DHENKANAL: Laxmi Puja in Dhenkanal is a glittering affair this time. Four puja pandals have spent lakhs of rupees to set up silver backdrop for the Goddess of Wealth this year. These are Meena Bazaar, Kaibalya Bazaar, Ganesh Bazaar and Laxmi Bazaar. Some have also decked up the deity in golden ornaments.
Meena Bazaar, the oldest puja pandal of the district, has used one and a half quintals of silver for the backdrop and one and half a kg of gold for ornaments of Goddess Laxmi. The puja committee has incurred an expenditure of `1.2 crore. Laxmi Puja is being celebrated in Meena Bazaar from the year 1943. Besides organising the puja, the committee also took several measures to promote communal harmony and social values because of which the committee earned the tag of ‘Maudamani Puja Pratisthan’.
King Sankarpratap Dev had named the mandap as Maudamani Puja Pratisthan. The puja mandap has been erecting silver tableaux since 1965. “Silver filigree tableaux has been a tradition in our pandal. We have adorned our Goddess with gold ornaments this year as a mark of devotion,” said Hrudananda Behera, secretary of Meena Bazar puja committee.
Kaibalya Bazaar has also added silver filigree backdrop this year using one quintal silver and one and a half kg gold on ornaments. The intricately designed silver backdrop is a crowd-puller this year.
In the show of one-upmanship, Ganesh Bazar has erected silver filigree tableaux with one quintal of silver. Here, the idol of the Goddess stands tall at the height of 6.5 ft. Ganesh Bazaar puja committee has also erected eight light gates near the puja pandal.
Likewise, Laxmi Bazar has adorned the Goddess with silver and gold ornaments. Another highlight of the puja here is the bhog like Dahi Pakhala and Sankhudi Bhog. Each of the puja pandals have installed CCTVs in and around the puja pandals for security.
Lok Kala Mahotsav concludes
Tourism and Culture Minister Ashok Panda on Sunday said the Dhenkanal has topped in promoting folk art by using it for awareness generation on welfare schemes of the State Government.
Addressing at the closing ceremony of Lok Kala Mahotsav here, the Minister announced that the State Government has decided to sanction funds for promotion of folk art and tourism at Bhuban, Kapilash, Joranda and Saptasajya. Considering the demands of Dhenkanal MLA Saroj Kumar Samal, the Government will organise ‘Sahitya Sabha’ at Kapilash while ‘Nagar Kala’ will be launched soon from Dhenkanal town for promotion of art in urban areas, he added.
Culture Department sources said the State Government has already generated eight lakh work days for 8000 folk artistes. Project Coordinator of DRDA Madhusudan Mishra said, the Government has so far released `2.5 crore for promotion of Dokra art at Sadeibereni. He urged the Minister to release the remaining amount.