food stalls, dandiya and Kumari Puja this year. Community bhog will also be served during the afternoon,” he added.
Assam Society of Bangalore
In their seventh year of celebrating Durga Puja, the Assam Society of Bangalore, prefers conducting a traditional Assamese puja, with regional customs on the five days of the festival. “We bring in a pujari, who comes along with his helpers and material, from Assam to conduct the rituals. Having someone from Bengaluru could have been cost-effective, but we want to give people an insight into Assamese culture,” said Hirak Jyoti Kakati, general secretary, Assam Society of Bangalore. Held at Freedom International School ground in HSR, they expect a footfall of around 6,000 people this year. “Last year, we saw around 3,000 people, and this time we are estimating a higher footfall,” said Debashree Sengupta, assistant treasurer, Assam Society of Bangalore.
Sanskritik Durga Puja Bangalore
Starting from musical evenings on Saptami to Dhunuchi naach on Ashtami and Dandiya night on Navami, this pandal at JP Nagar is keeping their guests well entertained. Arnab Mukherjee, president, Sanskritik Durga Puja Bangalore, said, “We are expecting 1,000-1,500 visitors this year after winning the best theme puja award last year.”
Whitefield Cultural Association
Considered to be one of the biggest pujas in Whitefield, this association will be paying tribute to Satyajit Ray’s fictional characters Feluda, Goopi Gyne and Bagha Byne. The puja pandal will see band performances, food stalls, mela, and drawing, singing, dancing competitions for children. Aniruddha Bhattacharya, secretary, Whitefield Cultural Association, said a drama based on Feluda and Goopi Gyne Bagha Byne will also be staged.
Bringing the issues of gender inclusion and empowerment of women to the forefront, the Bengalis in Bangalore (BinB) puja’s theme is honouring and respect individuality. As the celebrations enter the ninth year, the pandal in BTM stage I, will include cultural programmes through the Puja days. In line with the theme, a painting workshop will be organised by Deegeez creatives, and BinB members will perform a dance drama – Tabu Mone Rekho – as a tribute to legendary filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh on Navami evening, said Atanu Choudhury, treasurer, BinB.
Harmony Cultural and Welfare Association (HCWA)
To promote harmony among different cultures, HCWA organises all regional festivals on one single platform every year, calling it Harmony Mahotsav 2019. This year too, the organisation is bringing in all forms of diversities by celebrating Golu Habba, Durga Puja, Navaratri, Ayudha Puja and Bathukamma. “We are also bringing in a few underprivileged children to be a part of these festivals,” said Mayukh Patra, secretary, HCWA.
To felicitate Stree Shakti, which is the primary theme of Harmony Mahotsav 2019, Kumari Puja is celebrated every year. This time, they have received entries from both Muslim and Hindu communities from different housing societies to be the little girl who is worshipped during Kumari Puja.