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Guwahati: Amidst the vibrant tapestry of cultural diversity that is India, Durga Puja stands as a symbol of devotion, grandeur, and community spirit. Year after year, this grand celebration draws devotees and revelers from all walks of life, transcending boundaries of religion and language. In the heart of Assam, the enchanting city of Guwahati plays host to a remarkable trio of budgeted Durga Puja celebrations that have captured the essence of this centuries-old tradition while embracing the practicalities of modern life.
As the autumn breeze carries a hint of festivity in the air, Guwahati residents gear up for the annual spectacle of Durga Puja. Here, we take you on a journey to discover the top three budgeted Durga Puja celebrations in Guwahati, where devotion, creativity, and community come together to create an awe-inspiring spectacle, all without breaking the bank.
Debasish Das, Joint Secretary of the Bishnupur Sarbajanin Durga Puja Committee, told to Business-Northeast that this year's theme was inspired by the Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir and that the durga puja pandal would be 110 feet high. The interior of the Durga Puja Pandal, which will be constructed for a price of Rs. 40 lakhs, would resemble the Isckon Temple in America. A daily footfall of 1–1.5 lakhs is what we expect. The 16–17-foot-tall Durga Puja idol would cost Rs. 2.5 lakh.
One of the workers at the Bihsnupur Furga Puja Committee told BNE, "There are ten of us working here. The pandal will be finished in 2-2.5 months.
We are celebrating 75 years of Durga Puja here, said Pradip Sengupta, Assistant Secretary Kalibari, Rest Camp Durga Puja Committee. The price of the Durga Puja idol is Rs. 3 lakh. The price of the Durga Puja Pandal is Rs. 15 lakhs. The price of the light and other decorations is Rs. 10 lakhs.
There are about 12 karigars at work. This year's Durga Puja has an aquarium theme. Budget for the prior year was 20 lakhs. This year, we're anticipating twice as many visitors, Sengupta adds.
Pranjit Kar, a Committee Member of Bhaskar Nagar Sarbajanin Durga Puja Committee told BNE that, last year Durga Puja's theme was Jungle Book. This year's theme is inspired from Karnataka Shiva Linga. We receive more than 5lakhs footfall. The budget is Rs. 35 lakhs, however it may exceed. The Durga idol will be 14ft high. Around 50-60 workers are engaged. Last year's budget was around Rs. 25-30 lakhs. This year's main attraction will be audio visual effect.
In these budgeted Durga Puja celebrations, we find not only artistry but the profound connection between people and their roots.
A Guwahati-based sculptor named Nirmal Pal informed BNE that we have had 40 to 50 orders this time. Orders this time come largely from Guwahati, but also from Mangaldoi and Shillong. Durga idols typically cost between Rs. 1 lakh and Rs. 30 thousand. By April, work normally starts. Clay idols often cost between 75,000 and one lakh rupees and more. Usually, 5-7-foot idols cost between $40,000 and $60,000 per. Last year's Durga Puja had the Jungle Book as its theme.
Pal says that it has been 40 years since he first entered this industry. They didn't always receive the intended compensation for their services, but today's average karigar earns more than $50,000, and they receive daily pay when puja orders are in effect.
In the midst of Guwahati's bustling streets, where tradition and modernity coexist harmoniously, the top three budgeted Durga Puja celebrations stand as shining examples of creativity, community, and devotion.
From innovative themes to eco-friendly initiatives and a warm sense of inclusivity, these pandals have shown that meaningful celebrations can thrive even on a limited budget.