Sunday, February 5, 2023

Durga Puja festivities begin across Nagaland

Staff Reporter

One of the biggest religious festivals in eastern part of India, the four-day Durga Puja began across the State on Sunday amidst much zeal and enthusiasm among the followers of Hinduism.
In the State’s commercial hub too, beautifully-decorated puja pandals replete with colourful lights have come up in various colonies.
Speaking to Nagaland Post, Hindu Seva Samiti president and advocate YP Gupta said 53 puja pandals had been set up this year here and five at Chümoukedima.
He mentioned that traditionally pandals were built for Durga Puja, but these days the structures had become a platform to represent various themes pertaining to culture, religion, ethnicity, community, etc, besides topical events.
Gupta further informed this reporter that the budget of puja pandals varies, adding that this could range anywhere from Rs one lakh to several lakhs of rupees. He said committees were formed to manage the entire puja celebrations, including the expenses that were met through contributions.
After the completion of the puja festivities, he said a “Vijay Sammelan” was held, which was basically a gathering of puja committee members. This year, the sammelan would be held at Durga Mandir in old daily market area here.
During the sammelan, awards would be given out for best idol, best puja pandal, most disciplined puja pandal, best performing idol immersion and best music played, which would be adjudged by a panel of four judges.
The judges would be visiting the pandals over the next three days.
To create awareness on waste management, all puja committee had been advised to put up posters on the theme “Keep clean, keep green” outside their respective pandals.
As part of the puja festivities, cultural programmes were also being organised in some of the pandals, with various competitions being held for Aart, Uludhoni, Shankodhoni and painting.
Unlike the past two years when puja celebrations were a low-key affair due to Covid-induced restrictions, Gupta said people this would be able to do pandal-hopping to witness the beautifully-decorated idols of Lord Durga and other deities like Lord Lakshmi, Lord Saraswati, Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartikeya.

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