With Durga Puja just a few weeks away, artisans in Barishal are passing busy days to prepare idols for the biggest religious festival of the Bangalee Hindu community.
At the same time, Hindus in different parts of the country are buzzing with excitement in preparation for the Sharadiya (autumnal) Durga Utshab. This year’s puja will be held on October 4-8.
In autumn, Durga, the goddess of power, visits her father’s residence on earth with her family members from heaven. The festival will end with the celebration of Bijoya Dashami when the Goddess Durga leaves earth for heaven.
The puja will be observed in around 2,500 mandaps (worship pavilions) in the division, said Rakhal Chandra Dey, president of Barishal District Puja Udjapan Parishad.
Ahead of the festival, the anticipation is also limitless among the followers. The idol makers also have some kind of innate competence to feed up this anticipation, as the young devotees visit all the mandaps to see which idol is the most beautiful.
The temples will also be decorated on the occasion, said Manik Chandra Mukherjee, secretary of the committee.
Visiting different areas of Sadar, Barishal city and Mathbaria upazila of Pirojpur district this week, this correspondent saw artisans of various pratimaloys (where clay idols are made) are busy giving final touch to the pratimas (idols of the deities).
They were also working at mandaps (worship pavilions) in Sadar Road Jagannath Dev Mandir, Jhautola Mandir and Bhatikhana Mandir in Barishal city, and Rajdip Mandir at Kabutarkhali in Pirojpur district.
Anil Paul, one of the most well-known idol makers in the city, said, “I am preparing idols for two temples. I had to hire extra workers to finish the work on time.”
“Though there is a demand for artisans ahead of puja, we don’t make that much profit due to the rising cost of materials and labour,” he added.
Md Shafiqul Islam, deputy inspector general of Barishal range, said they will ensure foolproof security during the puja.
“Durga Puja is a celebration for all. We hope people irrespective of their religions will enjoy the festivity,” said Bhanu Lal Dey of Puja Udjapan Parishad.
In Pirojpur district, Rajdip Durga Mandir at Kabutarkhali village has arranged the puja with 301 idols. This is the grandest in the division, said leaders of Divisional Puja Parishad.
Dr Sudip Halder, puja oraganiser at the Mandir, told The Daily Star that 10 artisans are preparing the idols for last eight months.