Kolkata: The city is immersed in the Durga Puja celebrations. More than 4,500 Pandals have come up all over the metropolis. Of them, around 3,000 are on prominent road squares and streets. The rest are in homes. Tourists from all over the world are reaching Kolkata to see the Durga Puja celebrations. Almost 80 per cent of the hotels are fully booked.
The most talked-about is the Pandal themed on the Hindi period drama film Padmaavat at the grounds of Sree Bhumi Sporting Club in Lake City. Reason: It is the costliest Pandal in the country.
Club’s secretary DK Goswami said that 125 artistes toiled for four months to build the Pandal. It has cost around Rs 15 crore. Jewellery made of eight kg gold has been used for adorning the idol. Around 300 private security persons and 150 policemen are looking after the security. There are 65 CCTV cameras inside the Pandal and 30 outside it. He said that around 80,000 persons are expected to visit the Pandal from October 15 up to Navmi.
After Navmi, the idol would be exhibited at the Kolkata Carnival, where a competition of the Durga idols in Kolkata is held and the best Pandals and idols awarded.
Durga Puja industry is worth Rs 45K crore
[box type=”info” align=”” class=”” width=””]According to the ASSOCHAM, around Rs 45,000 crore are pumped into the economy during the Durga Puja. Of the amount, almost 35 per cent is spent in West Bengal alone. Thousands of Bengali families build Durga idols and Pandals all over the country. The Pandals normally cost anything between Rs 50,000 and Rs one crore.[/box]
(Pic and content: Tarachand Gawaria)